What started as an alright modern take on a fairy tale slowly became something that just wasn’t very fun to watch. So what went wrong and what did it do right? Let’s have a look at 100 Sleeping Princes and the Kingdom of Dreams.
My first impressions of this series were not hugely enthusiastic but there seemed like there was some definite potential in this anime. There’s some strikingly beautiful scenes in those early episodes and the dream aspect is really visualised beautifully making you feel that this world the character inhabit is really something special. Even the idea of the princess finding the princes trapped in rings and setting them free seemed like it could potentially be an interesting enough plot line. And yet, turns out despite the title the only ‘Sleeping Prince’ to be found was Avi in the very first episode and every other Prince is just a guy with some issues so that the heroine can find him, befriend him, and make everything better.
There’s no hiding the based on a game aspect of this show. Not that how the story is presented here would make a good game, but because this anime suffers from a lot of the usual hang ups of anime based on games. There are so many characters crammed in here. We go from Kingdom to Kingdom meeting prince after prince. Each one appears in the OP so if you are watching for the cute guys, do yourself a favour and just watch the OP over and over and you’ll pretty much get your fill. However if you want any of these characters to be fleshed out and explored beyond guy with issues, make friends, issues solved, then you are probably going to be disappointed. Even Avi, the first Prince to show up gets very little actual characterisation and even at the end of the series I still don’t know why he’s following the princess around rather than returning to his own kingdom.
Kihel is the notable exception. A prince, he thinks, met by Avi and the Princess soon after they’ve met, Kihel has some great big gaps in his memories and this is the one story line that gets some ongoing development and the resolution of it makes up the climax of the season. You would think then that at least this story would be satisfying, but honestly I still don’t know what was going on there or how things sorted themselves out or why Kihel didn’t die but I guess none of that really matters.
And realistically, they could have gotten away with the story being as lacklustre as it was provided the characters were compelling or they’d kept up with some gorgeous visuals and relaxing music. Yet the quality of the visuals dropped noticeably as the series progressed and none of the characters hung around long enough to become compelling. Some episodes introduced three or more princes at once and they’d be there for less than two episodes before we’d move on again.
I’m not going to bother to point out the protagonist has zero personality or purpose besides occasionally saying a prayer and giving everyone else power. Again, this is clearly because of the based on a game idea but to not even give her a name outside of Princess is just awkward during every introduction in the anime and the fact that she never questions why she is here or whether or not she could go home but just kind of follows along with whatever makes her one of the least appealing of these kinds of protagonists that I’ve had the displeasure of meeting in the last couple of years of watching anime.
Honestly though, this anime isn’t dreadful. It really isn’t. It just is substance-less and has nothing really to compel you to keep watching. It just is. Events happen and characters react and we just keep travelling along. Ultimately I’d describe this anime best by saying it is just meandering fluff that may or may not grab your fancy depending on how bored you were at the time and how much else is on your watch list. There are some good moments along the way and I still like the premise of the show, but to be honest not enough was done with it to really make it something I could recommend.
- Episodes 1 + 2: Fairy Tale Logic At Work
- Episode 3: No One Is Really Bad, Just Possessed By Dream Eaters
- Episode 4: Not All Dreams Are Good Ones
- Episode 5: A Ghost Ship with Friendly Ghosts?
- Episode 6: From The Ocean to the Snow
- Episode 7: This Was Not A Well Thought Out Plan
- Episode 8: It’s All About Kihel
- Episode 9: What If Wonderland Were A Modern City?
- Episode 10: The Cat and Kihel
- Episode 11: Confusing Villain Motivations – Check
- Episode 12: And Somehow This Resolved
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