Fanfiction & Commentary

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Fanfiction (Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind)

The ruffles of the leaves and the harsh breeze of the wind snaps my eyes open, I sat up in a jolt and frantically looking around. My breathing becoming heavier by each passing second.

“Uncle?” I call out.

Sounds of shuffling’s enter my small cottage and a dark shadow appears under the frame of my door, my heart beats in an unusual pace. I thought to myself that they have found me, after years of hiding in the forest they have finally found me. The people of the neighbouring kingdoms.

“Calm down child”

A deep hoarse voice speaks out from the dark shadow, the man removes his hoodie and revealed a familiar face. I let out a breath.

“Oh, it’s just you”

My uncle stepped into our small cottage and removed his cloak and gloves. He sat on the table and placed his bag on the table with a heavy thud. He slowly and gently held a hand to the left side of his face.

“It grows each day” he sighs.

My heart softens, my uncle’s left side of his face was mutilated. It wasn’t terrifying, a beautiful combination of the colours green and blue covers half of his face. With wild little flowers growing from the green and blue surface. Anyone I believe could’ve found it terrifying but I didn’t. I thought it was beautiful. And he was right, the flowers seem to grow more so each day and he can no longer see in his left eye. My uncle found me in the forest as a baby beside my dying mother. She had given birth to me in the toxic jungle and she was without a mask, therefore was in danger of dying from the chemicals that was inhabited in the forest. As I was born in the forest, my body was dependent on the toxins that were the plants in the forest lived off. When uncle Landon found me, his mask was already starting to rip therefore the toxins in the forest started to eat away at his skin.

A loud terrifying sound echoes throughout the forest and my uncle and I immediately surge to our feet. Alarmed.

“What was that?”

I panicked, looking around for my weapon and my uncle stopped me.

“Stay here” he said. “I’ll go outside and have a look, do not let anyone in”

I nodded as my heart thuds uncontrollably in my chest. My uncle stepped out and disappeared in through the dark forest. It was probably a few seconds which felt like long dreading hours. A scream came in from outside and without hesitation I grabbed a lamp and I ran as a fast as I could, praying that it was not Landon. Another scream came and I followed its’ direction. The giant insects hurriedly scurried away from the direction where the scream was coming from. I tumbled through the forest, tripping over big roots and the giant insects. I finally reached the destination and my eyes widened at the sight. My uncle Landon laid still on the dead grass, in a pool of red and purple blood. I screamed as I ran towards him, kneeling beside him I frantically search his injuries. I was panicking.

“Angelica” he said my name so softly and I cried.

“What happened?”

“The Tolmekians” he said. “They attacked the insects and have taken a baby Ohm. I tried to stop them”

I gasped.

“You must travel to Tolmekia to retrieve the baby Ohm”

“Me?” I said in shock.

The Ohm were the gigantic, trilobite-like armoured creatures that inhabited the forest. They are feared by many people of the neighbouring kingdoms, although they are gentle giants, whoever may harm an insect, it will drive the Ohms into a berserk rage.

“The Ohms are asleep and will be for the next two days” my uncle continued.

“What should I do?” I said. “If they wake up and find one of their babies missing then – ”

I stopped myself as I knew exactly what would happen. My uncle shifted and he groaned in pain.

“Come on uncle, I’ll help you get back to the cottage” I said as I tried to help him.

“Angelica no” he said. “You must go Tolmekia and get that baby back before they wake”

“I can’t go by myself” I cried. “They will kill me, an outsider”

“If the Ohms wake up and find one of theirs’ missing then everything we have protected will be destroyed, innocent neighbouring kingdoms will be destroyed”

“But I can’t” I said. “I’m just a girl, I’ve never been outside of the toxic forest”

“You must Angelica, please”

 

******

The clean wind whips through my hair as I make my way to Tolmekia. I stumble and groaned, my annoyance with the sand under my feet slowly growing. I attempt to reach into my backpack but realized that I have finished my bottle of water, I groaned once more. After helping my uncle back to our cottage and tend to his wounds, I immediately left for Tolmekia. I had two days to retrieve the baby Ohm before the giant Ohms wakes up from their sleep.

The clean air intoxicates my lungs and I coughed. My vision blurred with the tears in my eyes and my throat felt as if I had swallowed tiny shards of glass. As I was outside of the toxic forest, my body was not familiar with the clean air outside of the forest. Needles digs into my skull and I squeeze my eyes to push the pain away. I finally made my way in through the gates of the kingdom and immediately was not impressed. The kingdom of Tolmekia was not as beautiful as the forest, the forest was clean and peaceful while the kingdom was dirty and everywhere I turned there was a human. I’ve never been surrounded by humans before, living in the forest all my life.

Someone grabbed me by the arm and threw me into a corner, scraping my palms on to the ground I screamed. A boy about my height, and looked as young as I was placed a finger onto my lips and told me to keep quiet. After a few seconds, he took a look and sighed as if relieved.

“Who are you?” I finally let out.

Without a reply, the boy threw me a bottle filled with liquid. “Drink” he said.

“What is it?” I asked, hesitant.

“It’s water. You look like you’re about to collapse. You need to keep yourself hydrated”

I checked and he was right, and I quickly gulped the whole bottle of water. “Who are you?”

I asked once again.

“My name is Aslad”

“Well thank you for the water Aslad but I need to go” I said as I stood up.

“You’re not going anywhere, not just yet”

“What? Why?” I asked.

“Haven’t you noticed, all eyes have been on you since you entered the gates. It is obvious that you are not from here and that is a problem in Tolmekia. If I hadn’t gotten to you the guards would’ve”

“I am here to save a friend, I will leave when I get him” I said.

“Alright, I will help you find your friend and then leave as soon as you get him” he said.

“Why are you  helping me?” I asked, “You don’t even know me”

“I moved into this kingdom after my parents died from the toxins of the forest, and I’ve always hated it here. The people are cruel, the guards take advantage of the weak and poor”

“I’m sorry”

Aslad gave me a weak smile. “What is your friend doing in Tolmekia?”

And I explained to him everything that has happened, what had happened to my uncle and the baby Ohm that the Tolmekians took from the forest. And what will happen if I do not return the creature safely back home. Aslad chose to help me, he knew his way through the castle, he knew secret passageways and where the Tolmekians keep their prisoners. Luckily, he also knew where they had hidden the baby Ohm. Before we left he handed me a big brown cloak for me to use, covering my head and face we made our way into the castle through secret passageways. I followed him through the dark, passed a number of guards on duty and swiftly made it to a chamber. And chained inside was my little friend the baby Ohm. Tears filled my eyes as I quietly approached the creature. It was covered in deep cuts and whimpers every time I take a step close to him.

“It’s okay little one, I’m here to take you back home”

The baby Ohm was chained to the floor and Aslad and I quickly removed the chains, ripping my cloak to pieces I place it on the baby Ohm’s wounds.

“We should leave before someone finds us” Aslad said.

I sighed in relief as I realized that the passages we came through was big enough to fit the baby Ohm through, and we quickly and quietly stayed underground and made our way outside of the Kingdoms’ gates. We were not entirely out of sight until we enter the forest, however the baby Ohm grew weaker, so with Aslad’s help we pushed the creature through the dessert, it must have taken the whole night but we dared not to stop in fear of getting caught. We were finally a mile away from the toxic forest and Aslad started coughing violently, and blood started forming from the corner of his mouth.

“Oh no” I gasped. “You are too close to the toxins of the forest, and you don’t have a mask”

Aslad continued coughing and covered his mouth, “I’ll be fine, come on keep pushing him” he said. “We’re almost there”.

I proceeded to stop but he would not listen. We were close now and the Ohm’s energy slowly returned as it started to move and attempt to make his way into the forest. Aslad’s coughing became worse and fell onto his knees, his eyes were red and drops of blood came from his mouth.

“Aslad please, we are close enough. You should go now” I pleaded.

“Alright, please be safe”

I helped him onto his feet and hugged him tightly. “Thank you so much for your help” I cried. “I couldn’t have done it without you”. He hugged me back. “It’s alright, just be safe and you know where to find me in Tolmekia” he smiled and turned his back at me and made his way back home.

With that, I turned my attention back to the baby Ohm and walked with it to his nest. When we reached his home in the forest, the adults Ohms were still fast asleep and so I quickly cleaned his wounds once again, said my goodbyes and made my way back to my small cottage. I had finally returned the baby Ohm home to his nest, and prevented countless of innocent lives taken by the giant Ohms. I sighed in relief. My uncle was fast asleep, he seemed to be getting well. Without waking him up, I made my way to my bed and laid my head down. Exhaling loudly once again, a journey I thought would be impossible without my knew friend Aslad.

 

Commentary

My fanfiction is based on the anime “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds”. The anime was released back in 1984 and was based on a manga of the same name (Reeves, 2016). I wrote the fanfic based off the world of the anime, where the Toxic Forest exists and the giant mutated insects live, the giant Ohm is also present in the story. Although I chose an entirely different approach to the anime, I created my own characters and story in this universe. According to Vogler (1998), the mythic structure is introduced through different stages of acts. And I tried to show each act through my fanfic, through Acts 1 and 2, Angelica is pressured to save the world, she refuses at first but is encouraged by her mentor – which is also under Vogler’s (!998) character archetypes – and Angelica went on her journey. She crosses her first threshold which would be the clean air that her body is not used to as well as the people of the kingdom as she is not used to being surrounded by people.

The second act comes when she makes an ally; Aslad who helped her through her journey in saving the Ohm, she crosses a second threshold where she sneaks her way passed multiple guards. Act three comes in when she takes the baby Ohm and makes her way back to the toxic forest which took a whole night. The last point of Vogler’s (1998) Act three of a benefit to the world; this is shown in the story when Angelica returned the baby Ohm safely home, preventing the kingdoms and the forest from being destroyed by the giant Ohms.

Reference:

Vogler, C. (2007). The writer’s journey: Mythic structure for writers (3rd ed.). CA: Michael Wiese Productions.

Reeves, D. (2016, January 28). Re: A Rough Analysis of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://medium.com/applaudience/a-rough-analysis-of-nausicaä-of-the-valley-of-the-wind-816048ea376c

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