Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (manga)

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Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
North American cover of the second volume of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
(Kaze no Tani no Naushika)
GenreAdventure, fantasy, science fiction[1]
Written byHayao Miyazaki
Published byTokuma Shoten
English publisher
Original runFebruary 1982March 1994
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (Japanese: 風の谷のナウシカ, Hepburn: Kaze no Tani no Naushika) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by anime director Hayao Miyazaki. It tells the story of Nausicaä, a princess of a small kingdom on a post-apocalyptic Earth with a toxic ecological system, who becomes involved in a war between kingdoms while an environmental disaster threatens humankind.

Prior to creating Nausicaä, Miyazaki had worked as an animator for Toei Animation, Nippon Animation and Tokyo Movie Shinsha (TMS), the latter for whom he had directed his feature film debut, Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979). After working on an aborted adaptation of Richard Corben's Rowlf for TMS and the publishing firm Tokuma Shoten, he agreed to create a manga series for Tokuma's monthly magazine Animage, initially on the condition that it would not be adapted into a film. Nausicaä was influenced by the Japanese folk tale The Princess who Loved Insects, a similarly-named character from Homer's Odyssey, the Minamata Bay mercury pollution, and various works of science fiction and fantasy by Western writers, among other sources. The manga was serialized intermittently in Animage from February 1982 to March 1994 and the individual chapters were collected and published by Tokuma Shoten in seven tankōbon volumes. It was serialized with an English translation in North America by Viz Media from 1988 to 1996 as a series of 27 comic book issues and has been published in collected form multiple times.

Since its initial serialization, Nausicaä has become a commercial success, particularly in Japan, where at least 11 million copies have been sold. The manga and the 1984 film adaptation, written and directed by Miyazaki following the serialization of the manga's first sixteen chapters, received universal acclaim from critics and scholars for its characters, themes, and art. The manga and film versions of Nausicaä are also credited for the foundation of Studio Ghibli, the animation studio for which Miyazaki created several of his most recognized works.



The story is set in the future at the closing of the ceramic era, 1,000 years after the Seven Days of Fire, a cataclysmic global war, in which industrial civilization self-destructed. Although humanity survived, the land surface of the Earth is still heavily polluted and the seas have become poisonous. Most of the world is covered by the Sea of Corruption, a toxic forest of fungal life and plants which is steadily encroaching on the remaining open land. It is protected by large mutant insects, including the massive Ohmu. Humanity clings to survival in the polluted lands beyond the forest, periodically engaging in bouts of internecine fighting for the scarce resources that remain. The ability for space travel has been lost but the earth-bound remnants of humanity can still use gliders and powered aircraft for exploration, transportation and warfare. (Powered land vehicles are mostly nonexistent, with humanity regressed to dependence on riding animals and beasts-of-burden.)


The Dorok prophecy: "And that one shall come to you garbed in raiment of blue and descending upon a field of gold..."

Nausicaä is the princess of the Valley of the Wind, a state on the periphery of what was once known as Eftal, a kingdom destroyed by the Sea of Corruption, a poisonous forest, 300 years ago. An inquisitive young woman, she explores the territories surrounding the Valley on a jet-powered glider, and studies the Sea of Corruption.

The Valley of the Wind, lead by the aging and sick king Jhil, is subordinate to the Vai emperor of Tourumekia. Most cities,tribes, villages,valleys etc. of the new earth are in some form of another part of either Dorok or Torumekian command: Two massive nations that have been at odds or at war for thousand(s) of years. Torumekia has a large army, and does not appear to be religious. The Doroks are sectarian, with military and strategic higher ranks assigned to priests. Doroks and Torumekian people usually dislike each other, but there are various exceptions.

The Vai emperor has four children: 3 unnamed sons, and his daughter Kushana. The royal family is notorious for internal conflicts, backstabbing schemes, and desperate attempts to obtain or hold on to the power of the throne. The Doroks have a more stable government composed of the emperor, his brother, and the “Council of Elders”.

Chapter 1: The Valley of the Wind[edit]

Nausicaä is studying plants deep within the sea of corruption. While lying in peace and tranquillity on a dead ohmu shell, she suddenly has brief visions and flashes saying “Hate” or “Death”. Someone is being chased by a raging ohmu, and Nausicaä comes to the rescue by calming it down. Her teacher and good friend Yupa had accidentally angered an ohmu after an incident with a baby fox-squirrel. Nausicaä adopts the squirrel and names it “Teto”. They return to the valley of the wind.

Nausicaä tries out a gunship with her uncle Mito. She once again has similar visions and flashes of anger and hatred, and almost crashes the ship. In the distance they notice a refugee ship covered with insects. Their attempt to save it fails, and all the passagers die. In the wreckage and fire they meet and hear the dying words of Raspel: The princess of Torumekia-subsidiary Pejite. Apparently torumekian imperial guards working for the emperor invaded and burned down their entire village. Raspel hands Nausicaä a special stone that’s she wants delivered to her brother, Asbel. The imperial guards are very interested in this stone, as they soon after show up with wormhandlers and examine and loot through all the dead bodies. They suspect the people of the valley of the wind are in possession of the stone, and immediately organize an attack.

Nausicaä has just returned to the valley when the torumekian troops attack. The imperial guards send in worm handlers to search for the stone, but Nausicaä stops them. Disgusted and angered by their attack and the realization that they disrespectfully looted the dead bodies, she engages in on-ground combat with one of the soldiers. Nausicaä impales the soldier from the neck with a knife, and - despite the fact that he is already dead - tries to stab him in the heart with a sword too. Yupa stops her (by taking a hit himself) and convinces both sides to stop fighting.

The Vai emperor declares war on the doroks. Kushana is quite dissatisfied with her role, and suspects a backstabbing scheme by her brothers. They have been assigned to work with large armies and big important battles with lots of loot and slaves, while she has been assigned but a few men to “threaten the enemy flank” near the poisonous sea of corruption. She is also tasked with finding the stone. Her newly chosen staff officer / watchdog is Kurotowa.

Kushana forces a set of peripheries of Torumekia, including The Valley Of The Wind, to help in the war. They are to meet first by air. Aging king Jhil sends Nausicaä, Mito, and a few others from the valley. In the air, many ships are suddenly shot down by a small gunship controlled by Aspel of Pejite. There are great losses, and many soldiers die. Aspel’s plane is finally shot down, but he lands in the forest and survives. Nausicaä and her men crash by a lake in the sea of corruption. Ohmu appear from below the sea, and tell Nausicaä that they are ready, and that the northern forest has no use for them anymore. Soon after, a bunch of angry insects appear, all flying towards some destination in the south. Nausicaä follows the insects and accidentally meets Aspel. Surrounded by insects, they both cling to survival. In the end they are saved by the ohmu, who appear fond of Nausicaä. When the insects leave, they are left in the deepest depths of the sea of corruption, but find, to their surprise, a clean and beautiful non-poisonous area with breathable air. Nausicaä hides the stone, Aspel fixes the wind glider, and they both take off

Chapter 2: Acid Lake[edit]

Nausicaä and Asbel are nearly shot down by a group of doroks known as the Mani tribe. Their leader comes out, and tells them to stop the fighting. He “invites” Nausicaä and Asbel on board. Here they meet Ketcha, a girl from the Mani tribe. She tells Nausicaä to chat with their leader. Much of the Mani tribe and its land has been destroyed by Torumekian troops. The leader and his tribe are currently headed for the encampment were Kushana landed her forces to fix airships and prepare weapons and tactics. They were told this info has come from someone within the royal family. Nausicaä and Asbel realize that the Mani tribe’s true plan is to raid the Torumekian-allied periphery lands (including the Valley of Wind) to replace their own lost land, and attempt to convince the Mani by force to do otherwise. The attempt fails, and Nausicaä flees from the ship, saved by Uncle Mito on a search mission.

At Kushana’s camp, a battle suddenly breaks lose. Doroks soldiers had prepared a trap, and are now attacking the Torumekian and Periphery troops and airplanes. On top of this, the Doroks have a plan: A small "flying jar" squad is flying a baby Ohmu towards Kushana's encampent to attract a giant herd of massive angry Ohmu. The technique is successful, and all of Kushana’s forces are brutally wiped out. Only her, Kurotowa, and a few loyal soldiers escape on a single airship. A warning from Nausicaa and Mito enabled all the Periphery troops and airships to narrowly escape (the chaos of the battle led to the Torumekians forces getting the warning too late). Nausicaa sees the baby Ohmu, and tries to stop the Dorok flying jar from advancing any further. She shoots down the flying jar that carries the Ohmu, and it crashes on a small sandbank in a lake of acid. The Ohmu is severely injured but alive, and although Nausicaä attempts to kill it using the jar's machine gun, she cannot bring herself to do so. The herd appears, and the baby Ohmu tries to cross the acid lake in an attempt to reach the herd. Nausicaä tries to prevent this, and her foot is burned by the acid. The baby Ohmu stops and heals Nausicaä using its golden feelers, while its blood dyes her dress a deep, pure blue. The herd of Ohmu, still waiting on the banks, nearly commit mass-suicide in their attempt to walk through the lake of acid and retrieve the baby. Kushana's airship flies overhead, Nausicaä asks her to carry the Ohmu in exchange for all the information she knows about the Doroks and the stone. Kushana orders her ship to carry the Ohmu to the herd, and Nausicaä is celebrated and taken up by the Ohmu in their feelers so that it looks like she is standing in “a field of gold”.

Yupa is out searching for the secrets of the Sea of Corruption - it’s cause, and how it works. He secretly breaks into a ship controlled by wormhandlers, and is taken to an underground wormhandler enclave that doubles as a Dorok base. The Mani tribe survivors, their priest, Asbel (in disguise as a Mani tribe warrior), and Ketcha are all there. A priest from the council of elders is disappointed with the Mani tribe leader, who has criticized the decision to use Ohmu in battle. Yupa, hiding in the pipes, hears the entire conversation, but is caught by a wormhandler. In the process of evading capture, he is caught entering a room where baby Ohmu are artificially bred in tanks. The wormhandlers attempt to capture Yupa under the orders of Dorok priests, but are unsuccessful. Right before a force of wormhandlers swarms Yupa, a "Mani tribe warrior" challenges him to a duel, a match which is approved of by the Dorok priests as a way for the Mani tribe to prove their loyalty. The Mani tribe warrior reveals himself to be Asbel, and shatters the incubation tank with his sword. He and Yupa flee immediately, and meet up with the Mani tribe priest on the surface. Just as the holy emperors brother Miralupa Kulubaluka appears, Yupa, Asbel, Ketcha, and the Mani tribe leader flee. In a telepathic confrontation with the emperor's brother the Mani leader states that the "blue-clad one" is real, and that the Dorok leaders are destroying the world, and will trigger a Daikaisho. The Mani tribe leader is stabbed to death by the imperial guards while Miralupa's astral projection searches for Nausicaä, who is currently on Kushana's airship. The Mani tribe leader uses the last of his life force to protect Nausicaä from the astral projection, though Miralupa is still able to glimpse her face. During the commotion, Yupa, Asbel and Ketcha escape using the wormhandler airship that Yupa snuck in on.

Chapter 3: The Dorok War[edit]

Yupa, Aspel and Ketcha are caught in a thunderstorm, and struck down by a Dorok airship. The doroks send down wormhandlers to loot their bodies and make sure they are dead. Just as they’re about to cut off Yupa’s hand, they are met by “The forest people”: An intelligent autonomous indigenous group of people that live in harmony with the sea of corruption through specialised equipment. The forest people are well-respected and worshipped by wormhandlers, so they let the bodies go. Yupa, Aspel and Ketcha have all survived the fall (somehow), and are taken in and treated by the forest people. The forest people explain that the purpose of the sea of corruption is actually to clean the poisonous air and soil. The trees and plants collect the miasma, and eventually break down to sand and dust.

Nausicaä has joined up with Kushana and Kurutowa. The ohmu told her they went south, and she wants to see why - might as well join up with Kushana and Kurotowa while she has the opportunity. Kushana’s assigned mission has failed (she has neither confronted the enemy flank nor collected the stone) so she attempts to join up with the Third Army unit - which she trained herself. Kurutowa instead is hesitant and that she should join one of her brothers' armies, or goes directly to the Vai emperor, but Kushana sees through his scheme. Her mission was impossible to win, as she was only supposed to collect the stone and be executed for failing to do the rest. Kurutowa confesses that he was indeed sent to kill Kushana (by the Vai emperor himself), but that they might be able to strike up a deal nonetheless: He is to be killed in some way or another due to his entanglement in the royal family, but were he to follow Kushana he might still survive. She, on the other hand, can benefit from a pragmatic and talented staff officer, one that isn’t merely loyal, but thinks for himself as well. Kushana accepts the deal, and they head off to search for the third army.

On the way, they fly across a small village being bombed by torumekian ships. Kushana and Kurotowa, being at this point enemies of the state, shoot down the ships, and look for the nearest well to get some water. Nausicaä flies down and explores the city: It appears all the villagers are dead not because of bombings or weapons, but from Miasma and poisoning, even though the village is more than 100 metres away from the nearest forest. Nausicaä tries to warn the other’s not to go down the well, but a few soldiers end up severely poisoned. On top of the miasma there’s a large insect down there, and it attempts to eat Nausicaä. When it tastes the ohmu blood on her clothes though, it spits her out.

They fly away from the village. Flying close to the ground so as not to be spotted, they follow a few dorok ships that might lead them to the third army. Nausicaä notices the miasma getting very strong, and they enter a forest made only of poisonous fungi, so dense with miasma even the insects are dying. Kurotowa reluctantly raises the altitude and flies up above the clouds to the dorok ships. Just barely avoiding getting hit, they fly down again through the miasma and reach a hectic battlefield. A torumekian-occupied Dorok city is surrounded and being invaded by the dorok army, and a sector of Kushana’s third army is trying to defend it. They are failing miserably, as they have been specialised and trained in quick offensives: Not defence. Kushana raises her flag and sword, and watches till the very end. Some of the soldiers had been poisoned by miasma out on the battlefield: The doroks seemed to be in control of it.

Kushana decides the next best move is to help another sector of her third army. They're protecting another occupied dorok castle/fort under dorok siege. The assigned leader of the defence is lazy and ruthless; He attempts to fly away with spoils and loot from the war, leaving his soldiers to die, but is stopped by Kushana. The torumekians have captured a bunch of dorok slaves, which Nausicaä naturally finds disgusting and morally corrupt. She demands that Kushana release the slaves, which is accepted on the condition that Nausicaä will ride with her on the battlefield.

The plan is to destroy heavy dorok artillery in a quick offensive. The attack is successful, but the escape will require killing a good many dorok troops. Nausicaä splits up from the group, attempting a more pacifist solution. It work’s decently well, but a few soldiers must sacrifice their lives as human shields to prevent her from getting shot. Her riding-animal is shot by Charuka of the dorok council of elders. She is almost captured, but the animal regains a last burst of energy and Nausicaä escapes.

The slaves are released. Charuka rides to the castle to thank the torumekians for their unexpected but kind deed.

Chapter 4: Catastrophe[edit]

Though the attack was effective, the torumekian castle is still surrounded by dorok troops. All the airships that could save the soldiers have been taken away by Kushana's brothers to leave her own loyal soldiers to be sacrificed. Kushana and Kurotowa fly on a mission with some soldiers to the south to capture aircraft. They spot a single insect flying south in the same direction - a scout. It’s shot down by an arrogant aristocrat on another aircraft, who drunkenly made a bet for money. In reaction to the death of the scout, a swarm of similar insects appear and attack and subsequently destroy the craft. To escape the angry swarm, Kurotowa pulls up and raises altitude. Above the clouds they find massive swarms of forest insects, all flying south. It’s a mass migration, another so-called “daikaisho” has begun.

Kushana uses the chaos of the upcoming insect attack in her mission to steal the needed aircraft - but her and Kurotowa's plane is rammed by the armoured corvette of one of Kushana’s brothers. Her brother tries to kill them both. Kurotowa is badly injured from the ramming, but manages to buy some time. He and Kushana avoid getting shot just as the insects appear. The armoured corvette takes off, and in the distance is destroyed by insects. Kushana’s most hated brother - the one that poisoned her mother - is dead. She had wanted to kill him her whole life, and suddenly he is just killed by insects, with no involvement from her.

The insects have really appeared now, and the camp is a bloodbath. Soldiers are killed, eaten, decapitated and crushed by insects everywhere. Hiding as well as they can in the trenches, it is a mere miracle that Kushana and badly-injured Kurotowa survive. A few of Kushana’s best men are holding onto her in fear as the gruesome scene unfolds. Without noticing it herself, she sings a lullaby. She looks at a massive, angry insect directly in the eyes, but it does not choose to kill her.

Back to Nausicaä. She did not choose to follow Kushana, and instead went south on her glider alone - that was her original goal after all.  She discovers a small, empty village. It was once an autonomous independent village, but was later destroyed by the dorok. In the village she meets Chikuku: A small kid with psychic abilities. Inside a religious building she is also greeted by a very old monk in meditation. He tells her that the daikaisho has begun, and that he is excited for “the great purification” to begin. Nausicaä disagrees with the notion that everyone and everything has to die for a “new world to be reborn” but does not get much time to further consider this topic, as a giant insect suddenly falls to the ground. Nausicaä and Chikuku take to the sky to see what’s up, and notice in the near distance a huge swarm of insects attacking a dorok airship infested with some kind of mold.

The dorok emperor’s brother Miralupa is on ship, and so is Charuka. Miralupa has issued an order to breed strong mold for use as biological weapons, but the mold has grown explosively and gotten out of hand. Nausicaä flies to the deck of the ship and is attacked by Miralupa. He has heard of a “blue-clad one” in prophecies and is obsessed with finding and killing Nausicaä. His “physical form” is old and weak, so he attempts to attack using psychic abilities. He fails. Charuka plans to burn down the ship to hopefully destroy the mold. Nausicaä helps him out, and they just barely manage to escape the explosive growth of the mold. Unfortunately, burning the ship did not destroy all the mold: A good bit survived and falls to the ground. As it falls to the ground, it forms an umbrella. It shows further signs of intelligence and sentience when scientists approach it by air, and it actively targets and attacks them. On the ground it feeds off dead insect bodies and grows drastically in size. It is shown to be attracted to other molds, as it at one point reaches over 100 metres up to get in contact with a small piece of mold on the scientist’s ship.

Chapter 5: Daikaisho[edit]

Chapter 5 starts in Shuwa, the dorok capital city. The holy emperor, Namulith, looks at the god-warrior they have found and bred. It has grown, and he is satisfied, but for a moment afraid of it. On the ground, the council of elders, whom Namulith dislikes, accuses him of breaking many rules.

Namulith is about a thousand years old - has gone through many painful transformative surgeries. His brother Miralupa is also very old, but has not chosen to change his body. Instead he has had operations and baths in painful chemicals to keep his original body living. Despite his role as emperor, Namulith has been in the shadows of his brother due to his lack of psychic abilities. Due to the incident with the airplane carrying mold, Miralupa’s body was injured. He must undergo an operation, and Namulith decides to kill him by adding a poisonous substance to his chemical bath. Namulith says he no longer cares for the fate of the dorok people, but that he simply wants to watch the world burn, like it did in the seven days of fire.

Back to Yupa, Ketcha, Aspel, and Mito. They are gathering information and trying to figure out what the torumekians are up to. Everything is chaos among the torumekians. They are in full retreat, looting every dorok village and city they go through of food and everything, and killing or taking every dorok as slaves, and leaving behind "scorched Earth". Yupa and the lot fly through this hellscape and come across many areas of doroks and torumekians killed by insects and the spreading forest. Eventually they find Kushana, her soldiers, and Kurotowa. After the insect attack and ensuing miasma, Kushana and her soldiers tried surviving in a crashed aircraft for about a month. They were just about to lose hope as another aircraft finally came. Aspel of Pejite is furious at Kushana for burning down his city, but they eventually decide to join up.

Nausicaä, Charuka, and Chikuku are trying to get a hold of the mold. Fire and explosives do not seem to work. There are about three molds, and after mapping out their movements they conclude that they are trying to merge. To much the dismay of Charuka, Nausicaä and Chikuku use their psychic powers to impersonate a heavenly spirit, as to convince a city of doroks to find the highest hill they know if they want to survive. Nausicaä also explores an area in sky filled with insect’s circle around some point. At the bottom she finds a dying, fully matured ohmu. She realizes that the insects and the ohmu are not trying to attack the mold: Rather they are trying to help it. The ohmu are using themselves as food for the mold, and the insects are trying to eat away it’s pain. Nausicaä realizing just how hopeless the situation is, rides her glider to a hill where she sits alone. Some forest people come and give her a better mask, but she is intent on dying with the ohmu. She finds a heard of ohmu stampeding towards the merging point, jumps onto one, and reaches the middle. She lays on an ohmu as it is being covered with mold. Just before it dies, it opens its mouth and swallows Nausicaä. Inside the ohmu, she is covered with a kind of protective bubble that makes her unconscious.

Yupa, Kushana, and the lot reach the city-fortress where she left the remnants of her third army. Now deserted thanks to an earlier evacuation warning from Nausicca, they find only a small group of her soldiers now dead along with a dead heedra, an artificial kind of creature designed for war. Its body regenerates, and it can only be killed by a destroying the brain. Living heedra show up and capture Kushana. Yupa jumps onto the plane that captures Kushana, and the others just barely survive taking off on their own aircraft.

Namulith ordered the capture of Kushana. Not before long she regains consciousness, takes out all the guards, and battles up to the bridge to Namulith. He shows her that the soldiers of her third army are still alive. Namulith will save the soldiers on the condition that they marry, seize Torumekia together, and form a joint dorok-torumekian empire.  

Chapter 6: The Place Dreamed[edit]

The merging point of the molds grows to a massive forest in the matter of hours. Floods of wormhandler tribes migrate from their hidden villages; these longtime "outcasts" and "untouchables" now following the spreading forest and taking claim over the devastated Dorok territories.

A forest person helps out Charuka and Chikuku find Nausicaä. She’s unconscious, and they need to find a place she can recover. On their way, they come across Namulith’s ship. While Miralupa is dead, his spirit is somehow still alive, and he immediately rushes to possess Nausicaa. Charuka finds a place for Nausicaä to rest. Chikuku and the forest person stay, but Charuka returns to Namulith and the dorok army, aware it may be his death.

We see a dream vision Nausicaä has while unconscious. She is followed by Miralupa, personified as a scared, old, naked, ugly man. She enters a forest, and meets Selm, a forest person she has “spiritually” met previously in the story. He helps them both ride an ohmu to cross a river. The old man is very happy suddenly. They reach the end of the river and arrive at a petrified sea of corruption that has turned to dust. Beyond it, the nature is beautiful and clean. Grass grows, and there are birds, trees, etc. Miralupa's spirit is now at peace and remains in this clean "afterlife" paradise. Nausicaä wakes up.

Mito, Aspel, Ketcha, and Kurotowa accidentally land on the same mountain where Nausicaä is and all meet up. Forest people also show up, and followed by wormhandlers (all tribes of them now believing Nausicaä to be a messiah and saviour). They all decide to hurry to the spot where Namulith will marry Kushana. Charuka is being stoned until death on Namulith's orders, but Nausicaä manages to save him. Dorok ships arrive carrying the god-warrior, and Nausicaä orders Mito's aircraft to shoot them down. Namulith, Kushana (and secretly Yupa) take off on his ship with the god-warrior atop. Nausicaä lands on the deck and confronts Namulith. They battle, and he and his heedra gain the upper hand. Since Nausicaä still has the stone, the warrior awakens and saves her, calling her "mother".  

Namulith's artificially grown body is injured beyond repair by the god-warrior. He is tired of living and that “Things always turn out as the master of the crypt says they will”.

Chapter 7: The Crypt[edit]

Kushana, Nausicaä, and the Vai emperor are all intent on going to the crypts of Shuwa. Nausicaä flies away with the god warrior, has an encounter with Kushana’s brothers (who are also going to the crypt). Teto dies from the radioactive light emitted by the god warrior (whom Nausicaä has named “Ohma”). She asks Ohma to land so she can bury the body. Sick from the light herself, she is offered help by a strange man.

He takes her to some nearby ruins that look normal and destroyed from the air, but beautifully covered with beautiful foliage and are alive with wonderful animals on the inside. Nausicaä meet’s Kushana’s brothers in there too. Even though everything seems nice, Nausicaä realizes something must be wrong, especially upon seeing heedra farmers. She attempts to escape, but is stopped by the man who led her in. She calls upon the spiritual help of Selm, and the man/creature tries to persuade Nausicaä to stay in the garden. Saving the world is impossible he says: Humans have adapted to the Poisonous air, and when the sea of corruption eventually cleans the soil, humans as we know them won’t be able to live in the new world of clean air and nature. They’ll cough up blood. He also mentions Namulith and Miralupa's father, the previous Dorok emperor, who centuries back had lived in this same garden and was once a young and hopeful man, intent on saving humanity and the world, and so seized the Dorok throne and made himself emperor. But over time he could not bear the weight of the whole world’s problems and gradually became ruthless and evil.

Nausicaä leaves, and meet’s up with Mito and a group of wormhandlers. She lies and tells them that after the sea of corruption cleans the earth, the world will be wonderful and easy.

Yupa, Ketcha, Charuka, Chikuku, Kushana, Kurotowa, the last third army soldiers, and floods of Dorok refugees have gathered on a mountain in the aftermath of Namulith's defeat and death. The Dorok tribes want revenge on the Torumekians and a new conflict is on the brink. Yupa sacrifices his life to protect Kushana and stop the conflict, in a scene that remind the Mani Tribe of what their own leader did to protect them.

The Vai emperor has already invaded Shuwa. With both emperors dead, it is an easy task. The real problem is entering the crypt itself, which is explosion and bullet proof, and shoots down all intruders with a laser-eye. Ohma has walked to Shuwa while Nausicaä was in the garden. He manages to shoot down the laser eye (with an explosion the size of an atom bomb) but destroys himself along with all of Shuwa and the Vai emperor's army in the process. The people inside the crypt come out to greet the Vai emperor. They are deliriously old from immortality technology. The Vai emperor walks inside, and Nausicaä with her tribe of wormhandlers follow shortly thereafter. Mito and Aspel have landed on top of the crypt: It seems to be an organism with regenerative abilities.

Nausicaä and the Vai emperor meet “the master of the crypt”. It is a massive "brain" in the bottom of the crypt, covered with cryptic text. The people working in the crypt have been slowly deciphering the text for centuries. It contains all human knowledge and art from the old world. Throughout the years they have worked “symbiotically” with different powers: Protection in return for any technology the government might please. Nausicaä speaks with the Master, who takes the form of hundreds of scientists from the old world that worked to create it. The masters reengineered people to withstand the poisonous air and planned the sea of corruption. Having a power with access to advanced technology and biological tools of war would only speed up the process of destroying the old world so a new one could be reborn. The master says they have the tools to biologically change humans and have them stand the clean air again. Nausicaä disagrees with the notion that the old world must rot for a better one to appear; Especially since the master of the crypt itself will be in sole charge of creating a “better” world. While its intentions might have been pure once, over the course of 2000 years, it, like any other ruler, has been corrupted by power. The crypt thinks it can create a “perfect” world with no darkness, but that is impossible, thinks Nausicaä. With the combined last powers of Ohma, a missile from Mito’s ship, and Nausicaä, the heart of the crypt is destroyed. The whole crypt falls apart, but Nausicaä, the emperor and Aspel all manage to escape.

Nausicaa’s friends and allies arrive, and everyone meet’s up. The emperor is dying, and hands over the throne to Kushana. She rejects the offer. People all walk away from the crypt.


Precursors and early development[edit]

Miyazaki began his professional career in the animation industry as an inbetweener at Toei in 1963 but soon had additional responsibilities in the creation processes.[2] While working primarily on animation projects for TV and Cinema, he also pursued his dream of creating manga.[3] In conjunction with his work as a key animator on Puss 'n Boots his manga adaptation of the same title was published in 1969. That same year pseudonymous serialization started of his manga People of the Desert. His manga adaptation of Animal Treasure Island was serialized in 1971.[4]

After the December 1979 release of The Castle of Cagliostro, Miyazaki, now at the Tokyo Movie Shinsha (TMS) subsidiary Telecom Animation Film, began working on his ideas for an animated film adaptation of Richard Corben's comic book Rowlf and pitched the idea to Yutaka Fujioka at TMS. In November 1980, a proposal was drawn up to acquire the film rights.[5] Around that time Miyazaki was also approached for a series of magazine articles by the editorial staff of Tokuma Shoten's Animage. During subsequent conversations he showed his sketchbooks and talked about basic outlines for envisioned animation projects with Toshio Suzuki and Osamu Kameyama, at the time working as editors for Animage. They saw the potential for collaboration on their development into animation. Initially two projects were proposed to Tokuma Shoten, that are significant for the eventual creation of Nausicaä: Warring States Demon Castle (戦国魔城, Sengoku ma-jō), to be set in the Sengoku period, and an aborted adaptation of Corben's Rowlf, but they were rejected, on July 9, 1981. The proposals were rejected because the company was unwilling to fund anime projects not based on existing manga and because the rights for the adaptation of Rowlf could not be secured.[6]

An agreement was reached that Miyazaki could start developing his sketches and ideas into a manga for the magazine with the proviso that it would never be made into a film.[7][a] Miyazaki stated in an interview, "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind only really began to take shape once I agreed to serialize it."[9] In the December 1981 issue of Animage, it was announced that a new manga series would start in the February 1982 issue of the magazine, despite the fact that Miyazaki had not completed the first episode. The illustrated notice introduced the new series' main character, title and concept.[10] The first chapter, 18 pages, was published in the February issue. Miyazaki would continue developing the story for another 12 years with frequent interruptions along the way.[11]


The titular character of the manga was named after the Greek princess, Nausicaa, whose name means "burner of ships".[12]

Miyazaki had given other names to the main character during development, but he settled on Nausicaä based on the name of the Greek princess of the same name from the Odyssey, as portrayed in Bernard Evslin's dictionary of Greek mythology, translated into Japanese by Minoru Kobayashi.[13][b] Nausicaä’s personality was also patterned in part on Homer's character, particularly in regard to her love of nature and music, her imagination and disregard for material possessions.[16] In his essay On Nausicaä (ナウシカのこと, Naushika no koto), printed in volume one of the manga, Miyazaki wrote that he was also inspired by The Princess who Loved Insects, a Japanese tale from the Heian period about a young princess who preferred studying insects rather than wearing fine clothes or choosing a husband.[17] Helen McCarthy considers Shuna from The Journey of Shuna to be prototypical to Nausicaä,[18] and Dani Cavallaro feels that Lana from Future Boy Conan and Clarisse of The Castle of Cagliostro also influenced Nausicaä’s characterization.[16] The story’s fantasy and science fiction elements were influenced by a variety of works from Western authors, including Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea, Brian Aldiss's Hothouse, Isaac Asimov's Nightfall, and J.R.R Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.[19] Frank Herbert's science fiction novel Dune (1965) was also a major source of inspiration for Nausicaä.[20]

Among the inspirations for the environmental themes Miyazaki has mentioned the Minamata Bay mercury pollution.[16] The Sea of Corruption is based on the forests on the Japanese island of Yakushima and the marshes of the Sivash, or Rotten Sea, in Ukraine.[21][c] The works of botanist Sasuke Nakao [ja] are among Miyazaki's inspirations for the environment of the story. Miyazaki mentions Nakao in the context of a question he is asked about the place Nausicaä takes in the ecology boom and does so explaining his shift from a desert to a forest setting. Nakao's influence on his work has been noted by Shiro Yoshioka.[23] Miyazaki has identified Tetsuji Fukushima's Sabaku no maō [ja] 沙漠の魔王 (The Evil Lord of the Desert), a story he first read while still in primary school, as one of his earliest influences. Kentaro Takekuma has also observed this continuity in Miyazaki's work and places it within the tradition of illustrated stories, emonogatari (絵物語), and manga Miyazaki read while growing up, pointing out the influence of Fukushima on Miyazaki's People of the Desert which he in turn identifies as a precursor for both The Journey of Shuna, created in watercolour and printed in colour, and Nausicaä.[24]


Miyazaki drew the Nausicaä chapters primarily in pencil. The work was printed monochrome in sepia toned ink.[25][d] Frederik L. Schodt observed differences between Nausicaä and other Japanese manga. He has noted that it was serialized in the large A4 size of Animage, much larger than the normal size for manga. Schodt has also observed that Miyazaki drew much of Nausicaä in pencil without inking, and that the page and panel layouts, as well as the heavy reliance on storytelling, are more reminiscent of French comics than of Japanese manga. In appearance and sensibilities, Nausicaä reminds Schodt of the works of Mœbius.[26]

Takekuma has noted stylistic changes in Miyazaki's artwork over the course of the series. He points out that, particularly in the first chapters, the panels are densely filled with background, which makes the main characters difficult to discern without paying close attention. According to Takekuma this may be partially explained by Miyazaki's use of pencil, without inking, for much of the series. Takekuma points out that by employing pencil Miyazaki does not give himself the option of much variation in his line. He notes that in the later chapters Miyazaki uses his line art to, literally, draw attention to individuals and that he more frequently separates them from the background. As a result there are more panels in which the main characters stand out vividly in the latter part of the manga.[27]

Miyazaki has stated in interviews that he frequently worked close to publication deadlines and that he was not always able to finish his monthly instalments for serialization in Animage. On such occasions he sometimes created apologetic cartoons. These were printed in the magazine, instead of story panels, to explain to his readers why there were fewer pages that month or why the story was absent entirely. Miyazaki has indicated that he continued making improvements to the story prior to the publication of the tankōbon volumes, in which chapters from the magazine were collected in book form.[28] Changes made throughout the story, before the release of each tankōbon volume, range from subtle additions of shading to the insertion of entirely new pages. Miyazaki also redrew panels and sometimes the artwork was changed on whole pages. He made alterations to the text and changed the order in which panels appeared. The story as re-printed in the tankōbon spans 7 volumes for a combined total of 1060 pages.[29]

Miyazaki has said that the lengthy creation process of the Nausicaä manga, repeatedly tackling its themes as the story evolved over the years, not only changed the material but also affected his personal views on life and changed his political perspectives. He also noted that his continued struggle with the subject matter in the ongoing development of the Nausicaä manga allowed him to create different, lighter, films than he would have been able to make without Nausicaä providing an outlet for his more serious thoughts throughout the period of its creation.[30] Marc Hairston notes that, “Tellingly, Miyazaki’s first film after finishing the Nausicaä manga was Mononoke Hime, which examined many of the themes from the manga and is arguably the darkest film of his career.”[31]


Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind was initially translated into English by Toren Smith and Dana Lewis. Smith, who had written comics in the U.S. since 1982, wrote an article on Warriors of the Wind (the heavily edited version of the film adaptation released in the U.S. in the 1980s) for the Japanese edition of Starlog, in which he criticized what New World Pictures had done to Miyazaki's film. The article came to the attention of Miyazaki himself, who invited Smith to Studio Ghibli for a meeting. On Miyazaki's insistence, Smith's own company Studio Proteus was chosen as the producer of the English-language translation. Smith hired Dana Lewis to collaborate on the translation. Lewis was a professional translator in Japan who also wrote for Newsweek and had written cover stories for such science fiction magazines as Analog Science Fiction and Fact and Amazing Stories. Smith hired Tom Orzechowski for the lettering and retouching.[32]

Studio Proteus was responsible for the translation, the lettering, and the retouching of the artwork, which was flipped left-to-right to accommodate English readers. The original Japanese dialogue was re-lettered by hand, the original sound effects were replaced by English sound effects, and the artwork was retouched to accommodate the new sound effects. When Miyazaki resumed work on the manga following one of the interruptions, Viz chose another team, including Rachel Matt Thorn and Wayne Truman, to complete the series.[33] The current seven-volume, English-language "Editor's Choice" edition is published in right-to-left reading order: while it retains the original translations, the lettering was done by Walden Wong. The touch-up art and lettering for the Viz Media deluxe two-volume box set was also done by Walden Wong.[34][35]

Eriko Ogihara-Schuck, lecturer in American studies at the Technical University of Dortmund, conducted a comparative analysis of the Japanese-language manga and anime with their English translations, and demonstrates that American translations have resulted in the "Christianizing of Miyazaki's animism". She indicates that this was probably done inadvertently in the case of the manga translation, which retains animistic elements and contains pantheistic phrases, but may have been more deliberate in the translation of dialogue and narration for Disney's release of the film. In the case of the manga she attributes this "Christianizing" to the limitations of the languages involved, particularly the absence of precise English equivalents for Japanese words and concepts such as kami, oni and kishin and honorific titles such as sama. As another explanation, she offers that translators of both the manga and the film work from a Judeo-Christian background, in a language suffused with Judeo-Christian idioms not found in Japanese, which they introduce to the text, and she indicates that the translators work for an audience more accustomed to, and with the expectation of, the Judeo-Christian religions' dualistic, good versus evil worldview in fictional narratives. Ogihara-Schuck concludes that particularly the film translation erased animistic motifs completely but that the manga translations, "by enveloping the text in a dualistic world view", also implicitly reintroduced this dualistic, good versus evil, worldview, absent in the original Japanese language manga, which she presumes to have been a strategy to make the works more accessible to the American audience.[36]



The manga was serialized in Tokuma Shoten's monthly Animage magazine between 1982 and 1994.[37] The series initially ran from the February 1982 issue to the November 1982 issue when the first interruption occurred due to Miyazaki's work related trip to Europe.[38] Serialization resumed in the December issue and the series ran again until June 1983 when it went on hiatus again due to Miyazaki's work on the film adaptation of the series. Serialization of the manga resumed for the third time from the August 1984 issue but halted again in the May 1985 issue when Miyazaki placed the series on hiatus to work on Laputa. Serialization resumed for the fourth time in the December 1986 issue and was halted again in June 1987 when Miyazaki placed the series on hiatus to work on the films My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service. The series resumed for the fifth time in the April 1990 issue and was halted in the May 1991 issue when Miyazaki worked on Porco Rosso. The series resumed for the final time in the March 1993 issue. The final panel is dated January 28, 1994. The last chapter was released in the March 1994 issue of Animage. By the end Miyazaki had created 59 chapters, of varying length, for publication in the magazine. In an interview, conducted shortly after serialization of the manga had ended, he noted that this amounts to approximately 5 years worth of material. He stated that he did not plan for the manga to run that long and that he wrote the story based on the idea that it could be stopped at any moment.[39][40]

The chapters were slightly modified and collected in seven tankōbon volumes, in soft cover B5 size.[29] The first edition of volume one is dated September 25, 1982. It contains the first eight chapters and was re-released on August 25, 1983 with a newly designed cover and the addition of a dustcover.[41][e] Volume two has the same August 25, 1983 release date. It contains chapters 9 through 14. Together with chapters 15 and 16, printed in the Animage issues for May and June 1983, these were the only 16 chapters completed prior to the release of the Nausicaä film in March 1984. The seventh book was eventually released on January 15, 1995.[41] The entire series was also reprinted in two deluxe volumes in hard cover and in A4 size labeled Jokan (上巻, first volume) and Gekan (下巻, final volume) which were released on November 30, 1996.[43][44] The seven books, which remain in print individually, have also been released in box sets twice, on August 25, 2002 and, with a redesigned box, from October 31, 2003.[45][46]

English translations are published in North America and the United Kingdom by Viz Media. As of 2013 Viz Media has released the manga in five different formats. Initially the manga was printed flipped and with English translations of the sound effects. Publication of English editions began in 1988 with the release of episodes from the story under the title Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind in the "Viz Select Comics" series. This series ran until 1996. It consists of 27 issues. In October 1990 Viz Media also started publishing the manga as Viz Graphic Novel, Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind. The last of the seven Viz Graphic Novels in this series appeared in January 1997. Viz media reprinted the manga in four volumes titled, Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind: Perfect Collection, which were released from October 1995 to October 1997. A box set of the four volumes was later released in January 2000. In 2004 Viz Media re-released the seven-volume format in an "Editors Choice" edition titled Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. In this version the manga is left unflipped and the sound effects are left untranslated.[47] Viz Media released its own deluxe two-volume box set on November 6, 2012.[48]

The manga was also licensed in Australia by Madman Entertainment,[49] in Finland by Sangatsu Manga,[50][51] in France by Glénat,[52] in Spain by Planeta DeAgostini,[53] in Italy by Panini Comics under its Planet Manga imprint,[54] in the Netherlands by Glénat Benelux,[55] in Germany by Carlsen Verlag,[56] in Korea by Haksan Culture Company,[57] in Taiwan by Taiwan Tohan and in Brazil by Conrad Editora before it ceased after publishing two volumes.[58][59]

No.Japanese release dateJapanese ISBNEnglish release dateEnglish ISBN
1 September 25, 1982 (1st edition)[41]
August 25, 1983 (Revised)[60]
ISBN 4-19-773581-2October 1990 (Viz Graphic Novel)
March 10, 2004 (Editor's Choice Edition)[61]
ISBN 0-929279-58-1
ISBN 1-59116-408-7
  • Chapters 1-8
2 August 25, 1983[62]ISBN 4-19-773582-0October 1990 (Viz Graphic Novel)
March 31, 2004 (Editor's Choice Edition)[63]
ISBN 0-929279-59-X
ISBN 1-59116-350-1
  • Chapters 9-14
3 December 15, 1984[64]ISBN 4-19-775514-7October 1990 (Viz Graphic Novel)
May 5, 2004 (Editor's Choice Edition)[65]
ISBN 0-929279-60-3
ISBN 1-59116-410-9
  • Chapters 15-21
4 March 1, 1987[66]ISBN 4-19-777551-2October 1990 (Viz Graphic Novel)
June 2, 2004 (Editor's Choice Edition)[67]
ISBN 0-929279-61-1
ISBN 1-59116-352-8
  • Chapters 22-27
5 May 25, 1991[68]ISBN 4-19-771061-5October 1993 (Viz Graphic Novel)
June 30, 2004 (Editor's Choice Edition)[69]
ISBN 0-929279-98-0
ISBN 1-59116-412-5
  • Chapters 28-35
6 November 11, 1993[70]ISBN 4-19-773120-5December 1995 (Viz Graphic Novel)
August 10, 2004 (Editor's Choice Edition)[71]
ISBN 1-569310-95-5
ISBN 1-59116-487-7
  • Chapters 36-46
7 December 10, 1994[72]ISBN 4-19-770025-3January 1997 (Viz Graphic Novel)
September 7, 2004 (Editor's Choice Edition)[73]
ISBN 1-569311-97-8
ISBN 1-59116-355-2
  • Chapters 47-59
No.Japanese release dateJapanese ISBNEnglish release dateEnglish ISBN
1 November 30, 1996[43]ISBN 4-19-860561-0November 6, 2012[48]ISBN 9781421550640
  • Chapters 1-27 (Vol 1~4)
2 November 30, 1996[44]ISBN 4-19-860562-9November 6, 2012[48]ISBN 9781421550640
  • Chapters 28-59 (Vol. 5~7)


When serialization of the manga was underway and the story had proven to be popular among its readers, Animage came back on their promise not to turn the manga into an animation project and approached Miyazaki to make a 15 minute Nausicaä film. Miyazaki declined. Instead he proposed a sixty-minute OVA. In a counter offer Tokuma agreed to sponsor a feature-length film for theatrical release.[74] The film adaptation of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind was released on March 11, 1984. It was released before Studio Ghibli was established, but it is generally considered a Studio Ghibli film. Helen McCarthy has noted that it was Miyazaki's creation of the Nausicaä manga " ... that had, in a way, started the actual process of his studio's development".[75] The film was released with a recommendation from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).[76]

In his retrospective on 50 years of Postwar Manga, Osamu Takeuchi wrote that, in an ironic twist of fate, the Nausicaä film had been playing in theatres, at the same time as the 1984 anime adaptation of one of the illustrated stories Miyazaki had grown up reading, Kenya Boy [ja], originally written by Soji Yamakawa [ja] in 1951. Takeuchi observed that the release of its inspirational predecessor "would have been devoured" by Miyazaki's Nausicaä in a competition of the two works. He went on to note that, in spite of a brief Yamakawa revival around that time, the media for story telling had progressed and a turning point in time had been passed.[77]

The story of the Nausicaä film is much simpler than that of the manga, roughly corresponding to the first two books of the manga, the point the story had reached when film production began.[40] In his interview for Yom (1994) Miyazaki explained that he worked from the precept that a film requires an opening and a closing of the story. He stated that, within the confines he set for closing the story, he took the film's narrative up to Nausicaä's "Copernican turn (コペルニクス的転回, koperunikusutekitenkai)", which came after the character realises the nature of the Sea of Corruption.[78] There are significant differences in plot, with more locations, factions and characters appearing in the manga, as well as more detailed environmentalist themes. The tone of the manga is also more philosophical than the film. Miyazaki has Nausicaä explore the concepts of fatalistic nihilism and has her struggle with the militarism of major powers. The series has been interpreted from the views of utopian concepts, as well as religious studies.[79]

In The Christianizing of Animism in Manga and Anime, Eriko Ogihara-Schuck conducted a comparative analysis of the religious themes in the manga and the film. Ogihara-Schuck wrote that Miyazaki had started out with animistic themes, such a belief in the god of the wind, in the early chapters of the manga, had conflated the animistic and Judeo-Christian traditions in the anime adaptation, but had returned to the story by expanding on the animistic themes and by infusing it with a non-dualistic worldview when he created additional chapters of the manga, dissatisfied with the manner in which these themes had been handled for the film. Drawing on the scene in which Nausicaä sacrifices her own life, in order to placate the stampeding Ohmu, and is subsequently resurrected by the miraculous powers of these giant insects, Ogihara-Schuck notes that "Japanese scholars Takashi Sasaki and Masashi Shimizu consider Nausicaä a Christ-like savior, and American scholar Susan Napier considers her as an active female messiah figure". Ogihara-Schuck contrasts these views with Miyazaki's own belief in the omnipresence of gods and spirits and Hiroshi Aoi's argument that Nausicaä's self-sacrifice is grounded on an animistic recognition of such spirits. Ogihara-Schuck quotes Miyazaki's comments in which he indicated that Nausicaä's self-sacrifice is not as a savior of her people but is a decision driven by her desire to return the baby Ohmu and by her respect for nature, as she is "dominated by animism". Ogihara-Schuck concludes that in many of his later films, much more than in the anime version of Nausicaä, Miyazaki expressed his own belief in the animistic world view and is at his most direct in the manga by putting the dualistic world view and the animistic belief in tension and, through Nausicaä's ultimate victory, makes the animistic world view superior.[36]

No chapters of the manga were published in the period between the July 1983 issue and the August 1984 issue of Animage but series of Nausicaä Notes and The Road to Nausicaa were printed in the magazine during this interim period.[40] Frequently illustrated with black and white images from the story boards as well as colour illustrations from the upcoming release of the film, these publications provide background about the history of the manga and development of the film. 1984 was declared The Year of Nausicaä, on the cover of the February 1984 issue of Animage.[80][81]


Several other Nausicaä related materials have been released. Hayao Miyazaki's Image Board Collection (宮崎駿イメージボード集, Miyazaki Hayao imējibōdo-shū) contains a selection from the sketchbooks Miyazaki created between 1980 and 1982 to record his ideas for potential future projects. The book was published by Kodansha on March 20, 1983.[82] The Art of Nausicaä (ジ・アート・オブ 風の谷のナウシカ, Ji āto Obu kaze no tani no naushika) is the first in the art books series. The book was put together by the editorial staff of Animage. They collated material that had previously been published in the magazine to illustrate the evolution of Miyazaki's ideas into finished projects. The book contains reproductions from Miyazaki's Image Boards interspersed with material created for the film, starting with selected images related to the two film proposals rejected in 1981.[83] The book also contains commentary of assistant director Kazuyoshi Katayama and a summary of The road to Nausicaä (ナウシカの道, naushika no michi). It was released by Tokuma Shoten on June 20, 1984.[84] Haksan released the art book in Korean on December 29, 2000.[85] Glénat released the art book in French on July 7, 2001.[86] Tokuma Shoten also released the contents of the book on CD-ROM for Windows 95 and Macintosh, with the addition of excerpts from Joe Hisaishi's soundtrack from the film.[87][88]

The Art of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind: Watercolor Impressions was released by Tokuma Shoten on September 5, 1995. The book contains artwork of the manga in watercolor, a selection of storyboards for the film, autographed pictures by Hayao Miyazaki and an Interview on the Birth of Nausicaä.[89] Glénat released the book in French on November 9, 2006.[90] Viz Media released the book in English on November 6, 2007.[91] Viz's version of the book was released in Australia by Madman Entertainment on July 10, 2010.[92]

In 2012, the first live-action Studio Ghibli production, the short film Giant God Warrior Appears in Tokyo, was released, which shares the same fictional universe as Nausicaä.[93][94]

Kabuki play adaptation of the entire story of manga was performed in December 2019.[95][96]


In 1994, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, received the Japan Cartoonists Association Award Grand Prize (大賞, taishō), an annual prize awarded by a panel of association members, consisting of fellow cartoonists.[97][98]

The manga has sold more than 10 million copies in Japan alone.[97][99] After the 1984 release of the film adaptation, sales for the manga dramatically increased, despite the plot differences between the two works.[100] In the spring of 1994, shortly after serialization had concluded, a combined total of 5.27 million Nausicaä tankōbon volumes had already been published. At the time Volumes 1 through 6 were in print. Volume 7 was not released until January 15, 1995. By 2005, over 11 million copies had been released for all 7 volumes combined.[101][f]

Nausicaä was included by Stephen Betts in the comic book–centered reference book 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die, who said of the series:

Miyazaki's sepia-inked art is precise, delicate, and detailed. He achieves an incredible dynamism and motion across the page. The rich array of characters, multiple themes, and densely interwoven plot ensure that the message, while worthy, is nuanced. Exploring conflict, politics, and religion, Miyazaki achieves a grand, epic sweep that is rarely seen in comics, and particularly in such a stunning action comic. Yet he also manages to keep the whole story accessible and relevant through the human qualities of his timeless heroine.[104]

Setre, writing for Japanator, said "Nasuicaa [sic] is an amazing manga. And no matter what you may think of Miyazaki this story deserves to be read. It has great characters (some of which could star in their own series), a great sense of adventure and scale, and an awesome story."[105]

In his July 14, 2001 review of Viz Media's four volume Perfect Collection edition, of the manga, Michael Wieczorek of compared the series to Princess Mononoke stating, "Both stories deal with man's struggle with nature and with each other, as well as with the effects war and violence have on society." Wieczoek gave a mixed review on the detail of the artwork in this, 8.08 in × 5.56 in (20.5 cm × 14.1 cm) sized, edition, stating, "It is good because the panels are just beautiful to look at. It is bad because the size of the manga causes the panels within to be very small, and some of these panels are just crammed with detailed artwork. That can sometimes cause some confusion about what is happening to which person during an action scene."[47][106] The Perfect Collection edition of the manga is out of print.[107]

In his column House of 1000 Manga for the Anime News Network (ANN) Jason Thompson wrote that "Nausicaa is as grim as Grave of the Fireflies".[107] Mike Crandol of ANN praised the manga stating, "I dare say the manga is Hayao Miyazaki's finest work ever—animated, printed, or otherwise—and that's saying a lot. Manga allows for a depth of plot and character unattainable in the cinematic medium, and Miyazaki uses it to its fullest potential."[108]

Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi has cited the manga and film as an influence on his series.[109]

In the Coda On Your Mark and Nausicaa to their April 1999 lecture series on manga, anime and the works of Miyazaki at the University of Dallas Pamela Gossin, Professor of Arts and Humanities, and guest instructor Marc Hairston, research scientist in the William B. Hanson Center for Space Sciences, discussed On Your Mark, the music video Miyazaki created for the song of the same title by Japanese duo Chage and Aska and drew parallels to the Nausicaä story, its titular character and its conclusion. Gossin and Hairston interpreted the release of the winged girl at the end of the music video as Miyazaki setting free his character in a manner reminiscent of William Shakespeare's symbolic liberation of his characters, through Prospero's release of his servant Ariel in his play The Tempest.[110] Miyazaki started creating On Your Mark the same month the seventh volume of the Nausicaä manga was released.[111]

Kyle Anderson of Nerdist describes the setting as a steampunk post-apocalypse.[112] Philip Boyes of Eurogamer describes the technology in Nausicaä and Castle in the Sky as dieselpunk.[113]


  1. ^ See in particular Miyazaki's answer to Saitani's question: "Were you asked, from the beginning, to draw the comic with the intention of it becoming an animated work?"[8]
  2. ^ Mentioned as Minoru Kobayashi (小林稔, Kobayashi Minoru) in the Japanese Webcat Plus database and in Hayao Miyazaki's Watercolor Impressions. In the Japanese edition on page 150 and in the English edition on page 149.[14] On page 150 in the French translation of Watercolor Impressions book and on some Nausicaä related websites, the translator's name is given as Yataka Kobayashi.[15]
  3. ^ The Japanese name for the Sea of Corruption 腐海 (fukai), consists of the kanji for decay and sea. Also translated as Toxic Jungle or Sea of Decay in manga translations and in the film's subtitles. Miyazaki mentioned its origin in the interview published in Watercolor Impressions.[22]
  4. ^ In the interview with Ryo Saitani, published in 1995, Miyazaki very briefly mentions discussing the use of pencil with Hideo Ogata, chief editor of Animage at the time, in the context of their talks on the development of the manga and his desire to quit creating it. Ogata persuaded Miyazaki to continue.[8]
  5. ^ Volume one was published as Animage Special, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind ((アニメージュ増刊 風の谷のナウシカ).[42] Subsequently released volumes were published as Animage Comics Wide Ban, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (アニメージュコミックスワイド判 風の谷のナウシカ).[41]
  6. ^ In Yom, the publication statistic is broken down by published tankōbon: Volume 1 and 2 combined, 1.3 million; Volume 3, 1.2 million; Volume 4, 1.1 million; Volume 5, 870,000; Volume 6, 800,000. This adds up to a combined total of 5.27 million tankōbon volumes published for the entire series up to that point in time. [102] Seiji Kanō cites the following numbers as of March 2005: Volume 1, 1.85 million; Volume 2, 1.8 million; Volume 3, 1.7 million; Volume 4, 1.6 million; Volume 5, 1.45 million; Volume 6, 1.31 million and volume 7, 1.3 million.[103]


  1. ^ "The Official Website for Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind". Viz Media. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  2. ^ McCarthy 1999, p. 30.
  3. ^ McCarthy 1999, p. 39.
  4. ^ McCarthy 1999, p. 219; Comic Box November 1 1982, p. 111; Animage June 10 1983, pp. 172,173.
  5. ^ Miyazaki & Takahata 2009, p. 249; Kanō 2007, pp. 37ff, 323.
  6. ^ DVD Japan 2003; DVD UK 2005; Art 1984, p. 8; Miyazaki 1996, p. 146; Miyazaki 2007, p. 146; Haraguchi 1996, p. 35.
  7. ^ McCarthy 1999, p. 73; Saitani 1995, p. 9.
  8. ^ a b Saitani 1995, p. 9.
  9. ^ Miyazaki 1996, p. 149; Miyazaki 2007, p. 149.
  10. ^ Ryan, Scott. "Origin". Team Ghiblink. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  11. ^ Yom June 1 1994, p. 3.
  12. ^ Shipley, Joseph T. The Origins of English Words: A Discursive Dictionary of Indo-European Roots. Baltimore, Maryland: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011, p. 160
  13. ^ Miyazaki 1996, p. 149; Miyazaki 2007, p. 150; WebcatPlus 1979; Miyazaki 2006, p. 150.
  14. ^ Miyazaki 1996, p. 149; Miyazaki 2007, p. 150; WebcatPlus 1979.
  15. ^ Miyazaki 2006, p. 150.
  16. ^ a b c Cavallaro 2006, p. 48.
  17. ^ Miyazaki 1982, p. End paper; Miyazaki 1995; McCarthy 1999, p. 74.
  18. ^ McCarthy 2006, p. 70.
  19. ^ McCarthy 1999, p. 48.
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