"The Heroine Image in Anime" by Minako Saitou, Part VI

Part VI - Nausicaa is a Hero in a Skirt

On one hand Nausicaa may be the representative girl among the "Crimson Heroes" in anime history, but she is also well prepared to be a Girls' Land heroine (magical girl). She is a teenage girl. She is a princess. Also, like Lana in "Conan," she can mentally connect with non-human creatures. Above all else this is her most important ability.

The reason for her ability is that in this world, being able to coexist with the Ohmu and other forest creatures is a matter of life and death. Nausicaa, who can read the wind and understand the hearts of bugs, is a magical girl who holds humanity's key to survival.

Like a magical girl in the Girls' Land, Nausicaa has a fox-squirrel pet named Teto (a strange, small kind of animal that exists in the story) that follows her around. Of course she also has the cooperation of a boy friend--prince Asbel of the Pejite royal family. However, she is free from the magical girl's weak spot: the idea of romance as supreme. Her friendship with Asbel is one stripped of love. Nausicaa, who files through the sky on her mehve glider, pilots aircraft, jumps from craft to craft in mid-air and even researches the Sea of Corruption on the ground, is a mentally and physically capable supergirl. Instead of a heroine, it might be more correct to call her a shoujo hero.

It follows that her few weak points are also those of a hero. When her father is killed by the Torumekia forces, the normally quiet, intelligent girl goes into a rage. Screaming, "Damn you!! [onoree-!!]" she draws her blade and demonstrates splendid swordsmanship in cutting down the enemy troops one by one. It's such an un-heroine-like action that it even makes the enemy commander remark, "What a [yatsu], she went and killed them all!" [Translation note: "yatsu" is a somewhat impolite pronoun that is generally used to mean "he." The "she" that I added to complete the sentence in English is not in the original Japanese.]

However, after those other flawless heroes, when we see such a dazzling one pass through there is a certain sense of sarcasm. There's a legend in the Valley: "That one, dressed in blue, will stand in a field of gold. Tie the bonds to the lost lands... finally leading people to the pure land." The figure in the picture is a middle-aged guy with a beard, and the conclusion of the story hints at Nausicaa being this person. If we think about it such an ending is quite meaningful. Nausicaa is a "Man-hero" dressed in the skin of a magical girl.


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