Ancien and the Magic Tablet is a lighthearted adventure about dreams colliding with reality.
Directed by Production I.G.’s Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, East of Eden), Ancien and the Magic Tablet follows Kokone, a frequently napping high school student who dreams of a magical world called Heartland. In Heartland, Kokone imagines herself as the young Princess of Heartland, Ancien, who with a magical tablet, can transform inanimate objects into living creatures.
In reality, Kokone is an everyday high schooler dealing with her final exams and napping in class. Her dad Momotarou owns a mechanic store in a small town and uses a similar looking tablet to the one in her dreams, to repair and upgrade cars. Kokone longs for information about her mum who passed away when she was young.
The two worlds begin to collide as Momotarou is unexpectedly thrown in jail and men dressed in black, led by the CEO of Shijima Automobiles, Ichirou, break into her house in search of the tablet. In the dream, Momotarou is a dashing motorbike-riding vigilante and Ichirou is the Hand to the King, searching for the tablet for personal gain.
With the help of her childhood friend Morio (played by ERASED’s Shinnosuke Mitsushima), sidecar motorcycle, and incredibly adorable talking stuffed toy called Joy, voiced by Fairy Tail’s Happy (Tokyo Ghoul, The Idolmaster, Persona 4: The Animation), Kokone must use her powers from the dream world to save her father and solve the mystery behind her mother’s death.
What follows is a fun mix of fantasy, drama and comedy with an engaging cast of characters and heartwarming moments. Fans of Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy XV will instantly recognise an enchanting soundtrack by legendary composer Yoko Shimomura. Her music carries every scene and each song feels reminiscent of a different era of her music, from piano melodies sounding like Kingdom Hearts’ “Dearly Beloved” to vibrant ensemble pieces inspiring a grand fantasy and adventure.
Ancien and the Magic Tablet is a sweet coming of age tale about discovery, imagination and the bond between family. Signal. MD (Atom: The Beginning, Recovery of an MMO Junkie) is a fairly new studio but have created some beautifully animated set pieces with clean animation.
It's is part of this year’s Japanese Film Festival, and will be playing at select cinemas around the country.
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