100 Sleeping Princes and the Kingdom of Dreams (夢王国と眠れる100人の王子様) is a fantasy anime series that is an adaptation of the original puzzle and role-playing smartphone game that released in Japan from GCrest in 2015. Project No. 9 shall do the anime’s production, with direction from Yukina Hiiro. I went into the episode with very little expectation of it being good and came out with an unexpected eagerness to see what will happen next!
100 Sleeping Princes and the Kingdom of Dreams takes place in a world of dreams where people subsist on its power that is created from having strong hopes and desires for the future. The dream royalty grants the power of dreams to the people, thus developing an era of harmony and peace. But then one terrible day, creatures called dream eaters invade the kingdom and begin to consume people’s dreams, forcing them into an eternal slumber. Royal princes from every country gathered around to fight these monsters, however, they also fell victim to them after being sealed away into magical rings. The only person who has the power to awaken these princes is a princess that time has forgotten.
I’m going to be honest, when I sat down and hit the play button for this episode, I wasn’t very interested in it at all. The promotional images that I had seen, and the title felt immensely ludicrous to me, so much so that I didn’t even bother reading the synopsis. Nevertheless, I went ahead and tested it out, and after watching all twenty-some-odd-minutes, I find myself to be wholly intrigued by the premise.
I love fantasy. It is a genre that I can never seem to get enough of, and it has been so damn long since we have had one marvellous fantasy anime serial. While I do not believe this show is going to be the masterpiece that I am craving, I am genuinely interested in seeing how it will progress. The dream kingdom and the monsters that consume dreams, thus placing people into everlasting slumber is a notion that felt delightfully original and different than anything I’ve encountered. Having a single princess save all the princes can be hit or miss, depending on how it’s developed. If it’s written tastefully without going full on heavy with reverse-harem over-the-top theatrics, I think it will be fun. If not, then the catastrophe ship will make berth very quickly. Either way, I like this narrative’s basic foundation. I also like how it was presented in the pilot episode.
For an introduction, it covered essentially all of the bases that it needed to. It provides a succinct overview of what the story entails while still retaining an air of mystery. We meet the main cast as well as what their relative roles will consist of. There is a small explanation about the land and setting, as well as the magical forces at play. Plus, there is a cute animal that looks like a rabbit-cat-fluffy off-shoot that I think is positively adorable. That last one isn’t necessary for a good intro, but it damn well helps!
In addition, the pacing was comfortable too, never feeling rushed or slow for the sake of being so. There was a decent balance of humour, action, and important (limited) explanations regarding our main female character. The opening song was also soft and soothing, which I rather enjoyed!
The animation quality is mostly average overall, but there are aspects of it that make it quite aesthetically pleasing. Such as the soft lines and delicate drawings of the characters and much of the setting. The backdrops and sweeping landscapes that are shown are beautifully reminiscent of oil paintings. The colours vary from lush vibrancy to flowy, tender pastels—depending on the situation. The nature elements are bright and beautiful, complementing the season excellently. It may not be perfect 100% of the time, but I don’t mind what’s been given so far.
Shortcomings? It is an adaptation of a video game, so the progression can be hit or miss, like the reverse harem facet (if it is, in fact, a reverse harem). We may get a superb premise and wonderful world-building, only to find it falling short with character development or how the story moves forward (I am looking at you Granblue Fantasy). The atmosphere of the series also feels like it is heavily targeted towards women, or people who are into males and masculine figures, as there have been teases for pretty boys a-plenty. The interactions between the dudes, while good-natured, can come off as too silly, depending on how much of that kind of thing you enjoy or don’t enjoy.
All in all, I found enough pleasure in this first episode to return for the second and see what 100 Sleeping Princes and the Kingdom of Dreams has in store for le watchers. I’m going to remain hopeful, yet realistic.
You can watch 100 Sleeping Princes and the Kingdom of Dreams on Wednesdays over at HIDIVE.