Many believe that Nausicaä Οf Τhe Valley Οf Τhe Wind is Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpiece and I can’t really argue with that. This film is absolutely great. It has a marvelous plot, stunning animation, and amazing characters. Nausicaä Οf Τhe Valley Οf Τhe Wind is the perfect contrast between utopia and dystopia and conveys many inspiring messages to the viewer.
Although it is considered a Studio Ghibli film, I was shocked to find out that it’s not. It was released by Topcraft, a Japanese anime studio established in 1971 and was the first original movie directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
Nausicaä Οf Τhe Valley Οf Τhe Wind takes place in a future post-apocalyptic world where toxic jungles are spreading across the entire planet, lethal plants are releasing poisonous gas, and giant threatening insects are living in the massive noxious forests. War has destroyed civilization, the hostile nature is reclaiming back planet Earth, and the few humans left are struggling to survive. Nausicaä, the princess of the Valley Of The Wind is trying to figure out a peaceful solution to the problem but she will come across various obstacles along the way, including the unfriendly Tolmekian army.
Plot & Story
A millennium has passed since the ‘Seven Days of Fire’ War broke out, destroying almost all life on Earth and creating a toxic jungle with giant insects, dangerous gas, and mold that spreads and threats what remains of mankind. Valley Of The Wind is a (farming?) kingdom located near the sea with beautiful landscapes and picturesque windmills, naturally protected from the toxic environment. Two completely different worlds coexist – on one side the graceful Utopian kingdom and on the other side, not so far away, the poisonous, dangerous and unobtrusive dystopian (but incredibly beautiful and mystical forest) – and Nausicaä is part of them both.
Nausicaä, the young and beautiful princess of The Valley Of The Wind is a skilled fighter with a heart full of hope and kindness who thinks that there is always a non-violent way to solve problems. She wants to observe the toxic jungle and define its true cause and nature, so she performs scientific experiments in her secret room. Only Lord Yupa – the best swordsman in the world, a wanderer, and a close friend – knows about the existence of this room. Yupa is searching for a mythical blue dressed man who, according to the legend, will ‘appear surrounded by a sea of gold and will reunite the people and nature’.
SPOILER ALERT: Nausicaä wears a blue dress (with no panties *wink wink*). She travels across this wasteland using an advanced jet-assisted glider craft and, damn, she knows how to fly. Unlike everyone else, she is a badass who doesn’t get scared by enormous insects and respects all forms of life (no matter how creepy some of them are). She has her way with humans and animals. The whole kingdom loves and admires her, and her ultra-cute fox-squirrel pet (aww!!) adores her too. She even manages to drive away Ohmu, the most dangerous and huge insect without attacking it. They seem to have a special connection. Nausicaä believes that all living creatures have feelings and none of them wants to feel threatened.
Everything seemed to be okay until an airship from the kingdom of Tolmekia got attacked by enormous bugs and crushed into the Valley. Inside the airship’s cargo was the embryo of a God Warrior, used back in the ancient war. Tolmekians stole it from Pejitei, and Kushana, the princess of Tolmekians, wants to bring him to life in order to burn the toxic jungle. Tolmekians decide to revive the God Warrior in the Valley Of The Winds and Kushana attempts to return to Tolmekia. During their way out, Kushana’s airships are attacked by a warplane and only Nausicaä, the hostages, and Kushana manage to survive. Nausicaä has the choice to let her die, but by doing so she would go against all her beliefs, so she gives her a second chance. The film ends with Nausicaä in her blue dress and on Ohmu’s golden tentacles (it sounds so wrong, I know), making her the woman of the legend. The rest is up to you to watch!
After the film ends we are taught that in times of fear and despair, peaceful people might act violently. In a war, nobody wins and Miyazaki wants us to remember that. The world belongs to nature and all living creatures within it and the needs of one cannot limit the needs of another. The only answer is harmony. By watching this film you will create a connection and sympathize towards even the minor characters – Miyazaki’s magic.hellooooo
Art and music
The stars are the voices of Sumi Shimamoto, Goro Naya, Yoji Matsuda, Yoshiko Sakakibara, and Iemasa Kayumi. The soundtrack is a masterpiece created by Mamoru Fujisawa, also known professionally as Joe Hisaishi. He is a good friend of Miyazaki and they have worked together in many films. The main song, Nausicaa’s requiem ( the famous lalalala song) is stuck in my head for years! Nausicaa is a high budget animation movie that was produced with animators hired for the one movie and paid per frame. One of them was Hideaki Anno, who later produced Neon Genesis Evangelion. The studio Miyazaki chose for the film is studio Topcraft. The production studio’s work was known to Miyazaki and was chosen because its artistic talent could transpose the sophisticated atmosphere of the manga to the film. On 31 May 1983, work began on the pre-production of the film.
Themes and Trivia
Miyazaki’s work on Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind was inspired by many works, including Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea, Brian Aldiss’s Hothouse, Isaac Asimov’s Nightfall, and J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Nausicaä was named after the princess Nausicaä who assisted Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey. Part of her character comes from a Japanese tale called ‘The princess who loved insects’. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is based on Miyazaki’s 1982 manga. When the manga became popular he was told to work on a film adaptation. Miyazaki agreed but only if he could direct it.
Nausicaä is a lovely film with an anti-war and environmental message. I can’t think of anything bad so I’m going to exalt it. It shows the importance of thinking before acting; what someone has done cannot be undone. Also, it shows how fear makes us see monsters and nightmares everywhere, even when they do not exist. Respect and unity work better than fear. In war, there is no winner and in the end, everyone loses something; their homes, their lives, and their loved ones. And maybe there are similarities between the most different things. The people of the Valley have a lot in common with the insects for example. They both care for their families, they both work in groups and they both want to live peacefully-after all.
‘It’s good to hope for a daughter who’s strong like the princess, but not for one who likes to play in the toxic jungle.’
- Great Battles
- No panties
- Amazing music
- Characters you really get attached to
- The calm and dreamy underground lake
- A looooot of insects
- The injured baby Ohmu *Sob*
This movie is amazing and should be considered a timeless classic because of the fascinating plot that is ahead of its time and manages to transfer complicated and serious messages. Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind is the kind of film that you can watch over and over and it never gets old. Even though it’s a movie about war, Nausicaä transfers her positivity to the viewer so you somehow know everything will be alright at the end. All those make the film a great experience for anyone.