Studio Ghibli’s best known for turning out charming and wondrous hand-drawn projects like “Spirited Away” and “My Neighbor Totoro”. Every time a Ghibli movie premieres, it’s generally regarded as a masterpiece. The animation house co-founded modern master Hayao Miyazaki may not have released as many movies as Disney, but their batting average rivals that of Mickey and company at it best. So, two years ago when it was announced that they’d be working with Level-5–makers of the popular “Professor Layton” brain-teaser titles on the Nintendo DS–fans of both gaming and animation simultaneously shuddered in delight.
The lovechild of Studio Ghibli and Level-5 is being called “Ni No Kuni” (which roughly translates to “Another World”) and it finally debuted in playable form at this year’s Tokyo Game Show. The game tells the story of Oliver, a young boy whose mother dies tragically. With the aid of a fairy, he then enters the pages of a magical world where he might be able to resurrect her. The gameplay is said to blend action and role-playing elements and, as you can see, it’s utterly stunning. This is Level-5’s first effort on the Playstation 3 and there’s been no mention of a publisher yet. It’s entirely possible that Sony will publish the game in Japan, but the more troubling question mark for Western gamers and Ghibli fans is the prospect that the game may take a long while to receive an English-language version. Everybody get to a wishing well. Quickly.