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Animators with ties to Studio Ghibli and Walt Disney Japan team up for mouth-watering anime ad.

With Hayao Miyazaki claiming he’s retired for good from making feature films, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that we’ll ever see another theatrical anime from Studio Ghibli, the production company he helped establish. But while Miyazaki is famous for his boundless work ethic and hands-on approach to directing, it’s not like he personally drew each and every frame in the movies he directed. Many of the other artists who had a hand in Studio Ghibli’s success are still working today, such as Koji Aritomi.

Aritomi’s biggest Ghibli credit is as assistant director for Princess Mononoke, which was originally intended to be Miyazaki’s final film (his first try at retirement didn’t stick), but Aritomi was also involved in the production of Ghibli projects Whisper of the Heart, Pom Poko, Porco Rosso, On Your Mark, and Ocean Waves (also known as I Can Hear the Sea). Outside of Ghibli, he’s also been an episode director for Space Brothers and Kill la Kill, but now Aritomi is carrying on Studio Ghibli’s tradition of rendering delicious-looking food in anime form by serving as the animation director on this promotional video for Japan Agriculture’s Kumamoto division.

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The short is titled Nikoyaka Restaurant, with “Nikoyaka” being a mix of the first syllables in the Japanese words niku (meat), kome (rice), yasai (vegetables), and kajitsu (fruits). During its roughly 90-second runtime, we see the two cooks of the Nikoyaka Restaurant whip up dishes for hungry customers, using locally-sourced ingredients, of course, while a young girl (presumably the cooks’ daughter) lends a hand.

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But Ghibli isn’t the only famous animation studio in the short’s pedigree. Project supervisor Takahiro Ikezo is currently attached to Walt Disney Animation Japan, and has also been an animator on anime including Den-noh Coil, Fuse, and Polar Bear Cafe.

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▼ As delicious as everything looks, don’t forget to save room for anime dessert!

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If watching the video gives you the sudden urge to get up and grab a snack, that’s totally understandable. Don’t forget to come back and watch the rest of it, though. You won’t want to miss the surreal part where not only Kumamoto’s farmers and ranchers come streaming into the restaurant, but also their apparently thrilled-to-be-soon-eaten livestock.

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Oh, and if you’re in the mood to sing along, here are the lyrics to the Nikoyaka Restaurant song.

Nikoyaka no ni ha oniku no ni
Nikoyaka no ko ha okome no ko
Nikoyaka no ya ha yasai no ya
Nikoyaka no ka ha kajitsu no ka

The ni in Nikoyaka is the ni in niku.
The ko in Nikoyaka is the ko in kome.
The ya in Nikoyaka is the ya in yasai.
The ka in Nikoyaka is the ka in kajitsu.

Now if you’ll excuse us, we really can’t ignore the rumbling in our stomachs any longer, so it’s off to the kitchen to get dinner ready.

Casey wishes some delicious cows would wander into his kitchen, but he’d also be happy with some nice readers following him on Twitter.

Source: Huffington Post Japan
Images: YouTube/jakk kumamoto