Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Manga Volume 2 Review

風の谷のナウシカ
Kaze no Tani no Nausicaä
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind Volume 2

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SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind Volume 2Nausicaä and Asbel escape the Sea of Decay only to emerge in the middle of a Dorok air fleet, which attacks the threat. Asbel signals them and Nausicaä lands the mehve. However, when a Dorok ship lands, one of the Dorok warriors decides to make Nausicaä his. She takes exception to this and beats him down, whereupon she and Asbel begin battling Dorok troops until the elderly Dorok priest-leader and his young female aide emerge from the ship and stop the fight. The priest-leader and Nausicaä commune telepathically, where she realizes he is blind and that they are to be prisoners. Taken in unbound, Nausicaä is lead by the girl aide to a part of the ship where women and children are housed while Asbel is taken elsewhere.

Meanwhile, at the  Torumekian encampment, repairs are underway to the air fleet and the repair crews admire Kurotowa for his skill in saving them during the last battle. Mito is frustrated about Nausicaä’s disappearance so Kushana grants him an audience. She wants information on the control stone in exchange for allowing him to conduct a search for Nausicaä.  Mito finds this amusing since he knows nothing and states that if Kushana wants something Nausicaä has, talking in person would be best. Kushana is amused and agrees with Mito’s request.

The worm handlers discover evidence that a Dorok ship has recently landed nearby and Kurotowa sends them to investigate. As they examine some underground caverns, they are ambushed by Dorok troops and slaughtered. Someone bringing the worm handlers food and wine discovers the slaughter and attempts to raise an alarm as the Dorok troops gather on a ridge.

Back with the Dorok fleet, Nausicaä entertains the children with Teto and is given a Dorok dress by an elderly woman, the dress having belonged to her daughter, since Nausicaä had nothing but her slip to wear. The young female aide retrieves Nausicaä to take her to the Holy One. Nausicaä notes that the Dorok fleet is heading south, in the direction of the Torumekian camp. Communing with the Holy One, Nausicaä learns that the fleet is heading to attack the Torumekian camp, Kushana having been sold out by her family. Nausicaä  wants to try to stop the fighting but is told that it is too late. When Mito arrives on the gunship, the Dorok fleet opens fire. Nausicaä  springs into action and takes the Holy One hostage. Asbel assists her and the Dorok ship runs up the white flag.

Nausicaä makes it to her captured mehve, the Holy One still hostage, and makes her escape, leaving a willing Asbel to face the punishment for helping her.  With her mehve secured, Nausicaä orders Mito to fly to the Torumekian camp. On the way, they discover a hoard of charging Ohmu, which are responding to the cries of a baby Ohmu being tortured and held aloft by a Dorok “flying jar.” Nausicaä attempts to free the dying insectoid and cause it to drop into the acid lake but instead, forces the Dorok craft to crash, killing its two-man crew. She attempts to keep the Ohmu from injuring itself further and suffering more.

Meanwhile, the Dorok troops at the Torumekian camp attack and when the Torumekians counter, the Dorok fall back, causing Kushana to realize that this is a planned retreat. Mito’s arrival in the gunship with the intel of the Ohmu imminent attack. The Torumekian’s attempt a hasty flee attempt with Kurotowa rescuing Kushana but many of her men were left behind and killed. As a result, Kushana cuts off her long hair braid in honor of the men who sacrificed themselves for her. She then orders that her craft follow the Ohmu, as they continue to head for the badly injured baby Ohmu.

Nausicaä initially plans to kill the baby Ohmu but can’t bring herself to do so but she stops the baby from entering the acid lake. The adult Ohmu start entering the lake as Kushana’s craft arrives overhead. Nausicaä sends a strong telepathic cry for the Ohmu to stop, so strong that the Holy One can hear it. He orders a flying jar launched with himself and the girl aide while Nausicaä takes off in her mehve and lands on Kushana’s craft. She strikes a deal with Kushana to take the baby Ohmu to the forest to die in exchange for information Kushana wants. Nausicaä guides Kurotowa to a landing and they pick up the Ohmu and deliver it to the adult hoard. The Ohmu extend tentacles to Nausicaä and she appears to be in a field of gold, causing Kushana to marvel. This vision is relayed to the Holy One by his girl aide, making him realize Nausicaä is fulfilling prophecy.

Nausicaä orders Mito and the others from the Valley to return there with a Torumekian fleet as she stays with Kushana in order to investigate how the Dorok were able to capture a baby Ohmu and her fears of a daikaisho — when the forest of the Sea of Decay comes boiling out like a massive wave. The last such event happened 300 years earlier and wiped out the last of the surviving technology hubs from the time before the Seven Days of Fire.

Elsewhere, Yupa arrives at a village built around the remains of a starship, which has been “mined” for a number of years for its components and materials. Some worm handlers arrive with Dorok money rather than Torumekian currency but the villagers don’t want to serve them. Yupa decides to investigate further by taking them food and when they leave, he stows away on their aircraft, which eventually meets up with a Dorok craft and goes to a Dorok meeting area.  Yupa infiltrates the caverns where the Holy One is meeting another priest-leader, wanting the Holy Emperor to delay the war against the Torumekians. Yupa is discovered by the worm handlers and in his escape attempt, he discovers the Dorok are growing an Ohmu.

When the worm handlers realize they are facing Yupa, they demand more money as Yupa begins slaughtering them. A warrior rises to face Yupa in single-handed combat, but it is Asbel in disguise, who in the course of their fake duel, breaks the container with the baby Ohmu, putting the entire Dorok settlement in danger. Yupa and Asbel escape, aided by the Holy One and his girl aide but the arrival of the Holy Emperor puts and end to their escape. The Holy One speaks of Nausicaä and the impending daikaisho, but the Holy Emperor declares this heresy and kills the Holy One. Before he dies, he manages a long-distance thought commune with Nausicaä, telling her not to come for him.

The Holy One’s actions allow Yupa, Asbel, and the Holy One’s aide to escape but it also allowed the Holy Emperor to sense Nausicaä. Using his mental powers, he manifests himself as a dark shape that Nausicaä sees as the embodiment of evil. The spirit of the Holy One helps Nausicaä escape the Holy Emperor’s grasp. She mourns the death of the Holy One as the Holy Emperor vows to get her the next time.

Thoughts/Review:

Wow. I again apologize for the incredible length of the summaries here but this manga is not like normal manga titles. Many manga titles have pages of imagery and there’s nothing wrong with that. Miyazaki-sensei doesn’t use full page, two-page, or even half-page images. His largest images are roughly one-third a page. In addition, without the chapter breaks that normal manga series have, Miyazaki-sensei’s work is very dense with plot, making it more like reading a novel at times. There’s nothing wrong with that either, but it does make for a much more challenging effort to restrict the summary size. *lol*

The Dorok are the new element here and have been set up to be the major antagonist force against the Torumekians. Funny how in the anime, the Torumekians were the villains but in the manga, they are a much more sympathetic force. Consider how Nausicaä was to fight for and with them. Further, Kushana continues to be a respectable character who’s own family seeks her life.  Despite this, she still follows her orders and when her men die, she does not forget their sacrifice.  She is intelligent and wise in addition to being a very good military leader. So, while elements of the Torumekians are obviously despicable, Kushana and her forces aren’t.

Anyway, back to the Dorok, the flying jar turns out to be their technology rather than Pejitei, as it was in the anime. I never questioned in the anime how the Pejite (as they were spelled there) managed to capture a baby Ohmu for torture as a lure since the slightest injury of any Sea of Decay resident brought about the wrath of said residents there. Indeed, that was the purpose of the baby Ohmu being severely injured so that the hoards of Ohmu would attack. I just never thought about how a baby would be captured successfully.  Now I know — in the manga, the Dorok grew their own.

I liked how the prophecy of Nausicaä is told from the Dorok aspect rather than a legend from the Valley. It is interesting that even within the Dorok, there is not uniformity of thought. The Holy One was clearly executing the Holy Emperor’s will in his attack on Kushana’s force. However, Nausicaä not only has him question the wisdom of the Dorok’s war, but her actions and her role in fulfilling Dorok prophecy causes him to help Nausicaä’s friends and to give up his life for her. It is interesting that the Holy Emperor could engage Nausicaä on the astral plane (for lack of a better term).

Yupa gets more time here than he did in the anime. Interesting that at one point in the history of this “Earth,” space travel happened. I wonder if any other space craft will come into play in this story.  Regardless, Miyazaki-sensei did a good job of showing just how far humanity had fallen and that the reason there was still technology at all was due to it being all that was left from 300 years earlier, when there were still surviving meccas of technology production, such as aircraft and weapons.  I wonder if that’s why the Dorok craft had to be made from wood rather than metal like the Torumekain aircraft are.

So, through two volumes, I’m really amazed at how complex and involved the manga story is but I’m loving every moment of it. ^_^

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4 Responses to “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Manga Volume 2 Review”

  1. Turtle says:

    When will you be reviewing volume 3?

  2. AstroNerdBoy says:

    THe plan is to have it up this week some time. Key word there being “plan” since I’m working nearly every day this month. ^_^;;;

  3. Turtle says:

    Thanks, I understand what your situation is but the waiting was very excruciating.

  4. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Scheduled for the 8th. ^_^ Hopefully, it isn’t full of spelling and grammar errors (so tired, I can’t even see straight).

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