Dec 7, 2017
fredcourch (All reviews)
A few years back, when someone would ask me what was my favorite movie, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind was always the first one that came to mind. As time passed, my answer changed. Not because I didn’t think it was the best anymore, only because my memory failed me and I felt uncomfortable suggesting a movie that I didn’t remember. I began feeling doubtful after few friends (to which I recommended the movie) thought of it as nothing special. Is it really that great ? By fear of being disappointed in the movie, I avoided watching it again. Nearly five years later, I finally succumbed to the temptation and God it was glorious !

The unbalanced world is a common theme in entertainment, especially for animes. Since Kaze no Tani no Nausicaä aired in 1984, we can probably forgive Miyazaki for the lack of originality. The slow-paced movie brings a series of revelations that let you gradually understand the root of the problem. Because each part of Nausicaä's adventure is a little piece of the puzzle, the viewer gets the pieces at the same time as she does. Hence, it is difficult to fully grasp the situation before the last part. I found the story compelling, but it was the unity of all the aspects that made this movie a work of outstanding artistry.

The art may be incomparable with recent anime, but I think that old nostalgic style is timeless. The design of the villages, planes, uniforms, forests (in fact everything) are spot on for the fantasy genre. Sometimes animes don’t let the viewer simply look at the landscape, they put in too much action or change scene too fast. Miyazaki does the exact opposite. With almost no action and sometimes not even sound, he lets you admire the drawings and animation... knowing, almost arrogantly, that the movie he created was a masterpiece that could speak for itself.

And don’t get me started on the music ! I don’t know if I remembered the songs from 5 years ago or I listened to them elsewhere (YouTube’s Gibli mix maybe), but they all left me deep emotions (goosebumps x 3). The main classical music theme may not be for everyone, however I don’t think it’s intense enough to change the overall feel of the movie.

All the characters are pretty plain throughout the movie. We can associate a few characteristics to each of them, but I don’t see any developments whatsoever. However, they act consistently with their personally when being confronted with different events. Like almost all of Miyazaki’s movies, I feel like the simple, easy-to-understand characters leave us diving faster and deeper into the story.

Compared to the world Nausicaä lives in, this movie is in complete balance and I sense it will be leaving a lasting impression on me, for 5 years once more...