Warner Bros. Japan announced at a press conference on Saturday that Level 5 is producing an anime film of its Ni no Kuni video game franchise that will debut this summer.
Yoshiyuki Momose (The Legend of the Galactic Heroes character designer, Only Yesterday and Pom Pokostoryboarder) is returning from the game series to direct the film, and Hayao Miyazaki‘s longtime collaborator Joe Hisaishi (Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away) is returning to compose the music. Level 5 CEO Akihiro Hino is the executive producer and scriptwriter, and he is also credited with the original work. OLM (Pokémon, Inazuma Eleven franchises) is animating the film. Warner Bros. Japan is the distributor.
Hino and Momose attended the press conference. The event revealed character designs and a teaser trailer.
Actor Kento Yamazaki (live-action Death Note‘s L, live-action Orange‘s Kakeru Naruse) is starring in the film as the protagonist Yū.
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.”
Warner Bros. Japan had teased on Thursday that it would make a big announcement on Saturday. The teaser stated that the “global” project has been in the works for 10 years, and is a new challenge from “a person who launched a movement in Japan.”
Hino had teased on Thursday that he might be involved with the film, stating “What is this? As I thought…”
The official website for the AnimeJapan 2019 convention revealed last month that the event’s Cobalt Blue Stage will hold the “Warner Brothers Film New Film Stage Event” on March 23 from 3:15 p.m. to 3:50 p.m. The stage event will provide more details. Staff and voice actors for the project will appear.
Level 5 debuted the fantasy role-playing game Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch for the PlayStation 3 in Japan in 2011, after a Ni no Kuni: Shikkoku no Madōshi game for Nintendo DS in 2010 and a game for Japanese phones. Namco Bandai Games then released Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch outside Japan in 2013. The RPG featured cut scenes from Studio Ghibli.
Level 5 released the Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom PlayStation 4 and PC game on March 23.
Update: Added visual and details about the story and the staff. Source: Ni no Kuni anime film’s website
Source: LINE Live