In case you didn’t know, there’s a Ni no Kuni anime movie in the works, based on the popular video game series. It was announced earlier this year and will not be an adaptation of any of the games specifically, but rather, a new story with a protagonist not seen in the mainline entries. The film will be a collaboration between Level-5, Warner Bros. Japan, and OLM Inc. and will release in Japan on August 23, 2019.
The film will follow a group of high-school friends: the wheelchair-bound Yuu, basketball star Haru, and Haru’s girlfriend Kotona. When Kotona gets attacked, Yuu and Haru try to save her but are transported to the world of Ni no Kuni. If you are familiar with the games, this is a place where an alternate version of each person exists, with a deep and fundamental connection to the real person (this is a core part of the story in the first game). In Ni no Kuni, Princess Asya is Kotona’s parallel self, and Yuu begins to fall for her. But in order to save Kotona’s life, Asya has to die, creating a huge decision for Yuu and Haru.
While it’s not based on any of the games directly, it does follow the same idea of traveling between the “real world” and distant magical lands.
The two console entries are PlayStation exclusives, with the first one, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch releasing for the PS3 back in 2013 (2011 in Japan), and the most recent, Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, which released for the PS4 back in 2018. Both received favorable reviews. The original Ni no Kuni was initially released as a Nintendo DS game back in 2010, with Wrath of the White Witch being an expanded version brought to the PlayStation 3.
Now that we have a Japanese release date for the film, we will hopefully be hearing word on a Western release date. As it stands, the film has not been announced for the West, sadly, but the popularity of the games over here has us speculating that a Western announcement will be coming soon.