Story: A thousand years after the fall of modern civilization the air is so polluted and poisonous that now people have to have masks. In this land there is a huge jungle, creatively called the Toxic Jungle, and in this jungle are various mutated creatures, including what looks like five story tall fleas called Ohms. The country of Tolmekia wants to destroy this jungle so that the Ohms and other creatures can no longer harm anyone. But Nausicaa, the main character, doesn’t want them to do this because she finds out that the trees in the jungle purify the water that they need, so she tries to stop them from destroying the forest.
A lot of the plot depends on people using what I like to call “expository monologue,” which is people saying things to themselves that they usually wouldn’t, just so that the audience knows what is happening. To me when this happens it is jarring and feels wrong. It is one thing for two people to talk about things they already know, it happens all the time in real life and is perfectly fine; yet when one person talks to themselves about how “These spores would kill me in five minutes if I didn’t have my mask on” and other things, it seems awkward. Of course she knows that, so why is she saying that except for the audience? There is also the use of people summarizing what just happened, which feels redundant.
Animation: The art style is typical Ghibli. While not terrible, it’s not the best. Everyone, no matter how old, seems to have kid-like faces, and the men’s beards look like a squirrel curled up and died on their face. The environment animation is adequate, but nothing really wowed me.
Sound: Voice acting is okay, music is....there.
Characters: Nausicaa seems too perfect to be actually believable. The people love her to the point of worship, she can calm Ohms by exploding grenades in their faces, animals flock to her, she’s an excellent flyer, as well as a good swordfighter. She’s always optimistic and always knows exactly the best thing to do, and she’s a strict pacifist to boot. Her character doesn’t go through any development either; she’s just as perfect in the end as she is in the beginning. This makes her not seem all that realistic, and she got on my nerves a lot.
Everyone else seems like they just exist to need Nausicaa. This usually involves her rescuing them, whether it’s from the creatures of the jungle or from the invading army. No one actually seems to have any actual character development; it’s usually just her saving them and then them singing her praises.
Conclusion: I’m going to be blunt: I didn’t like Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. The characters were one-dimensional, parts of it felt forced, and the story was your typical “Mankind is killing the world with pollution” that seems to be the story of every other movie nowadays.