Ni No Kuni | Netflix Mini Movie Review.

Monday 24 February 2020


I know this is a site that revolves around gaming but this post is a connection to a game so that's fair enough right? When it was announced that there was going to be a Ni No Kuni movie I was ecstatic, This isn't going to be an in-depth review as I feel like it will ruin the whole plot and storyline it's just going to be about my general thoughts on it as a whole! I wanted to know more and delve back into the beautiful animated world of Ding Dong Dell again which features in the Ni No Kuni games that take place around different times as does the movie which helps give it a connection but it turns out that connection was smaller than I hoped but luckily there was one connection I was very pleased about (keep an eye out for it!).

The games, as well as the movie, happen in the real world and the other world but this time it focuses on three friends who are in school still named Yuu, Haru and Kotona together they make a great friendship circle even though Yuu finds it very hard at times to hang out because he is a wheelchair user and not every place is accessible for him which we see in the start of the movie. Both Yuu and Haru are obviously in love with Kotona but they both can't have her, Yuu is very quiet when it comes to this and tries to not let on how he feels whereas Haru seems a lot more upfront about showing how much he cares. Considering the games use characters a lot younger than the movie I thought it would be interesting to see how teens would cope in this kind of situation and they acted how you would expect angry teens to act, especially when it came to a girl.

There isn't much of a back story to each three characters. not until we get further into the movie then their characters develop and a lot of what is taking place slots together, The start of the movie throws us straight into the world of Ni No Kuni thanks to a hidden figure that has been stalking Kotona and eventually attacks her with a knife and when the boys grab hold of her they're teleported to another world which is Ni No Kuni, obviously, this doesn't seem real to them and is more like a dream especially because Yuu can now walk. Now if you have played the games you will know some people have doubles of themselves who live in another world called Ni No Kuni. Both the boys discover that Kotona actually has one there and is also in serious danger due to being connected to the Kotona in their world who was stabbed. Kotona is a princess in the Ni No Kuni world when they save her life they become heroes but their job isn't done yet there is a much darker hand at play in the movie.

This is where I started to feel a bit disappointed, they turned the movie into a romantic knight in shining armour storyline, I felt it the storyline fell flat because of this. Don't get me wrong the movie is beautifully put together and they have lots of characters which come from the Ni No Kuni franchise but they didn't seem to have any other purpose but fighting in a war and being part of the backdrop, I would have liked to have seen the boys make more friends who help them with their task though, rather than a romantic storyline. The movie itself is quite long so for more character development to happen it could have ended up being over 2 hours long and it was already 1hr 46 minutes long so perhaps a sequel to the movie would have provided us with the character development I feel it needs. On top of this the guy I suspected from the moment I saw him turned out to be the one causing all the issues and his personality was boring and bland, although making the bad guy the obvious option isn't always a bad thing, in this case, it was made far too obvious. It seemed like the King and his daughter were pretty oblivious to who he was though considering he had such a big connection to them, once it was revealed it all ended pretty fast.

I'm just happy the movie is in the style of a Studio Ghibli movie thanks to the animator Yoshiyuki Momose from the Studio Ghibli studios directing it, as well as written by Level-5 president Akihiro Hino (who also developed the games). I'm a huge fan of Studio Ghibli they always have something unique and creative happening within the movies that I feel no other animated movie has been able to replicate or come close to which is what I was hoping to see a glimpse of in the Ni No Kuni movie. The music is composed by Hisaishi who creates the most beautiful soundtracks. I loved that they included the music from the games, it made me want to dive back into the world of Ni No Kuni, I'm tempted to get the first one on PS4 to play it again as I already own it on PS3, so that will be happening at some point.

But alas I digress, the games have always focused on 1 main male protagonist and it would have been cool if it turned out that Kotona was the main protagonist in this movie if they had only taken that chance but instead gave it a different twist, yes I know people are sick of others wanting women included in the industry more but it was definitely a missed opportunity. If there was to be a game that carried on from this movie I'm not sure how well they could incorporate it due to a surprise character being in it, they would most likely have to make the movie into a spinoff that takes place between Ni No Kuni 1 & 2!

I just hope that if there is another game they won't go along with this story and take us in another direction instead of where the battle isn't based on a love story, I find romance gets old too fast and love comes in between people too much. There is a lot more to life than a love story and Ni No Kuni has always appealed to me because of its unique storylines that help build a concrete story on a young heroic character. Overall the movie is charming with a beautiful atmosphere with a soundtrack that slots in perfectly, perhaps the next movie will focus more so on the world of Ni No Kuni than two friends in love with the same girl.


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