Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind (Editor's Choice Edition) Vol. #03 -

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Mania Grade: A+

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  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 9.95
  • Pages: 154
  • ISBN: 1-59116-410-9
  • Size: A4
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind (Editor's Choice Edition) Vol. #03

By Eduardo M. Chavez     November 20, 2005
Release Date: May 01, 2004

Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind (Editor's Choice Edition) Vol.#03
© Viz Media

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

What They Say
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 finds herself on the edge of despair as she comes to realize the full extent of the ecological destruction that's ravaging Earth. Meanwhile, Queen Kushana of Torumekia plots to lead her troops back to the Imperial capital and seize the crown. Nausicaa agrees to join Kushana and her people in the fight against the Doroks and her scheming brothers.

The Review
Presented in its original right to left this new printing is now in A4 size (Japanese manga magazine standard). Viz uses the original cover art framed below the title. A portrait of Kushana rifle in her battle gear – helmet and scale mail. 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 do respect 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 (though she does seem to develop into a woman through the seven volumes of this series). Knowing that we will see her often, there really is no need to give her much detail. The rest of the cast have more distinguishing features: mustaches, beards, scars, intricate costumes and accessories.

As familiar as Miyazaki's art looks to fans of his animated work (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.

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.

As expected, this translation from Toren Smith and David Lewis is wonderful. Full of detail and expression everything sounds just right. This translation does not use honorifics but the substitutes used work very well with the context of this story.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
In this world Miyazaki has created, quickly being engulfed by a monster created by humanity in its uncontrolled greed and growth, there are few rays of hope. Whole communities are being threatened from an array of threats. There are wars being fought over the remaining resources available. There are issues creating food and finding clean water to survive on. And then there is that Sea of Corruption that is threatening the lives of most of the living organisms left on this version of Earth. Most people are working to save themselves, only seeing what is directly in front of them.

Nausicaa consistently attempts to see the whole picture. She has the wisdom of someone who can see the real threat to this planet. She has the respect to open her heart to all sides of this story, as to find compromise and hope where most living things might not have thought there were none. Nausicaa is there to communicate with the insects that have grown to fear and hate humanity. Nausicaa is there to risk herself to save the last members of tribe on the verge of being consumed by corruption. Nausicaa is there to give those who are fighting for their land an opening, a chance to move forward and take back what is theirs.

So whether it is leading the charge against an enemy attack, or it is sacrificing herself in front of a mutant insect Nausicaa represents the unconditional spirit of a world lost (but one that is remembered by everyone who meets this young lady).

This volume basically solidifies Nausicaa’s place in history as one of the greatest heroines in modern fiction. As an individual she not only is willing and capable of fighting to defend what she believes is right and just. But she is also willing to listen and understand to others openly. There is no prejudice from this young woman. She cares for life unconditionally. And as we see in this volume, she is willing to sacrifice herself to guarantee the chance for others to keep on fighting to make a living in this world.

This is a world that is attempting to correct itself by starting all over again. It is a slow methodical process where the Earth begins to cleanse itself from the core – the plant and animal life is used as food for fungus that cleans the earth and the water for future growth.

But Miyazaki sees this change as a viable answer. The arrogance of humanity seems to know no end. Therefore, he is not shy to show how civilization, through its advancements science and its relentless need to consume, has not only created this mess, but some within appear to be speeding up the process. This civilization pits brothers against each other for power, each one struggling for control in a world that is slowly dying. Where was the foresight, when there are bigger issues to overcome?

Nevertheless, Nausicaa refuses to give up. She understands all of this and sees the potential benefits, but to her as long as there is a will to live there needs to be those who stand up and fight. She represents hope, compassion and strength; all that is needed to make a better future. Her will is strong enough to influence the powerful. She is compassionate enough to risk herself for those without a chance. She is courageous enough to lead armies. Her character carries this title and it gives a chance for Miyazaki's readers to experience an epic story through the eyes of someone with an open mind and heart.


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