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Posts Tagged ‘Nausicaa of the Valley of the WInd’

farewell-1895blog

The year is winding down, and the best I can say is that humanity hasn’t ended in a nuclear conflagration just yet. I have no personal accomplishments to really crow about this time either—no short story sales, very little work done on my still-in-progress necromancy novel, and a general feeling of creative malaise towards the written word.

However, I did turn my efforts towards art, and it’s been a fantastic year on that front. I started seeing some marked improvement, in part because I’ve managed to follow through on the pledge I made some time ago to create something every day, building up from the basics. I tried Inktober for the first time this year, and in balance, it was a hell of a lot more enjoyable than my last experience NanoWriMo, with some tangible benefits at the end.

Now for the usual rundown of media and culture that I either enjoyed or at least made me think.

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71ywee7w-il

Few people put Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind at the top of Hayao Miyazaki’s filmography, though there is a sizable contingent who absolutely love the film. At the same time, while Miyazaki’s first original feature-length film has been eclipsed by what he made under Studio Ghibli, you can’t deny the importance of that first work in the pattern of his career. Nausicaä contains the seed for all the work that came after: the visual sensibility, the treatment and choice of characters, the pacing, and most obviously, the underlying themes. It has the mark of an early passion project that encompasses an entire creative vision: everything Miyazaki wanted to express poured into a single story, which would then grow and change and spread to his future creative projects.

It’s not as obvious in the film as in the manga which he had to draw and write in order to get his dream-movie produced in the first place. The manga of Nausicaä began in 1982, before the film’s earnest development and wasn’t completed until 1994, long after that film’s release. Considering the long timespan, it’s hard to hold up the complete run of Nausicaä as an “early work” in the way you would the 1984 film, but it still functions as an incubator for other ideas, a forgotten centrepiece (at least in North America) to his particular brand of visual storytelling.

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