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I can't say I know what's best, but if Laputa really has such great power, we can't let it fall into the hands of bad people like Muska.

—Pazu to Sheeta

Pazu is one of the primary protagonists of Laputa: Castle in the Sky and becomes Sheeta's close friend after she lands in the mining city he lives in. It is implied that he develops romantic feelings for her.

Biography

Pazu is an orphan who lives alone in a small hut atop a hill in Slag Ravine. While no mention is made of his mother, his father was an avid aviator who, though no one had believed him, had previously discovered and photographed the floating kingdom of Laputa. After his death, Pazu swore that he would find Laputa and prove his father right.

Late one evening, Pazu discovers Sheeta floating down from the sky. After being unsuccessful in his attempt to tell his boss of her appearance, he takes her home and cares for her until she wakes. The two become fast friends, and he tells her of his plans to finish an ornithopter and set off to find Laputa. It is not long after this, however, that the Dola airpirate gang arrive in Slag Ravine, searching for Sheeta and her mysterious crystal. Pazu helps Sheeta escape the town and her pursuers (both the Dola Gang, and the military, led by Colonel Muska) leading to the pair use the power of the necklace to descend into an abandoned mine. There, Sheeta explains where she's from and how she was kidnapped by the military, and Pazu promises to stay by her side. They come across Uncle Pom, who tells the pair of a long-lost element known as Aetherium, which Sheeta's crystal is fashioned from, bringing about the revelation that Laputa must indeed exist as they were the only ones who knew how to make such crystals.

Upon leaving the mine, Pazu and Sheeta are captured by the military and separated, with Pazu being locked away in a tower cell at Tedus Fort. He is set free, however, when Sheeta makes a deal with the military to stay and help find Laputa in exchange for his release. Hurt by her decision, Pazu returns home, only to discover that Dola's gang have taken over his home as a temporary base. After Dola points out that Sheeta likely saved his life by sending him away, Pazu asks to join them to rescue her, vowing to protect her properly this time. Dola accepts this, and the group heads for Tedus. Once there, however, they discover it in flames, and Sheeta clinging to a Laputian robot atop one of the towers. Pazu and Dola manage to rescue her, and he asks if they can continue to sail with the gang until they find Laputa.

Dola agrees, and Pazu is set to work aboard the Tiger Moth, assisting Motro in the airship's engine room. Later that night, Sheeta joins him on his watch in the ship's crow's nest, and the two have a heartfelt conversation about their situation and their duty to keep Laputa's power from falling into the wrong hands, during which he promises that, once it's over, he'll return with her to her home in Gondoa. This conversation is cut short when the ship is discovered by Air Destroyer Goliath and Sheeta and Pazu, having turned the crow's nest into a kite in order to track the military ship, are separated from the pirates and pulled into a storm.

The pair survive and awaken to discover that they've landed on Laputa. However, shortly after the Goliath docks with the kingdom and Pazu and Sheeta discover that the military has taken the pirates hostage. In their attempt to rescue them, Sheeta is recaptured and Pazu is nearly shot. He evades the military and sets Dola and her gang free, taking Dola's canon with him as he goes after Sheeta. After a harrowing climb, Pazu manages to find his way into the Laputian underground where Sheeta was taken, and discovers her being pursued by Muska. Separated by a wall, Sheeta hands him her crystal and desperately instructs him to throw it into the ocean. Pazu is once again almost shot, the bullet destroying his aviator goggles. He blasts through the wall and goes after Sheeta, who he finds cornered by Muska in the Laputian throne room. Pazu bluffs that he has hidden the stone and that Muska will never get it back if he harms Sheeta. Muska relents and gives the pair one minute to talk. Pazu uses this time to instruct Sheeta to tell him one of the spells she knows - the Spell of Destruction - so that they can destroy Laputa, and reassures her that Dola and her pirates are free. Together, they recite the spell and destroy the lower section of Laputa, so as not to let it fall into Muska's hands.

Appearance and Personality

Pazu climb without shoes

Pazu discards his shoes in order to climb a tunnel.

Pazu has brown hair and brown eyes. He wears a white shirt and orange vest, blue pants that are patched at the knee, a yellow cap and brown laced boots. After joining Dola's gang, he also sports a pair of aviator goggles.

Pazu is an energetic, amicable young boy with a heart of gold, always willing to help out wherever needed. He's a dedicated and hard worker in the mines, and is also particularly enamored with technology. While a persistent and loyal friend, he is also a bit naive at the outset, taking Sheeta's dismissal and request for him to forget Laputa to heart until Dola explains her real intention. He displays a courageous though sometimes reckless drive, often putting himself in direct danger to defend his friends, especially Sheeta. He is also very clever and observant, as is shown when he comes up with a plan to save Laputa.

Behind the Voices

Pazu is voiced by Mayumi Tanaka in the Japanese version. In the original 1988 English dub, he is voiced by Barbara Goodson. In Disney’s dub, he is voiced by James Van Der Beek.

Trivia

  • Pazu plays the trumpet.
    • The concept art that inspired Pazu's design, along with his trumpet, was originally designed for another project. Mr. Miyazaki had quite the back and forth about whether or not to include the scene in which he plays his morning fanfare, but it ultimately made it to film after Animage editor Osamu Kameyama insisted that it be kept.[1]
  • As part of the production notes for the movie's Viz Media official art book, Mr. Miyazaki remarked about how he debated having the ornithopter fly at the end of the film for the children's return to Gondoa. He decided, however, that Pazu probably wouldn't succeed on his first try, as many inventors don't.[1]
  • Pazu appears to be a natural flyer (demonstrated as he flies the kite from the Tiger Moth).  

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Art of "Castle in the Sky". Viz Media, 2016.
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