Fans of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind take heed: a new and beautiful deluxe box set of the manga has been released. The seven-volume manga has been put into two large hardcover books that fit together in a brightly colored slipcase. Both volumes contain an additional eight color pages, including maps to help you better picture the area. There’s also a poster with a different image of Nausicaä on each side. VIZ is doing a limited print run of 6,000 copies, so if this is something you want to buy, you don’t want to tarry.
It’d be difficult to find a fan of anime and manga who hasn’t heard of Nausicaä, but it would probably be fair to assume more people have seen the movie than read the manga. If any movie watchers think, “Well, I already know the story from the movie,” they’d be pleasantly surprised. There is much, much more to the manga than the movie. The stuff from the movie only covers a small part of the manga, and even this part had many alterations made to it when it was written for the big screen. While the movie is like a treat and glimpse into Miyazaki’s world, the manga is a fully thought-out, detailed environment people can be sucked into.
It took twelve years for Miyazaki to write Nausicaä, and anyone reading it can tell just how much blood, sweat and tears went into making this series. More and more people are realizing that comic books can be serious literature, and this is certainly a manga to show anyone who doubts the ability of a graphic novel to be complex and moving. In Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, we meet Nausicaä, a brave and kind princess living in a future where the world as we know it has been destroyed because of how industrial civilization treated the earth. In her world, the earth is a toxic wasteland inhabited by giant insects and warring peoples. There is a strong environmentalist theme, of course, and now seems like an especially apt time to read it.
Sound effect translations are placed in the back of the books so that the art can be touched as little as possible. This can be a hit or miss for readers: it can be distracting having to flip back for translations, but many fans will probably appreciate VIZ trying to stay as true to the original look as possible. Even if flipping back for translations isn’t your thing, this box set is a gorgeous way of having Nausicaä in your home.
Publisher: VIZ Media
Story & Art: Hayao Miyazaki