In an unexpected move, publisher Sammy has picked up the rights of Taito's Garakuta Meisaku Gekijou: Rakugaki Oukoku (Garakuta Masterpiece Theater: Graffiti Kingdom). This light-hearted RPG, developed for the Sony Playstation 2, and created by newly-formed Garakuta studio, features a unique monster creation system that uses the player's actual drawings. Through a small paint interface, the player can make a sketch that will be modeled into a 3D sprite.
With prestigious character designer Yoshiharu Satou (animation director of Studio Ghibli's My Neighbor Totoro), Rakugaki Oukoku received good critics in Japan when it released in March. A special promotion campaign had numerous famous Japanese artists contribute sketches that were included in the game (Matsumoto Leiji, Monkey Punch, Fujiko Fujio, Saitou Takao...).
The game also came with a trailer of Studio Ghibli's upcoming short Ghiblies episode 2, and some of the movie's characters make an appearance in the game itself, in 3D form of course. The Japanese release's extras are not very likely to be included in the US version, though.
The actual US release date for the game is still yet to be determined. You can check out our previously added Rakugaki Oukoku media by following the links below.