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Nausicaa Perfect Collection: Vol 3 (Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Pb)) [Paperback]

Hiyao Miyazaki

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Storytelling at its best. I couldn't put it down. 13 Sep 1999
By A Customer - Published on
I honestly didn't put it down once I began reading it. And having read through the 3rd installment of the Perfect Collection I instantly wanted to get the 4th. This is not just a comic book/manga for kids. It's a unique story that just pulls you in. All the characters are intriguing, especially Nausicaa, the heroin. Miyazaki has created a world of such intricacy that you can't help but get involved. You want to know more about all the creatures that inhabit that world and what their fate is. I've been a fan of Miyazaki since I picked up a copy of My Neighbor Totoro and would recommend the movie/anime for kids. But Nausicaa is definately for adults.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic story & one of the greatest graphic novels. 15 Sep 1999
By A Customer - Published on
It is a rare story that combines philosophical discussions on the nature of man, complex characterizations, and rousing science fiction adventure. Engaging for both first comers and fans of the genre. It doesn't hurt that it's from the master Miyazaki.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest literary works ever. 1 Feb 2000
By A Customer - Published on
A setting as beautiful and bleak as Dr.Zhivago, a climate of war and intreague, as compelling as Lawerance of Arabia, and characters and a storyline that will stick with you for far longer than even Star Wars. Wanna convert people to Japanese Animation? Or just clue them into a great epic period? Stick a copy of Nausicaa in their hands, like the title-named character, it is a series that fascinates and attracts all who read it, giving a sense of profound wisdom and endless possibility to the minds that so easily will embrace it when they begin reading. If a picture paints a thousand words, then Miyazaki's pictures and words tell a thousand tales, and give the readers a familiar yet exotic world to return to and take comfort in. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind gives back to us what we have lost in this world- honor, epic, intreague, glory, morality, endless posibility, etc etc...
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND by Hayao Miyazaki 14 May 2010
By thepaxdomini - Published on
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is a manga written and illustrated by legendary anime filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. It originally ran from 1982 to 1994; the total work is over 1100 pages (the edition currently in print is seven volumes). The initial chapters were the basis for the eponymous 1984 film. Here, a postapocalyptic Earth is polluted and overgrown with toxic forests and giant insects. As neighboring states go to war, Nausicaä, princess of the Valley of the Wind, works to restore peace and to purify the earth.

It's hard to talk about the manga without mentioning the film, which is one of my all-time favorites. More people are familiar with the film than with the comic, and Miyazaki is far better known as a filmmaker than as a comic artist. Obviously, Miyazaki is more limited in a sensory way here, without the film's color or outstanding musical score. But he is much freer to explore his world: the film features a considerably streamlined story (one nation has been omitted) and a moral conflict that is fairly black and white. The manga is substantially more complex.

Miyazaki has created a rich, deep world, which is worth the investment the reader must make. Particularly early on, there's a lot of exposition in dialogue, like we're accustomed to seeing in American Silver Age comics. And it takes some time for the reader to determine who is on which side and what, exactly, is going on.

Nausicaä is always engaging but rarely gripping. Toward the end of the saga, Miyazaki does manage to generate some genuine suspense, but mostly the story meanders along as Nausicaä herself more or less blows where the winds of war take her. The ending is rife with potential, but it goes out with something of an abrupt whimper.

As an archetype of love and self-sacrifice, Nausicaä herself is an exceptionally admirable protagonist. Through nonviolence, she is a uniter, a peacemaker. The only stumble here comes at the end of the work, when Miyazaki puts her into what he obviously feels is a shades-of-gray, no-win moral situation. But it's actually somewhat underwhelming, as Miyazaki barely even hints at the ramifications.

Miyazaki's ever-present attention to detail is here in the artwork, which is generally impressive, although such a degree of detail often makes for some messy and hard-to-interpret panels, particularly during battles (and there are a lot of battles). And Miyazaki doesn't shy away from depicting the carnage more graphically than he ever did in any of his films.

There are a wide array of supernatural powers at work here that for the most part were not present in the film. A number of them are kind of silly, and some don't always make a lot of sense (hello, sentient mold monster). Telepaths are a dime a dozen.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is always good but rarely great. It will particularly appeal to fans of the film who want more of Nausicaä's adventures and a deeper look into Miyazaki's postapocalyptic world.
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