Poster - Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind, Sherlock Hound
Here is another addition to our gallery of Nausicaa movie posters from Japan. This poster shows us not only the feature, but the opening short - which just so happens to be two episodes of the (then) never-aired Meitantai Holmes, or Sherlock Hound as it's known in the West.
For Sherlock Hound, this was the first time Japanese audiences were able to see any episodes of the show. Perhaps the success of Nausicaa in theaters is what led to the series being revived and put back into production. However, by the time Sherlock Hound mkII aired on television, all of the principal players had since moved on, with Miyazaki, to Studio Ghibli. And the people left running the series had nowhere near the skill nor talent.
It's really striking to see the difference in quality between the six original Miyazaki-directed Sherlock Holmes episodes with the MkII version. The original Telecom series, after all, had such supreme talent as Kazuhide Tomanaga and Yoshifumi Kondo and Nobuo Tomizawa and Kyoto Tanaka...the same group responsible for the spectacular 1984 Nemo pilot. Oh, and good 'ol Yasuo Otsuka makes a cameo for one thrilling chase scene involving a giant locomotive car. I always love how these episodes would find some excuse to stage a car chase.
The Nausicaa half of this movie poster is a reworking of an earlier Nausucaa poster that we looked at before. It's an iconic image that means more to the readers of the manga series, which was still very much ongoing in 1984. Roughly one-quarter of the complete saga was written by the time Miyazaki created his film adaptation, and, as we all know, the manga took many radical shifts over the later years, exploring the deeper themes of the story and fleshing out Nausicaa's world in far greater detail.
I'm sure there are many fans who would love to see the complete Nausicaa manga turned into an anime, but it's far too long and far too complex. It is, as the old phrase goes, the "un-filmable story." Hayao Miyazaki famously avoids sequels. That said, he poured many of the complex themes of Nausicaa into Princess Mononoke, which also happened to be his first directorial feature after finally ending the manga. Truly, Mononoke can be seen as the third part of a thematic trilogy, after Nausicaa the movie and Nausicaa the graphic novel.
Why mess with perfection, I ask? Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind is just about the greatest anime film ever made, especially for purveyors of "cool" anime. And the Nausicaa novel is Hayao Miyazaki's crowning masterpiece. Any attempts to tinker with the formula will only lead to chaos and ruin. Look to Meitantei Holmes. Look to Sherlock Hound. Let's hope and pray that Michael Bay never gets wind of that manga.