One thousand years ago when humanity was at its peak, the world was destroyed by in an event known as the ‘Seven Days of Fire’. In the centuries that followed, nature took over leaving humans living in fear of a toxic jungle and the giant insects that protect it. Amongst this threat of disease lives Nausicaä, the young princess of a province known as the Valley of the Wind, who possesses a kind heart and an inexplicable ability to commune with the natural world. While all the young girl wishes is for the world to live in peace, her normally quiet land finds itself dragged into war alongside the battle-hungry Torumekian soldiers. Now, Nausicaä must fight for peace and attempt to find a way to save both humans and insects without losing herself to hatred.
In the aftermath of WWIII Tokyo was re-built as Neo-Tokyo; thirty-eight years later it has become a major metropolis. With the memory of the war and reconstruction fading, corruption, criminality and civil strife are threatening to tear the city apart. The military has a secret project developing humans with psychic powers which they hope will help Neo-Tokyo solve its problems. However, when one of the test subjects escapes and hides with one of the biker gangs plaguing the city, the military does everything it can to recover its test subject and cover up the existence of its research program...
Akira and Nausicaä are both great manga that are wider in scope and more epic than their respective animated adaptations. However, I'm not going to base the recommendation on that alone.
Both series are sci-fi stories that take place after great wars, where humanity must learn to adapt to new environments, albeit very different ones . There's also plenty of action (chase scenes, battles and gunfights) in both series, some political backgrounds to the events that add to the epic feel and the characters, male and female, are usually nuanced and well-developed (one more reason as to why the manga versions add something to the story).
If one of them interested you for any of these reasons, be sure to read the other.