It's been announced that Warner Bros. Japan and Level-5 are officially working on an anime film based on Ni no Kuni, the series of stylized role-playing games from the latter company.
Warner Bros. Japan revealed that the movie was in the works at a press conference today, where it shared details about the production and its staff. According to Anime News Network, Yoshiyuki Momose (The Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Only Yesterday) will direct while Joe Hisaishi (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away) will compose. Akihiro Hino, Level-5's CEO, will service as executive producer and scriptwriter while OLM will actually animate the thing. Kento Yamazaki will star as the film's protagonist, Yū.
Some, if not all, of this is directly confirmed by the film's official website, which is of course in Japanese. The film is set to premiere in Summer 2019.
Here's how ANN describes the film's plot:
"In the story, Yū is a high school student, and his best friend is Haru and his childhood friend is Kotona. Through a certain incident, they travel back and forth between reality and Ni no Kuni. When Kotona's life is put in danger, the three must make 'the ultimate choice.'"
If you're not familiar with the series, there's not too much to catch up on as there are only two localized games in the franchise thus far: 2013's Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch for the PlayStation 3 and 2018's Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom for PC and PlayStation 4. Both entries have received mixed to positive reviews, with one consistent point in its favor being the Studio Ghibli-inspired visuals.
Additionally, here's a bit of our own review of Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom from last year:
"It's rare to see a game attempt so many things and actually pull them off with grace. After tens of hours of play, I struggle to think back to my time with Ni no Kuni II and isolate something that stands out as a shortcoming or flaw. Level-5 set out to offer players a sweeping story filled with interesting characters, engaging real-time combat, and some innovative strategy and management elements for variety, and it succeeded at every turn. While the cuddly fairy-tale coating may turn off more hardened gamers, we'd admonish you not to miss out on what will ultimately be looked back on as one of the best RPGs on the PS4."
What do you think about the announcement? Are you excited to see a Ni no Kuni anime film? Let us know in the comments!