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Anime / Yume no Crayon Oukoku

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Yume no Crayon Oukoku (Crayon Kingdom of Dreams) is a manga by Reizo Fukunaga and illustrated by Michiru Kataoka. It is based on Fukunaga's long-running Crayon Kingdom series of children's books, although instead of taking from one novel in particular is based on three (Twelve Months in the Crayon Kingdom, Twelve New Months in the Crayon Kingdom, and Queen Silver's Flower Journey). The manga ran for 13 chapters in Nakayoshi from 1997 to 1998, but unfortunately was Cut Short due to Kataoka's health. A 75 episode anime ran from 1997 to 1999, developed by Toei Animation.

Meet Princess Silver—the heiress of the peaceful and colorful Crayon Kingdom and an overall brat. Her retainers, especially her long-suffering minister White, have had their handful of her for the past 11 years, with her refusal to take responsibility and become a better person. Her sole redeeming qualities are her beautiful smile and her idolization of her predecessor, the 33rd Queen Buretsu, who was a powerful magic user who sealed away a great evil in a mirror. When Silver's 12th birthday approaches, she's to attend a ceremony where she can gaze upon the royal mirror and contact rulers past. Just as her birthday ball is in full swing, a mysterious boy crashes the party and suddenly turns Silver's parents to stone! When he mocks her by saying only a person of Queen Buretsu's caliber could undo the spell, Silver decides to chase after him and find a way to free her parents, accompanied by the pig guard Stonson and the chicken guard Aranessa. Meanwhile, the ancient evil Buretsu had sealed may have something to do with all of this...

This series provides examples of:

  • Animal Stereotypes: Stonston is a pig who's greedy and good at cooking.
  • Arc Number: 12. Princesses of the Crayon Kingdom are expected to perform the mirror-viewing ritual when they all become 12, Silver has twelve flaws to work through, and she carries a summoning trinket that contains 12 vegetable companions. Later on it's revealed that the Crayon Kingdom can only hold on for one year (twelve months) without everything being thrown into chaos.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The Grim Reaper, as powerful as it is, does have a weakness, but the details of it were split up into seven parts. The heroes' final battle with it, at the very last second, reveals that its weakness is its right shin.
  • Badass Boast: Cloud mocking Silver and saying that a magic user equal to Queen Buretsu was able to break her parents' petrification is simply met by Silver rushing off to find him, since in her mind it's obvious she's going to be Buretsu's successor one day.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Silver and Cloud bicker with each other all the time, with the former hating how blunt he is to her and the latter hating her spoiled attitude. Still, Silver can't stay mad at him forever, and Cloud will always come to her aid when she's in a pinch.
  • Big Bad: The Grim Reaper sealed in the royal mirror escapes its confinement to wreak havoc on the Crayon Kingdom. At first, it was assumed the dark-clad Klin is its identity, but that turns out not to be the case.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: Silver's 12th birthday is marked by an ancient evil escaping his confinement and both of her parents petrified at her birthday ball. She gives herself little time to worry before setting off to undo the spell.
  • Bland-Name Product: The prize of the snowman building competition is a Hatachi brand vaccum cleaner, mimicking the Hitachi brand of electronics.
  • Canis Major: The Grim Reaper primarily shows up in a black, shadowy form for most of the first arc, but when it threatens to get serious in the final battle, it transforms into a giant bipedal wolf. Unfortunately this makes it much easier for the heroes to take advantage of his secret weakness, his shin.
  • Canon Foreigner: Cloud is one of the few characters who weren't actually featured in the original Crayon Kingdom series, but here he's a prominent character and Silver's love interest.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: When the gang enters a snowman building competition but learn that they can't make a big enough one before the competiton ends, Silver gets the bright idea of making a fake snowman. She goes to the local grocery and orders 30 kilos of salt to make a "snow"man that wouldn't ever melt. Only by the next day does she learn that the snowman disappeared—as it turned out, the salt she bought was sugar, and it was carried away by a troop of hungry ants.
  • Darkest Hour: The final battle opens with the Grim Reaper having already invaded the Crayon Kingdom, and Stonson and Aranessa get petrified in their attempt to stop him. All of Silver's vegetable friends sacrifice themselves to buy more time for her to decode the Grim Reaper's weakness, and Cloud is no match for its power.
  • Death Is Gray: The finale of the manga reveals that with the king and queen not in power for almost a year, the colors of the Crayon Kingdom and its citizens have been slowly fading away from the world. If they don't defeat the Grim Reaper and restore Golden and Opal by the end of the year, the kingdom will be in great danger.
  • Dragged into Drag: Aranessa, Stonson, and Cloud all have to dress up as girls when they are denied access into an all girls' village. Cloud is the most upset about it.
  • Embarrassing Damp Sheets: The first part of the episode "The Sixth Month's Journey" reveals that Princess Silver is a bedwetter.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Silver spends much of the early parts drawn to the mysterious dark-haired boy Klin, but she has no idea who he was. Prime Minister Chameleon later reveals that she and Klin did know each other once upon a time, back when he was known as prince Cloud. An extra chapter reveals they knew each other before that, when Cloud saw Silver upset at her nanny leaving and later called her cute when she smiled.
  • Generation Xerox: Apparently, Queen Buretsu and Duke Klaus eventually became a notable duo when she was alive, which is at present repeated with their respective descendants Silver and Cloud. At the end of the Twelve Months arc, the king and queen also note that Silver and Cloud's attitudes towards each other are pretty much their own when they were younger.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: After gathering six of the seven parts of the Grim Reaper's apology, the gang is stumped about the location of the last piece. Silver very quickly realizes, after flipping through old photos of her journey, that the last piece was back in the Crayon Kingdom; it was located on a statue of Queen Buretsu, acting as the statue's brooch.
  • Kids Hate Vegetables: Or at least the very kiddy ones, like Silver, do. Her compact invokes this by allowing her to call back her vegetable spirits by chanting "Veggies are good for you!" three times.
  • Love at First Sight: Contrast to two of her chibi-sized suitors Hamburger and Chicken, Silver takes one look at Cloud at her ball and she's head over heels for him, deeming him handsome.
  • Magical Accessory: Prime Minister Chameleon gives Silver a magic compact that allows her to summon 12 different vegetable people to help her out. Silver cannot control the amount of people she summons from the compact, nor can she call for specific people. She even summoned all of them when she first opened it.
  • Miles Gloriosus: Silver's pride finally bites her in the butt when she arrives at an all-girls' village. When the villagers learn that Silver's a descendant of Queen Buretsu, the princess brags about herself and passes herself off as a soon-to-be powerful successor to her beloved idol. Her newfound audience quickly turns on her when the Grim Reaper confronts her and her party, with Silver unable to do anything before Cloud comes to her rescue.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: The Grim Reaper goes for the kill every time it appears, only stopped by Cloud's assault and a surprise cold. When it learns that Silver and crew are collecting all the parts of his apology beads, the Grim Reaper heads straight for the Crayon Kingdom royal palace to take out any of her remaining allies and to attempt to beat her to the last bead.
  • Plot Coupon: By the halfway point of the first arc, Silver learns that the unbeatable Grim Reaper has a weakness and was made to write it down in an apology letter. The apology was then split up into seven pieces, hidden in seven different villages. The plot then becomes Silver's crew traveling to each town and retrieving each part of the apology.
  • Princess Protagonist: Princess Silver is the main character and princess of the Crayon Kingdom, who goes on a quest to find the boy who petrified her parents.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Grim Reaper was trapped in a mirror by Silver's ancestor for several thousand years before the start of the story.
  • Sequel Hook: The manga ended serialization with a new person coming to act as a new maid for the royal castle just after everyone celebrated their victory over the Grim Reaper. Since the series was cancelled shortly after, the tankoubon version of the final page was changed so that everyone reflected on the journey and gave closure to the last twelve chapters instead.
  • Simple Solution Won't Work: Upon finding and retrieving Cloud, Silver wonders out loud if her adventure's finally over since her main problem was having her parents petrified and she's gotten the guy responsible for it. Cloud responds that he can't undo the spell, and even if he could, he wouldn't want to; the Grim Reaper is still on the loose and Cloud had only petrified the royal couple because it was the only way to keep them out of the Grim Reaper's clutches.
  • Skeleton Key: Silver's is a magic one. She can open any door with it, but the catch is that the room inside will always transform into a duplicate of her bedroom in the royal castle as long as the key is still in the door.
  • Skewed Priorities: Silver is once left a note by Cloud that states that he's not the Grim Reaper that she accuses him of being, and warns her that if she isn't to correct her flaws, her kingdom will be its domain soon. All Silver comprehends is that he mocked her habit of taking hours to get dressed, and chases after him to get him to take that back.
  • Spoiled Brat: The princess gets away with pretty much everything she does, to the ire of all who take care of her. Her flaws are such that her caretakers have unofficially listed twelve major flaws she's yet to overcome. Let us count the ways:
    • She blames everybody but herself when things go wrong;
    • She can't keep tidy, never gets up on time, and needs three hours just to get dressed;
    • She doesn't trust anybody, is too stubborn to compromise, and is a compulsive liar;
    • She's a Picky Eater but she's very greedy when it comes to things she likes, especially when she's asked to share;
    • and finally, she's moody but all too proud of herself.
  • Stock "Yuck!": Silver's in particular is asparagus. She's fine with some other vegetables like cucumbers, but she especially hates asparagus and thinks it's disgusting. To her surprise, one of her favorite foods—Queen Opal's rainbow-colored norimaki—uses asparagus as a main ingredient and Silver didn't realize this until she tried to recreate it for Stonson and Aranessa.
  • Sudden Humility: It may as well be the secondary plot. Each land or village Silver and friends go to, she is forced to confront a habit that had been aggravating all of her caretakers throughout the years and made to realize how exhausting her behavior is when she sees it through other people.
  • Taken for Granite: At the beginning of the story, King Golden and Queen Opal are turned to stone by Cloud for seemingly no reason at all. He later states that he did so because he was trying to protect them. The Grim Reaper can also do this, with the finale showing off how powerful his spells are and petrifying all of Silver's companions.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Silver starts the story as a spoiled and flighty little girl, with all of her caretakers noting that she has 12 major flaws to work out. As she sets off to free her parents, Silver is confronted with her flaws one by one, realizes how bratty she's been, and is forced to shed them. According to Cloud, her becoming selfless also serves a secondary and very powerful purpose—a royal who is pure of heart can take a strand of their hair, combine it with his sword, and have it turn into a golden dragon that can help ward off evil. By the end of the first arc, Silver's come around nicely, but she still has a lot of growing up to do before she can become the beloved queen she wants to be.
  • Trash of the Titans: Implied. The duplicate of Silver's room shows that her version of "tidying up" is still pretty haphazard, but Stonson and Aranessa admit that the room looks worse when she isn't trying.
  • Trojan Veggies: Princess Silver's favorite food, her mother's vegetable rolls, include one of the vegetables she hates the most (asparagus) in it as a secret ingredient. As Silver is a staunch hater of any green food, it's implied that the Queen did this to not only give her a good snack but also to make her eat her vegetables properly.
  • When She Smiles: The main reason why Silver got away with most of her bratty behavior is her beautiful smile, said to resemble Queen Buretsu's own. Most of her caretakers would let her off with a light warning when she smiled so brightly.
  • Younger and Hipper: The original Silver from the books was a queen, not a 12 year old princess. To be fair, Silver later grows up and becomes queen in the anime.