Reviews for Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Vol. 3, by David Lewis, Kaori Inoue, Izumi Evers, Walden Wong, Hayao Miyazaki, Toren Smith, Joe Yamazaki
Much better than the second volume. This book actually picks up quite a bit. The majority of the story covers a battle between two of the peoples. Using really unique war techniques, putting the animals and pollution of the forests to work as weapons against them, and fighting to gain control over an ancient ultimate weapon. It was the most epic battle I've come across in graphic novel form.
Another great segment of this story. A thoughtful portrayal of war and suffering. I enjoyed the development of Nausicaa and Kushama as characters in this volume.
- Loveable characters? It's complicated
- Diverse cast of characters? No
I think this is the one where I really fell in love with comics. I mean madly, passionately in love, because I was already pretty smitten but I don't think I had ever seen or read anything like the sortie from the besieged garrison. Rereading it now years later I think I can still safely say it is the best depiction of battle that I have ever read or seen in any medium. It is the greatest piece of action narrative I know of, at any rate.
Travelling through Dorok territory with Kushana, Nausicaa discovers horrible signs that the miasma of the Sea of Corruption is being used as a weapon. Kushana is determined to rescue what is left of her beloved Third Army, being thrown away in useless rearguard actions by her horrible brothers. Nausicaa just wants to end the violence and reduce bloodshed. In a bargain to secure the release of civilian prisoners she agrees to ride beside Kushana in a daring sortie to destroy Dorok artillery.
It's incredible. The build-up, the careful depiction of the battleground, the precision of the tactics, the action itself, filled with acts of brutality heroism on both sides, the horror of it, the epic sweep of it, the astonishing momentum. That it's all in service to a dreadfully wasteful conflict is all rather the point, but this heightens the suspense and the stakes rather than reduces them. The incompatible aims of Kushana and Nausicaa are as much in conflict on the field of battle as the opposing armies,. and this is very much Kushana's ground. Can Nausicaa get through the fight without turning herself into yet another blood-spattered killer?
In this volume, Nausicaä goes to war. She ends up in an uneasy alliance with a princess from a distant empire who is as busy fighting her own family as the people she was sent to fight. These people are using the miasma from the forest of corruption as a weapon of war, effectively cutting off their nose to spite their face, losing their own lands to the corruption.
We also see more hints of a prophecy that Nausicaä is at the centre of and the expanded canvas of the graphic novels gives this much more room to breathe than the film.