Does "バルス", which is popular in tweeting during Laputa, have any meaning or etymology, or rationale for being in katakana?

  • Second question (or really the first) about Laputa? Reminds me of the article saying "no serious anime fan in Japan will say their favorite anime director is Hayao Miyazaki".
    – Golden Cuy
    Jan 15, 2016 at 8:52
  • 1
    If you've watched the documentary "The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness," the director blames the deterioration of anime and the industry on the otaku. Needless to say his biting comments were not well received by those serious fans.
    – кяαzєя
    Jan 15, 2016 at 9:42
  • 1
    @AndrewGrimm I think it just reflects the fact that movie is 30 years old, and the questions on this site are almost all about about current series and identifying shows people saw as children.
    – Ross Ridge
    Jan 16, 2016 at 5:05

2 Answers 2


If you recall from the movie, the word "BALS," is the Laputian incantation the collapses Laputa. In the Laputian language it means "to close."

According to various online accounts this originated from the world record setting number of tweets that happened during a public re-airing of the movie on Japanese Television:

On the night of August 2 (2013), during the "Friday Roadshow" airing of the Japanese anime film Laputa: Castle in the Sky on Nippon Television Network, Japanese netizens renewed the world record of Tweets Per Second (TPS) at 143,199 TPS by all (simultaneously) tweeting the magic spell "BALS" at the same time as the protagonists Princess Sheeta and Pazu read the spell together during the film. In the story, the magic spell "BALS", meaning "close" in the language of Laputa, is a spell of destruction that destroys the city of Laputa. The spell is said to have derived from the Turkish word "barış," meaning "peace."

The sheer amount of tweets wound up overburdening Twitter's servers, resulting in the appearance of the the well-known "Twitter Whale." The overwhelming popularity and notoriety of the tag (it's said that "BALS" was the ironic cause of the sever collapse), it stayed and eventually became a fixture in on the Japanese side of Twitter due to this event.


Katakana are used for words that are not actually japanese.

Since Balse is a word in Laputian language it has to be written in katakana.

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