Ninokuni is a dream collaboration between Japanese developers Level 5 and anime craftsmen Studio Ghibli. And, because they are craftsmen, Ghibli are taking their sweet time on the game.
With around 15 minutes of animation to be included on the cart, and the game due in Japan later this year, Ghibli's work should have been by now. But it's not. "When Ghibli has its entire staff working on a project, they can produce about five minutes' worth of theatre-quality animation a month," says Ghibli president Toshio Suzuki. "I wasn't planning for this to take longer than three months, at worst! But that's the way it always happens."
Suzuki also says in the same interview (with Japanese mag Famitsu) that while the studio's founder, Hayao Miyazaki, totally hates video games, there was no stopping this collaboration.
"I think [Level-5 head Akihiro]Hino really has luck on his side," he says. "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."
Ghibli & Level 5 [Famitsu & 1UP]