"And that one shall come to you garbed in raiment of blue and descending upon a field of gold..."It's also worth noting that the messiah of this prophecy is often depicted with wings of white in addition to having a small animal perched on the shoulder.
Meanwhile, the opposing side is a smaller, but more centralized classical monarchy referred to as the Empire of Tolmekia. At the head is the "Vai-Emperor" along with his mad empress, three princes and a princess. It is the ambition of the Tolmekian princess, Kushana, that acts as a catalyst for the story. Like many characters though she changes over the course of the tale, and is in no small part influenced by another princess, Nausicaä.
Mary Sue at first. After all she is an excellent pilot and fighter, as well as quick witted and wise for her years. However, it is important to stress that she is not perfect. Nausicaä is very proud and has a fierce temper. Her outlook on life also changes over the course of her adventures. When we are first introduced to her she is a reluctant soldier heading off to battle out of a sense of duty for her homeland, The Valley of Wind. Once she witnesses the horrors of war first hand though she quickly takes on pacifistic leanings and increasingly engages in altruistic acts to save the lives of those who yet remain. Nausicaä's selfless actions eventually earn her renown among the Tolmekians, and a messianic status among the Doroks. Our heroine does not eagerly embrace her new-found prestige though, in part because she is plagued by nihilistic thoughts in addition to fear over whether or not she can avoid the tyrannical tendencies that come with power. Ultimately Nausicaä is forced to make some morally ambiguous decisions in addition to concealing the truth for what she believes is the greater good.
None of the themes explored in the manga or movie fit into a simple ethical paradigm such as "Good vs Evil" or "Paragon vs Renegade." Even notions of purity vs corruption are subverted when it is revealed that the Toxic Jungle isn't actually toxic, The Earth is. The poisonous miasma is actually the byproduct of a slow cleansing process meant to eventually purify air, water and soil over a period of about a thousand years. In the film, Nausicaä believes this to be a natural evolutionary process, but in the manga it is shown that the Sea of Corruption was, in fact, engineered by humans as a last ditch attempt to save to planet. This revelation is part of a much larger overarching theme in the story that humans aren't evil, they just sometimes need to be guided in the right direction. Nausicaä is a guide for many people who encounter her and, in turn, many try to copy her example with varying degrees of success. Perhaps the most interesting example of this is the God-Warrior.
black knight and white knight.
Kushana is an opposite to Nausicaä as well. Not in the diametric sense, but rather like the flip-side of a coin (both are princesses after all). Kushana is very much a creature of habit, determined to make the world a better place through righteous endeavors. She makes enemies, but she's also pragmatic and plans ahead. Nausicaä on the other hand is an idealist loved by all, but lacks any particular agenda save to stop what she sees as the colossal waste of life caused by hatred and violence. Which is the better path to tread? Well...both and neither which is what makes the characters of this story so compelling.
|Stay tuned for part three where I actually talk about a video game adaptation!|