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Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Vol. 1 Paperback – February 11, 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Hayao Miyazaki is one of Japan's most beloved animation directors. In 2005 he was awarded the Venice International Film Festival's Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement, and his Studio Ghibli received the festival's Osella Award for overall achievement in 2004. Miyazaki's films include Spirited Away, winner of the 2002 Academy AwardA(R) for Best Animated Feature Film, as well as Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle, and Ponyo, all of which have received great acclaim in the U.S. Miyazaki's other achievements include the highly regarded manga series NausicaA of the Valley of the Wind and Starting Point: 1979-1996, a collection of essays, interviews, and memoirs that chronicle his early career and the development of his theories of animation. Both are published in English by VIZ Media. "

Hayao Miyazaki is one of Japan's most beloved animation directors. In 2005 he was awarded the Venice International Film Festival's Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement, and his Studio Ghibli received the festival's Osella Award for overall achievement in 2004. Miyazaki's films include Spirited Away, winner of the 2002 Academy AwardA(R) for Best Animated Feature Film, as well as Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle, and Ponyo, all of which have received great acclaim in the U.S. Miyazaki's other achievements include the highly regarded manga series NausicaA of the Valley of the Wind and Starting Point: 1979-1996, a collection of essays, interviews, and memoirs that chronicle his early career and the development of his theories of animation. Both are published in English by VIZ Media. "
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: VIZ Media LLC; 2nd edition (February 11, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591164087
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591164081
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.5 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tina Fields on February 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
This graphic novel is as rich a world-creation as any I've seen. It contains surprising plot twists which often hinge on some character's psychological growth, and new and interesting life-forms which evolved from genetic engineering experiments.

"The Sea of Corruption was the new world .. an ecological system born in the polluted wastelands created by civilizations long past. Only the great insects could live amongst the giant fungi and the miasma they exhaled, and so the earth was slowly submerging beneath that decaying sea .. A thousand years had passed since the mammoth industrial civilizations of the past had diminished, and faded into the dark vastness of time. It was the closing of the Ceramic Era."

Set in the post-apocalyptic kingdom of Torumekia, it begins in the Valley of Wind, where our soon-to-be heroine Nausicaä is flying around in her mehve (a glider). She gets a telepathic message of pain and anger, and sets out to find its source. It took me awhile to get into the story, but when I did, I was hooked.

Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind is full of political intrigue, subtle psychological interactions, war strategy, and big explosions in the air. It also contains surprising episodes with the numinous, including encounters with an evil man both in ordinary physical reality and in non-ordinary reality, where he appears as dark energies; a surprising journey down the gullet of a giant bug leading to the Buddhist PureLand; and another trip to a trickster place where nothing is as it seems. Encounters with holy beings are here, as well as with political beings masquerading as holy. The best parts, though, are these:

1) Many of the strongest characters, including the protagonist heroine, are young women and girls.
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Format: Paperback
I can flip through a typical "trade" graphic novel (usually a compilation of six issues of a monthly book) in less than an hour. I found myself luxuriating in the dense richness of Miyazaki's world and sometimes only getting through a dozen pages in an evening. The concentration of writer and artist in a single voice mean that there are no throwaway panels that serve just to stretch out dialogue, nor dialogue that seems there only to fill up a panel... When you read this work, you'll realize the weakness inherent in the separate writer/artist system so common in comics - writers (verbal people) often just can't pace a story visually like a graphic artist can. True, Miyazaki's dense dialogue is a little forced and unnatural at times, but the story and imagery unfolding before you literally have no precedent in the world of art. There are not many works which reward this level of attention: Maus, or the complete Akira collection, are the only ones that come to mind.

I had avoided this work for years, somehow getting it confused with fluff trash like Escaflowne or something. Not so. Recommended.
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Format: Paperback
Master of Japanese animation Hayao Miyazaki found himself without any film prospects on the horizon in 1982 and so agreed to begin work on a manga (comic) story to be serialized in the popular Japanese animation magazine, "Animage." After going on for thirteen years, in 1995 the beautiful and moving epic "Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind" finally came to an end. Now collected into seven trade paperback volumes preserving the same back to front, right to left reading format of the Japanese originals, in terms of scope, grandeur and emotional impact, this science fiction/fantasy saga is the "Lord of the Rings" of comics (and since comics are both written words and pictures, this analogy holds true whether the comparison is with J.R.R. Tolkien's books or Peter Jackson's films). I have not been this enraptured by a work of graphic literature in a long time, if ever, and the experience was one of the most engaging and moving I have ever had in any form of fiction.

Nausicaa is a Princess in the Valley of Winds, located near the borders of the Sea of Corruption, a dense jungle of fungus that constantly releases a miasma of poisonous spores deadly to anyone but the giant insects who live there. The environment has been devastated by a global war, the Seven Days of Fire, that took place in the distant past, and now the few remaining human settlements vie for what little inhabitable land is left.

Nausicaa is a remarkable character in a story filled with remarkable characters. She is a pacifist in the truest sense of the word, not only rejecting violence and war as a means of solving problems, but having a calming effect on both the animals and people she encounters.
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Format: Paperback
Nausicaa takes place in a fantasy world. It is an ecological failure in some post-apocalyptic, post-technological world. The kingdom wrestles its living from the scorched earth, even as the "corrupted" forest advances. A young girl must take control, although women have never ruled. There is a force within her --

The eco-fable gets a bit thick at times. Also, the narrative seems to jump, as if the writer just stepped past some plot hurdle that the reader must leap. Still, the story flows fairly well. Most transitions make sense, or will make sense in a moment.

I value good artwork, and this is good. It's "black and white", but black is replaced by a warm brown. The paper also has that held-back character: unfussy, and not so bright that the ink color gets lost - a thoughtful compromise. The few color spreads remind me of Moebius, but Miyazaki's artwork is unique.

Miyazaki has done some relatively recent movies - notably 'Spirited Away' - that cemented his reputation as visual storyteller. Movies like that, even with computer aid, are expensive, though. Studios want to see a proven performance record before speculating on the next production. Nausicaa, I'm sure, is part of why the studios chose to back his movies, or at least the first.

This comic is enjoyable in its own right. It's even more enjoyable when seen as one piece of Miyazaki's ouvre, and one moment in his career as story-teller.

//wiredweird
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