Studio Ghibli is one of the most iconic names in the anime industry. Their works have been massively influential not just throughout anime, but all of pop culture. Everyone has their favorites, be they My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke or Ponyo. But whenever I have these conversations, one film is never brought up. My personal favorite Ghibli movie.
Nassica and the Valley of the Wind.
This is easily one of my favorite animated films of all time. It’s unique setting, powerful plot and characters, and truly dark and heart wrenching moments have stuck with me for many years. I first watched this with my family when I was twelve, and I have never once forgotten it.
Even though everyone else in the world has.
I don’t understand why this one was left behind and forgotten, I really don’t. It has everything that a Ghibli movie needs, and all of them are executed wonderfully. The art and animation is absolutely wonderful, the characters are all extremely well written, and the setting is incredibly interesting.
As most of the world is now a toxic death trap for humanity, the many settings of the film are haunting and fascinating. Every shot captures the imagination and makes the audience ask questions. It’s a setting that I’d absolutely love to see get explored more in the future. I mean, just look at this!
This setting is only made all the more interesting when you consider the life that inhabits it. More specifically, the gigantic bug-like creatures that threaten humanity: the Ohm. Creatures that are so beautiful yet monstrous that they feel right at home in this world.
Again: just look at these guys.
And the setting even goes into the central themes of the story. See, the goal of our main character (Nassica) isn’t to wipe out the Toxic Jungle and the Ohm in order to save humanity. Instead, she aims to find a way for humanity to co-exist with everything else in the world. It’s a unique aim that throws her head first into some truly painful events.
Like when she jumped off of her glider to protect the rampaging Ohm only to be shot by the humans. Then later, when she rescues the Ohm baby and tries to return it to the rampaging horde, she gets fucking run over. And survives! This woman is a fucking tank and I love her!
I love everything about this movie. It’s a fantastic time, featuring some powerful themes, incredible art and wonderful characters. If you haven’t seen it (which, chances are, you haven’t) then I’d highly recommend you fix that and pick up a copy. If you love Ghibli, anime movies or you just love good films, this is definitely one worth watching.
It’s just a damn shame that no one talks about it…