Week Eight: Anime

Question Six: In what ways is Nausicaä intended as a warning, and what attitudes does it express towards humanity, nature and the future?

Answer:

Before I begin to answer the selected question, allow me to introduce Anime. Japanese animation, or “anime”, usually referred with both the names in Japan and the West, is a phenomenon of popular culture. This means that much of its products are short-lived, rising and falling due to popular taste and the demands of the hungry market place (Napier, 2005). The mastermind behind the prosperous of Anime is none other than animation director Hayao Miyazaki (1941-Present). A masterful creator who’s works accumulate of various themes such of both enchanting fantasies and thought provoking scenarios, often more concentrated for adult spectators than for children (Cavallaro, 2006). Coupled with the international success of Princess Mononoke (Mononoke Hime, 1997) and Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi, 2001). Furthermore, according to Cavallaro (2006) Miyazaki, “…has brought to life intricate fantasy realm, building each from scratch… Within these domains, Eastern and Western traditions, ancient mythologies and contemporary cultures, the magical visions of children and the pragmatic outlooks of adults intriguingly coalesce” (pg 5). Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), in particular, contains important messages and warnings concerning multiple topics such as humanity, nature and the future.

The element which denotes that Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) is more than just a entertaining movie is the qualities of Kaitiakitanga (means guardianship and conservation) deep-seated in Nausicaä (the main character). Nausicaä, the heroine, believes in the value of life regardless of its form and through her actions stops a war. The central theme of the movie was to warn and educate the masses of the harms of a conflicting society and the greater damage which the environment suffers as a consequence for the present tension. Not only caring for the environment but, concerned greatly about the generation to come. Consequently, it is Fear which drives the conflicts, the fear of the poisoned forest results in the greed and resentment. Whereas, Nausicaä, being a trans-formative force, leads the people to understand and respect nature which is portrayed as welcoming, spiritual, and restorative for those, who enter it peacefully (Wikipedia, 2019). She understood the pain of losing someone when her beloved father was killed laying innocent at bed. Hence, she also didn’t want other people to go through the same torment of losing a loved one.

To Conclude, an old anime film, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) teaches the audience the importance of compassion and the importance of looking after the environment speaks loudly that this, is an issue which has been on the agenda for quite a sometime. The present exploitation and heedlessness towards the whenua must stop! The land has been enduring from us humans for a very long time. It’s about time that we have to come up with constructive solutions on this matter.

References:

Cavallaro, D. (2006). Introduction. In The Anime Art of Hayao Miyazaki (pp.5-13). London: McFarland & Company.

Napier, S. J. (2005). Anime from Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle, Updated Edition: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation. London, England: Macmillan.

Wikipedia, (2019). Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nausica%C3%A4_of_the_Valley_of_the_Wind_(film)#Themes

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