Sunday, June 3, 2012

The World of Nausicaa Look-alikes Pt. 1

By now it's blatantly obvious of my inordinate adoration for Nausicaa. I haven't completely worn the idea into the ground just yet, so there's plenty of time to still do that. But you could read something like that elsewhere, for I'm sure the hordes of Miyazaki zealots are plentiful. If anything, the damned tattoo is going to say it better than words, so I won't clutter this blog up with something that easily exists in droves. I like to keep it fresh. Like my vegetable bin or some fresh laundry. Or seldom talked about anime. Something like that.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind was, and is, obviously influential in the otaku world, both in its original manga format and the film adaptation of the same name. Most immensely popular media goes on to to inspire and influence other works, be it in theme, character design and motivation, setting or flagrant imitation. Throughout the years I've noticed some female characters through various forms of entertainment that looked an awful lot like the red-haired Gaian beauty. Some are subtle, having few similarities but a small shoulder clinging companion; others, not so much, with more than a few "coincidental" features. I'm here only to discuss fun little bits of discernment, so don't expect much critiquing or adverse reactions towards such creations. Hell, I'm sure if I were to ever make a damned story it'd probably pay more than a slight homage. Ah, such is the draw of Nausicaa.

  • Yellow Iris, Battle Circuit
 Diana Martines, or Yellow Iris, is from the excellent Capcom Beat'em up Battle Circuit for the CPSII arcade hardware. Tons of great games on the CPSII, including Street Fighter II, Progear, Darkstalkers, Dungeons and Dragons, and loads more. Capcom easily made some of the best arcade games along with the Neo Geo in the mid-90s. That's an entirely different blog post, though, so I digress per usual and all that nonsense.

At first glance Yellow Iris doesn't have a whole lot in common with our subject lady except for her red hair, which is obviously much longer than Nausicaa's. Closer inspection, however, shows a small, furry creature nestled on her shoulder amid her hair. Teto? Pretty damn close, save for a different pattern of brown stripes on its forehead. Also, Yellow Iris herself is almost like an anthropomorphic fox-squirrel, or at least some sort of human hybrid. Just look at those ears. Anyhow, it's obvious that her companion 'Fin' was obviously inspired by Teto, but that's about all she really has in common. It's a marvelous game from Capcom's prime, and kind of a hidden gem of sorts. You should probably play it.

  • Marin, Windaria
Having recently watched Windaria and admiring Marin throughout the film prompted me to make this list in the first place. She's a fairly conspicuous nod, if not just downright blatant, really. Mutsumi Inomata at least still gives both Marin and her companion a fresh look with her unique style, regardless of the obvious similarities. I'm a sucker for those big eyes that she draws so well. Red hair and a squirrel-like shoulder mount may look a bit uninspired, but I'd be lying if she wasn't one of the cutest damned characters I've seen in quite some time. But you'll just be too depressed by the end of the film anyway to appreciate such beauty with tears in your eyes and all that.

  •  Lady Clarisse d'Cagliostro, Lupin the Third: The Castle of the Cagliostro
Hold it! Before anyone jumps down my throat: yes, I'm aware this film was made before anything Nausicaa. If anything, Lady Clarisse is a sort of proto-Nausicaa, for it's pretty obvious the route Miyazaki took when creating her, especially when looking back at his more raw, primitive concept art. Another interesting similarity between Clarisse and Nausicaa is the fact that they were both actually voiced by the same actress, Sumi Shimamoto, who would later go on to play Kyoko Otonashi of Maison Ikkoku. Nausicaa has brown eyes and a more mature look about her, but the similarities are quite obvious.

  • Tia, Balthus: Tia's Radiance
 Oh boy. I'm only putting Tia on the list for her obvious Ghibli inspired art style and the fox-squirrel companions parked on her shoulder, which never even happens outside of the cover art. If anything, Balthus: Tia's Radiance is a condensed, abridged version of Castle in the Sky with some hentai thrown in. I don't really understand why this was made. Well, I obviously know it was to cash in off the success of the film, but the film is quite the enigma, really. It's a 30 minute OVA with a little hentai at the beginning with a nameless character, with another short scene about half into the movie. Otherwise it's a few panty and cleavage shots scattered throughout. The animation, voice acting and music is all quite good, despite the obvious stolen Ghibli art. It's like they almost tried to make a legitimate anime but didn't have enough time or money, and instead resulted with a complete inane mess of insipid storytelling and lackluster sex scenes. It's quite boring, really, and nothing really happens, making it fairly hard to recommend. Damn shame and a misuse of talent.

I know there are more Nausicaa clones out there amid the mass amount of anime, manga and videogames, and I'm almost certain I had at least one more I was going to put on this list. I'll conclude this for now, and am fairly certain there will be a part two. Have YOU seen any Nausicaas lately? Let me know if you strike paydirt; I pay good money. I almost put Rall on here from Cream Lemon, but I didn't think flying on a mehve thingy and having a talking companion that occasionally rode on her shoulder should count. Til next time.


  1. Hey, I just randomly found this blog and wanted to tell you I love it! Please keep up the awesomeness :)

  2. Thanks! I've been slacking as of late but I'm trying to get back into the swing of things. Many posts ahead, hopefully. Glad you've enjoyed!