Janelle Hindman writes: "Ni no Kuni begins in the “real world,” in the idyllic-looking town of Hotroit, a representation of good ol’ white picket fence ‘Merica in its heyday. Hotroit produces cars, incidentally. Living in Hotroit is a young schoolboy named Oliver, who lives with his mother Ally in a cozy house. One day, after Oliver sneaks out to spend time with his friend Mark, an accident occurs, and while Oliver is safe in the end, his mother dies shortly after, from a mysterious illness. When mourning his mother, Oliver sheds tears on one of his dolls, who turns into the Great Fairy Shizuku, who hails from a sort of parallel world called “Ni no Kuni.” This other universe houses alternate versions of people, including the Sage Alicia, Ally’s counterpart. Shizuku was cursed by a dark sorcerer named Jabo, who has been spending his time terrorizing Ni no Kuni and capturing Alicia — you know, bad guy stuff. Suggesting to Oliver that there might be a way for him to help his mother by saving Alicia, Shizuku gives him a magic spell book and guides him to Ni no Kuni, where he must save people whose hearts have been cursed by Jabo."