The Ni No Kuni movie is finally coming west after its Japanese premiere back in August. Netflix recently unveiled a snapshot of content coming to the streaming service in 2020 and Ni No Kuni is among the list.
Although, fans of the video game franchise should go in with tempered expectations: Ni No Kuni’s critical reception wasn’t at all positive and it appeared to have totally flopped at the Japanese box office in its debut weekend.
Indeed, one critic wrote:
“Visually, Ni no Kuni” is far from a Ghibli masterpiece. In fact, it’s a flat, lifeless slog. Its hand-drawn action scenes limp across the screen, while its computer-generated monsters, vehicles and extras look like something out of a decade-old video game…”
The original video game was, of course, famed for its pretty animated cutscenes that were created by esteemed Japanese anime studio Studio Ghibli. Unfortunately, Ghibli wasn’t in charge of animation for the Ni No Kuni movie, though several notable members of its senior team were.
Level-5 President Akihiro Hino acted as general producer and wrote the screenplay for the film, while Yoshiyuki Momose of Studio Ghibli fame directed it, and Joe Hisaishi composed the music. Tokyo-based studio OLM (which has worked on the Yo-Kai Watch and Inazuma Eleven anime, alongside plenty of Pokémon titles and more) took care of the animation.
You can check out a Japanese trailer for the movie here.