This isn’t the first time atmospheric anime cosplay has been reported in the country either.
Usually, when some real-world location or visual phenomena is described as “looking like something out of a Studio Ghibli” anime, it’s a compliment. After all, the animated works of the Hayao Miyazaki-cofounded studio are full of enchantingly beautiful environments an architecture.
However, the comparison is a bit more ominous in a video shot in China’s Hunan Province. Recorded from the edge of a body of water with a row of high-rise buildings on the far side, the video shows what looks to be the titular castle in the sky of Laputa, the first anime officially released under the Studio Ghibli banner.
While the cause remains unconfirmed, this isn’t the first time such conditions have been reported in China, as a video from Guangdong Province, located to the south of Hunan, from 2015 shows something similar happening.
Various theories have been put forth to explain the unusual sites, with some asserting that atmospheric moisture and fog must be playing tricks on observers’ eyes. Others are pointing to the video as yet another example of urban China’s infamously high levels of air pollution.
Either that, or Hayao Miyazaki has become so bored in retirement that he’s taken to tinkering with the real world instead of animated ones.