The video game collaboration between Studio Ghibli (Porco Rosso, Spirited Away, Ponyo) and Level-5 (Professor Layton series) is heading stateside.

Yesterday Level-5 president Akihiro Hino announced that the English version of the PS3 title Ni no Kuni: Shiroki Seihai no Joō (translated as "Second Country: The Queen of White Sacred Ash") will be released sometime in America in early 2012. The game follows a young boy named Oliver, who receives a doll soon after his mother passes away. The doll reveals itself to be a fairy named Shizuka, who gives Oliver a magic book that can take him to an alternate world. There he goes on a quest to find a cure to revive his mother, battling all sorts of dangers with the help of his friends. Ni no Kuni features original animation from Studio Ghibli, as well as sound direction from acclaimed composer Joe Hisashi.

An official US release date for the Ni no Kuni DS title Shikkoku no Madōshi ("The Jet-Black Mage") has yet to be determined.

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