Nausicaä (1984) – Ace Mini-Review

Kaze no Tani no Naushika (Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind)
Written & Directed by: Miyazaki Hayao
Japan, 1984

How good is this movie?

An epic, post-apocalyptic fantasy about one hero’s struggle to avert war, protect the environment, and save her people. It may be a bit too violent for the very young, but it has everything you want from children’s entertainment: action, charm, wonder, and an important message about the futility of war and the importance of respecting nature. If it lacks a strong villain, this is only because it refuses to divide humanity into good guys and bad guys. There is no singular enemy in the film, only a complex situation made worse by people who are trying, in their own minds, to do the right thing. It does, however, have a singularly admirable protagonist. Nausicaä is pretty much the ideal hero: strong, intelligent, brave, gentle, compassionate, selfless – and also comfortable expressing her emotions and capable of doubt and self-questioning.

How ace is this movie?

Nausicaä has many important relationships, including the ones with Lord Yupa, her father, and her community, but these are all platonic. Asbel has potential as a love interest, but their relationship doesn’t advance beyond friendship in the movie. This does not necessarily mean that Nausicaä is disinterested in romance; she just has many more pressing concerns.

4 Stars; 3 Aces

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