Japanese Title: Tenkuu no Shiro Laputa
Studios: Studio Ghibli
Adaptation: Tenkuu no Shiro Laputa
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-Fi
A ground-breaking and stunning visual masterpiece.
Castle in the Sky is an epic fantasy adventure following a brave pair of adolescent orphans, Sheeta and Pazu on a quest to discover the mysterious castle, Laputa. On their journey, the children encounter some troublesome, slap-happy comical band of pirates and maniacal government agents.
The dazzling visuals are sure to transport any viewer into the dreamy wonderland designed by Hayao Miyazaki. The stark contrast between the industrialised steampunk constructions and the beautiful dynamic natural landscape in the world of Laputa creates a very stand-out unique feel – which has managed to inspire countless animated movies including WALL-E and Up.
Every Sci-Fi design, whether it’s airships or towns leave a sense of wonder as to whether they could exist in reality due to the sheer amount of detail that’s put into them. Characters are simplistic yet easily distinguishable as their outfits are reflective of their lifestyle while their mannerisms flow in a subtle yet unique way that synchronizes well with their personality.
The two hour thrilling atmosphere leaves minimal room for dialog due to the plot-driven nature of the narrative, so qualms about character depth are fair. While there are hints of character motivation, the information is certainly lackluster and unimaginative. However, this doesn’t mean the characters are dull. In fact, Pazu and Sheeta’s actions are inspiring as their brave hearts never falter while encountering many dangerous obstacles. Pazu’s willingness to dive head first into danger for his friends are some of the greatest moments in the anime.
I rate this anime 9/10.