The ridiculously charming world of ‘Ni No Kuni,’ Studio Ghibli’s gaming masterpiece

Hayao Miyazaki, renowned director and co-founder of Japanese animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli, doesn’t like video games. He once tried to play a PC version of the Japanese board game Shogi but it wasn’t for him. “The PC checks all approaches,” he said in an interview. “That’s not fair.” But despite his lack of fondness for the medium, Miyazaki’s studio teamed up with developer Level 5 to bring Ghibli’s incomparable style to the world of gaming. Released on the PlayStation 3 in Japan back in 2011, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch finally made its way to an English-speaking audience this week. It combines two of the country’s greatest exports — it’s an epic role playing experience with the look and feel of a high quality animated film. And it took two of Japan’s most talented companies to pull it off.