The war rages, and Nausicaä travels towards enemy lines with Princess Kushana’s retinue in an attempt to join up with the third army before Torumekian forces are overwhelmed by a Dorok siege. While troop movements unfold slowly on the ground, a more complex battle unfolds among the clouds. Nausicaä’s affinity for her polluted world’s poisonous plants and giant insects warns her that the “daikaisho” is coming, a time when war and upheaval will cause the polluted forests to overwhelm the few livable areas left on the planet’s surface. Now it is up to human equipment and perceptions to guess when and where disaster will strike, and Nausicaä seems to be the only one who realizes how much more is at stake than the spoils of war. Religious portents and obscure messages from migrating insects out of season hint that the Dorok monarchy have rediscovered a weapon from the original “nine days of fire” that plunged the earth into a miasma of pollution and death. Nausicaä may be the only person living who can influence leaders from both sides of the fight, but it will take help from a far-flung band of animals, priests, children, and friends to make her voice heard.

The Nausicaä series is one of Miyazaki’s earlier projects, and it is easy to see themes from this series repeated in Studio Ghibli’s more recent animated moves. Miyazaki’s preoccupation with the devastating effects of modern technology on the natural world runs through most of his work, along with a predilection for spiritually and physically strong heroines, magical animals, and all manner of flying machines.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, vol. 2
ISBN: 9781591163503
by Hayao Miyazaki
Viz 1995

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