Ancien and the Magic Tablet (Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari) (Napping Princess: The Story of Unknown Me) is a Japanese fantasy and science fiction anime film written and directed by Kenji Kamiyama. I managed to see this film as part of the Melbourne International Film Festival and I am so glad I did.
The story follows Kokone Morikawa, a young student about to embark on her last summer holidays before graduation. The story also follows Ancien, the magical princess of a steampunk world with a magic computer tablet who is trying to help save her kingdom. Kokone becomes Ancien when she sleeps and visits the city of Heartland in her dreams. The dreams align with reality and Kokone is launched into a mission to try find the connection between the two whilst also trying to save her father who is arrested for reasons unknown.
I found Ancien and the Magic Tablet to be clever, moving and beautiful. Who could have imagined that fantasy, sc-fi, mecha, steampunk, family and love could blend together so perfectly? I am so impressed with what Kenji Kamiyama has come up with. The animation, the script, the storyline came together flawlessly and the way the film was executed was pure genius. I am very keen to check out other films that Kenji Kamiyama has written and directed after watching this film.
Ancien and the Magic Tablet is a stunning visual masterpiece with heart. I loved this film so much, I was moved to tears (and so was my friend next to me in the cinema). It’s been a long time since I’ve watched anime and I’m so glad I’ve chosen this film to open up the gates and reintroduce myself to a genre which I have always loved.
If you want to watch a mature animation with depth, you need to watch this film. Beautiful is an understatement. Hours after, I’m still reeling from the emotions it put me through. Wow.