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Hayao Miyazaki's famed animation house Studio Ghibli has been expanding into all manner of odd projects as of late. While their two most recent films (Ponyo and Arrietty) have seen impressive box office success, it seems that Miyazaki & co. are no longer content to stay in the animated film medium.
The upcoming PS3-exclusive localization of Wrath of the White Witch marks their first foray into the world of video games (Magic Pengel doesn't count!) and is one example of the move to new types of projects. The live-action Godzilla-meets-Cloverfield Giant God Warrior Appears in Tokyo (Kyoshinhei Tokyo ni Arawaru) is another.
You read that correctly: Studio Ghibli is releasing a live-action movie that involves a giant monster tromping around Tokyo. Also, it has a trailer...
To capture the universal, childlike sense of wonder inherent in such a scenario (what child hasn't fantasized about a giant god warrior appearing in Tokyo?), Studio Ghibli decided to eschew CGI and use costumes, models, and maquettes to bring the film to life.
There is no denying that Giant God Warrior Appears in Tokyo is a far cry from the cuteness of Totoro, but there are still plenty of reasons to be excited about the film. For starters, it is being directed by Neon Genesis Evangelion director Hideaki Anno who has some experience filming giant humanoids stomping through cities. Secondly, and most importantly, Giant God Warrior is still a Ghibli film, and if you look at the trailer closely enough you can catch a few undeniably Ghibli moments in the cinematography. Whether or not this will translate to a film the audience will love or not remains to be seen.
As an added bonus, the sets and models used as the backdrop in the film were recently put on display in a museum and there is plenty of detail to be seen in them:
So even if Giant God Warrior Appears in Tokyo is a flop, it will be a very well made flop!