Monday, 6 May 2013

FILM: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (6/10)

Why did I watch it?
I had never watched an anime film before and a friend recommended Spirited Away to me. After I missed that one, they also recommended I watch Nausicaa, which the channel was showing the following week as part of an anime season. 

What's it all about?
I tried to keep up with things so here goes..., sometime in the future, civilisation has been destroyed by an apocalyptic war and toxic jungles inhabited by giant insects spread a poison known as the Fukai across the world. Princess Nausicaa lives in the Valley of the Wind, a settlement protected from the poison by the wind. Her life changes when an airship carrying a long extinct powerful warrior, that the Tolmekian nation plan to unleash on the jungles, crashes into the valley.

Should you watch it?
The fact that I had not seen an anime film prior to this was not just coincidence, I was never a fan of it when it started to appear on children's TV when I was younger. Who knows if this was the best anime film to start with. In any case, I probably didn't start watching Nausicaa from the most neutral standpoint, try as I might.

Nausicaa's plot is certainly something I expected from an anime film, pretty abstract and warped but certainly original, although the environmental responsibility undertones that the film hammers home were not, though perhaps they were back in 1984. This might seem daft but the film's setting reminded me of a Star Wars movie, different nations, obscure looking creatures, monsters and a desolate planet that in some places definitely reminded my of Tatooine.

The animation doesnt look all that dated and some of the killer insects created, in particular the swarm of Ohmu, were pretty cool to look at. I found the way that the film's score completely switched up to a loud and frantic number when a battle scene occurred very reminiscent of video games from my childhood! Not surprising considering the majority were probably developed in Japan.

Being my first anime film I've nothing to compare Nausicaa against and while I found it quite interesting and eye-opening I wouldn't go as far as saying I particulary enjoyed it. I really do need to watch Spirited Away to see how it compares.

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