Yesterday, while I was out running errands, I found more Studio Ghibli movies and NausicaA of the Valley of the Wind looked fantastic, so I picked it up.
“After a global war, the seaside kingdom known as the Valley of the Wind remains one of the last strongholds on Earth untouched by a poisonous jungle and the powerful insects that guard it. Led by the courageous Princess Nausicaa, the people of the Valley engage in an epic struggle to restore the bond between humanity and Earth.”
When I got home from work today, I started the movie and realized that I’ve actually seen it before. It was yet another that we watched during our movie nights. Was it before I broke my ankle, or after? I don’t remember. Does it matter? Probably not, since that was still a good time in my memories.
I think this movie is probably the one that has affected me the most deeply out of all of the Studio Ghibli movies so far. Even though this is actually the second time I’ve seen this movie, it still struck me in a very powerful way.
Out of all the princesses who could be used as a positive role model, I’m surprised that Princess Nausicaa doesn’t show up more often. She’s extremely competent and caring. The first introduction we have to her as a character is when she’s alone in the jungle, conducting research. We don’t know why she’s conducting the research until later in the movie where we realize that she’s been working with the toxins in the jungle to try to find a cure for the ailments that happen to those exposed to the toxic spores. She spends the entire movie working to prevent people from killing people, insects from killing people, and people from killing insects.
Princess Nausicaa is exactly what a hero and leader should be – her first thought is always taking care of the people in her village and teaching them to live in harmony with their surroundings. But she isn’t an idle princess. She flies her glider with an expertise that I could only dream of (not that I own a glider, but if I lived in a world where there were gliders, you can pretty much guarantee that I would learn to fly it). She’s resourceful, firstly using a pellet from her shotgun in order to remove an orb from one of the Ohm shells. Then, using an insect charm to convince the Ohm to go a different direction. She defends her people when it’s necessary, and works to save the people who tried to help her escape capture.
I think another of the reasons I liked this story so much is because it wasn’t a love or romantic story. There was friendship and loyalty and everything that matters to me without any of the romantic subplots that so many movies like to include.
She’s a true leader because she is willing to sacrifice herself to save the villagers and the Ohm. I would hope that I would have the courage to stand in the way of violence and certain harm to save those I loved. Hm. Maybe the next time I cosplay, I’ll see if I can put together a Princess Nausicaa outfit. That could be fun, and she is someone who is worthy of emulation.
Overall, this movie is easily a solid four on my rating scale. Maybe a high four, even. I’m glad I purchased this movie and I’m positive I will watch it again.