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MEHVE_-_Nausicaa_of_the_valley_of_the_winds.jpg
Nausicaš flying her Mehve over the Valley of Wind

Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind (風の谷のナウシカ Kaze no tani no Naushika) is a graphic novel (manga) and 1984 film by Japanese writer, illustrator, and filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. The movie has an environmentalist undertone and was presented by the World Wildlife Fund when it was released in 1984.

The Nausicaš manga is published in English by Viz Communications, and a DVD with English audio and subtitles by Disney. Earlier editions of the English manga and fan translations often used the title Nausicaš of the Valley of Wind, omitting the definite article.

The story takes place a thousand years after the "Seven Days of Fire" destroyed human civilization and most of the Earth's ecosystem. Scattered settlements survive; isolated from one another by the "Sea of Corruption" (fukai), a lethally toxic jungle of fungus swarming with giant insects; and only coming together to wage war.

The title character, Nausicaš (Naushika in Japanese) is a young princess of the peaceful Valley of the Wind. Her name comes from the princess in the Odyssey who assisted Odysseus, and part of her character comes from a Japanese legend of "the princess who loved insects". Although a skillful fighter, she is normally humane, charismatic, and peace-loving. She has unusual gifts of telepathy; of empathy toward animals, humans, and other beings; and of "windriding", a sort of natural piloting talent which permits her to fly a mehve, an advanced mini-hang glider with a jet assist.

The Valley of the Wind becomes threatened when the more powerful states, Pejite, Torumekia, and the Dorok Empire, unearth a "God Warrior" (kyoshinhei), one of the lethal giant bioweapons used in the ancient war which they hope to use against each other and against the Sea of Corruption.

The situation deteriorates as the fight to possess the God Warrior escalates out of control, and as the inimical fukai strikes back against those who attack it. But this is not a simple story. Even the "monsters" may be working toward some secret harmony, even the lethal mutant fungi may have some vital role, and today's allies may be tomorrow's enemies -- or vice-versa.

As she is increasingly forced to aid prisoners, villagers, her sometime enemies, mutant insects, and artificial bioweapons, Princess Nausicaš becomes increasingly a Joan of Arc figure -- a warrior maiden inspired by a supermundane vision to defend all life against destruction.

A heavily edited and English-dubbed version of the film was distributed and shown on HBO in the 1980s as Warriors of the Wind. According to Nausicaa.net (http://www.nausicaa.net/), the voice actors and actresses were not even informed of the film's plotline. Most fans of Nausicaš and Miyazaki himself dislike that version; Studio Ghibli has asked fans to forget its existence, and this version also persuaded the studio to adopt a strict "no-edits" clause for future foreign (non-Japanese) releases of its films. A new re-dubbed version from Disney--more faithful to the original film than the previous English-dubbed version--was released on DVD on February 22nd, 2005; the DVD also includes the Japanese audio track with subtitles.

As can be expected, the manga is far more complicated than the movie. In the movie, the main villain is arguably Princess Kushana, while in the manga, she eventually becomes allied to Nausicaš. Kushana's brothers are not even mentioned in the movie, but become important antagonists in the manga, and the Dorok, Forest People and other cultures are far more developed in the manga.

Manga

Nausicaš perfect collection from Viz

Title ISBN US Cover Price Can Cover Price
Nausicaš of the Valley of Wind Perfect Collection 1 ISBN 1-56931-096-3 $17.95 $25.50
Nausicaš of the Valley of Wind Perfect Collection 2 ISBN 1-56931-087-4 $17.95 $25.50
Nausicaš of the Valley of Wind Perfect Collection 3 ISBN 1-56931-111-0 $17.95 $25.50
Nausicaš of the Valley of Wind Perfect Collection 4 ISBN 1-56931-211-7 $17.95 $25.50

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External links

fr:Nausicaa it:Nausicaš della valle del vento (film) ja:風の谷のナウシカ sv:Kaze no tani no Naushika zh:风之谷 zh-min-nan:Hong-kok ê Nausika

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