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The movie "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" conveys a powerful message.

Its enduring popularity is due to the timeless themes it explores.

By Atsushi TakakuwaPublished 5 months ago 5 min read

"Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" holds a unique place in discussions of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli's works. This film's significance is evident in the special regard it receives. In this piece, we will explore how "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" has extended its influence beyond the film itself to other forms of media. Its expansive presence across various media platforms sets it apart from other Studio Ghibli works.

-A summary of the movie "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" released in 1984.

A thousand years have passed since the conflict known as the "Seven Days of Fire”. The human race lives in constant fear of the "sea of decay," a vast expanse of overgrown trees emitting poisonous "miasma," and the dangerous "bugs" that inhabit it. The Valley of the Wind, situated on the shores of the Sea of Rot, is a serene and small nation. However, one day, a massive military vessel from the Tolmecia power crashes into the valley. Contrary to popular belief, "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" was not created by Studio Ghibli. Although it is now usually associated with Studio Ghibli's repertoire, "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" is not technically a Studio Ghibli production. This is due to the fact that Studio Ghibli was established in 1985, while "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" was released in 1984, preceding the establishment of Studio Ghibli. So, which animation studio is responsible for creating "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind"? The company, led by Toru Hara, was the predecessor of Studio Ghibli. It was dissolved when "Laputa: Castle in the Sky" was produced, and Toru Hara subsequently became a director at Studio Ghibli.

-"Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" originated from a manga.

Many may be surprised to learn that "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" is based on a manga of the same name, which was serialized in "Animage" magazine from 1982. The manga consisted of seven volumes, and the movie was created when the manga was still in its early stages at the second volume. Hayao Miyazaki's original intention in producing the manga was to adapt it into an animated film, which was not a common practice at the time due to the scarcity of precedents for original feature-length animated works.

-There used to be a PC game adaptation of "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind."

"Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" holds a unique place in Hayao Miyazaki's body of work, and surprisingly, it was also adapted into a video game in 1984, the same year as the film's release. At that time, personal computers were the norm for gaming, as opposed to today's dedicated game consoles. The PC-8801 featured an adventure game based on "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind," while the PC-6001mkII had a shooting game titled "Nausicaa Crisis," where players controlled a gunship. The MSX platform also had a shooting game called "Nausicaa of Forgetting," with similar gameplay of controlling a gunship. It's worth noting that the rumored urban legend about a game involving slaughtering king bugs is false, as none of these games fit that description. However, these adaptations are noteworthy as no games have been created based on Miyazaki's works since Studio Ghibli. Additionally, although not a computer game, Tsukuda Hobby once released a board game based on "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind."

-Giant God Soldiers, a classic movie adaptation.

The influence of "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" extended to other works, including "The Giant Warrior Appears in Tokyo," a short film by Hideaki Anno, known for "Neon Genesis Evangelion" and "Shin Godzilla." In this film, the Giant Warrior from "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" appears in Tokyo and devastates the city. It was featured alongside the exhibition "Director Hideaki Anno's Special Effects Museum: Showa Heisei Techniques in Miniature" and the film "Evangelion: Q." The scene where the Giant God Warriors stand together at the beginning of "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" is also noteworthy, as it mirrors a similar composition scene in "The Giant Warrior Appears in Tokyo." Notably, Hideaki Anno was involved in the production of "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" as an original artist and had aspired to create an additional film related to the story, leading to the realization of this project.

-"Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" is set to be adapted into a Kabuki production.

In 2019, a new Kabuki production of "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" was launched by Shochiku, more than 25 years after the original release. This adaptation was based on the manga version of the story and featured music by Joe Hisaishi, as well as a screenplay by Keiko Niwa, known for her work on various Ghibli films. The Kabuki performance was split into two parts and included a Japanese instrumental arrangement of the original film's music.

-Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is beloved by audiences of all ages.

"Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" expanded into various fields during its time, becoming popular even among those not of the generation when it was first released. The film's message remains timeless, as people still recall it in their daily news and social issues over 30 years after its release. The universal themes of interacting with nature, cultural development, and human survival contribute to its enduring popularity. The film's unique circumstances set it apart from Studio Ghibli's other works, ensuring its continued love and potential for future resurgence. Despite being the oldest work, "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" is a "work of the future" that may see more attention in the future.


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