Hayao Miyazaki isn't just an animator, a filmmaker, or a director. He's a cultural institution. Japanese kids grow up on his films. They are part of the country's zeitgeist. Meeting Miyazaki must be quite an experience, even when you are the biggest game developer in Japan. Make that especially when you are a famed game maker.
Akihiro Hino, the founder and boss man at Level-5, worked with Studio Ghibli on Ni No Kuni. Level-5 is noted for its Professor Layton games as well as developing role-playing games like Dragon Quest IX. Studio Ghibli, of course, is famous for its anime, such as My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service. Ni no Kuni brings together the animation brilliance of Studio Ghibli with the gameplay power of Level-5.