Mar 15, 2011

Themes of Hayao Miyazaki's Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

Hayao Miyazaki's began created Nausicaa in manga form in 1982. He finished the last chapter of the manga in 1994, spending his time in between working on Studio Ghibli films. In 1984, after reading the first few chapters of the manga, Miyazaki was asked if he wanted to make Nausicaa into a film. Miyazaki originally refused the offer. He then agreed, but only if he could direct the film.
Nausicaa is the story of a post- apocalyptic world that had been destroyed by humans. Several "tribes" of humans still live in small settlements scattered about. One of these world is the Valley of the Wind, where Princess Nausicaa lives. She is a young woman who is skilled with fighting as well as talking to the creatures that live in the valley. Part of the world is an area called the Toxic Jungle. Nausicaa, believes there may be answers to finding a way for humans and nature to communicate there. One day an airship crashes near the valley and a fight breaks out between several human groups. Nausicaa learns of a secret, that the Pijet kingdom is making a weapon they call the Giant Warrior. Nausicaa feels that she must help protect the world from an em-pending war, like the prophesy of the world says.
Miyazaki's film had strong environmentalist undertones, as well as a reference to Japan, post WWII. The world Nausicaa lives in has been ravaged and there is little clean water. These images evoke the thought of post war environmental issues. This is also made clear by the use of showing the type of devistation nuclear weaponry can cause. In Nausicaa, this is show with the giant warriors energy blast.
Another theme Miyazaki has been know to use and is present in Nausicaa is his view toward powerful, heroic female characters. Nausicaa is a great example of this. Nausicaa is a skilled fighter, which can me seen when she take revenge for her father's death, but is also a kind and giving character. She is seen making one of the worlds large insects calm by simply keeping calm herself and charming the creature.



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