Nausicań of the Valley of the Wind (Kaze no Tani no Nausicań) is an epic post-apocalypic Science Fantasy manga and anime movie by Hayao Miyazaki. In a world dominated by a caustic jungle full of huge (horse-sized to town-hall-sized!) and dangerous insects, one of the few places left habitable is the Valley of the Wind — a place where toxic spores produced by the jungle are kept from settling by the incessant breeze. The crash of a gigantic airplane into the valley leads to an invasion by Torumekia and the revelation of a secret that could destroy what's left of humanity, if not the world...Visually inventive and quite gripping, the heroine — the eponymous Nausicań — eventually learns a Green Aesop about how Gaia knows best.The success of the movie — Miyazaki's first independent work — led directly to the founding of Studio Ghibli and inspired Chocobos; it's also where Hideaki Anno got the prototype for the EVAs (since he actually was the lead animator for the inspiring scene).Nausicań suffered from a Macekre in its first English dub: characters were renamed, the aesop was turned into a fragfest, and over half an hour of the film that lacked any sort of actionwas thoroughly excised. The resulting mess was titled Warriors of the Wind, and this particular Macekre led to Studio Ghibli's current policy to not allow their films to be cut for international distribution. (The current English version is provided by Ghibli's North American distributor — Disney — and it is uncut and unaltered.)Two video game adaptations of Nausicań were released; both were generic top-down shooters, which greatly offended Miyazaki, since the games openly subverted the message of his film. He has never allowed video games to be made from his films since.
Alien Blood: The Ohmu have blue blood. This becomes relevant during the climax of the film, and early in the manga. Later on, the blue blood of the Crypt of Shuwa becomes just as significant.
Anachronism Stew: A sword-swinging cavalry charge is usually backed up with machine gun fire from levitating 'bell jars'. Not to mention that the Torumekian gunship pilot uniform consists of full medieval-style plate armour complete with a conical visor helmet.
Justified, as most of the more advanced technology in use is centuries old, and the making of things like the engines for airships and machine-guns is becoming a lost art. At best, some people have a working knowledge of how to repair them.
There are scenes in the manga where the characters make a point to salvage ship engines with one character remarking that the whole plane could be reconstructed around the salvaged engines. In addition most armor and swords are stated to be ceramic, containing futuristic metallic composite, or made from Ohmu shell (which is supposedly the hardest substance available and acts like a bulletproof ferro-ceramic composite making the plate and scale armors of the comic a sensible retro-modern adaptation). There is even a mine centered around a downed star ship that harvests the metal of the star ship for armor and blades.
Barehanded Blade Block: Lord Yupa does this to prevent a slaughter aboard a ship, taking a sword point in the forearm, through his armor. Despite Yupa's calm, unflinching demeanor, Nausicań is the only one who notices the blood dripping from the hilt, and the shudder of pain in Yupa's body, showing the extent Yupa will go to to keep the peace.
Beware the Nice Ones: In the film, all semblance of the compassionate, loving and unconditionally kind Nausicań gets ripped away when her father is murdered: In her place emerges a rampaging beast in the guise of a Princess, who proceeds to slaughter the soldiers responsible. This is even more pronounced in the manga, where Nausicań's father only dies later of natural causes and she flies off the handle simply because the soldiers were trespassing on her kingdom and getting spores everywhere. She only kills one guy, though.
BFG: Averted, for the most part. A notable exception is when Nausicań briefly hefts a heavy machine gun to enforce compliance. It's a good bet that the thing weighs only a little less than she does.
Honorable mention goes to the Valley's gunship, which is less a fighter plane and more a derringer on wings that fires artillery shells for bullets.
Bug War: In the film, anyways. Torumekia is trying to destroy the bugs because the spores they spread are swallowing up their territory. In the manga they're at least smart enough to realize the futility of fighting against a force of nature and start a war with the Doroks to try and take their territory instead. Either way, the typical portrayal of the bugs as mindless monsters is subverted six ways from Sunday. The giant bugs are probably some of the nicest folks in the entire story, and this shows by the end of the movie.
Butt Monkey: Kurotowa early in the story. Whenever things seem to go his way or he gets a good line, something blows up. Usually right beside him.
Charm Person: Nausicań, which is why the Ohmu listen to her and no other human.
Cool Old Guy: Master Yupa, in times of peace. He's seen as a wise and experienced mentor whose advice everyone seeks, from mothers who want to name their babies to kings and chieftains older than he is.
Coat, Hat, Mask: Master Yupa wears an outfit like this when Nausicań first meets him, which makes sense since humans have to wear gas masks at all times to protect themselves from the Toxic Jungle.
Evil Is Visceral: The laser-spitting organism is very much this. Subverted with the rest of the creatures, when it turns out that humans can live together with them peacefully.
Expy: Nausicań is one of Maki Oyamada, a character in the final episode of the 2nd series of Lupin III, "Farewell, Beloved Lupin". She even shares the same voice actor, Sumi Shimamoto. Of course, this episode was made by Hayao Miyazaki.
Master Yupa explicitly alludes to this when Nausicań, consumed by rage, takes on the exact same attitude as an angry Ohmu.
Friend to All Living Things: Nausicań takes this much further than most. She's able to calm the rage of rampaging giant insects in addition to being able to befriend cute-looking animals.
Friend to Bugs: Nausicań is sympathetic toward the giant insects of the poisonous forest, particularly the dinosaur - sized Ohmu. In a flashback scene, she's shown trying to keep a tiny ohmu as a pet as a small child, and tried to hide it from adults.
Gaia's Lament: The Earth has been devastated by what appears to be a nuclear war and remains heavily polluted and almost unlivable. The humans' inability to get along with the Ohmu (attempting to destroy their home) leads to Gaia's Vengeance.
Implausible Fencing Powers: Nausicań. Whether wielding an ancestralBFS longer than she is tall, or her signature Ohmu-shell blade, she's a whirl of destruction all on her own. Only Master Yupa stands above her.
Lost Technology: Pretty much all the technology, actually, including the God Warriors and the M÷we: light enough to be carried, strong enough to survive hundred-foot drops, and apparently runs on Aether. Not much for safety, though. Its fuel consumption is also probably quite low, as it only fires its thruster in short, periodic bursts for acceleration and takeoff.
No OSHA Compliance: Justified in that the OSHA died out along with Industrialized Civilization. The Pejiti excavcation is really not safe and has a lot of accidents, including one of Kurotowa's soldiers falling a hundred or so feet to his death in front of him.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Every single time an insect, particularly an Ohmu, is hurt, will bring on an onslaught from the bugs. See Implacable Man above for how it's deliberately used by the warring nations.
Science Hero: Nausicań, to an extent. As the scene in her underground greenhouse shows, she's able to solve the problems between humanity and the Ohmu because she understands them and realizes why the balance of nature needs to be preserved.
In the manga, while the scientists who are responsible for the world's current state almost certainly caused more problems than they solved, their creations are shown to be just as capable of kindness and wisdom as any natural lifeform.
In both versions, Nausicań dabbles in botany and chemistry, using science to determine that the plants of the toxic jungle are not actually toxic.
Surrounded by Idiots: The men under Kurotowa's command seem to be rather incompetent, which annoys him to no end.
Sword and Gun: All over the place, including the knife and rifle carried by Nausicań herself. Guns are used as ranged weapons and swords as melee weapons (and in an interesting twist, the guns are rather archaic but swords are incredibly durable).
At the very end of the manga, it's revealed that the Heart of the Crypt was programmed this way. It was built to raise an entire ecosystem that would wipe Earth clean of its creators' mistakes, and then destroy said ecosystem so the original humankind could be resuscitated to rule the world again. And it's willing to kill the current humans to do so.
The Holy Emperor also started out like this, thinking he could fix the world's problems and bring peace to everyone. Sadly, he was only the Heart of Shuwa's Unwitting Pawn and quickly slipped into authoritarian (and genocidal) rule.
In the film, the Pejitei were this. They were prepared to destroy their own capital city and the Valley of the Wind if it meant annihilating the Ohmu.
Word of Miyazaki states that Nausicań's resurrection near the end of the movie was not meant to be analogous to Jesus and that he would have changed it if somebody had pointed out the similarities before the film came out.
Specific to the manga
Adipose Rex: The king of Torumekia and all of his sons.
A God Am I: The Holy Emperor, as well as the Heart of the Crypt of Shuwa.
Baby Doll Baby: Kushana's mother went mad after taking a poisoned drink intended for her daughter. At their last meeting before Kushana left for war, she was treating a doll as her child.
Badass Preacher: The Dorok priest Chiruka leads most of the Dorokian campaign. Might also qualify as High Priest, since he was partial to the Council of Monks that ruled just below the Emperor.
Barbie Doll Anatomy: A few panels of Nausicań topless while coming out of a bath in the Hidden Garden.
Bare Your Midriff: Nausicań at the end of Book 6 and part of Book 7, thanks to Heedra tearing her shirt off during an attack.
Blinded by the Light: Nausicań uses flash grenades to stun the Ohmu and convince them to leave her people alone, since she's not willing to kill them. It works much better than trying to do so anyway.
Later on in the film, the people of the Valley use them against the Torumekians and capture a tank.
Blob Monster: The Doroks genetically engineer a mold that escapes containment, becomes semi-sentient, and could attack airships by stretching from the ground upward.
Blood-Splattered Innocents: A variation: Nausicań's borrowed Dorok outfit, originally sienna red, is completely drenched in Ohmu blood when she tries to pacify the kidnapped Ohmu larva and keep it from plunging into the Acid Sea, fulfilling the Messianic prophecy of a person "clad in blue." Add some trimmings and modifications, and it becomes her signature outfit until near the end of the manga. Then, her new outfit is covered in the blood of the Heart of the Crypt, which is a shade of blue even deeper and more vibrant than the Ohmu's.
Disney Villain Death: Subverted with the Holy Emperor's still-living head last seen talking jovially whilst falling from an airship into the Sea of Corruption. Subverted because he claims his head must also be destroyed by force before he can die.
Dressing as the Enemy: After she's captured by the Dorok refugees, Nausicań trades clothes with a sympathetic Dorok girl in order to escape and stop the Ohmu from rampaging into the Valley.
The Final Temptation: Nausicań's (involuntary) stay in the Garden. Just being there saps visitors of their determination, soothing their hearts to the point they forget their mission and even friends who have just died.
Heroic Sacrifice: More so in the manga, with the Holy One dying to buy Nausicań and the others time to escape, and Lord Yupa first losing an arm to a grenade and then using his entire body to shield another person from several melee attacks.
Heroic R Ro D: Ohma's constant use of his power erodes his body by the second.
Hidden Depths: The two surviving sons of the King of Torumekia, at first glance, looked like two extremely lazy royalties who don't do anything. But both of them actually have great appreciation for high culture and both of them are pretty good with musical instruments.
Hidden Elf Village: The Forest People, who live in quasi-mystical symbiosis with the Sea of Corruption.
Intimate Healing: Nausicań saves a Torumekian soldier who was poisoned by the miasma by taking the poisoned blood from his lungs via mouth-to-mouth.
Inferred Holocaust: The defeat of the Crypt of Shuwa marks a subtle endgame scenario. Selm tells Nausicań that the center of the forest, where the toxins have been cleansed, is uninhabitable by the present humans, plants, and animals. Everything was modified to survive along side the forest, and cannot survive in the cleansed world. The forest will survive, but all mankind will perish. The final confrontation reveals the Crypt's plans to restore the world to its pre-Days of Fire state using its "eggs", preserved animals and humans, which are destroyed by Ohma. Without the advanced engineering the Crypt possesses, humanity is doomed to slow extinction. This fulfills Nausicań's role as the Blue-Clad One: the prophecy is revealed in the fourth book to not be of a messianic savior, but an angel of death and release, harbinger of the ultimate end.
And yet, Nausicań assures him that though he believes humanity is doomed to destruction, life may just find a way without the interference of the Crypt. In fact, her own experiments about the Sea of Corruption, as well as the Dream of the Ohmu, point to a world where the current humanity can indeed exist in a world already purified by the forest. It is only the Crypt of Shuwa which calls her on destroying (the old) humanity's chances, but the Heart of the Crypt isn't exactly the best judge of character nor does it care for (or desire) the current humanity's survival.
Light Is Not Good: The God Warrior Ohma's "light" is actually deadly radiation. It's even worse when it tries to fly, because its light-wings are blinding-white.
Ludicrous Gibs: Quite a few deaths, including one poor soul who rode into the path of a massive siege gun.
Not Quite Dead: Kurotowa, after being severely injured and thrown around like a rag doll from a moving airship, is rescued by Kushana. It takes him a while to recover completely.
Not-So-Harmless Villain: Rather spectacularly, Kurotowa manages to pull this off in the space of his first appearance, going from a seemingly buffoonish lackey to proving himself dangerously competent. If he pulled the switch any faster, he wouldn't count at all.
Nuclear Weapons Taboo: The God Warriors. Somewhat averted in that they are actually radioactive, and merely being in their presence is akin to standing next to an open reactor.
Offscreen Inertia: The twin princes of Torumekia that opt to stay in the Garden, playing the old world's music and reading the compiled literary classics, are never mentioned again once Nausicań leaves.
Path of Inspiration: The religion founded around the Crypt of Shuwa. All "holiness" that radiates from it is actually a plotby the Heart of the Crypt to cleanse the world and bring the old mankind back.
Person of Mass Destruction: Again, the God Warriors. Made even more evident in the manga, when the single Warrior that awakens during the story is given an actual name (Ohma, "innocent") and personality (The Arbiter.)
Prophecy Twist: "And that one shall come to you garbed in raiment of blue and descending upon a field of gold..." But the prophecy didn't foresee that the "raiment of blue" would only be so because it was drenched in Ohmu blood, and the "field of gold" consisted of the shining, golden feelers of the innumerable Ohmu gathered below and around Nausicań. Even the tapestry depicting the prophecy tries to subvert the audience's expectations by displaying The Messiah as a male figure of Middle Eastern appearance with some sort of brown pheasant perched on his shoulder.
Psychopathic Manchild: The God-Warrior that Nausicań basically raises. When she has to raise her voice, the building sized radioactive engine of destruction starts cowering with its hands on its head, whimpering that Mommy is angry. She wasn't even yelling at him. After she named him, he became much more intelligent and controlled.
Take That: Miyazaki's dim view of militaristic themes in anime probably had something to do with the fact that a city built around the pathetic, rusted-out shell of the Space Battleship Yamato features prominently in the manga.
Telepathy: Quite a bit, with the boy Chikuku, the Holy Emperor's brother Miralupa, the Forest People (Selm in particular), and Nausicań to a small degree.
Winged Humanoid: Explicitly averted and ridiculed: when Nausicań is identified as The Messiah by a throng of religious people, they wonder where her (prophesized) angel wings are. Chikoku angrily states that only a monster would have wings and that, instead, Nausicaa's white glider fills this role.
Youngest Child Wins: Nausicań is the youngest of twelve children, and is the only one that lived long enough to become an adult.
Zip Me Up: Kushana asks Nausicań to fasten her armour at one point in the manga. Les Yay? Of course.
Specific to the movie
Adaptation Distillation: The movie was released in 1984. The manga began in 1982 and was only finished in 1994. The first two volumes written when the movie was released contain no plot resolution. Thus the movie contains a neat two hour version of the critical themes Miyazaki wished to use, given that he made both manga and movie.
Badass Pacifist: Film Nausicań. Most of the time she prefers to solve her problems nonviolently, and the one time she used a weapon to kill (after her father died) she was overcome with guilt. She does use a gun to threaten the Pejite, though. Manga Nausicań, though, was less reluctant about using weaponry or suggesting airships be attacked.
Body Horror: The incomplete God-Warrior melts as it fires.
Cool Old Lady: Obaba, when she's told to run and hide when the valley is being invading, immediately replies that she'd rather stay right there.
Creative Closing Credits: The film details life in the Valley returning to normal as the invaders peacefully leave. The final shot is of Nausicaa's cap lying next to a tree sprout, implying that the world is healing.
Crucified Hero Shot: When Nausicań risks her life to stop the Pejitenote In the manga, they were members of the Dorokian Mani tribe from destroying the Valley, she flies at them on her glider with her arms outstretched and gets shot twice. She gets better though.
Catch Cam Clarke as Asbel (there known as Prince Milo) in the HBO dub.
Hollywood Cyborg: Movie!Kushana's arm, legs and an unspecified portion of her lower body including where her reproductive organs used to be have been replaced with cybernetics after being eaten by a bug.
Infodump: At the beginning of the film, Nausicań delivers a monologue about the world of the series in Expospeak.
Karma Houdini: Kushana and Kurotowa just walk away after all is said and done.
Not So Different: Nausicań outright tells the Pejitei they aren't any better than the Torumekians when they reveal their plan to destroy the Valley, which they don't take kindly to hearing.
Nude-Colored Clothes: Nausicań's tights are tan-colored. For a while, there was a persistent belief that she was actually naked under her skirt (which would be unfortunate considering the number of times it flies up while she's piloting her glider).
Save the Villain: Nausicań rescues Kushana when their ship is going down. This turns out to have serious consequences later on.
Spell My Name with an S: The names of just about every character and location in the film can vary depending on the translation. In some extreme cases, this leads to a Dub Name Change (ie. the Toxic Jungle vs. Sea of Corruption).
Canon Discontinuity: Warriors of the Wind was so horribly mangled that Miyazaki himself advises that fans forget that version ever even existed. This led to an amusing incident with a katana sent through the mail to Miramax exec Harvey Weinstein during the production of the English version of Princess Mononoke, advising him "No cuts."
Covers Always Lie: The cover◊ had nothing to do with the plot of the movie - not even the patchwork one in the dub itself.
Dub Name Change: The Warriors of the Wind dub changed the names of most of the main characters
Nausicań became Princess Zandra
Kushana became Queen Selina
Azbel became Milo
Uncle Mito became Axel
The God Warrior became the "Fire Demon"
Ohmu became "Gorgons"
Yupa and Kurotawa kept their original names, although Kurotawa was almost exclusively referred to as "The General" in the dub.
Defictionalization: The Opensky Aircraft Project, a group of amateur aviation enthusiasts in Japan who are attempting to create a working version of the M÷we and have gotten as far as unpowered glide tests, but are apparently having some problems with the jet assist. Ghibli apparently offered them official endorsement, but they declined because they didn't want Miyazaki and his crew to get in trouble if things went bad and somebody died during testing. As of May 14, 2010, they have put the jet engine into the glider and have tested it out.