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I Bet You Didn't See... Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind


Another Anime here and this is probably my favourite, at least so far. In case any of you are proper aficionados of Anime, I am talking about the 2005 Disney re-release here, in terms of the cast.

It has a really imaginative story, fantastic imagery and Patrick Stewart. Unlike other Anime's I have seen, it doesn't go off on a random tangent with some weird sequence in the middle part of the second half. This story is focused all the way and makes sense right through.

Nausicaa inspects some growing fungus

Nausicaa tells us of the Earth in the future, where the land has been polluted so badly by humans that small pockets of people survive spread far from each other. They have all grown differently, but have one thing in common - they are vulnerable to the spores of the toxic jungle that has grown on the polluted land. Within this jungle, insects have mutated and grown huge, most notably the Ohm, and they fight the humans when they are attacked. We also learn of the "Seven Days of Fire", caused by huge humanoid creatures back in the past.

Lord Yupa (Patrick Stewart)

Nausicaa (Alison Lohman), a princess from the Valley of the Wind, explores the jungle trying to understand it, and can communicate with the creatures. She understands it better than others. News from the outside world also comes via Lord Yupa (Patrick Stewart), who tells of how towns and cities are still being destroyed by the growing jungle.

Soon, an outsiders airship crashes in the Valley, carrying a huge cargo of a round red fleshy thing. Chasing this, a commander, Kushana (Uma Thurman), of an outsider civilisation arrives to claim the round thing, where we find out it is a Great Warrior waiting to be grown and born. She takes over the Valley and embarks on a mission to try and rid the world of the jungle and the insects. Nausicaa wants to stop her. Among all this, Nausicaa has met a young boy call Asbel (Shia LaBeouf), who helps her in her quest.

An Ohm gets angry

Learning the secret of the jungle, along with revealing her own secret experiments with the plants to Lord Yupa, Nausicaa uncovers the importance of what the toxic jungle is doing to the planet. The film's climax is a mass stampede of Ohm heading for the Valley, before the day is saved. I'll leave you to guess who by.

I love the alternativeness of the film. The jungle is a beautiful piece of artwork, the different creatures are wonderfully imagined, although familiar, and the underlying story behind the jungle makes so much sense - it's almost as if it's a commentary on today's state of environmental attitudes. This is a great beginning film for starting out with Anime films.

Directed & Written by: Hayao Miyazaki

Based on: "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind" Manga Series by Hayao Miyazaki

Starring: (English Cast) Alison Lohman, Patrick Stewart, Uma Thurman, Shia LaBeouf, Mark Hamill

Release date: March 11, 1984 (original Japanese), February 22, 2005 (Disney English dub)

My Rating: 9/10

Nausicaa wakes to find another secret about the Jungle

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