Sunday, January 20, 2002

Laputa: Castle in the Sky

Genre: Fantasy
General Audience
1986. Hayao Miyazaki. Studio Ghibli.

Laputa DVDs (and some accessories)
Laputa Manga & Art Books
Laputa Original Soundtrack
Everything Laputa

Kenryoku Maxis' Description:
Muska and Sheeta, owner of the blue levitation stone, soon fell after her spaceship was being attacked. A young man named Pazu took her into his home. Going into the Tedis Fortress, Sheeta sees a robot and finds the marks on the robot and her stone are the same. Its markings only tell one thing--the existence of a legendary floating kingdom Laputa. It is said that the stone could be activated and would show the way to Laputa. Because the true heir to Laputa is found, they must go to the legendary kingdom with its fate in their hands. Can Sheeta and Pazu find Laputa? What then will happen once the legendary floating kingdom is found?

A flight in the clouds never looked so good. >>> by Kenryoku Maxis
Miyazaki is by far one of my favorite creators of anime ever. His first movie, Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind won him fame and established him and his company. His second movie, Laputa: Castle in the Sky took a step further than Nausicaa by centering the story around two children running from pirates, the government and the rest of the world. Using by far the best graphics at that time and his standard of great characters, wonderful comedy and in-depth plot, Laputa was a powerful and fun sequel to Nausicaa.

The characters are just great. Sheeta is a mysterious girl who floats out of the sky to meet the Main male star, Pazu. Pazu is a character powerful in spirit and will do anything to keep Sheeta safe. This really shows in Sheeta towards the end of the movie where her latent power is released and she must stand up for Pazu. The pirates are amazingly funny, much like the pirates in Miyazaki's later movie Porco Rosso. Their lust for riches take them to the floating island of Laputa along with Pazu and Sheeta. The government however has a different purpose. Legends tell of a floating island above the ocean where great power is held. The major villain, whose name is not given till the end of the movie seeks this power to rule over the world as king of Laputa. But it's the end of the movie that is the most amazing. A powerful ending in which you realize just what the floating island of Laputa really is and why it was lost to the world. The music is one of those soundtracks that works quite well with the movie, but not much to listen to alone. Part of this is because the voices are used so well that the music is not noticed and therefore not emphasized. But the voices are just outstanding. Virtually all of the voice actors are not that famous but are quite good. The pirates couldn't have been better and Pazu has one of my favorite voices ever. As for sheeta and the main villain, there voices are quite dramatic and in the case of sheeta, one that I wish could be in more shows and movies. I think this movie is spectacular and!well worth the almost 2 hours of running time. Between the comedy, drama and great characters, the movie is great all the way through.

(Skysenshi's Note: The writer is talking about the Japanese voice actors. )

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 9; Story 9; Characters 10; Sounds 8

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