Tsunderin: After being critically underwhelmed by Nausicaa both story-wise and character-wise, I can’t exactly say I had high hopes for the next movie: the first movie the studio put out under the Ghibli name, Laputa: Castle in the Sky. Maybe it was something about the timing, a thought of mine that their golden era would have to wait until the 90’s to come shining through. I’m more than pleased to report that I was incorrect in this assumption. I loved this movie (though I’m a little disappointed that it took me this long to get around to watching it).
Although this movie and Nausicaa share a similar starting scene—someone is in danger of losing their life, but doesn’t through miraculous circumstances—that’s about where the similarities end. Sheeta, our protagonist who has just fallen from an airship while escaping her captors, ends up in a small mining town and in the care of a young miner boy, Pazu. Understandably, Pazu is interested in the amulet Sheeta wears as he’s quite certain that it was the one thing standing between Sheeta and a rather messy end; however, she immediately becomes entranced by his father’s photograph of a distant place: the kingdom of Laputa. The mythical castle is the sky is just that to most people, a myth, but Pazu knows that his father wasn’t lying (the picture’s right there, come on) and works tirelessly on creating a plane that will take him to the one place that will bring honor back on the memory of his father.