The characters of Ghibli’s anime films live in our hearts, and in this amazing video, they live in our towns too.

One of the things that makes the anime of Studio Ghibli so special is the way they simultaneously manage to feel both realistic and otherworldly. In their best moments, Ghibli’s films combine nearly photo-realistic recreations of the natural environment and human movement with genuine emotional honesty, as well as fantastic magical creatures and crises.

The result is anime characters who sometimes feel so real that you wouldn’t be surprised bumping into one of them while out and about in town or riding the train, which is where brings us to this breathtaking video from Korean visual artist Kojer.

Titled Studio Ghibli in Real Life, Kojer’s video takes footage filmed at actual locations in Japan and Korea and mixes in character animation from Studio Ghibli Classics including director Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, and more.

It’s not like Kojer just randomly slapped some anime characters onto the filmed footage either. For each segment of his video, he made sure that the characters’ positioning and coloring worked with the physical locations and lighting he inserted them into. He also made sure to keep the environmental effects consistent.

▼ Even when walking around an actual train, Spirited Away’s No Face retains his transparent quality.

▼ The distorted reflections of Pazu and Sheeta, stars of Castle in the Sky Laputa, appear in the water beneath the pair.

▼ Characters from Totoro and Howl’s Moving Castle cast shadows on the ground in one of the video’s many multi-movie crossovers.

You’d be right in thinking that a lot of time and effort went into the project, with both of those key factors documented in a second, English-subtitled video from Kojer in which he explains the production process.

With its beautiful visuals, set to music from Spirited Away, Kojer’s video has us ready to rewatch the entire Ghibli catalogue…or to go for a walk and see if maybe these characters really are living among us.

Source: Vimeo/KOJER via Twitter/@hakukun_ via Wadai no Douga ga Wakaru Site
Images: Vimeo/KOJER