Manga: Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind

Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind (Kaze no Tani no Naushika) is a 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 Ė 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 Ė the eponymous Nausicaš Ė eventually learns a Green Aesop about living in harmony with Gaia.

The success of the movie Ė Miyazaki's first independent work Ė led directly to the founding of Studio Ghibli and inspired Chocobos; it's also where Hideaki Anno got the prototype for the EVAs (since Anno was handpicked by Miyazaki to be the lead animator for the inspiring scene).

Nausicaš suffered a tremendous 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 action was 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 Ė Disney Ė and it is uncut and unaltered.)

Three video game adaptations of Nausicaš were released for the MS-X; two were top-down shooters but where Nausica does negotiations with human villages to prevent war and drop stun bombs (NOT bombs) on Ohmus as a strict self-defense measure. They were, however, mediocre in their gameplay, and flopped. As a result, besides a Future Boy Conan videogame adaptation, no further games based on Studio Ghibli movies were produced (not that it kept the studio from doing the art direction for other games, like Jade Cocoon for the PS1, among others). A very common Urban Legend has it that those games greatly offended Miyazaki, based on the wrong assumption that the games openly subverted the message of his film. The recent interviews following Ni no Kuni's release, and an actual look on those rare games by HG101, debunked these rumors, with Studio Ghibli even being open to a Castle in the Sky adaptation.


Tropes:

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    Common to both versions 

  • Ace Pilot: Nausicaš, of course. Also Asbel, impersonating the Red Baron
    • Kurotawa shows his skills in the manga, revealing himself to be more than the silly dandy he comes off as.
  • Action Girl:
    • Nausicaš spends much of her time exploring the poisonous and giant insect-infested forests. She also takes part in several battles and more than holds her own.
    • Kushana is a general who leads from the front and tends to be right in the middle of the hardest fighting.
  • Adapted Out: Oh, where to begin? Selm, Ohma, Namulith and the Doroks to name a few.
  • After the End: The post-apocalyptic story is set a millennium after the global catastrophe called the Seven Days of Fire.
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: Every significant faction has one, save the wormhandlers.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Lord Yupa uses one to overhear the conversation in the lab where the Giant Warrior is incubated.
  • Alien Blood: The Ohmu have blue blood. This becomes relevant during the climax of the film, where Nausicaš's blouse turns blue because of the blood from the infant Ohmu.
    • And early in the manga. Later on, the blue blood of the Crypt of Shuwa becomes just as significant.
  • Almost Dead Guy: Princess Lastel. She could only deliver a few lines before dying.
  • 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.
      • The starship is supposed to be the Yamato from Space Battleship Yamato.
  • Apocalypse How: Class 2 disaster, threatens to become a Class 3. Industrial civilization has obliterated itself from the world. The remaining kingdoms and empires are busily destroying each other through war, and the ever-expanding Sea of Corruption is making large areas completely uninhabitable to all animals except its own giant insects.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: The Torumekian nobility usually combines this with Villainous Glutton and maybe Dirty Coward.
  • Armies Are Evil: The Torumekians. The army of Pejite isn't much better.
  • Artistic License Ė Biology: Even if they are bio-engineered, arthropods simply cannot get that big; and even if they could, it's unlikely that they would have blue blood since hemocyanin is far too inefficient at conducting oxygen for such massive creatures.
    • Nor would there be much oxygen around for them to breathe, or the humans for that matter. Fungi, unlike plants, consume oxygen without creating any.
  • Badass Grandpa: Master Yupa, a very well-known (and feared, for good reason) Old Master and Master Swordsman.
  • Badass Princess: Nausicaš and Kushana, who can both face down giant insects and armies without flinching.
  • 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, Nausicaš 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 Nausicaš 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 Nausicaš'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.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The people of Pejite are trapped on the aircraft, waiting to be slaughtered away by the Tolmekian troops. Cue Lord Yupa who drops in through the roof hatch and single-handedly takes out all the Tolmekians.
  • BFG: Averted, for the most part. A notable exception is when Nausicaš 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.
  • A Boy and His X: Nausicaš and her pet Teto.
  • 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: Nausicaš, which is why the Ohmu listen to her and no other human.
  • The Chessmaster: The Heart of Shuwa, who dispenses ancient knowledge to its subjects (and Unwitting Pawns) to keep its plans moving according to schedule.
  • The Chosen One: Nausicaš, as foretold by the prophecy of "The Blue-Clad One."
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: If you see red insect eyes of any kind, someone is going to get screwed. If they're blue, your quest just got a lot easier.
  • 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 Nausicaš first meets him, which makes sense since humans have to wear gas masks at all times to protect themselves from the Toxic Jungle.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Heat doesn't seem to impress our Badass Princess much. Early on we see Nausicaš jump around the burning inferno of the airship that crashed into the valley. And again, when she and Mito are surrounded by a wall fire on the airship that was intercepted by Asbel.
  • Cool Plane:
    • Nausicaš's Mehve/MŲwe, a one-person flying wing that goes everywhere.
    • The Valley's Gunship gets its own share of the spotlight, too.
    • More generally, everyone uses aircraft with many engines and lots of guns that go from small "corvettes" to flying battleships and transports large enough to hold a large part of a tribe.
  • Cry into Chest: Nausicaš cries in Lord Yupa's chest after making her decision to shut down her hidden garden.
  • Daddy's Girl: Nausicaš appears to take after her father quite a bit, which is why she flies into such a rage when he's murdered by the Torumekians in the film version.
  • Days of Future Past: Of the Feudal Future variety.
  • Doomed Hometown: Pejite is destroyed by insects when Asbel returns to it.
  • Dual Wielding: A preferred style of Master Yupa, usually wielding a full or short sword and off hand main-gauche, or parrying dagger.
  • Emergency Cargo Dump: An engine-less cargo barge gets detached from its mothership during an enemy attack and starts to tank towards the ground where dangerous monster insects are located. In order to stop the sinking the crew start dumping all cargo from the badge.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When we first see Nausicaš rescuing Master Yupa from a Ohmu, she doesn't kill it, she only stuns it. Because she loves even animals.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Nausicaš, not that you could tell. Kushana, on the other hand...
  • Evil Counterpart: Kushana to Nausicaš. Both are princesses, but the former is scheming and ambitious while the latter is entirely selfless.
  • Empathic Environment
  • Evil Is Visceral: The Giant Warrior is very much this. Subverted with the rest of the creatures, when it turns out that humans can live together with them peacefully.
    • Even the God Warrior's evilness is subverted in the manga. It's not so much evil as a child, and its death by its own radiation while Nausicaš comforts it is one of the sadder moments of the story.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Through an Air-Vent Passageway Lord Yupa is able to overhear a conversation that's going on in the lab where the Giant Warrior is incubated. He learns all he needs to know about the crashed aircrafts.
  • Expy: Nausicaš is one of Maki Oyamada, a character in the final episode of Lupin III (Red Jacket), "Aloha Lupin". She even shares the same voice actor, Sumi Shimamoto. Of course, this episode was made by Hayao Miyazaki.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Mito has one.
  • Faceless Goons: The Torumekian soldiers, whose helmets cover everything from the neck up.
    • Whilst almost any 'generic enemy' is faceless behind their masks or armour, the amount of headgear (or lack thereof) that they wear in more casual situations is pretty much inversely proportionate to how friendly they are with Nausicaš. Including a Torumekian princess, a Dorok high priest... hell, even a small unit of Worm Handlers.
  • Fantastic Nuke: The God/Giant Warrior's mouth beams.
  • A Father to His Men: Kushana to the Third Army, especially in the manga.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: Do not stand in front of a red-eyed Ohmu. Seriously.
    • Master Yupa explicitly alludes to this when Nausicaš, consumed by rage, takes on the exact same attitude as an angry Ohmu.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Nausicaš 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: Nausicaš 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.
  • Fungus Humongous: The Sea of Corruption.
  • 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.
  • Garden of Evil:
    • The Sea of Corruption, at least at first.
    • In the manga, Nausicaš considers the Hidden Garden to be uncomfortably close to this.
  • Ghibli Hills: The Valley. The rest of the world, though, tends to Scenery Gorn more often than not.
  • Heavenly Blue: The "Blue-Clad One"
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Nausicaš, trying to stop the Ohmu attack but instead getting killed in the stampede.
  • Humongous Mecha: The God Warriors qualify as much as the Evangelions do (and in fact, Hideaki Anno worked on both).
  • Humans Are Bastards: Played with. It's more "Humans were Bastards" and "Most Humans Are Bastards". Even the Doroks have people on their side who aren't bastards.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The Tolmekians pilots trying to hit Nausicaš on her glider but failing miserably.
  • Implacable Man: Any enraged Ohmu. Actually used as part of a plot to spread the Sea of Corruption on an enemy country.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Nausicaš. Whether wielding an ancestral BFS 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.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Again, Nausicaš, oh so much. She doesn't carry a rifle in her glider for ballast.
    • One early example: shooting a rope hanging from a moving vehicle with a pistol while flying a glider at high speeds with the other hand.
  • Improbable Piloting Skills: Who else? Nausicaš's mastery of the winds lets her do things with her glider, even when its engine breaks down, that people in jet engine gunships can only dream of doing.
  • The Ingenue: Nausicaš, sort of. She's kind, gentle and forgiving but instead of child-like innocence it underscores her maturity instead. She's also much more physically inclined as well.
  • Kill It with Fire:
    • How the people of the Valley deal with the spores. The difference is that they only do this when their own trees have been infested, whereas the film's Torumekians want to burn down the entire forest.
    • In the manga, the Doroks' first resort is to use this against their genetically-engineered super-mold that escaped their floating laboratory.
  • Lady of War:
    • Princess Kushana.
    • Nausicaš strikes a balance between this and straight up Action Girl.
  • Last Fertile Region: The Valley of the Wind is one of only a few left.
  • Lost Superweapon: The God Warriors.
  • Lost Technology: Pretty much all the technology, actually, including the God Warriors and the MŲwe: 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.
  • Loyal Animal Companion:
    • Teto to Nausicaš.
    • Kai and Kui also sometimes act like this towards Nausicaš and Master Yupa.
  • Made of Explodium: The airships, especially when they crash.
  • Magic Countdown: When their airship gets hit by Asbelt and starts to tank, Nausicaš, Mito and Kushana have plenty of time to talk and sort out the glider in the cargo area before they finally manage to escape the exploding ship.
  • Martial Pacifist: Nausicaš, and all the people of the Valley.
  • Medieval Stasis
  • Missing Mom: Nausicaš's mother appears in a flashback, but at the time of the story in both manga and film only her father is alive. And not for long, either.
  • Modest Royalty: Nausicaš is a princess, but you'd never know it by looking at her.
    • Keep in mind that Nausicaš is princess for a kingdom of under a thousand people. In a larger kingdom, she'd only be the equivalent of a petty noble with a small fief, and not living that much above the means of the common folk anyway.
  • Mr. Exposition: The blind, old woman has a lot to tell about the history of the clan.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Nausicaš is also the name of a character in The Odyssey.
  • Nay-Theist: Nausicaš, of a sorts. There are creatures running around that are pretty close to Physical Gods, like the God Warrior and the God of the Crypt, but she refuses to treat them as deities.
  • New Eden: Mild subversion; the New Eden scenario is only beginning to happen.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Justified in that the OSHA died out along with Industrialized Civilization. The Pejiti excavation 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.
  • Old School Dogfight: The airships engage in plenty of them. See Cool Plane.
  • Platonic Boy Girl Heroes: Nausicaš and Asbel are drawn to another by friendship.
  • Prophecies Are Always Right: The messiah dressed in blue who will restore mankind's connection with the earth turns out to be no other than Nausicaš.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Ohmu when enraged.
  • Ribcage Ridge: The overgrown, hollow exoskeletons of the fallen God Warriors are everywhere Ė in fact, a massive 'skull' rising from the Sea of Corruption is one of the first images of the manga.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Teto the squirrel-fox is very cute when not angrily defending its master..
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Every single time an insect, particularly an Ohmu, is hurt, it will bring on an onslaught from the bugs. See Implacable Man above for how it's deliberately used by the warring nations.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: All the Former Eftal chieftains. It's in their treaties with Torumekia that they must fight alongside them in wartime if they want to retain their nominal independence.
  • Scavenger World: People have forgotten how to replicate most old world technologies. Almost all machines are built from scavenged parts and look quite worn out.
  • Secret Underground Passage: Nausicaš has one in her room leading to her hidden garden.
  • Schizo Tech: Medieval castles and armour coexist alongside WWII fighter planes and tanks. See Anachronism Stew.
  • Science Hero: Nausicaš, 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.
  • Science Is Bad: Subverted in two waysÖ
    • 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, Nausicaš dabbles in botany and chemistry, using science to determine that the plants of the Sea of Corruption are not actually toxic; the soil is.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: Nausicaš when she grabs ahold of a Pejite machine gun. She doesn't actually kill anyone with it though, just intimidates them.
  • 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 Nausicaš 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).
  • Tomboy Princess: Nausicaš, with her boyish short hair and urge for adventure.
  • Tuck and Cover: Mito throws himself over Nausicaš to protect her from falling debris when the airship around them starts to collapse.
  • Tricked-Out Shoes: Kushana frees herself by using secret blades hidden in the heel of her boots.
  • Tab On The Head: Asbel gets one from behind when he tries to press Nausicaš free from his clan members.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Nausicaš stores Teto in the front of her shirt.
  • Waif-Fu: Nausicaš. Like you wouldn't believe.
  • Warrior Princess: Kushana, of course.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Primary weapon of the God Warrior.
  • We Come in Peace ó Shoot to Kill: Princess Kushana and her trigger-happy Tolmekian troops murder the old king and round up the people of the valley like animals. Then Kushana acts unflinchingly polite asking the people the join them willingly.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • 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.

    Specific to the manga 
  • Adipose Rex: The king of Torumekia and all of his sons.
  • Armour Is Useless: Subverted and played straight. Various armor are demonstrated to be capable of holding up under direct hits from rifles and machine guns at various points in the manga. OTOH, an Ohmu shell blade will cut through ceramic armor like cardboard.
  • Artificial Human: The Heedra and the Garden Master are human(oid) creations of the old race.
  • 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 Boast: "I am arbitrator, warrior, and judge."
  • 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 Nausicaš topless while coming out of a bath in the Hidden Garden.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Nausicaš 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: Nausicaš 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: Nausicaš'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.
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: When Nausicaš uses Siren shells to allow a Tourmekian cavalry company to escape an encirclement, 4 riders from the company break off to shield her from gunfire as she rides to safety. Justified, since they and their mounts are far more heavily armored than she is.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": The Ohmu, or giant trilobites. It translates to "king insect", not too far off given their size and Nigh-Invulnerability.
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": Fox-Squirrel, or striped chihuahua-cat-rat life form
  • Culture Chop Suey: At first blush the Torumekians and Doroks seem to be generically "Western" and "Eastern" cultures, respectively, but on closer inspection the Doroks have many similarities to America of all places. Their nation is made up of fifty tribes or principalities, their ruling class came from a foreign land and subjugated the natives and they even have similar militaries, using an odd combination of high tech weapons and vehicles and brutish, fanatical footsoldiers. The Torumekians, meanwhile, have a lot of what appear to be Mayincatec influences in their art and designs and several characters with Japanese-sounding names. This last bit is particularly strange, as the series' Fantasy World Map appears to be somewhere in the vicinity of the American South and the upper part of Central America.
  • 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, Nausicaš trades clothes with a sympathetic Dorok girl in order to escape and stop the Ohmu from rampaging into the Valley.
  • The Final Temptation: Nausicaš'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 Nausicaš 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.
  • Heel Realization: The King of Torumekia, although too late to do anything about it, as well as nearly anyone who takes Nausicaš seriously and isn't a Chessmaster.
  • Heroic RROD: 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 royals 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.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Horseclaws, genetically reconstituted domesticated prehistoric flightless birds, serve as the primary mount of the Torumekians and most of former Eftal.
    • Which helped inspire Chocobos in Final Fantasy.
    • The Doroks use creatures known as "Warbeasts" or "long haired cattle", which look like gigantic Irish Setters with horns and lizard feet.
  • I Am X, Son of Y: "I am Ohma, son of Nausicaš, warrior, arbitrator and judge."
  • Immortality: The Holy Emperor is immortal inasmuch as his head can be cut off and he's still as jolly a fellow as ever. See also Disney Villain Death above.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Lord Yupa, taking an attack meant for Kushana.
  • Important Haircut:
    • Kushana slices off her braids as a pledge to avenge her soldiers who were killed when her brothers betrayed her.
    • Nausicaš gets an Important Haircut prior to leaving the Valley.
  • Intimate Healing: Nausicaš saves a Torumekian soldier who was poisoned by the miasma by taking the poisoned blood from his lungs via mouth-to-mouth.
  • 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 Nausicaš leaves.
  • Path of Inspiration: The religion founded around the Crypt of Shuwa. All "holiness" that radiates from it is actually a plot by 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.)
  • Prophecies Are Always Right: But see below.
    • 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 Nausicaš. Even the tapestry depicting the prophecy tries to subvert the audience's expectations by displaying a Messianic Archetype as a male figure of Middle Eastern appearance with some sort of brown pheasant perched on his shoulder.
  • Psychic Link: Nausicaš (and Selm) can project her will, and sometimes actual thoughts, upon other people, as well as perceive the same from Ohmu and the hivemind of lesser insects. This is part of what makes her a Friend to All Living Things, and often results in Psychic Dreams for Everyone.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: The God-Warrior that Nausicaš 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.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The Holy Temple of Shuwa uses Eyes of God as its primary icons.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Possibly. A squad of Tourmekian armored cavalry elect to protect Nausicaš from Dorok gunfire while she makes her escape, being killed in the process. Nausicaš is horrified, believing if she hadn't been slowed down by her Bulletproof Human Shields, she could have escaped without them dying. Though her reckless tendency towards trying to save others at her own expense makes her judgement here questionable.
  • The Siege: One arc revolves around Kushana's efforts to relieve part of her army that has been besieged in a fortress. Later, we see the final stages of the siege of Shuwa.
  • 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 Nausicaš to a small degree.
  • Winged Humanoid: Explicitly averted and ridiculed: when Nausicaš is identified as a Messianic Archetype 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, Nausicaš's white glider fills this role.
  • Woman Child: As intelligent and capable as she is, Nausicaa has some maturity issues and is desperate to hold on to her childhood innocence. At the beginning she often needs to be reminded of the proper way for a princess to conduct herself and would rather go bug collecting than attend to her royal duties. Whenever she's shown in a psychic vision, Nausicaa appears as a prepubescent little girl, indicating she has a very under-developed self-image. The Dorok Emperor the Younger, who is also psychic, relentlessly mocks her when he notices this.
  • Youngest Child Wins: Nausicaš is the youngest of twelve children, and is the only one that lived long enough to become an adult.
  • Zip Me Up: Kushana asks Nausicaš to fasten her armour at one point in the manga. Les Yay? Of course.

    Specific to the movie 
  • Acoustic License: Apparently people have no problem talking to another in-flight from gunship to gunship without their voices being drowned out by wind and the noise from the engines.
  • Adaptational Badass: The Worm-Handlers in the manga were fairly ineffective forest-people used by the Torumekians because their worms could locate items of interest. In the film the group is reworked into an Elite Torumekian fighting squad, and probably the most competent of all the mooks. The group also absorbs some of Kurotawa's competence by being the ones who shoot down Asbel when he engages their airship.
  • 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.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Kushana lost an arm (and maybe a leg) at some point, as shown when she removes part of her armour and there's nothing underneath it..
  • Artificial Limbs / Scars Are Forever: Kushana hints at this when taking off some of her armour and shows there's no limb under it.
    "Whatever lucky man becomes my husband shall see far worse than that."
  • Author Appeal: Flying machines and an anti-war message —both staples of Miyazaki's work.
  • Back from the Dead: Nausicaš, thanks to the Ohmu.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: The forest and its glowing spores (predating Avatar by about a quarter-century, mind you).
  • Bloodless Carnage: Overall, Nausicaš is less graphical than other Miyazaki films. The only blood visible is the First Blood during Lord Yupa's Barehanded Blade Block.
  • Body Horror: The incomplete God-Warrior melts as it fires.
  • Bug Buzz: The familar insect noises are subverted in that the flying ones sound much closer to prop-driven planes, which is pretty clever when you think about it. Using machine noises for them subtly hints at their true nature, which also makes you wonder about Spiritual Successors like DonPachi and Mushihime Sama and why those two are always about bees.
  • Catch a Falling Star: Asbel is cornered by some insects, his gun jams, he jumps off a ledge and is then caught in midair by Nausicaš on her glider, Just in Time before a worm creature could tear its fangs into Asbel.
  • Comforting Comforter: Asbel covers sleeping Nausicaš with his jacket.
  • 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.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: When Nausicaš risks her life to stop the Pejite from destroying the Valley, she flies at them on her glider with her arms outstretched and gets shot twice. She gets better though.
  • Cue the Sun: At the end of the film.
  • Disney Death: Nausicaš, although arguably subverted because she does actually die.. she just has the luck of being revived because of the empathy the Ohmu felt for her.
  • Dramatic Wind: So much, in fact, that it's shocking when it actually stops during the Final Battle.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Nausicaš has to go through enormous hardship to save the day.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: Early on, when Lord Yupa enters an abandoned house, he sees a doll lying on the ground.
  • Evil Plan: There are two evil plans at work.
    • Princess Kushana trying to harness the Giant Warrior's power in order to destroy the Ohmu.
    • The Pejite people using a captured baby Ohmu to make the Ohmu wipe out Kushana's forces so they can get hold of the Giant Warrior.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: Despite the PG rating, the film contains quite a bit of violence. Not to mention the Ohmu...
  • Filming For Easy Dub: The characters wear masks a lot of the time.
  • First Blood: During the Barehanded Blade Block, Nausicaš notices Lord Yupa's blood dripping from the hilt.
  • Flashback... Back... Back...: The little child's singing in Nausicaš's flashback is echoing out.
  • Gecko Ending: Borderline example. Although the manga wouldn't be finished until a decade after this movie's release, the film still wraps things up nicely in its own way, even as many questions remain unanswered.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: See the quote for Artificial Limbs above.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: The film version's Princess Kushana, in fairly stark contrast to her manga portrayal.
  • Green Aesop: The entire point of the movie (as well as "nuclear weapons are bad", obviously).
  • Had the Silly Thing in Reverse: During the castle battle when the tank is commandeered.
  • Happy Flashback: Played straight when an Ohmu taps Nausicaš's memory via Touch Telepathy and we see a flashback of her as a happy child in a field of gold, singing a simple melody.
  • 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, Nausicaš 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.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Lord Yupa. For most of the film, his swordfighting skills are just an Informed Attribute, until he takes down a squad of mooks with them.
  • Magic Skirt: In the introductory scene where Nausicaš is landing her glider, but otherwise averted as her skirt flies up all the time (she's wearing tights).
  • Messianic Archetype: Nausicaš is one of the most famous examples in animation history.
  • More Dakka: There is no shortage in either the forms or quantities of dakka.
  • The Needs of the Many: The Pejite defend their plan to destroy the Tolmekians by pointing out that they are doing it for the good of the planet.
  • Not So Different: Nausicaš 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: Nausicaš's tights are tan-coloured. 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). This can be attributed to the fact that the movie first came to the West in a cheaply-done VHS and poor-quality digisubs which distorted and washed out the colours. The rumour was finally put to rest when Disney released the movie themselves, showing once and for all that pants are pants.
  • The Password Is Always Swordfish: The challenge and response chosen by the kids guarding Kushana? "Valley - Wind".
  • Quicksand Sucks: Surprisingly, in this case, it doesn't kill Nausicaš but instead sucks her down into a subterranean world.
  • Samus is a Girl: Averted with Princess Kushana. Although we cannot really tell if it is a man or woman underneath the armour, the female voice leaves no doubt about it. Hence, her unmasking bears no surprise effect.
  • Save the Villain: Nausicaš rescues Kushana when their ship is going down. This turns out to have serious consequences later on.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": There are some differences in terminology between the movie's subtitles and Studio Proteus's translation of the manga. There are significant differences between the movie's subtitles and Disney's dub script. Although the changes are never enough to declare the dub "unfaithful", in one case it led to a Dub Name Change (ie. the Toxic Jungle [dub] vs. Sea of Corruption [manga]).
    • The other major change is Tolmekia [movie] vs. Torumekia [manga].
  • A Storm Is Coming: Before the climax of the film.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: After Nausicaš departs from her home valley, the story is split into two storyline, switcheing forth and back and coming together again at the end when Nausicaš returns to her folks.
  • Unfinished, Untested, Used Anyway: Kushana's attempt to use the God Warrior before it's complete.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Nausicaš, after her father is murdered by the Torumekians. She kills nearly everyone in the room before Master Yupa intervenes.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The closing credits detail life in the Valley returning to normal as the invaders peacefully leave. The final shot is of Nausicaš's cap lying next to a tree sprout, implying that the world is healing.

    Specific to Warriors of the Wind 
  • 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
    • Nausicaš 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.