The principal characters of Studio Ghibli’s Laputa: Castle in the Sky are all seeking something. Protagonists Sheeta and Pazu, as well as the villainous Muska, are looking for the titular floating castle, but what they’re really after is a peaceful resolution to a dark heritage, adventure and purpose, and the power to rule the world, respectively.
These days, fans of the 1986 anime film have a search of their own, as the voice-activated Laputa pendant that just went on sale this month is already sold out nationwide.
You’d think that in the almost 30 years since the movie’s release, the excitement around Laputa would be dying down. There’s a reason why just about every review and critical analysis of Laputa includes the word “timeless,” though, and its fanbase is just as enthusiastic as ever.
Laputa gets shown on Japanese television once a year or so, and every time it does, Twitter users all tweet the incantation “barusu” exactly as Sheeta utters the word onscreen. In the film, the word causes her mysterious heirloom pendant to glow and triggers the terrible Spell of Destruction.
Back in May, Ghibli merchandise specialist Donguri Kyowakoku announced it would be selling a voice-activated replica of Sheet’s pendant that would shine with a blue light when the wearer says “barusu” into it.
The retailer expected high demand for this cool trinket, which was reasonably priced by anime merchandise standards at 2,592 yen (US $25.60). In an effort to ensure that there would be enough to go around, purchases were limited to a maximum of three pendants per customer, but even this proved to be not enough, as Donguri Kyowakoku’s website says that not only is its entire stock sold out, the store has stopped taking orders for the popular pendants.
Thankfully, not all hope is lost, as Donguri Kyowakoku also says that once a new batch of pendants is ready to be shipped, it will once again start taking orders through its website here. On the downside, there’s no set timeline for just when that will be. If you’re one of the many pendant-less Laputa fans in the midst of an agonizing wait, remember that Pazu spent his entire childhood yearning for a chance to see the castle in the sky. By comparison, the couple of months it may take Donguri Kyowakoku to restock doesn’t seem so long.