Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind 1 (Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2004/3/10
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Nausicaä, a young princess, has an empathic bond with the giant Ohmu insects and animals of every creed. She fights to create tolerance, understanding and patience among empires that are fighting over the world's remaining precious natural resources.
Hayao Miyazaki is the prominent director of many popular animated feature films. He is also the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, the award-winning Japanese animation studio and production company behind worldwide hits such as PRINCESS MONONOKE, HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE and SPIRITED AWAY.
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I could tell that a profound theme is conveyed through the story. However, the story itself was not that interesting, and I am too ashamed to admit that to my friends.
Glad to experience and feel his world, at least.
Art Work. The drawing pretty much, how do they look and how much detail is put into them. Miyazaki, I have to say, is a master in his field. All his drawings are extremely detailed and you can really get a sense of the surroundings. The characters emotions are brought out almost perfectly, especially the Nausicaa herself, who is shown as a powerful, yet fragile girl. Overall the drawings are almost perfect and I don't think anybody would disagree with that.
Characters. I was already familiar with all the characters in this book, having seen the movie already. They are pretty much the same here as they are in the movie so if you've seen it, which I'm taking for granted you have, and then isn't much knew. They mostly do the same things as they did in the movie and feel the same emotions with a few fun differences, but nothing really is too different.
Story. This book follows the movie almost exactly up to the point where Nausicaa and Asbel discover the underground system under the sea of corruption, or toxic jungle as it is called in the movie. There is one big difference that I must share, the Valley of the Wind is really an alley of Torumekia, and Nausicaa goes out to fight under Kushana agents the Doroke principalities, a nation not even mentioned in the movie. Other than that it follows the same story almost to the letter.
Overall a very good and strong opening to the series. This entry doesn't really add a whole lot to the overall story if you've already seen the movie, but there are some important differences which mean you can't simply skip over it if you want to read the series.
There is something awesome about graphic novels, and that is that the author is able to show you exactly what is in or her mind. Like with a movie, you don't need to use your imagination but are able to drown yourself completely into the story. If you've never read a graphic novel before, I recommend that you do at least once. Choose a good one and see what you think. I'll guaranty that there's nothing quite like it.
Nausicaa is one of those action packed stories that starts you off in a world and plot that is already very interesting, but that leads you into something that you could have never imagined. By the time you get to the end, you want to start over just to connect the dots. The characters are completely unique and Nausicaa herself, the main figure, is somebody to fall in love with. The people all around her adore her and you can't but help to feel the same way. I sometimes get annoyed with the humble, perfect do-gooder in the books that I read, but she is a gem. I wish all the authors out there were able to get me attached to a character the way Miyazaki offers us Nausicaa...I would cry at the end of every book that I finished.
There is a distinct push toward 'saving the planet' in this story as well as - amazingly - some christian undertones. Not very Japanese if you ask me, but the mood and the symbolism are beautifully mastered and honestly, I got to the end of the last volume thinking that "Yes, I do want to live my life better, treating people and the world I live in with more respect." And that's the point here. It's not forceful in any way or overwhelming, but it's there and it demands the readers consideration. The question that Miyazaki poses to his audience - and you'll see this in all of his stories, in some form or another - is "What can you do to be a better person?"
I don't know about you but I hate being told what I need to do. It's the universal source of annoyance and revolt to all people, I believe. It hurts my pride and tells me that I'm not doing things right or that I need to do things different. Sometimes it's called for but sometimes it's not and that depends on the situation. But it's hard for me to read something or watch or listen to something that is telling me I've got everything wrong and that I need to change my ways. It makes me feel like I'm being treated like a seven year old and am trying to learn math all over again...it's insulting. But pose a question, "What do you think about this..?" or "How would things be if..?" Ah! Now there's a different story.
The way to change is for a person to feel it for himself, and that is what Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind brings to you. It's the story of a princess in a world that is so very foreign, there are giant bugs, there are manmade monsters, there are flying ships completely unlike any we have seen here, there are evil emperors and righteous warriors...everything you could ask for. And along comes the open-ended moral of the story, "We could probably do a lot better than what we are doing now. How will you choose to do your part?"
Good question! Who'd have thought I'd be wondering that after finishing a book full of drawings done by some Japanese guy? I love this series, it's incredible and there's nothing else to say about it. I'd recommend it to anybody!
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I definitely like Nausicaa's impressive martial abilities, juxtaposed by her peaceful nature. The airships are almost Victorian science fiction, with lots of technology that can't be replicated anymore. The noble folks rising to meet their oppressors is something we can learn from.
A bargain at ~$9 per volume, I am going to collect the whole shooting match. Great stuff.