VIZ is expanding its Studio Ghibli imprint with more titles related to Hayao Miyazaki’s manga and anime film, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. This includes a new picture book based on the movie.
The book is a handsome hardcover about 10 and a half inches tall and 215 pages. It opens with character introductions and a brief explanation of the flying machines. From there we get to the actual story. The art uses screenshots from the movie, and sometimes there are multiple pieces of art per page; sometimes the art takes up the whole page, and sometimes there are pages with just art from the movie and no writing.
The writing style is short and sweet, written in third person. For a sample of the writing style, here is how the main character is first described in the story: “Nausicaä was a gentle princess. She loved nature and all living things. Deep in the jungle, she found a plant that glowed with a soft blue light.”
For anyone unfamiliar with the movie or manga, Nausicaä is about a future world where civilization has been destroyed. Scattered humans are still alive, but most of the Earth exists as a toxic jungle. Giant insects called Ohms exist now, and while they can be dangerous, Princess Nausicaä is so in tune with nature and so kind-hearted that she’s able to communicate with them.
The story has a very obvious environmental angle to it, making it quite timely. It’s probably best for fans of Nausicaä who would like to add to their collection. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is one of Miyazaki’s most celebrated titles, and it’s great to see a continued interest in the story, no matter what shape it comes in. VIZ has other Miyazaki movie titles as picture books as well.
Story & Art: Hayao Miyazaki
Danica Davidson, along with Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya, is the author of Manga Art for Intermediates. In addition to showing how to draw manga character types in detail, the book describes how professional Japanese manga creators work, including common techniques and what drawing utensils they use.