daniel thomas Categories: books, miyazaki
Hayao Miyazaki's 1969-70 manga People of the Desert (Sabaku no Tami) is now blessed with an all-new fan translation. The translation was made available this Valentine's Day...nice touch.
I've highlighted this comic a couple times in the past, thanks to some scanned photos from a website that has long since died. It's such a joy to be able to read this epic saga in English, even though the Japanese text was so critical to the original compositions. I think the translator did a very fine job, so thank you and congratulations.
People of the Desert is serious, dark, and violent, but still firmly presented in the cliffhanger serial mold. It certainly was an anomaly in Miyazaki's work in 1969, but today we immediately recognize the manga as a missing link between Horus, Prince of the Sun and Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind. It's striking, really, how similar this world is to Nausicaa's apocalyptic world.
This is also a striking example of the astonishing drive by the young Miyazaki. This epic manga, thematically and visually complex, was penned not only during the 1969 Toei Doga classic Puss in Boots (btw, buy the DVD!), but the Puss in Boots comic strip. Animal Treasure Island and Ali Baba would follow in 1971, before Miyazaki and Takahata jumped ship to A-Pro to join Yasuo Otsuka on the Lupin III series...all while crafting their ill-fated Pippi Longstockings project. Oh, and somewhere along the way, second son Keisuke was born. Busy, busy, busy.
You can find the link to People of the Desert at the Downloads section. Thanks again to the translator and the folks who made it available to the world in 2010. Domo arigatou!