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Jason Thompson's House of 1000 Manga - Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind


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Shay Guy



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 500

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:16 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
humans and nature may always be at war.


Of course humanity struggles with nature. Nature struggles with nature.

That said, I've still only read the first of the seven volumes. Maybe someday...
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ss-hikaru



Joined: 16 Nov 2010
Posts: 267
Location: Western Australia

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:33 pm Reply with quote
I read volumes 2 and 4 from the library a long time ago and didn't really get it. I think it was probably due to the jumps from volume to volume as well as my age at the time. But recently I have been thinking about buying this series, it's just that in Australia it's pretty expensive Anime cry

Thanks for the spoiler warning Jason Anime smile
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Asrialys



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 893

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:43 pm Reply with quote
Read this years ago and don't really remember that much from the spoiler. Might be because I read all seven volumes straight, through the middle of the night. Should revisit and take my time.
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Ingraman



Joined: 07 Feb 2005
Posts: 988

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:03 pm Reply with quote
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And giant caterpillars.

Is that a reference to the Ohmu (or just "Ohm" as Disney called 'em)? I never once thought of them as caterpillars, so I'm wondering. Nothing else comes to mind, though... ^^;

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Originally printed magazine-size in Animage, it's so full of detail that it can only really be enjoyed in an oversize edition, like Viz's current seven-volume set. (Viz did an older four-volume small-size edition which is thankfully out of print.)

Preceding that four-volume set was another (flipped) seven volume edition that gave each book a slipcover. It was an attractive edition, which I still have. I never bothered to buy the four-volume version for myself, since it paled in comparison (aside from the fact that it was an unflipped release). I did buy Viz's larger-format seven volume version, which used a brown/beige paper and ink similar to a/the Japanese release rather than the usual black ink on white paper, when Viz got around to releasing it. I'll still dream about a translated one- or two-book hardcover edition getting released some day (IIRC, there might have been something like that in Japan several years ago).

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[Nausicaä is] a skilled glider pilot.

I'd say that she's a skilled pilot, period, since she handles the Valley's gunship quite well, too. I'm not sure how she'd do with the larger transport aircraft seen regularly throughout the story, but I would have liked to see her fly the Torumekian corvette, too, since that also seems to be fairly nimble. ^_^

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but I *have* heard anime fans arguing passionately about whether or not she wears pants under her skirt (answer: she wears flesh-colored leggings).

They're idiots. Even when I first watched the Nausicaä movie on a multi-generation-degraded VHS fansub, I could see that her leggings/pants were a slightly different color when compared to her face or hands.
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bj_waters



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 190

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:04 pm Reply with quote
I actually like Princess Mononoke because it's morally ambiguous!!

I definitely agree with Jason on this one. Nausicaa (the manga) is almost a forgotten masterpiece and, in my opinion, is much better than the movie (then again, I read the manga first so I felt the movie was cut down and simplified the story of the manga too much). I know it's not Miyazaki's or Ghibli's style but I would love to see the manga recreated in an epic tv series of some kind.

I've always felt that Nausicaa manga to be the Lord of the Rings of manga: the epic story, the rich characters and world, etc. I must accept, though, that the Dune comparison is probably more accurate in terms of contextual comparison.

Great article, Jason. I just might forgive you for not loving Yozakura Quartet as much as I do.
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wandering-dreamer



Joined: 21 Jan 2008
Posts: 1718

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:06 pm Reply with quote
I've got five out of the seven volumes now and I keep meaning to grab the last two, thankfully it's not that hard to find. Funny enough, the first time I read the series I marathoned it too, but not because I wanted to; a friend from school lent me volumes 2-4 of the original release from her library the day before school got out and, since I wasn't going to see her all summer I had to read them all in one night. Cue highschool freshman me reading most of the series in two hours, I think my eyes were spinning when I was done with all of that....
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Anime World Order



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 354
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:29 pm Reply with quote
Ingraman wrote:
They're idiots. Even when I first watched the Nausicaä movie on a multi-generation-degraded VHS fansub, I could see that her leggings/pants were a slightly different color when compared to her face or hands.


The "is Nausicaa wearing pants" issue was a contested issue "back in the day," and to be honest I can't really blame people for thinking what they did. Let's face it, shots like this and this make people do a double-take even on the remastered editions. Between the Nausicaa thing and Clarisse in Cagliostro, I can see Hayao Miyazaki's involvement in planting the seed of the lolicon / moe movement in Japanese animation. I'd always heard that Studio Ghibli actually went back and drew additional details like back pockets on some of these shots, but I've never seen a version of the anime with these alleged alterations...

...because after having read the Nausicaa manga to completion over a decade ago when I was still in high school, I have never been able to bring myself to re-watch the anime movie ever since. It's not as though that movie isn't awesome or anything. But if I had to name the best thing Hayao Miyazaki ever created, it might actually be this manga instead of any of his anime work. That's how good it is, and to go back to the movie with the knowledge of what Kushana's character "really is" makes it hard for me to judge the film on its own merits. It's exactly like how when people who are huge fans of The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter see the movies and feel kind of let down that some of their favorite elements of the original were removed or altered.

I first bought the Nausicaa manga via Viz's original 7 volume dustcover jacket editions. Those were near impossible to get a complete set of even in the early 1990s. I actually had to mail $20 cash to Australia to procure Volume 2 (the fact that the money made it and that I actually did receive the book is a small miracle). The 4-volume "Perfect Collection" editions Jason speaks of in the article were actually released after that. I ended up giving the Perfect Collection away as a gift, but the current edition with the unflipped artwork, full-sized magazine page artwork that retains the watercolor pages, and original SFX is THE definitive English-language edition. (Man. I bought this entire manga 3 times over!)
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pachy_boy



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 776

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:55 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
The ending of Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke suggests (1) that there is no good or evil, just different sides fighting;


I must digress completely, for that was not the point I saw watching it. What the industrialists were doing were wiping out the forest spirits, which is genocide no matter how you interpret it. The Forest spirits fight dirty back, but it's all to protect their existence. At least that's how I remember it, it's been so long and I've blocked the movie mostly from memory because it irritated me so much.

But it's the only Miyazaki movie I disliked, and I'd be inclined to agree that Nausicaa is his best work. I haven't read the manga, but thanks to Jason Thompson now I'll be waiting for the next Viz sale on Right Stuf.
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 1913

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:06 pm Reply with quote
I'm honestly not generally a fan of manga and haven't gone out of my way to read any series, but Nausicaa is just about the only one I'd like to make an exception for. I absolutely adore the movie, and getting the chance to see Miyazaki fully flesh out his world and further its story sounds fantastic to me.
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Ingraman



Joined: 07 Feb 2005
Posts: 988

PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:29 am Reply with quote
Anime World Order wrote:
Ingraman wrote:
They're idiots. Even when I first watched the Nausicaä movie on a multi-generation-degraded VHS fansub, I could see that her leggings/pants were a slightly different color when compared to her face or hands.


The "is Nausicaa wearing pants" issue was a contested issue "back in the day," and to be honest I can't really blame people for thinking what they did.

The Nausicaä movie was one of the first things I saw back in 1991, just after I got into anime as anime (rather than anime as Robotech or various other US-adapted shows). I remember being surprised to see that some people were saying that she wasn't wearing pants, because I felt that the movie clearly showed that her legs were covered. It wasn't explicit (no watching Nausicaä putting her pants on), but it was obvious to me.

Quote:
Let's face it, shots like this and this make people do a double-take even on the remastered editions.

While watching the new Blu-ray release, I can see the difference in the colors of her pants/leggings and skin. I suppose that once you know the obvious differences, it can't confuse you.

Quote:
That's how good it is, and to go back to the movie with the knowledge of what Kushana's character "really is" makes it hard for me to judge the film on its own merits.

I don't have any issues with watching the movie on occasion, but that's one of many disappointing parts of the story relative to the manga. The movie's Kushana is dwarfed by the manga's Kushana (ignoring the fact that I'm in love with Sakakibara Yoshiko's voice ^^; ) The movie was needed for the manga to continue, but it builds so many bridges to connect so little of the manga's story that it's not nearly as good as it might have been had it been produced a few years later.

Quote:
I first bought the Nausicaa manga via Viz's original 7 volume dustcover jacket editions. Those were near impossible to get a complete set of even in the early 1990s. I actually had to mail $20 cash to Australia to procure Volume 2 (the fact that the money made it and that I actually did receive the book is a small miracle).

Congrats in getting them, then. I don't recall any particular difficulties in getting those books from a local comic shop (who even put the dustjackets in clear paper-backed 'plastic' covers). The copyright dates for the seven books seem to be '89, '90, '90, '90, '93, '95, and '97 (although I'm not certain if those are the publication years or not). I also bought the standard comic book/pamphlet issues for the full series.

Quote:
[...] the current edition with the unflipped artwork, full-sized magazine page artwork that retains the watercolor pages, and original SFX is THE definitive English-language edition. (Man. I bought this entire manga 3 times over!)

The pages of Animage are still larger than the most recent Viz Nausicaä books, IIRC, but the Editor's Choice editions are the best that the manga has looked here in the US.
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taster of pork



Joined: 11 Nov 2008
Posts: 424
Location: American Empire

PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:32 am Reply with quote
I loved the Nausicaa movie and I've wanted to read the manga for years. Being a nature and animal lover, the story's message really moved me. After reading this article, I'm not waiting anymore to read the manga.

Last edited by taster of pork on Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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ridiculus



Joined: 16 Jul 2010
Posts: 72

PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:34 am Reply with quote
I often agree with Jason Thompson's recommendation, but I couldn't disagree more this time. Nausicaa is one of the most overrated manga I know. It isn't bad by any means, but it isn't excellent either. The story is good and the world is great, but those are building blocks of any narrative medium - some technical skill is required as well. Miyazaki is great... as an illustrator. As he was eager to call Tezuka "an amateur" in the matter of anime, so he was an amateur in the matter of manga. And he was aware of that. Only his fans weren't. Rolling Eyes "An empty space" is necessary unless you want saturation. As in music - there have to be moments of silence... (if you want to be subtle, that is).

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In contrast to the quick-to-read style of most manga...


Quote:
Plenty of mangaka think that 'cinematic' manga means Slow manga, stretching out conversations and fight scenes for hundreds of flipbook pages.


These two sentences are clearly in contradiction, I think.

P.S. The greatest influence on Miyazaki was Daijiro Morohoshi, I think, but he is better in controling the flow of the story and readers' emotions.


Last edited by ridiculus on Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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Saturn



Joined: 08 Aug 2002
Posts: 446

PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:38 am Reply with quote
I think I would like Nausicaa more if I hadn't had to read the entire series for a class. In the span of 2 weeks. In a huge poorly-photocopied book ._.
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BleuVII



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 672
Location: Tokorozawa, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:02 am Reply with quote
When I list my favorite manga, I feel like I have to exclude this one from the list, because it just surpasses the others so much. It really is its own entity. I have the entire 7-volume set, which I was able to get for about $90 (I live in Japan, so importing the English version cost a bit more than just buying it from Amazon). I read it once every two years, and each time, it manages to be amazing. I hated the ending the first time, but have grown to like it in the time since then.

Thanks for making people aware of this masterpiece of art, that you may or may not label as "manga".
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Moomintroll



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 1600
Location: Nottingham (UK)

PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:37 am Reply with quote
I love Nausicaa. It's a phenomenally intelligent, nuanced, astute and sympathetic work and stunning (if very, very dense*) from an aesthetic point of view too.
I've rated hundreds of manga series here on ANN but Nausicaa is one of only two or three that I ever thought deserved a "masterpiece" rating - it's really nice to see it get such a considered write up here and I certainly hope a few more people discover just how good it is for themselves as a consequence. I might just have to find the time to re-read it myself.

(*: I'd certainly agree that, both visually and textually, it feels closer to the traditions of bande dessinée than it does to most manga)

Jason Thompson wrote:
Of his other manga, most are very short, and only one has been officially translated into English: The Age of the Flying Boat, the prototype for Porco Rosso, a short Color manga which was published in the now-defunct Animerica magazine in the 1990s.


There is actually one other obscure Miyazaki manga available in English - another colour short story called Dining In Midair. It's a history of in-flight catering that he did, if memory serves, for a Japanese airline that's included in the Starting Point 1979-1996 collection of his essays and interviews that Viz put out a year or two back.
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