Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
Nausicaa is a young princess in the Valley of the Wind. She’s the heroin of the story, where she actively does her best in saving the valley of the wind, and nature in general, from an aggressive kingdom named Tolmekia.
The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, where industrialization has poisoned the soils of the earth to the point where jungles and its creatures (predominantly insects) have mutated. Everyone in this world knows that jungles are poisonous, and actively tries to avoid being in the jungle, and also they FEAR the jungle, especially its largest creatures known as the Ohm (creature with multiple red eyes in the picture)
Biggest Theme: Ecology
Since the environment has become toxic, everyone in the world fears it. Everyone wears a mask that prevents him or her from inhaling toxic air emitted from the jungle. However, this is not the case with Nausicaa and The Valley of the Wind.
Nausicaa is unafraid of the jungle. On the contrary, she is compassionate and caring for the jungle and its creatures. She admires the beauty of the jungle, and regularly visits it. Having these values in her, and being so respected for her compassion and intellect, the citizens of The Valley of the Wind learns from Nausicaa’s values. That is why the people of the valley learn to live in peace with nature.
The Valley of the Wind, naturally having constant flow of wind, is free from the toxic air. But I don’t think that this solely attributes to the valley’s geographical position; it also attributes to the people’s relationship with the jungle and its creatures. In the movie, when the Tolmekians sparked a war with all parties including the Ohms, the Valley of the Wind experiences no wind for the first time.
Later on, when Nausicaa comes back to the valley to save her people, she again uses her kindness to calm the Ohms down. Although she was greatly wounded from the war, the Ohms, having healing powers, chose to heal Nausicaa because of her kindness. Ultimately, the wind returned to the valley.
I feel that Miyazaki, the writer and director of this movie, is trying to convey that we not only have to be kind to human beings, but also nature and all of its beings too. It takes one person to affect an entire village of people, so if we adopted this behavior, we could affect even more people, and soon it will also improve our environment.
Other Notable Themes:
Science and Technology
The entire setting of the movie is based upon human’s irresponsible use of technology. This technological abuse has corroded the soils and mutated nature. I also think that the reason to why technology has destroyed the earth is due to human’s need for instant gratification. This is emphasized in the movie when the Tolmekians tried to revive the same disastrous technology that destroyed the earth – The Great Warrior. However, the attempt for reviving The Great Warrior has backfired during the war, and the Great Warrior died almost instantly upon being summoned.
Relationship between the Sexes.
While romance between male and female characters can be spotted, it is not actively displayed through the movie. The movie, however, showcase women in power and , ultimately, women who save the day. While it does have male characters in it, they are almost all supporting characters to the female leaders. For example, when the Tolmekians caught Nausicaa, she did manage to get free through the help of a male friend named Asbel. However, after that, Nausicaa proceeds to save an entire village of people through her flying skills, her intellect about nature, her compassion for the creatures, and her self-developed technique in taming the creatures.
I really enjoyed this animation, and I would recommend everyone to watch the movie!