Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind (Editor\'s Choice Edition) Vol. #02 -

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Mania Grade: A

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  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: All
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 9.95
  • Pages: 134
  • ISBN: 1-59116-350-1
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind (Editor\'s Choice Edition) Vol. #02

By Eduardo M. Chavez     July 16, 2004
Release Date: April 01, 2004

Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind (Editor\'s Choice Edition) Vol.#02
© Viz Media

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Hayao Miyazaki
Translated by:David Lewis and Toren Smith, Joe Yamazaki and Kaori Inoue
Adapted by:

What They Say
NAUSICAA is an epic environmental cautionary tale by Academy Award winner Hayao Miyazaki, creator of SPRITED AWAY and PRINCESS MONONOKE. This masterpiece is now available in a new edition in its original Japanese format!
In a long-ago war, humankind in its hubris, set off a devastating ecological disaster. Thriving industrial societies have been swallowed up and the Earth is slowly submerging beneath the expanding Sea of Corruption, an enormous toxic forest filled with mutant fungi that release a miasma of poisonous spores into the air. Nausicaa, a compassionate young princess, and her allies battle to heal a wounded world and its inhabitants.

Nausicaa, a gentle but strong-willed, young princess, has an empathetic bond with the giant Ohmu insects, who open their hearts to her. In her quest to create peace among empires fighting over the world's remaining natural resources, will Nausicaa be able to interpret the Ohmu's urgent warning about the southern forest? And what of the war which rages all around her?

The Review
Viz uses the original cover art framed below the title. A portrait of Nausicaa rifle in her hands with her furry friend Teto on her shoulder is quite telling of what to expect in this volume. The opposite cover has the same image shrunk and cropped up to the right of the blurb.
Logo Check!! (2003 Megs)... Viz's original logo really works. While not has heavy a font as the original it retains the same feel (similar to a type writer using a Times Roman font).
Inside, this version features a wind rider costume detail on the inside cover and a fold out color poster with Nausicaa on one side and Kushana on the other. In the outside cover there is a sketch of Nausicaa in her traditional Valley of the Wind clothing. Printed in brown tone this A4 sized graphic novel is presented just like the original format. I wish this was done more often by Viz.

While Miyazaki's character designs do not appeal to me, I respect the their simple beauty. Like a master mangaka his main character is as simple as can be. Nausicaa's designs are cute and not nearly as mature as her mind. Knowing that we will see her often there really is no need to give her much detail while the rest of the cast have more distinguishing features: mustaches, beards, scars, intricate costumes and accessories. As familiar as Miyazaki's art looks (he designed the characters for most of Ghilbi works) this manga is really entire his personal masterpiece. Ink shading, detailed backgrounds, subtle layout and wonderful expressions make this look like an extremely detailed storyboard but with the dialogue sharing as much as the visuals. After reading this manga the contrast in regards to art is so obvious - there is art in every panel, characters, backgrounds, and layout always there with detail.

Presented in its original right to left this new printing is now in A4 size (Japanese manga magazine standard).
SFX have been translated in a glossary at the back of the book. Viz's glossaries feature the literal kana translation as well as an appropriate translation into English. Nice. Because of the art of this series I really appreciate Viz doing this for this series.

The text is pretty good. With a good amount of the characters being from the Kansai area Ironcat decided to give the dialogue a "Texas drawl." I do not mind too much, but I could not help but wonder if some of the text was actual dialogue or added "drawl."

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Having found a way out of the vaults underneath the Sea of Corruption, Nausicaa and Asbel are off riding the winds searching for others to meet with. Unfortunately for them, they are found first by what initially appears to be a hostile fleet. As what is becoming a habit lately, Nausicaa reacts violently to this situation and does not regain her control until she finds herself in the presence of the priest of this Dorak tribe. The priest, long blind, can see into the hearts of others much like Nausicaa can. Their connection soon ends the violence, but puts Nausicaa and Asbel under the custody of this group.

This tribe does not want to go to war, but the circumstances have put them in a position where they have no other choice. All that is left of their lives is here in the few airships that are playing the roles that they have been given in this game. So when the battle catches up with them in the form of Nausicaa's friends, there is only one choice: make haste to stop this war at whatever costs.

Fate has its own way of changing things, and almost as soon as Nausicaa met with her people again she was off distracted by the current disaster. Much like the wind itself, Nausicaa comes and goes determined by the pressures around her. Now with Dorak's provoking the rage of the Ohmu and turning it against the unknowing Torumekian troops, Nausicaa's only answer is saving the Ohmu and the Torumekians even if it means bringing them all closer to destruction. But her actions, so unconditional and so unrelenting, she commands the attention of her allies and enemies. The Ohmu understand her intentions, no matter how violent they may look on the surface, and repay her for her compassion and for sacrificing her life for one of their own. Their thanks is beyond the imagination of any man. Even the Dorak priest she met moments earlier was moved so much by this event which he could not see, but felt from afar, that he would eventually give his life to insure that Nausicaa's beliefs remain strong for others to experience.

News of the failed mission traveled to the Doraks quickly. Tribes were now arguing amongst each other, blaming the other group for their mismanagement and the delay in their plans. But now there is a faction within willing to put everything on the line to end this war and protect people who do not wish for war, like Nausicaa.

Whether it is the characters - Nausicaa courageous, compassionate, mature but still inexperienced and ignorant to the other "truths" around her; Kushana's strength, power and respect for her people cannot be doubted; Yupa is skilled, independent and noble; Kurotawa may be cunning but his talents are obvious and his personality while twisted occasionally expresses sympathy - are well rounded, perfect for drawing audiences to the fantastic drama of this tale, and also to be easy to relate to the faults and vices. The writing which is full of twists and turns set in a desperate Earth of the future, that could be interpreted as the future many of us can imagine coming as humanity goes about changing nature. And finally the art is so full of detail it contributes to the story as much as the writing does. All together one would have to search hard to find faults with this Miyazaki masterpiece.

With every volume more and more of the tale that was not presented in it's film is unveiled. And with every new story line, new character, new plot twist I am just enthralled. Miyazaki's vision of war, spirituality, sacrifice and compassion is so powerful I have to say his wonderful film is completely put to shame in comparison. A movie alone could not do this title justice and Viz's reproduction of this manga series is full of love for this grand tale. The level of quality is above almost every title seen translated in North America. This is one title everyone should get in their collection.

Highly Recommended


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