Director Kamiyama Kenji (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) makes a triumphant return with this fantastical anime drama interweaving the dreams and reality of a high school girl who turns into a brave sci-fi princess when she sleeps.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2017
Recommended for ages 9+
Steampunk dreams intersect with corporate reality in this imaginative anime set just days before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. High school senior Morikawa Kokone can fall asleep anytime, anywhere. In a series of strange dreams while napping, she travels to Heartland and becomes Ancien – a brave princess with a magic computer tablet, a feisty sidekick and an appetite for adventure.
Her waking life is equally full of daring escapades. Her mechanic father Momotaro, a man of very few words, finds himself in unexpected trouble, and it’s up to Kokone to come to his rescue. When events in Heartland begin to parallel her waking world, Kokone realises that unravelling the mystery of her dreams may reveal the key to her challenges in the real world.
“Director Kamiyama Kenji [Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex] makes a triumphant return with this fantastical anime drama… Ancien is a bold, promising new step for the director. He weaves in familiar sci-fi themes from past work, but these specialist elements thankfully take a back seat to the family focus of this piece… The outlandishly detailed establishing shots and breathtakingly paced action are a pleasure to watch.” — George Art Baker, Time Out Tokyo