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Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

In Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, the world that Nausicaa, princess of the Valley of the Wind, lives in has been almost destroyed 1000 years ago by the Seven Days of Fire. Since then, the Sea of Decay has been consuming everything. Nausicaa tries to find the reason behind the spread and origin of the Sea of Decay in an effort to find a cure for the ones who are dying from the toxins spread by the plants and insectsin the Sea of Decay. There are other countries such as Torumekia, however, which seek to destroy the Sea of Decay, and will stop at nothing to achieve their goal, including resurrecting the last God Warrior, the artificial beings that plunged the world into the Seven Days of Fire.

This is commonly considered Miyazaki Hayao’s masterpiece, and the film does the title of masterpiece justice. Written and directed by Miyazaki, produced by Takahata Isao, and music done by Joe Hisaishi, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is a must-see for all Ghibli lovers, nay, all anime lovers.

Presented by the World Wildlife Fund when it was released in 1984, the movie has strong undertones of environmentalism. Nausicaa considers all life forms precious, and will go to any length to protect them. The plot itself is a minute portion drawn from the manga of the same name also done by Miyazaki. Some elements are changed from the portion taken from the manga to make the story complete in the short time of the movie. The mysteries of the Sea of Decay are also simplified.

Joe Hisaishi, as usual, does a breathtaking job of the music. Woodwinds convey moments of peace with haunting melodies, brass and percussion accompany tension, and the theme song of the movie is done in variations by both instruments and voice. In the especially moving scene at the end of the movie is a ensemble of both orchestra and voice, Joe Hisaishi demonstrates why he is the sole composer of Miyazaki’s movies.

The art of the movie is spectacular. Almost every object in the movie is coloured with at mulitple shades, and even the walls are done with meticulous attention. The characters’ colouring, however, are usually done with only two colours. This doesn’t take away from the animation and believability of the characters, though. Miyazaki did his job well!

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind has all the elements of Miyazaki and Ghibli at its best. Watch the movie a couple of times to catch the details, and for those who just can’t get enough of Nausicaa, read the manga!

Info & Credits

Title Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
Japanese Title 風の谷のナウシカ
Japanese Title Kaze no tani no Naushika
Release Date 1984
Rated PG
Duration 1 hr 56 min

The characters

Nausicaa Nausicaa
Nausicaa is a free spirited young woman known for her expertise in using a special jet-glider; she’s grown up in a damaged world. She worries her father and people by constantly venturing into the jungle for resources.
Master Yupa Master Yupa
Master Yupa is a travelling, famous swords-master; he is famous through-out the land. He treats Nausicaa like a daughter and when the Tolmekians come on the scene he saves her from getting killed. He constantly turns up when he’s needed and uses his powerful sword-fighting techniques.
Asbel Asbel
He is Prince of the Pejites who joined the attacks on the Tolmekian airships, which at the time is transporting Nausicaa and a couple of her most loyal men.
Teto Teto
Teto is Nausicaa’s pet squirrel-fox. Master Yupa brought him from the forest and gave him to Nausicaa, who soon tamed him.
Kushana Kushana
Kushana is the head of the Tolmekian Army, she is a proud woman and not too unlike Nausicaa. She wears armour suit of gold which covers the fact that she has lost both an arm and a leg to the insects.
Kurotowa Kurotowa
Kurotowa is a high-standing officer in the Tolmekian army, he is Kushana’s second-in-command.
Lastelle Lastelle
She is the sister of Abel (Therefore a Pejite Princess) she is being held prisoner on the Tolmekian ship that crashes in the valley at the beginning of the film, and is found near-death in the ships wreckage.
Grandmother Grandmother
She is an old, blind seer who lives in the valley, in the castle. She is always seen by Nausicaa’s father (the king’s side) and in the beginning of the film tells a prophecy which later becomes true.
Jhil Jhil
He is a lot like his daughter, Nausicaa. He was once a great glider-pilot but the toxic-jungle’s fumes have destroyed his leg usage and left him bed-ridden. He has a strong bond with both Obaba and Master Yupa, and they are both saddened by his loss.
Mito Mito
He is the most recognised of Nausicaa’s loyal subjects, and is constantly worrying about her. When Nausicaa is taken on the Tolmekian ship he is one of the loyal men who accompany her.
Ohmu Ohmu
The most dangerous breed of insects in the toxic jungle. They are huge and hard to calm, when the Pejites kidnap a young Ohmu and use it to draw the Ohmu’s to Nausicaa’s valley they come in the hundreds and are only calmed by an amazing self-sacrifice from Nausicaa. They have strange long, golden tendrils that I think they use to ‘sense’ people, and analyse them.
Yanma Yanma
Yanma is yet another of the toxic jungles territorial insects. When it attacks the Tolmekian airship that then crashes in the valley it is wounded and has to be lead back to the forest by Nausicaa before it can call more insects to its aid.
Hebikera Hebikera

Production Credits

Director Hayao Miyazaki
Original Story and Screenplay (JP) Hayao Miyazaki
Screenplay and Adaptation (US) Cindy Davis Hewitt, Donald H. Hewitt, Jim Hubbert, Linda Hoaglund, Judith Aley, Nao Amisaki, Steve Alpert
Executive Producers Yasuyoshi Tokuma, Michio Kondo, Toru Hara
Producers (JP) Isao Takahata
Producers (US) Rick Dempsey, Ned Lott
Original Music Joe Hisaishi
Theme Song Haruomi Hosono and Narumi Yasuda (“Kaze no tani no Nausicaa”)
Casting (US) Ned Lott
Cinematography Hideshi Kyonen, Mark Henley (US)
Editing Tomoko Kida, Naoki Kaneko, Shoji Sakai
Production Managers Sumi Sakai, Shigehiro Suzuki
Art Director Mitsuki Nakamura
Sound Director Shigeharu Shiba
Sound Effects Kazutoshi Sato
Special Effects Nobuko Mizuta
Supervising Animator Kazuo Komatsubara

Voice Casting

Character English Japanese
Nausicaa Alison Lohman Sumi Shimamoto
Lord Yupa Patrick Stewart Goro Naya
Kushana Uma Thurman Yoshiko Sakakibara
Kurotowa Chris Sarandon Iemasa Kayumi
Asbel Shia LaBeouf Yoji Matsuda
Mito Edward James Olmos Ichiro Nagai
Mayor of Pejite Mark Hamill Makoto “Mugihito” Terada
Gikkuri Jeff Bennett Joji Yanami
Obaba Tress MacNeille Hisako Kyoda
Lastelle ??? Miina Tominaga
Lastelle’s Mother Jodi Benson Akiko Tsuboi
Niga Mark Silverman Minoru Yada
Muzu James Taylor ???
King Jihl Mark Silverman Mahito Tsujimura
Gol Frank Welker Kohei Miyauchi
Commando ??? Tetsuo Mizutori
Narrator Tony Jay ???

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind Trailer

Screenshots from the movie

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