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The Art of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind: Watercolor Impressions

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The Art of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind by Hayao Miyazaki, published by VIZ Media

The Art of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: Watercolor Impressions

© Hayao Miyazaki / Studio Ghibli

The Bottom Line

The Art of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is a gorgeous full-color collection of watercolor paintings and development sketches from this seminal manga and anime series by Hayao Miyazaki. Beautifully presented and very reasonably priced, this hardcover art book is a treat for fans of Miyazaki's artistry, however the commentary and tidbits of trivia are probably not as fascinating to readers who are unfamiliar with this epic fantasy tale.

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Pros

  • Gorgeous, full-color illustrations by the modern master of animation
  • Includes insightful commentary from Miyazaki about his creative process
  • Sketches take fans deeper into the creation of this fully-realized fantasy world
  • Very reasonably priced for a oversized, hardcover art book

Cons

  • Is best as a companion piece to the manga and anime series than it is a stand-alone book

Description

  • Author & Artist: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Publishers: VIZ Media (US)
    Tokuma Shoten (Japan)
  • ISBN: 978-1-4215-1499-4
  • Cover Price: $34.99 US / $39.99 CANADA
  • Age Rating: Not Rated
  • Manga Genres:
    • Anime Tie-In
    • Art Book
    • Fantasy / Magic
  • US Publication Date: November 2007
    Japan Publication Date: 1996
  • More Manga by Hayao Miyazaki:

Guide Review - The Art of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind: Watercolor Impressions

What Walt Disney is to Western animation, Hayao Miyazaki is to Japanese anime: a legendary creator of memorable animated features that dazzle the eye and touch the heart. While his movies Princess Mononoke (Mononoke no Hime), My Neighbor Totoro (Tonari no Totoro) and Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi) are some of his best known works, one of his most beloved creations was one of his first: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is an epic fantasy tale about a young peace-loving warrior princess in a post-apocalyptic Earth. This eco-fable is both beautiful and complex, and has captured the imaginations of anime lovers all over the world.

The Art of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is a gorgeous full-color collection of Miyazaki's watercolor illustrations for Animage Magazine, plus development sketches that illustrate the origins of Nausicaä's organic fantasy world. Miyazaki fans will be thrilled to see both the finished illustrations and rough sketches, as well as his commentary on his creative process.

The one downside to this book is that it doesn't provide a lot of context about the Nausicaä story. It's assumed that if you're reading this book, you already know and love the story. As a result, readers who are unfamiliar with the world of Nausicaä won't be able to fully appreciate the level of behind-the-scenes detail that's offered here, although they'll still be able to enjoy the artwork.

At $34.99, this over-sized hardcover volume is very reasonably priced, as anime art books go, making it an accessible pleasure for fans of Miyazaki's work, animation connoisseurs and aspiring artists. A delight from cover to cover!

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