Virtual Reality Lets You Hang With Totoro
British VR developers FirePanda have been hard at work the last few years. While most of the anticipation surrounding Virtual Reality has been game-centric, there are other VR developers who understand that there might be people interested in VR, but not in the gaming aspects of it.
FirePanda are using VR for larger goals than just games (though they do have a game or two as well). They've used VR as an educational tool, for medical students to get some virtual hands-on practice in a RESUS room. They've also now begun rolling out little VR experiences taken directly from the films of Studio Ghibli.
Check out this VR video:
If you don't have any kind of VR headset like myself, this is a hard video to watch properly. The VR displays a mirrored image onto both of your eyes, hence the two displays in the video. Without the headset, this is just a strange video. But iconic. Everyone who's an anime fan has seen Totoro, and even if you haven't, you'd be familiar with the rotund spirit.
So far, they have VR-d scenes from My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, and Howl's Moving Castle.
My personal favorite is the Howl's Moving Castle one, because the scene they picked is the fields outside of the house from Howl's childhood. That is definitively my favorite setting in the film, and the chance to experience it in VR is astounding to me.
I don't have a VR headset yet, but if I ever get one, this is the first thing I'm gonna do.
Check out all the anime VR stuff FirePanda has to offer here.