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MIYASAKI, HAYAO –  NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND.  #1. (Translated by David Lewis and Toren Smith). 1983. Viz LLC.  

 

Extraordinary Manga artwork   with a powerful environmentalist message. Nausicaa is a young princess in The Valley Of The Wind, one of the few areas of the World, which hasn’t been poisoned by a terrible fungus growth that has turned nature extremely hostile against people. The catastrophe dates back to a war in which giant fire-robots   were used, and in which they destroyed most of the cities of the World and each other, leaving the polluted jungles and deserts surrounding The Valley and a few other areas.  Nausicaa has a fascination for the forests, which she finds strangely beautiful. She flies over them in her unique glider plane. She has also secretly been conducting experiments in which she studies the spores. She is beginning to see that the forest poisons are actually purifying the World, rather than trying to kill it. She has a certain bond with some giant beetle like creatures in he forest, which she is able to communicate with. There are strong indications that she befriended one in her infancy but that her parents killed it. The creatures remember and respect her for her love.  The tranquillity of the Valley is threatened however when it becomes involved in a war between two powerful cities that send war planes over the Valley. Nausicaa and other children are taken hostage, but the plane taking them is forced down in the poisoned forest. Nausicaa risks getting contaminated by the forest poisons (which you dare not breath in for too long) to mount a rescue bid.  It seems also that one of the warring cities has found and repaired one of the fire-robots that destroyed the world in the first place. They are preparing it for using again. Miyasaki filmed Nausicaa, and it is regarded rightly as a true classic of the Manga and now the Anime World.  The book is just the first of four parts of the story given in full on celluloid, but it has depth and clarity and a message that goes beyond so much Western comic book material.

 

 

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