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Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (風の谷のナウシカ Kaze no Tani no Naushika?) is a 1984 post-apocalyptic Japanese anime film, written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, based on his manga of the same name. The film has environmentalist undertones and was presented by the World Wide Fund for Nature when it was released in 1984. While created before Studio Ghibli was founded, the film is considered to be the beginning of the studio, and is often included as part of the Studio's works, including the Studio Ghibli Collection DVDs.[1] Among its numerous awards, it won the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize in 1984.


The story takes place one thousand years after the "Seven Days of Fire", an apocalyptic war which destroyed human civilization and most of the Earth's original ecosystem. Scattered human settlements survive, isolated from one another by the Toxic jungle, a forest of giant plants and fungi swarming with giant insects, and other arthropods which seem to come together only to wage war. Everything in the Toxic Jungle including the air is lethally toxic.

Nausicaä is a charismatic young princess of the peaceful Valley of the Wind. Although a skillful fighter, Nausicaä is humane and peace-loving. She has an unusual gift for communicating with the giant insects (particularly with the Ohmu, gigantic, armored, caterpillar- or isopod-like insects who are the most intelligent creatures in the Toxic Jungle.) She is also noted for her empathy toward animals, humans, and other beings. An intelligent girl, and inspired by the Valley's Lord Yupa, a wandering warrior possessed of great wisdom, Nausicaä frequently explores the Toxic Jungle and conducts scientific experiments in an attempt to define the true nature and origins of the toxic world in which she lives. Her explorations are facilitated by her skill at "windriding": flying with an advanced jet assisted glider craft. Yupa is searching for the mythological man in blue who, according to the legend, will appear surrounded by a sea of gold and reunite the people and nature.

One day, an airship crashes onto the cliffs near the Valley of the Wind. Nausicaä tries to rescue a shackled girl of her age from the burning wreck, but the girl dies after revealing that she is Princess Lastelle from the kingdom Pejite and that the cargo of the airship must be destroyed. The airship is from Tolmekia and the cargo turns out to be the embryo of a Giant Warrior, one of the lethal, giant creatures used in the ancient war.

It is later revealed that the Warrior embryo was unearthed by Pejite, but it was stolen by the more powerful state of Tolmekia. While transporting the Warrior - along with Lastelle as a hostage - back to their realm, the Tolmekians were attacked by insects and later crash-landed in the Valley. The next day, the Tolmekians, under the leadership of princess Kushana, invade the Valley to kill the Valley king and to secure and revive the Warrior. Kushana explains that the Giant Warrior will be used to burn the Toxic Jungle even though Obaba, a blind elder Valley woman, warns that attempting that will only anger the Ohmu and lead to more deaths and turn the valley into part of the jungle.

Kushana attempts to return to Pejite, with Nausicaä, Mito, the valley's royal steward, and several others as hostages. Before their departure, Nausicaä reveals to Yupa a hidden garden of jungle plants which are not toxic because they are growing in sand and water from a deep, untainted well. Nausicaä explains that the jungle is only toxic due to the toxic soil that covers the surface of the earth, even in the Valley; she has been trying to find the cause and a possible cure for her people, including her now-dead father. Since she has to depart, however, she has shut down the water flows which keep the plants alive.

Midway on their journey, the Tolmekian airships are attacked by a Pejite gunship and several of the ships are destroyed. Nausicaä and Mito, on board of one of the burning ships still mid-air, make their way to a gunship that the Tolmekians took, but before they can leave, Kushana joins them. They are forced to make an emergency landing in the jungle. There, Nausicaä communicates with several Ohmus and discovers that the pilot of the Pejite gunship is still alive. With the help of her glider, Nausicaä rescues the pilot from a swarm of enraged insects. However, Nausicaä, the Pejite pilot and the glider are swallowed by quicksand and end up in a strange, non-toxic world that is below the jungle. Nausicaä realizes the plants in the jungle purify the polluted topsoil, producing clean water and sand which remains hidden in the underground world. The pilot reveals that he is Asbel of Pejite, the twin brother of princess Lastelle.

Meanwhile, the people of the Valley of the Wind request weapons from the occupying Tolmekians to destroy toxic spores, which have infested the valley's forest. Enraged that they have had to burn their forest because of the Tolmekians, the citizens revolt, attacking the Tolmekians who have taken over the castle. The Tolmekians counter, forcing the valley residents to flee to an ancient ship on the shore of the acid lake, with the Tolmekians in pursuit.

Nausicaä and Asbel return to Pejite, which is devastated after the Pejite people lured the insects from the Sea of Decay into their own town in order to kill the occupying Tolmekian forces. The Pejite people, now seemingly surviving only on board of a single airship, reveal that they will do the same thing to the Valley of the Wind to recapture the Warrior and use it to burn the jungle. To prevent Nausicaä from alerting the Tolmekians, they capture her, but she escapes with the help of Asbel and his mother. With her glider, she heads to the Valley, but along the way she encounters an enormous herd of enraged Ohmus who are following an injured baby Ohmu being used by the Pejite people to lure the Ohmus to the Valley. Nausicaä releases the baby Ohmu and gains its trust.

Meanwhile, the Tolmekians attempt to stop the herd with their armored vehicles but fail. Kushana, who had escaped from her captors, arrives with the Giant Warrior to stop the Ohmu herd. The Warrior fires several beams from its mouth which on impact cause massive explosions, but this only serves to enrage the insects more. The Warrior attempts to continue fighting the Ohmu, but because it was awakened before being fully grown, it collapses and dies.

At the last instant, Nausicaä and the baby Ohmu are finally able to stop the Ohmu herd, but Nausicaä is mortally wounded in the process. In front of the Valley people and the Tolmekian forces, the Ohmus use their gold-colored tentacles to heal Nausicaä's injuries. Nausicaä's dress is then seen by all her village as now being of blue color, stained by the blood of the baby Ohmu she rescued; thus Nausicaä turns out to be the mythological figure in blue mentioned in the beginning. The film ends with scenes of the future, where people and insects live in peace with each other. After the credits, a scene from under the Toxic Jungle shows a new, non-toxic plant growing, showing a possible new forest.



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When Tokuma Shoten approached Miyazaki to have the manga turned into a film, he initially refused, but then agreed on the condition that he could direct.[2] Nausicaä was produced with animators hired for the one film and paid per frame.[3] One notable animator was Hideaki Anno, who later produced Neon Genesis Evangelion. Anno was assigned to draw the challenging God Warrior's attack sequence, which according to Toshio Suzuki is a "high point in the film".[3]


The film was originally released in Japan on March 4, 1984, and sold almost a million tickets.[3]

Warriors of the Wind


Boxart of the Warriors of the Wind dub.

A heavily edited and English dubbed version of the film was released theatrically in North America, shown on HBO and released on VHS by New World Pictures in the 1980s as Warriors of the Wind. According to, the voice actors and actresses were not even informed of the film's plotline and more than 30 minutes were cut from the film because New World felt that "the parts were slow moving"[4]. As a result, part of the film's narrative meaning was lost; some of the environmentalist themes were diluted as was the main subplot about the Ohmu, altered to turn them into aggressive enemies. Most of the characters were renamed (for example, Nausicaä became "Princess Zandra"). The cover for the VHS release featured a cadre of male characters, who are not even in the film, riding the resurrected God Warrior — including a still-living Warrior shown briefly in a flashback. It was released around the world under various different titles, such as Sternenkrieger (literally "Star Warriors") in Germany. An uncredited Susan Davis provided the voice of the title role, although it was (and often still is) erroneously believed to be June Foray due to the similarity in voices and Asbel, dubbed "Prince Milo" in this version, was voiced by Cam Clarke.

Many fans of Nausicaä, along with Miyazaki himself, dislike this version; Miyazaki suggested that people should put it "out of their minds."[4] Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki have asked fans to forget its existence and later adopted a strict "no-edits" clause for future foreign releases of its films. On hearing that Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein would try to cut Princess Mononoke to make it more marketable, one of Studio Ghibli's producers sent an authentic katana with a simple message: "No cuts".[5]

2005 English re-release

An uncut and re-dubbed version of Nausicaä was released on DVD by Buena Vista Home Entertainment on February 22, 2005 for Region 1. This DVD also includes the Japanese audio track with English subtitles. Optimum Home Entertainment released the film in Region 2, and the Region 4 DVD is distributed by Madman Entertainment. A remastered Blu-ray sourced from a 6K filmscan was released on July 14, 2010 in Japan. It includes a uncompressed Japanese LPCM stereo track, an English dub and English subtitles. The film is set to be released on blu-ray on March 8, 2011, and on October 18, 2010 a Blu-ray version was released in Region 2 by Optimum Home Entertainment.[6]


Various gliders are seen in the film, and the protagonist, Nausicaä, uses a jet-assisted one-person glider-shaped machine with folding wings. According to the accompanying film book released in Japan, the glider is called Möwe (メーヴェ Mēve?, or "mehve" in the English manga), the German word meaning seagull.[7] An official scale model lists it as having an approximate wingspan of 5.8 meters (1/20 model measured to be 29 cm), while the design notes indicate it weighs only 12 kg.[7][8] In 2004, the Japanese-led OpenSky Aircraft Project began attempts to build a real-life, working personal jet glider based on the glider from the film. Two full size gliders with no power source carrying the code name M01 and M02, with a half sized jet powered remote controlled mock up called moewe 1/2 was built.[9][10] The designer and tester of the project refused the official endorsement of the project by Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki, noting that he did not want to cause trouble for them if an accident occurred.[11]


Numerous soundtracks and albums relating to the film have been released.[12]

  • Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind: Image Album <Bird Person> (風の谷のナウシカ イメージアルバム 鳥の人) released November 25, 1983
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind: Symphony <The Legend of Wind> (風の谷のナウシカ シンフォニー 風の伝説) released February 25, 1984
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind: Soundtrack <Toward the Far Away Land> (風の谷のナウシカ サウンドトラック はるかな地へ) released March 25, 1984
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind: Drama Version <God of Wind> (風の谷のナウシカ・ドラマ編) released April 25, 1984
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind: Best Collection (風の谷のナウシカ BEST) released November 25, 1986
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind: Hi-tech Series (風の谷のナウシカ・ハイテックシリーズ) released October 25, 1989
  • Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind: Piano Solo Album <For the Easy Use with Beyer> released March 15, 1992

Other media


Miyazaki's manga version of Nausicaä was written over a period of 12 years, with breaks taken to work on Studio Ghibli films. Serialized in Tokuma Shoten's Animage magazine, the first chapter was published in February 1982, and the last chapter in March 1994. As can be expected, the story of the manga is far more complex than that of the film. The tale depicted in the film roughly corresponds to only the first quarter of the manga (which is all that had been written at the time the film was produced), with significant differences in plot.

In addition to the plot, there are other significant differences in the story – the characters are more developed and the environmentalist tone is more sophisticated, echoed in the complex worldview of Princess Mononoke. Nausicaä herself is portrayed as being much more potent, with abilities that are not always explained.

The Nausicaä manga is published in English by VIZ Media. Earlier editions of the English manga and fan translations often used the title Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind, omitting the definite article.

Video games

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At least two video games were released based on the manga and the film.

  • Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind (video game)
  • Nausicaä Kiki Ippatsu (video game)

Popular culture

Figure skater Chen Lu used the film's music for her skating program in both the 1993 World Figure Skating Championships and 1994 Winter Olympics, winning Bronze in both.


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The film grossed 740 million yen,[13] and currently holds a 100% "Fresh" on Rottentomatoes.

In a August 22, 2010 tweet, Roger Ebert called the film a "masterpiece."

See also

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  • Nausicaä, the daughter of King Alkínoös of the Phaeacians, in Homer's Odyssey.


  1. Ghibli 101 FAQ // Studio Ghibli //
  2. Anime and Academia: Interview with Marc Hairston on pedagogy and Nausicaa
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Studio Ghibli, The Birth of Studio Ghibli video, c. 2003 (included on UK Nausicaä DVD)
  4. 4.0 4.1 "FAQ". Retrieved 2008-06-30. 
  5. Brooks, Xan (2005-09-14). "A god among animators". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-05-23. There is a rumour that when Harvey Weinstein was charged with handling the US release of Princess Mononoke, Miyazaki sent him a samurai sword in the post. Attached to the blade was a stark message: 'No cuts.' / The director chortles. 'Actually, my producer did that.' 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Official film book, ロマンアルバム 「風の谷のナウシカ」
  8. Möwe with Nausicaä 1/20 scale model, Studio Ghibli Plamodel Collection, Bandai, 2004, Modeler: 2 horsepower(二馬力, Copyright: Studio Ghibli)
  9. Opensky Project
  10. Jet engine remote controlled moewe 1/2
  11. 「万一の時にジブリや宮崎駿氏に迷惑をかけたくない」, Opensky Project
  12. Kaze no Tani no Naushika

Further reading

External links

ar:ناوسيكا أميرة وادي الرياح zh-min-nan:Hong-kok ê Nausika cs:Naušika z Větrného údolí da:Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind eo:Kaze no Tani no Naushika (filmo) fa:ناوسیکا از دره باد ko:바람 계곡의 나우시카 hr:Nausikaja iz vjetrovite doline it:Nausicaä della Valle del vento nl:Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind no:Nausicaä – Prinsessen fra Vindens Dal pl:Nausicaä z Doliny Wiatru pt:Nausicaä do Vale do Vento ru:Навсикая из долины Ветров simple:Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind fi:Tuulen laakson Nausicaä sv:Nausicaä från Vindarnas dal th:มหาสงครามหุบเขาแห่งสายลม uk:Навсікая з Долини Вітрів zh:风之谷