Comic Crazy - Ohmu, Mehve, and Miasma! REVIEWING: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

Welcome to The Real World According To Sam!! This is a review for a Manga series (I have labeled it under comics and Comic Crazy since it is basically a Japanese comic --yes, I know it isn't the same, but for organizational sake, I'm doing my best). I finally managed to read a whole manga series....from the first to the last volume. However, when you note that it isn't a very long one....then my cool points go down. I've never managed to finish a manga series before. I've started several (Kare Kano, Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Fruits Basket, Inuyasha) but I've never finished one because, let's be honest, there are just WAY too many to read, especially if there are still new volumes coming out. There are seven total volumes in this one, and I will give individual ratings for each volume, no spoilers, not super long and not really dragged out either.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

Author: Hayao Miyazaki
Year of Publication: 1983-1994
Genre: Adventure/Fantasy/Science Fiction/Manga

Why Did I Read This????
I checked out the feature animated film of the same title by Studio Ghibli from the library (still haven't watched it). I found out that this series is what the movie is based on and noted that the library had almost all seven volumes. I took up the challenge of completing this manga series and actually succeeded. It is now one of my absolute favorite mangas. I'll tell you why!

What is it About????
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is about a girl named Nausicaa who comes from the Valley of the Wind. She is the only child of 11 to grow into adulthood. Her father is the chief of the Valley and so that makes her the princess. She is believed by all who live there and must take up the responsibility of going off to the war between the Doroks and Torumekians (on the Torumekian side). She is a skilled flier and has a great bond with creatures of the land, especially insects like the Ohmu. The land has been the result of many years of war and destruction in the past. It is covered with poisonous spores in the air that all together make up Miasma. There are parts where forests of the toxic spores accumulate and plants emit the miasma. One such place is called the Sea of Corruption. Nausicaa must find her place and try to find a way to discover what the future holds and what is really going on. Why they are at war and if it can be avoided, as well as how to save the lands that still exist. Along the way she meets many people, from both sides of the war, and is still well beloved by almost all. She has many loval followers and friends to aid her. It is a really fantastic journey and a great story! It is rather original in my opinion. There are certain concepts that have been done, but all together they make up something new that I've never read before.

Volume Ratings:
 Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: Vol. 1             ✯✯✯
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: Vol. 2             ✯✯✯
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: Vol. 3             ✯✯✯
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: Vol. 4             ✯✯✯
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: Vol. 5            ✯✯✯
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: Vol. 6            ✯✯✯
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: Vol. 7                   ✯✯✯

Now this must seem odd if you went through each one and noticed the 3 rating on the very last volume. Let me talk more about why this is.

 I really loved this series and plowed through it. I enjoyed it immensely and couldn't wait to continue the story. As I read on and on, I couldn't help but think of how I thought it would end best. However, upon reaching Vol. 7, I found myself slightly disappointed. I thought of the journey I'd been through with Nausicaa and while I understand what happened and why, I just couldn't bring myself to be totally happy with it. It doesn't prove much of anything. I'm not going to give away anything or toss out spoilers. I'm just saying that it didn't completely satisfy me. That's no reason to not read this series though!! Its an incredible story and a great journey to go on. It has to be one of my favorites bar none. I would definitely read it 2 and 3 more times, just to see the characters again and to relive the adventure. This is why I simply can't bring myself to rate the last one higher. I had such great expectations for it, that just weren't meant to be, but I haven't managed to let go just yet.

What Do I Love? Series Overview
I love the characters!! They are all so different and they mesh in a wonderful way. You can tell each apart easily. They are well developed as the story progresses. I especially love Nausicaa. She is such a strong lead character, one of the best heroines I've read about. The story of her origin included in the Viz Graphic Novel edition I read by Hayao Miyazaki was rather intriguing and made me want to know and read more. She was strong with flaws and never got tiresome to me. I like the way she was able to cross boundaries and even go between the Dorok and Torumekian sides. There is a bigger fight at hand than anyone realizes at first.

Another thing I love is the story. There's adventure and nature and myths and history. Who wouldn't love that? I will give a warning that this IS about war and there are some violent scenes depicted as well as blood and maybe even a couple limbs flying, but it isn't on every page or every 5 pages by any means. It is occassional and understandable. Besides, its in black and white so it isn't as bad as it could be. There are lots of interesting plots going on and I loved the action sequences. There aren't very many dull moments. There is always something pushing forward. I never reached a drag in my reading.

The images are very nice! Some art styles in mangas or other graphic novels just don't seem very well done to me. Sometimes they even feel slacked. This is not the case with Nausicaa. The images are stylized in Hayao Miyazaki's way which is nice and they aren't distracting from the overall story. They complement it and depict it very well. I was happy with the illustration done.

The Ohmus and other creatures are neat too! The Super Yanmas and Teto the squirrel fox critter are cool too. The Ohmus are the most incredible though. They play a big role in the series and are an important animal in Nausicaa's world.

The last thing I'm going to mention is the machinery and technology within the story. I was fascinated by it. The god warriors are so mysterious in the beginning but are really quite interesting when they finally come ot light in the last half of the series. Nausicaa's Mehve is also really cool. It is the thing that she flies on a lot and she's so skillful with it. Her piloting is amazing and the mehve just looks really cool.


In the end, I really enjoyed reading Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and I would read it again. However, I just can't bring myself to satisfaction with the ending. I'm trying and failing. In my opinion, it should've ended slightly differently, but I do understand why things are the way they are. Volume 7 does bring the series down just a bit for me though.
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind gets an overall rating of......................4/5.

Thank you for reading my review here at The Real World According To Sam. Hope to see you again next time!!!!