Nausicaä (ナウシカ Naushika, pronounced [na.uɕika])  is the princess of the Valley of the Wind. She is the eleventh child of King Jhil, and the only one to live to maturity. She is rarely seen without her Mehve or her companion, Teto the fox-squirrel. Some believe her to be "The Blue Clad One" from Dorok legends.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Early years[edit | edit source]
Nausicaä moved to the Valley of the Wind with her family when she was very young. Her mother had died around that time as well.
She has a close relationship with her father King Jhil and tries to help him as his health declines due to the Valley's proximity to the Sea of Corruption.
Eventually, Nausicaä starts training to fly her Mehve, which she becomes very good at. She also spends a lot of time in the Sea of Corruption and experiments with its plants to find out why Jhil's health is suffering. As part of this, she secretly grows forest plants in uncorrupted soil, discovering that it is not deadly.
Arrival of the Torumekians[edit | edit source]
On one of her expeditions into the Rotwood, Nausicaä discoveres the shell of an Ohmu. These are very valuable as building material as they are extremely hard and durable. After retrieving the eye-shell, she feels the anger of the forest creatures and hears a gunshot in the distance. When she investigates, she finds Lord Yupa being chased by several forest creatures, including the Ohmu that had shed its shell, but she manages to calm the Ohmu with flash grenades and an insect charm. Nausicaä then leads Yupa to the valley, where he reports on the situation in the world abroad.
Nausicaä goes on patrol with the Valley Gunship, newly refitted with the Ohmu eye-piece, but once again feels the forest's anger. This time it is a brig from Pejite. The brig crash-lands, killing everyone except for princess Rastel. Rastel gives Nausicaä a stone before she dies, though Nausicaä is not aware of the stone's significance. She warns Nausicaä that Torumekia invaded Pejitei, even though they are formally allied, and that the Torumekians want the stone.
Shortly after Nausicaä and the Valley's inhabitants have time to ponder the meaning of Rastel's arrival, Kushana and her Torumekian soldiers arrive. Kushana asks for the stone, but Nausicaä wants her to leave the valley and Kushana eventually relents. Nausicaä is forced to burn part of their fields, as the Torumekians contaminated it by bringing miasma.
Departure for War[edit | edit source]
Soon, the Torumekians went to war against the Dorok principalities. Kushana called for the States of the Periphery to follow the ancient treaties and assemble at an aerial rendevouz point. Jhil is confined to his bed from the poisoning, so he talks to Nausicaä and decide she should go in his stead. This worries Lord Yupa, but even Yupa realizes this is the only option. Nausicaä leaves with Mito and the Valley Gunship and they travel to the rendevouz point on the edge of the Sea of Corruption. On the way they meet people from other periphery states.
At the rendevouz point, Kushana takes control and starts heading across the Sea of Corruption. They are soon attacked by Asbel of Pejite, however, who destroys several ships and seperates the Valley gunship from the brig. Nausicaä wants to rescue the other people from her valley and follows them into the Sea of Corruption. There they land in an Ohmu nest, but she manages to calm and communicate with them. She has the barge reconnected, but wants to head out to rescue Asbel, who has enraged the insects. She takes her Mehve and finds him in deep cavities under the forest.
Asbel discoveres her identity and takes the control stone, which Nausicaä had been carrying. Nausicaä wakes up, discovers the petrified forest and guesses that the Sea of Corruption exists to clense the lands of human pollution. Asbel and Nausicaä escape, only to be captured by Doroks of the Mani tribe.
Battle of the Acid Lakes[edit | edit source]
Nausicaä meets the Holy One, leader of the Mani Tribe, and Ketcha, who speaks the common tongue. She realizes that Kushana has been betrayed and begs to be able to negotiate a peaceful solution. The Holy One disagrees and Nausicaä tries to escape. Asbel decides to stay behind to enable Nausicaä to travel faster. Nausicaä joins the Valley Gunship and alerts them of the impending destruction through the herd of Ohmu. The gunship goes to warn Kushana's army, while Nausicaä decides to take on the Dorok flying jar that is baiting the Ohmu herd with a wounded Ohmu.
Nausicaä confronts the Dorok soldiers and forces them to drop the Ohmu larvae on an island in the acid lake. She communicates with the Ohmu and tries to ease its pain. Meanwhile, the Ohmu herd crushes Kushana's army and several groups of Mani Tribe warriors and only Kushana's ship manages to escape. The Holy One is appalled at this massacre. Nausicaä begs Kushana to take the Ohmu larvae to the herd and Kushana relents, since Nausicaä knows the location of the control stone. Nausicaä communicates with the Ohmu herd and they depart for the "Southern Forest", which they believe is in need of them. The Holy One is reminded of a pre-Holy Empire prophecy by the scene, believing Nausicaä to be a savior that restores balance between humanity and the nature.
The Valley Gunship decides to return to the Valley of the Wind, but Nausicaä decides to continue south with Kushana as she sees the Ohmu herd heading south as a sign of bad things to come.
The Dorok Principalities[edit | edit source]
Kushana's Corvette reaches Dorok, which is in a state of war. They discover a village being burned by Torumekian troops. Landing, they discover the entire population dead of miasma inhalation except for two babies. Nausicaä rescues them (over Kurotowa's objections). The town well had been occupied by Hamushi, attracted by miasma. Although the insect takes Nausicaä into its mouth, the Ohmu blood that stains her clothes protects her from being eaten.
Travelling further from the Sea of Corruption they reach the city of Sapata, a Dorok town, occupied by the Torumekian third army, but besieged by Dorok infantry and artillery. The third army is loyal to Kushana, but is being poorly led by her older brother. Kushana breaks the siege, to fly into to city to take command. Inside, Nausicaä discovers the Dorok townspeople are being held captive, to be sold as slaves. She asks Kushana for their release. Kushana agrees only on the condition that Nausicaä fights alongside her.
Meanwhile Miralupa the brother of the Dorok Emperor has joined the besieging troops but must bath to repair his skin. A skilful warrior monk named Charuka tends to him. Kushana plans to break out from the city, destroy the Dorok artillery and buy time for an escape to be made from the city. Nausicaä rides with her as promised, and displays her usefulness in war by using siren shells to panic the Dorok War beasts used as cavellry. Nausicaä's horseclaw, Kai, is mortally wounded, by troops lead by Charuka. Both Charuka and Miralupa believe Nausicaä to be the "blue-clad one" of prophesy.
Having secured the release of the Dorok prisoners, Nausicaä leaves Sapata and heads deeper into Dorok territory, coming to a temple by an oasis. A small boy appears. The boy, Chikuku leads Nausicaä to a tomb in which the bodies of many monks are sitting as if in meditation. One monk is still alive and communicates telepathically with Nausicaä. He tells her of the prophesy of the blue-clad one, and of the secrets stored in the crypts of Shuwa. He foretells the destructions and purification of the world. Nausicaä refuses to give up, believing that life is worth saving. A Hebikera flies overhead, and Nausicaä realises that the oasis will soon be overcome by miasma. Returning to the tomb she finds the monk dead. She leaves on Mehve with Chikuku.
Airborne, she discovers a Dorok ship being overcome by fungus. The fungus is different from the forest trees. In fact it has been bred by Doroks to use as a weapon. But spores became unstable, and are consuming the ship which was carrying them. This ship also holds Miralupa and Charuka. Nausicaä lands on the upper deck, and once again does battle with the disembodied spirit of Miralupa. The battle is ended inconclusively by the attack of insects, and Miralupa is able to escape. Nausicaä joins Charuka battling the mutant mould. However the ship is lost and Nausicaä, Chikuku and Charuka flee on Mehve. The suriving mould reaches the ground and starts to spread.
Charuka debates with himself on whether to kill Nausicaä, but she is protected by Chikuku. When a Dorok Flying Jar happens to pass, Charuka takes Nausicaä and Chikuku up with him to a Dorok flying fortress, that also is carrying fungal spores. Knowing them fungus not to be stable, Nausicaa drops the reactivating fungal mass out the window. Charuka is now convinced that Miralupa's plan to use forest fungus as a weapon is fundamentally insecure, and decides to support Nausicaä's plan and stay to defend the people.
Anime[edit | edit source]
Nausicaä is voiced in Japanese by Sumi Shimamoto, who got the part after having played Clarisse in Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro and impressed Hayao Miyazaki. Patrick Drazen praised Shimamoto's acting in a scene where Nausicaä stops an insect from diving into an acidic pool by getting in its way. She is burned by the acid and she screams. Her English-language voice was performed by Alison Lohman.
Character and Abilities[edit | edit source]
Nausicaä is the beloved Princess of the Valley of the Wind. She is 16 years old, but her wisdom is far beyond her young age. She has dedicated herself to help her people, including trying to find a cure for the miasma poison that so many suffer from. She is brave, courageous, wise, intelligent, loyal, honest, kind, compassionate, and everything that one looks for in a true heroine. She stands tall against all adversaries and is willing to sacrifice her life in order to save those around her. Her fencing and flight maneuvering ability exceeds that of the enemy forces. Throughout the movie, she manifests the ability to wield a variety of weapons including a dagger, a sword, a rifle, and explosives used when extracting an Ohmu eye.
Nausicaä has psychic powers, abilities which include telepathy  , psychic force, when she repulses the slugworms , and communication with plants, when she talks to the Oldest Tree in the Valley . After being saved by Ohmu after aiding Asbel, Nausicaä dreams of childhood when she tried to save a Ohmu larvae . Nausicaä gives the control stone over to Asbel .
Behind the Scenes[edit | edit source]
Nausicaä's name comes from the princess Nausicaa in the Odyssey who assisted Odysseus. In English, the Greek name is normally pronounced /nɔːˈsɪkeɪ.ə/, but in the soundtrack for the film it is /ˈnɔːsɨkə/. Part of her character comes from a Japanese folk hero known as The Princess Who Loved Insects (虫めづる姫君Mushi mezuru himegimi?), whose story appeared in the Tsutsumi Chūnagon Monogatari while another part was inspired by the writings of Bernard Evslin, as he had written a more in-depth extrapolation of the Odyssey's Nausicaa.
The Princess Who Loved Insects was about a clever and beautiful princess who rather than beautifying herself and courting, would spend her time outdoors playing with bugs and caterpillars. Miyazaki has said that Evslin's Nausicaä reminded him of the princess who loved insects, and he wondered how the princess who loved insects lived her life after the story ended. He said that the two characters "became fused into one and created the story". He also said that Nausicaä is "governed by a kind of animism". Miyazaki said of Nausicaä that "[She] is not a protagonist who defeats an opponent, but a protagonist who understands, or accepts. She is someone who lives on a different dimension. That kind of person should be female, not male." Miyazaki also felt that he had to draw Nausicaä as being beautiful, and that he wanted to create a heroine who was not a "consummately normal" person. Miyazaki had considered including Nausicaä in more nude scenes, but he decided to tell a more "spiritual" story instead.
Shuna from Journey of Shuna is considered to be prototypical to Nausicaä.
Although a skillful fighter, Miyazaki's Nausicaä is humane and peace-loving. She has an unusual gift for communicating with the giant insects, and is noted for her empathy toward animals, humans, and other beings. An intelligent girl, Nausicaä frequently explores the toxic wasteland which surrounds the kingdoms, and conducts scientific experiments in an attempt to define the true nature and origins of the toxic world in which she lives. Her explorations are facilitated by her skill at "windriding;" flying with an advanced glider-like craft called Mehve, equipped with a jet-engine.
Nausicaä is described as being a "strong young female lead drawn strongly from the shoujo tradition", who "takes charge" of her own life, with a "brave and wholesome" mind, and as "one of the best examples of a truly "empowered" female." Stig Høgset found the too-perfect portrayal of Nausicaä to be unrealistic. Early in the story, she kills the warriors that killed her father, which Susan J. Napier described as, "genuinely shocking," and Kaori Yoshida points to as evidence of Nausicaä representing "traditional masculinity rather than femininity". Nausicaä later "comes to regret her vengeance" and becomes a diplomat to prevent further wars between the different states. Although Nausicaä is a warrior, Nausicaä does "reassuringly cute" actions such as taming Teto and calling things "pretty", which contrasts her with San of Princess Mononoke. Thomas Zoth regards Nausicaä as "Miyazaki's archetypal heroine", and notes shades of her in Ashitaka, San and Lady Eboshi of Princess Mononoke.
Opinion is divided as to whether Nausicaä is sexualised or not - Napier notes that Nausicaä's relationship with Asbel is "potentially erotic", but Kaori Yoshida says that Nausicaä's body "is not the typical kind designed to stimulate" the male gaze. The quality of tapes on early fansubs lead to the rumour that Nausicaä does not wear any pants. Yoshida presents Hiromi Murase's theory that Nausicaä represents a post-oedipal mother figure. Susan J. Napier and Patrick Drazen note a parallel between the character of Kushana, the rival warrior princess, and that of Nausicaä - Napier describes Kushana as Nausicaä's "shadow", noting that Kushana is not shown with any "alleviating, "feminine" virtues" as Nausicaä is, but that they share the same tactical brilliance. Drazen describes this as a "feminine duality". Miyazaki has described the two characters as being "two sides of the same coin", but Kushana has "deep, physical wounds".
Nausicaä is presented as a messiah, and also acts on an ideology of how to interact with the natural world. Her powers are presented as proof of the "rightness" of her mode of thought". Unlike other characters, who avoid or try to ignore the forest, Nausicaä is scientifically and beatifically interested in the forest. When the god soldier is activated, he chooses Nausicaä to be his "mother" and asks her who she wants him to kill. Marc Hairston considers this to be a recurring theme throughout the manga, that Nausicaä is given power and that she is told to make difficult decisions. In 2000, Nausicaä placed eleventh in an Animax poll of favourite anime characters. The first daughter ofJean Giraud is named after the character. The character Nakiami from Xam'd: Lost Memories has been noted to bear many similarities to Nausicaä.
History of the name: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nausicaa - Since her name means "burner of ships", it seems right as Nausicaä did destroy a few flying ships in the movie.
References[edit | edit source]
- DE 1a pg 7 (first appearance), pg 21 (identified)
- DE 1 pg 11
- DE 1 pg 57
- DE 1 pg 67
- DE 1 pg 127/128
- DE 1 pg 130
a See Page Conversions Between Editions to convert Deluxe Edition volume 1 (DE1) to other editions
|Nausicaä • Kushana • Asbel • Namulith • Rastel • Master of the Crypt • Ohma • The Vai Emperor|