Monday, May 5, 2014

Object of geek desire: Castle in the Sky's glowing Laputa necklace

Castle in the Sky holds a special place in the hearts of most Hayao Miyazaki fans the world over, as it was the first motion picture produced by Studio Ghibli.

Its popularity in Japan, however, is the stuff of legend as televised showings of Castle in the Sky regularly shatters Twitter's tweets-per-second record.  This phenomenon happens at the film's climax when Princess Sheeta and her friend Pazu join hands to recite the Spell of Destruction.

Once the final word of the spell is spoken, her amulet glows, and the movie reaches its amazing final act.  Now, you can get in on the magic thanks to this week's interactive Object of Geek Desire.

What you're looking at is the ultimate Studio Ghibli collectible - a replica of Sheeta's amulet with a built-in sound receptor that causes it to glow when you speak the final word of the Spell in its presence.

RocketNews points out that since the amulet is made in Japan, and for a Japanese audience, that it will probably only respond to the last word of the Japanese incantation (barusu / balse) - and the speak needs to say it in a low, even voice in order for it to register... but who the hell cares?  Glowing amulet!

Interestingly, this amulet also has a "secret mode" that's activated by speaking one of Sheeta's spells from earlier in the movie ("rite ratobarita urusu ariarosu baru netoriiru” / “save me and revive the eternal light”) although there's no indication what the secret mode actually does.

Given the relatively cheap cost of the amulet (2,400-yen / $23.50), it's safe to say that the secret mode is pretty simple and probably involves the light inside pulsing a few times but again... glowing amulet!

The catch is that this amulet probably won't be marketed extensively overseas, so if you've got your heart set on it you'll most likely either need to impose on a friend in Japan to pick one up for you when they go on sale this July - or wait for J-list or your locale convention vendor / anime store to get their hands on a few of them.