Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Manga Volume 7 Review

風の谷のナウシカ
Kaze no Tani no Nausicaä
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind Volume 7

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SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind Volume 7With the God Warrior now under Nausicaä’s control, she tells Yupa and Kushana that she is going to have the creature-weapon take her to the crypts at Shuwa to seal them. The God Warrior eagerly obeys Nausicaä’s wish to fly west and does so with her secure in it’s hand. After a time, Nausicaä notices glowing and it is making her ill, so she asks the God Warrior to land, where she discovers that it too is exhausted and collapses in the cold. As the snow falls, the God Warrior gathers Nausicaä to itself to keep her warm.

Meanwhile, Kushana’s brothers are nearby with their troops and learn that the thing they saw fly over was the stolen God Warrior. They dispatch some scouts who find it and Nausicaä. She warns them off but their fear causes one to attack and the God Warrior kills them with a laugh. However, when it realizes that Nausicaä is upset, it repents, as it considers Nausicaä to be its mother. Nausicaä understands that the light emitted by the God Warrior is poisonous to her and Teto, but she has no choice but go on. However, before she does so, she tells the God Warrior that she is no longer angry, which makes it happy. Further, she gives it a name after it promises to behave, calling it Ohma. In being given a name, the God Warrior’s intelligence suddenly rises from child levels and it calls itself an arbitrator.

Taking off again, Nausicaä ponders the change in Ohma’s personality, figuring that mere weapons wouldn’t be given intelligence and that there’s a lot she doesn’t know about the God Warrior beings. As they fly, Kushana’s brothers forces fly near, so Ohma signals for them to land. Nausicaä emerges and informs them of the accidental death of the scouting party and of her mission to Shuwa to seal the crypts. The brothers take the clearly weakened Nausicaä in and then attempt to use her to protect themselves from Ohma’s poison light. Ohma backs off and watches with a smirk and then obeys them when the brothers order their convoy back into the air to Shuwa, with Ohma flying high escort. Ohma telepathically tells Nausicaä that he is obeying for her sake but they do not control him. When she asks whom Ohma is, he responds that he is the arbitrator, warrior, and judge who metes out justice.

Elsewhere, Mito, Asbel, and the other old guy from the Valley are rearming the fighter when the Worm Handlers Nausicaä treated kindly arrive, wanting to go with them to be with Nausicaä.  To prove their sincerity, they slaughter their worms and abandon all of their possessions in order to get a lift in the towed skiff. Mito agrees and they take off to Shuwa, where Nausicaä was known to be heading.

Kushana, Yupa, and Kurotowa have the body of the Emperor in a coffin and the Mani tribe, seeing their Emperor dead, begin rejoicing. However, when Yupa asks for use of a ship so they can fly to Shuwa, a massive disagreement happens.  The council of Charuka is sought by the freed Mani, who’d held him prisoner, but he refuses to go with them as he deserves no special treatment. However, he states that if Chikuku is awakened and comes, he will go. As Kushana and company await, some Mani women come, asking for food for their starving children. Kushana agrees since the food is theirs anyway, and the women enter the ship. However, Ketcha is among them and tells Yupa the woman all have bombs and are planning to slaughter the Torumekians.

Meanwhile, Kushana observes poorly trained Mani troops massing in the darkness to attack, so she has her 200 remaining troops take up defensive positions. Yupa attempts to talk the women out of their course of action while Ketcha intercepts a couple of Torumekian troops, but they won’t listen to her. Ketcha is knocked unconscious and Yupa loses an arm in an explosion of a grenade, which is offers as proof of his sincerity. As Kushana observes from the outdoors, Kurotowa and some men head to the plane with the women in it under the guise of bringing food but Yupa stops them, pointing out that many Mani people have moved to block the Mani troops from advancing. However, the Mani troops see Charuka, with Chikuku, and charge toward Kushana. She’s about to defend herself when Yupa stands in front and sacrifices himself for her. The Mani briefly see the image of the Holy One as Yupa dies, courtesy of Chikuku. With this, the Mani stop their insurrection and Chikuku introduces himself to Kushana.

Back with the two princes, Nausicaä becomes aware of Yupa’s death and sees that Teto has died. She has Ohma take her out of the plane and the two princes demand to be taken with her, so Ohma takes them too and orders the Torumekians to return home. To bring the point home, Ohma causes a massive explosion and the Torumekians retreat. Nausicaä has Ohma land so she can bury Teto, noting that Ohma’s flesh is rotting.  Stopping outside the ruins of a town, Nausicaä buries Teto under an old tree and is greeted by a man from the town. The man is bemused by the sight of a God Warrior and a girl, weeping over the death of an animal. The man is further surprised when he learns Nausicaä has named the God Warrior.  However, he assures both that he will take care of Nausicaä and thus Ohma can rest.

With that, the man takes Nausicaä and the two princes into the town and down steps, where it is revealed that the ruined town is an illusion, hiding animals and plants from the old world. After sleeping and having a bath, Nausicaä puts on clean clothing and stops by a room where the princes are playing music. Nausicaä remembers Teto and suddenly realizes this place is a trap where people forget. The animals plead with her and attempt to block her escape, but she won’t stop and uses her warrior training to stay ahead of them. Getting to a roof, Nausicaä is stunned to see the farmers harvesting a crop are in fact Heedra and she wonders if this is the crypt.

Nausicaä sees the gunship and badge fly overhead and knows they can’t see her, so she races for the exit, only to find it gone. The man returns and suddenly becomes Nausicaä’s mother. However, Nausicaä resists the trap and is able to summon Selm’s astral form. Selm reveals that this is the Master of the Garden, who is a type of Heedra himself, having lived thousands of years. The Master “attacks” Selm by pointing out that the Forest People had traveled to the end of the Sea of Decay to the new lands, only to die a bloody death due to it. Nausicaä realizes that the Sea of Decay, Ohmu, and more are all man made life forms designed to purify the planet. The Master is surprised at Nausicaä’s insight and confirms, saying that humanity was altered in order to survive while the purification process continued.

Because of Nausicaä’s strong spirit, the Master allows her to leave, as he’d done for the boy who’d become the first Dorok Emperor and the four Heedra he took with him. Nausicaä emerges from the ruins to find Mito and the Worm Handlers looking for her, having landed at this village where the God Warrior had caught their attention. Ohma has left to go to Shuwa on Nausicaä’s behalf, so Nausicaä takes Kui to follow it, and she is followed by the Worm Handlers.

At Shuwa, the Torumekian Emperor has led his troops to capture the city, but they are unable to even scratch the crypt even after a heavy bombardment. The crypt returns fire with devastating effect as Ohma arrives, demanding that the Torumekian army stop its attack. They attack it, so Ohma begins wiping them out. Ohma demands to see the Emperor, so he shows himself. Upon learning that Ohma considers himself an arbitrator, the Emperor asks for help since he claims to want to speak with those in the crypt. Ohma has him come into its hand and then advances on the crypt, demanding the occupants abandon the facility as it intends to seal the place forever. The Emperor doesn’t want this, but Ohma won’t listen, knowing the Emperor is not being truthful.

The crypt opens fire, seriously damaging Ohma. In return, Ohma blasts back, causing a major rip in the walls of the crypt, but it succumbs to its injuries and falls into a ravine. Nausicaä gets this information from Ohma before he falls as a fleet of Torumekian ships crash, their occupants all dead. The Worm Handlers are going to loot the corpses but Nausicaä’s anger and disgust causes them to stop. She then tells them part of the secret of the world, leaving out the part about the purified earth being uninhabitable by them.

Meanwhile, the monks within the crypt emerge and take the Emperor and his jester inside, now that he has no army. This is seen by Asbel, who comes back to his crashed gunship where an injured Mito waits. Asbel infiltrates the injured crypt while Mito takes the gunship’s two bomb-missiles to be used against the crypt. Asbel discovers a room where there are human body parts, including heads, still alive, and they are not happy to see him. He’s chased to a Heedra pit area, where he discovers the Heedra are fed dead bodies.

As Asbel fights for his life, Nausicaä leads her Worm Handlers in and is taken to where Ohma’s body fell. The God Warrior is still alive and Nausicaä continues her journey deeper into the crypt, where she finds the Torumekian Emperor shooting crypt monks because they aren’t telling him everything. Nausicaä puts an end to his activities and discovers the text on the walls are in fact alive. The crypt has healed itself enough so that it communes with Nausicaä, revealing that it is the product of scientist from the old world who’d done what they could to purify the earth and make it ready for a new, peaceful humanity.

Nausicaä rejects this idea, since their plan involves the killing of humanity currently on the planet in favor of new humanity. The crypt assures her that humans can be adapted to live in the purified earth, but again, Nausicaä rejects the idea of this artificially controlled world, even if it is heaven on earth. She cites that suffering and good times are all part of what it means to be human.  Seeing her rejection as a rejection of the light, the crypt attempts to kill her, but she is aided by Selm in astral form, who tells her to call Ohma. She does and Ohma finds enough strength for an attack and then at Nausicaä’s command, destroys the heart of the crypt. Before Ohma dies, Nausicaä assures it that it was a good child, though she ponders her own sin as Ohma had killed all of the “eggs” that were to be the new humans.

Kushana, Kurotowa, Charuka, Chikuku, and others retrieve Nausicaä and the Emperor as the crypt falls to ruin.  The dying Emperor, who’d helped protect Nausicaä, summons Kushana and hands power to her, finding his dark heart now gone. He warns Kushana not to make the same mistakes he did and he dies. However, Kushana refuses to take the throne but instead becomes regent. Asbel and Ketcha are reunited as Nausicaä realizes the blood of the crypt and the blood of the Ohmu are the same color, something Selm asks her not to reveal. Reunions had, the story ends with rumors that Nausicaä later returned to the Valley after Chikuku became of age and other rumors that she went to the forest to be with Selm.

Thoughts/Review:

And so it ends, and in the biggest volume of them all.  Basically, it seems that Miyazaki-sensei decided that enough was enough and just ended things, acknowledging there was more to tell, but that’s that.  Its a shame too since it would have been interesting to see some aftermath stuff.

I do find it amusing that the argument I made last volume against Miyazaki-sensei’s vision of humanity being ready in 1000 years is something he then espouses in this volume. I do find it interesting that seemingly, Miyazaki-sensei sides with a libertarian view of things, rejecting an authoritarian, central planning notion that humans from the old world had set up.  The humans of old designed things so that the planet would be purified and that the humans currently living on the planet would just be temporary caretakers to be disposed of once the purification was complete. Then, there’d be this new earth and a humanity devoid of its humanity, and apparently a slave to those who’d created the crypt in the first place.

It seems odd to me that Miyazaki-sensei would have Nausicaä choose liberty over a perfect world governed by the perfect central planning entity.  Miyazaki-sensei has long been known for his environmentalist-themed works and almost all of the environmentalist today are down for major central planning and controlling humanity via draconian laws, regulations, and anything else it takes.  My impression of modern-day environmentalist has been that humans should not be free, but should be controlled by a ruling elite, of which the environmentalist would belong to that class.

Indeed, that is what was presented in the form of the crypt and those who made it, who made themselves “gods” (ruling elite) and who’d planned out the rebirth of the planet quite well so that it would be perfect when the purification was done.  To me, the crypt and those that made it represent modern-day environmentalist, so why would Miyazaki-sensei side against them if he is as much an environmentalist as I’ve heard?   Maybe it is just storytelling or maybe it is his way of exploring a libertarian viewpoint.  I’m not sure, but it did surprise me in a pleasant way.

I’d also state that in some ways, the way the manga ends reminded me of the original Star Trek story “The Return of the Archons” which featured another centrally controlled world with no freedom in exchange for peace and tranquility. I wonder if Miyazaki-sensei was at all influenced by that story.

Those things aside, I liked how the God Warrior Ohma was portrayed in the manga.  It is somewhat similar to the anime in that the creature was rotting away (for reasons I’m assuming are due to it not being formed properly), but Ohma having that intelligence boost was an unexpected and nice touch. Ohma treating Nausicaä as its mother was also unexpected and made the creature so much more interesting. I wasn’t exactly clear on why such a powerful weapon was given such a high IQ, but it does put a different twist on how the world came to an end. Its possible that the ruling elite created them to purge humanity of those deemed unworthy, but the weapons went out of control in their work (though that doesn’t explain why there are so many petrified shells of God Warriors all over).  Its disappointing that more wasn’t learned about the God Warriors and their original purpose.

I was disappointed that in Miyazaki-sensei’s decision to end the manga, nothing ever came of a potential Kushana-Kurotowa pairing, which I would have liked to have seen.  Miyazaki-sensei does imply that Asbel and Ketcha get together, which I had no problem with since he’d been separated from Nausicaä for quite some time.  Miyazaki-sensei leaving open whom Nausicaä ended up with was “meh” but then what do I know.  Nausicaä was never much on the romantic aspects anyway other than potentially early on with Asbel.

On the Viz side, there’s nothing much to speak of. I still am not a fan of having a section for sound effect translations as I’d prefer them to just be incorporated along with the original Japanese sounds.

I’ll sit and ponder for a time and will likely come up with some final thoughts in the future. In the meantime, this final volume of the manga is as jammed packed as the others, but is still a good tale that while leaving a few things open and no aftermath, does answer all of the main questions the manga posed about the secrets of the world and Nausicaä’s role in it.

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11 Responses to “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Manga Volume 7 Review”

  1. Aumanor says:

    An offtop, but who cares. THE FIRST EPISODE OF FATE/ZERO IS HERE! HAMSTERS AND RANGERS EVERYWHERE!! REJOI… ok, I might have just got carried away a little. Anyways, I’m looking forward to reading your review, as always.

  2. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Yeah, I wanted to watch it already, but PC problems have REALLY been a problem. ^_^;;; I’ll try to watch it today and have a review up tomorrow.

  3. Brett says:

    I’ve found that I liked the ending more on re-read. What Nausicaa was really rejecting was the continued manipulation of the present by the dead hand of the extinct civilization that created the polluted world in the first place, the one that had spawned multiple weapons and led to cycles of collapse and chaos after the Seven Days of Fire. By destroying the Crypt (and the “eggs” of the humans engineered to replace the living humans), she was finally breaking humanity free from its the chains of the past.

    As for modern environmentalists, many of them don’t favor top-down regulation. There is the movement of “Deep Ecology”, among other “small is beautiful” environmental movements that tend to favor decentralized, local societies.

  4. AstroNerdBoy says:

    By destroying the Crypt (and the “eggs” of the humans engineered to replace the living humans), she was finally breaking humanity free from its the chains of the past.

    True. It also forces the current humans to advance rather than rely on copies of past technology and stagnate (IMO).

    As for modern environmentalists, many of them don’t favor top-down regulation. There is the movement of “Deep Ecology”, among other “small is beautiful” environmental movements that tend to favor decentralized, local societies.

    I know that the hideous Agenda 21 from the UN tries this, but by disguising the top-down approach by making it seem like a local, decentralized thing. *_*

  5. Anonymous says:

    I would like to ask the staff members if both nausicaa and sanely get together in the film, which is usually somewhat separate from book interpretations, I believe they show bonds between two people (pairings/couples) in films to express that they do end up together and that there r signs of it like sanely staying behind with nausicaa often being near her seen in the credits not just because they r the rulers of their Kingdoms, I can only hope that it’s true 🙂

  6. Anonymous says:

    As the author of the book series said it is not her book but miyazaki’s movie 🙂

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      The author of the manga books IS Miyazaki-sensei, the same person who created the anime movie. The manga is his telling the complete story whereas the anime just tells the first parts of it with some modifications to make it fit a movie format.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Sorry I meant that for Tales of Earthsea hehe multitasking

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