Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1982) and related work:
- Adaptation: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1982)
Miyazaki Hayao (writer-artist).
A masterpiece of ecological soft science fiction. Though genetic engineering features so heavily that it has remade practically the entire terrestrial ecology of the Earth, this is not the conservative GMO scaremongering of some popular SF and horror. This is a fiendishly clever, open-minded take on the subject.
References here: The Journey of Shuna (1983), Aliens: Outbreak (1988), Blame (1997), Rice Boy (2006), Always Coming Home (1985), Visitor of a Museum (1989), Mobile Police Patlabor: The New Files (1990), “On Your Mark” (1995), Princess Mononoke (1997), Ergo Proxy (2006), Tales from Earthsea (2006), The Tale of Iya (2013).
Earth is being devoured by a novel wilderness, foreign to humankind. A princess from a tiny peripheral kingdom is drawn into a war over the exhumation of a giant. It burned an earlier industrial civilization.
Environmentalist pacifist post-apocalypse SF/fantasy. Created by Miyazaki from the first quarter of his then-ongoing graphic novel. Anno did key animation for the kyoshinhei and had the use of Miyazaki’s moped—some sources call it a gift—based on his “Daicon IV Opening Animation” (1983).
A flawed, uncomfortably carefree film. To give you an idea of how much darker the graphic novel is, when a young girl is exhumed from her grave by filthy mercenaries who steal her possessions, the girl’s brother finds comfort in the fact that her corpse wasn’t raped.
Parts of the music are fantastic, others overuse the synthesizer. The shortened story is marked by fairytale traditions like monarchism and overloaded with improbable coincidences. The narrative also fails to communicate the supernatural power of Nausicaä, without toning it down. Her telepathy gets its own bubbles in the manga. The animation, although good, is clearly dated. If Nausicaä hadn’t survived in this version, it would still have approached a masterpiece.
References here: Ghibli movie titles, The title of Princess Mononoke, “Albatross: Wings of Death” (1980), Urusei Yatsura (1981), Bagi, the Monster of Mighty Nature (1984), Dune (1984), Arion (1986), The Story of Yanagawa’s Canals (1987), “Photon: The Idiot Adventures” (1997), The Iron Giant (1999), Blue Gender (1999), Ponyo (2008), Xam’d: Lost Memories (2008).