I just finished up Ni No Kuni 2 and that caught me off-guard with it's quality.
I would second this. I really couldn't get into the first one and, despite its wonderful Ghibli animation, the story/characters never grabbed me. But Ni No Kuni 2 swept me up with its cast and story. The battle system was also fun for the whole game whereas most RPG's lose me with the monotony of the combat.