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In February of 1982, the first chapter of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind was published – a manga series that would go on to help create one of the most iconic animation studios in film history.
Written and drawn by Hayao Miyazaki, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is an epic fantasy set in a future where a world war has ravaged the world with pollution. The manga follows the journey of Nausicaä, a princess who finds herself caught in another war as the world’s remaining kingdoms fight over any remaining natural resources.
In a long career of masterpiece works, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that Miyazaki’s Nausicaä is a fantastic read. Much like his other works, it explores evergreen themes of choosing pacifism over violence and the irreplaceable treasure of nature. If you love Miyazaki you’ll love this manga.
What makes Nausicaä important is that it represents a turning point for Miyazaki, because the success of its anime adaptation directly led to the creation of Studio Ghibli.