Studio Ghibli, the animation studio of Hayao Miyazaki, which is responsible for some of the best Japanese animated films (and a number of my personal favorites, like My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away), is entering the video game arena, partnering with Level-5 game developers to produce a game called Ni no Kuni: Black Mage.
There is a brief trailer on YouTube that shows that Studio Ghibli will be bringing some of the style and visual charm of their hand drawn animation, along with their talent for all-ages fantasy storytelling, to the world of CGI gaming environments.
Spirited Away is still the most popular movie of all time in Japan (animated or otherwise), and Miyazaki is revered there, so the game is expected to do well in Japan. It will be intresting to see how it does here. So far, Disney, which has the rights to distribute Studio Ghibli films in the U.S., has been unable (or unwilling) to market them well, so Miyazaki is not exactly a household word outside of Anime circles.
There is a brief article about the Studion Ghibli/ Level-5 collaboration in the New York Times.
[Via Cartoon Brew]