Welcome to the conclusion of Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Exiting the hidden garden, Nausicaä realizes that Ohma has gone on by itself to Shuwa. A group of wormhandlers track her down and swears fealty to their new guardian deity. Surrounded by loyal subjects willing to do her bidding, Nausicaä realizes that she is no different than the first Dorok emperor, who centuries before went off to Shuwa to “save humanity.”
Welcome to the last two entries of The Nausicaä Project. All the major themes discussed in past entries return in force in the complex, unexpected, and stunning conclusion at the end of this seventh and final volume: Purity and corruption, nature and humanity, revenge and redemption, meaning and nihilism, life and death. You know, all the light and fluffy stuff. Whew. Let’s get started.
Over the last week, I’ve been spending a bit of spare time playing Pikmin 3, the newest entry in one of my favourite videogame franchises. (You might have noticed that one of custom headers of Ekostories is currently Pikmin themed) It’s been nine long years since the last game, and I’m pleased to find that this newest title has lost none of the whimsy and charm the series is famous for. The premise is simple but unique: A group of tiny thimble-sized astronauts have crash-landed on a mysterious planet. To carry out their mission and return home, they must enlist the help of indigenous half-plant, half-animal creatures called Pikmin. The player and their Pikmin workers must work together to traverse through jungles, tundra, and gardens to discover food and equipment that will them along in their adventure.
The story resumes in Tolas, the Torumekian capital. Kushana’s father, the Vai Emperor, sits listening to the daily report of failing crops, dying children, and decaying infrastructure. He knows that his kingdom is dying, much like most of the human world. He meets with his two remaining sons returning from the war front and is furious at the enormous casualties incurred during the campaign. Desiring now more than ever to secure the secrets residing in the Crypt of Shuwa, he relegates the two princes to the borderlands and heads off to mount a direct assault on the Dorok capital.
“This girl had the unprecedented power to reach the shore of that abyss. Now she stands alone on that beach that has been deserted by the Ohmu. Whether she returns or not is up to her.” (Selm, Hardcover Edition, Vol. 2, p. 32) Welcome to part six of the Nausicaä saga. I had originally intended to make it a seven-part series, but as I reread the last two volumes, there is simply too much material to condense down. As a result, I’m going to expand out the project into a ten-parter. For newcomers who wish to follow along from the beginning, you can catch up here with The Nausicaä Project. With that out of the way, let’s resume the adventure!