On March 11 1984 and with a length of 116 minutes director Hayao Miyazaki brought us Kaze no Tani no Naushika, also known as Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind in the west. A film full of exotic settings, impactful music and a timeless story about courage and compassion in the face of danger.
Based on the manga of the same title, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is an epic masterpiece that meant the beginning of Studio Ghibli. A thousand years after a global war, a seaside kingdom known as the Valley of the Wind remains one of only a few areas still populated. Led by the courageous Princess Nausicaa, the people of the Valley are engaged in a constant struggle with powerful insects called ohm, who guard a poisonous jungle that is spreading across the Earth. Nausicaa and her brave companions must strive to restore the bond between humanity and nature. Being a classic, there are a lot of beautiful Nausicaa goods that have been released during the years. Following are some of the nicest ones:
- Nausicaa Collectors Box LE
- Nausicaa Manga Deluxe Boxed Hardcover Edition
- Nausicaa Manga Regular Editions
- The Art of Nausicaa
- Nausicaa Water Color Collection
- Nausicaa Attack Ohmu
- Nausicaa on Mehve - Cominica Ghibli Image Model Collection VII
Nausicaa Collectors Box LE
The first picture is a picture of the Japanese Nausicaa Collectors Box LE which was released the 5th of December 2003 and as you can see it's beautiful. It was available at price of 24,800 Yen, but is out of print now and can only be bought second hand. To give you an overview of the content of the Nausicaa Collector's Box LE, it comes with the regular Japanese 2-disc DVD of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind plus a large framed watercolor by Miyazaki himself, a ceramic statue of Nausicaa, a Giant God Warrior image soft DVD Case and a Ohmu bug model by Cominica.
In addition to the Nausicaa Collectors Box LE a smaller collectors box was also available. This one was released on 19 November 2003, could be bought for 7800 Yen and is known as the Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind Figure Set. Just like the Nausicaa Collectors Box LE it’s out of print so it’s only available second hand. It contains the Japanese 2-disc DVD of Nausicaa plus another soft case and the same Nausicaa ceramic figurine as the more expensive LE box. If you’d like purchase this box second hand be aware! Taiwan also released an exact copy of the set and several bootleg versions have been made as well.
Nausicaa Manga Deluxe Boxed Hardcover Edition
The Nausicaa Manga Deluxe Boxed Hardcover Edition was printed in 1996 and perfectly matches with the Nausicaa Collector's Box Set and even though they are completely written in Japanese, I love 'em! As you can see their dust jackets have " Nausicaa" in a silver finish printed on them. Each volume has several color pictures, printed on bleached paper in the original dark brown ink which makes it the best version available today.
Below some pictures showing the actual manga and as you can see the art is beautiful, not even talking about the story. The Nausicaš Manga is the starting point of the Miyazaki world! Nausicaa was serialized in the monthly magazine "Animage" published by Tokuma-Shoten since 1982. It is a lyrical epic about the human and nature, taking place on "the earth 1000 years after the gigantic industrial civilization had faded away. It ran for 13 years and stretched to over a thousand pages. This masterpiece, virtually unknown by the general western public, attracted the attention of artists around the world. In France, for example, Moebius became a major and vocal fan.
Miyazaki took 13 years to finish the manga, though he did set the manga aside several times to make movies. A great many things happen after what happened in the movie. Even the part depicted in the movie is much more complicated in the manga. In the manga, there is a war going on between two superpowers, Torumekia and the Dorok Empire. Nausicaa was a part of Kushana's invading force, which she joined as the chieftain of the valley to keep the old treaty between Torumekia and the valley (so Torumekia was basically an ally, not an enemy). Most of the story then takes place in the land of Dorok. The Doroks are the ones who tried to cause the Ohmu stampede to crush Kushana's army to defend their land from the invasion. Nausicaa didn't even die at this point. In the manga, there are no simple dichotomies such as valley vs Torumekia, good vs evil, or nature vs man. Many characters, such as Kushana, Ghil, and the God Warrior have very different fates and roles than in the movie. And the ending will likely surprise you and make you think. It's a great work of art and thought. You will enjoy it very much.
Nausicaa Manga Regular Edition
Besides the Japanese Nausicaa Manga Deluxe Boxed Hardcover Edition, there's another edition I'd like you to know about. It is the English edition which has been released by Viz. There have been several English editions available and if you don't know then the most logical one the pick would be the "Perfect Collection", but it is not! Please do not even bother thinking about buying this version, the pages were reduced in size so the artwork suffered; the sound effects were translated from Japanese into English, requiring alteration of the art work; and the images were flipped to make the book read from left to right (manga read from right to left), which was yet another alteration of the original art work. Additionally, the number of volumes was reduced from seven to four and black ink was used instead of the original dark brown. Anyway, below some pictures of the version you do need to get and here's a link to Volume 1 at Amazon.com.
The Art of Nausicaa
The Art of Nausicaa is part of the Studio Ghibli “The Art of...” book collection. It’s published by Tokuma Shoten and was first released in 1984. The book is paperbound, but printed on high quality glossy paper. With a total of 252 pages, it contains a variety of sketches, storyboards, background information, and cel reproductions (with backgrounds).
It can be bought for price around 2650 yen, for example at Amazon (ISBN: 4-19-814560-1). The book gives you more insight in the movie and is a must have for every Studio Ghibli fan, though in terms of art the Nausicaa Watercolor Collection is nicer. Following are some nice pictures from the book.
Nausicaa Water Color Collection
The Nausicaa Watercolor Collection (Kaze no Tani no Naushika Suisai Gashuu) is a lovely book that was first released by Tokuma Shoten in 1996. It’s available at Amazon.co.jp (ISBN: 4-19-810001-2) at a price of 2900 Yen. It contains 330 absolutely beautiful color illustrations from "Nausicaa" (soft cover, 30 x 23 cm (12 x 9 inches), 208 pages).
The first third of the book features illustrations used for posters and manga covers. Next to each illustration there’s a commentary by Miyazaki. The second third features image boards for the movie. The final third features a seven-page interview with Miyazaki followed by 46 pages with over 190 concept sketches. These sketches provide a fascinating window into Miyazaki's preliminary ideas for the Nausicaa saga. Amidst this treasure trove of discarded and unused ideas are experimental costumes and vehicles, prototype ship designs, and bits saved for later movies.
Extra bonuses: a guide matching Animage issues to the Collected Volumes, a reprinted diagram from the Japanese edition not published in any of the English translations, and four autobiographical cartoons about creating Nausicaš. Under the dust jacket, the book's cover shows the covers of the eight Animage magazine issues that featured Nausicaa on the cover.
Nausicaa Attack Ohmu
Another creation by Cominica: the Nausicaa Attack Ohm. It's almost the same as the version that comes with the Nausicaa Collectors Box LE, only the box and the Ohmu's eyes are red which means it's going to attack. The kanji (Chinese characters) used for Ohmu are "King" and "Insect", so it means "King Insect" or "King of Insects". Reading those kanji as "Ohmu" is a bit unusual. According to Miyazaki, the sound "Ohmu" came from "Oh Mushi" (king insect), "Ohkii Mushi" (large insect), "Sando Uomu" (Japanese pronunciation of "Sand Worm" from "Dune"), "Aum" in Buddhist belief, and others.
In 1983, Miyazaki's editor Yasuyoshi Tokuma, decided to adapt the story for the big screen, and Miyazaki agreed to direct. From May 31, 1983 to March 6, 1984 an emblematic heroine of modern Japanese animated cinema was born and a second boom of Japanese animation was launched when the 11th of March 1984 Nausicaa (or in Japanese Kaze no Tani no Naushika) started screening in Japanese theaters.
Nausicaa on Mehve - Cominica Ghibli Image Model Collection VII
Over the years Japan’s master Ghibli merchandise producer Cominca has made several Image Model Collections. Part VII is Nausicaa riding her "Mehve" which refers to the German word "Moewe" and means "seagull" in English. The model is available at several shops, like for example at J-List.