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Studio Ghibli Working on Videogame is reporting that animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli is working on a Nintendo DS game. Titled NINOKUNI, the fantasy adventure RPG title, produced with Level-5, follows a little kid named Oliver who is promised the return of his deceased mother by a sprite.

Ghibli president Toshio Suzuki told FAMITSU magazine that collaboration came about when musician Naoya Fujimaki introduced the two companies to each other, following the completion of PONYO, their latest theater, which arrives in the U.S. in August.

In responding to the studio's long rejection game offers, Suzuki said, "Normally we wouldn't have done it, but Ponyo was just about to debut in theaters, and our heads were still running full tilt. He caught us right when we were at our weakest!"

"I think [Level-5 head Akihiro] Hino really has luck on his side," added Fujimaki. "The entirety of Ghibli was free of work at just that moment. Miyazaki may say that he hates games, but being a businessman, Suzuki isn't going to just let his staff play around all day."

The game is set to hit stores in Japan later this year.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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