Nausicaa in LUM episode #185 (Jefery Roberts, May 19, 1994)

WRITTEN & POSTED TO <NAUSICAA@BROWNVM> BY: Jefery Roberts, May 19, 1994
ORIGINAL SUBJECT TITLE: Nausicaa in unexpected places

Date:     Thu, 19 May 1994 12:10:16 -0700
From:     Jefery Roberts jrr@LOCUS.COM

Recently, I've been seeing Nausicaa pop up in unexpected places.

First an "unexpected" place that I already knew about and was searching

One of the first things I acquired when I became an anime fan was a tape
of the "Urusei Yatsura Karaoke Parade".  In the "Rock the Planet" track
there is a short clip, of just a few seconds, which shows Tomobiki Cho
with plumes of smoke rising from what appear to be factory smokestacks.
From this rather thin "miasma" a glider rises and comes toward the
camera.  Atop this Mehve-like glider is a figure in a light orange
flying suit, very like some of the pictures in "The Art of Nausicaa"
from the time when her color was orange rather than blue.  (There's also
an example on the cover of part 2 of Viz's 3rd Nausicaa series.) The
figure is lying prone, suspended above the glider in "flying position",
and as she comes closer you can see the blue hair streaming out in back.
She then pulls off her very "Valley of the Wind" face mask to reveal
herself as Lum.

People have told me that this is from a Nausicaa parody episode which
features Megane, and ends with a shot of Megane's glasses taking the
place of Nausicaa's mask, lying on sand with a small sapling growing

I recently got the Urusei Yatsura LD50 complete TV episode laser disk
collection, so, of course, one of the first things I did with it was to
search it for this episode.  It's episode #185, first broadcast on
19-Jun-85, about a year after Nausicaa's Premier.  The title is
"Daimajin araware! Ramu no kiken na kaimono", or "The Great Devil
appears!  Lum's dangerous purchase".  In addition to the two scenes I
described, there is a stampede of computer controlled tanks that Ataru
fails to stop and is tossed into the midst of, a legend of someone
rising in a red field, which is fulfilled by Megane, whose unconsious
body is raised above the schoolhouse by the computer tapes from the
tanks, and the "Great Devil" himself, a giant robot which Lum purchased
from a mail order catalog and assembled herself, and which makes for a
rather useless God Warrior.  There are doubtless many other allusions to
Nausicaa that I missed on one viewing with my rather limited
understanding of Japanese.

The second unexpected place was in the film section of Kodansha's
Illustrated Encyclopedia of Japan.  In 1989, the film critcism magazine,
Cinema Jump, celebrated its 1000th issue by asking 86 film enthusiasts,
including writers, artists, entertainers and people from the film
industry, to choose the ten best Japanese films of all time.  From the
response they got, they decided to expand the list to the top 20, and as
part of a 7 way tie for 20th place, the encyclopedia included a picture
from Nausicaa, with the description: "An adventure-story animation
film".  They had more to say about "Gojira", which was also tied for
20th place, but the captions were limited to 3 lines, and "Gojira", with
its translation and director's name, didn't take up almost all of the
space like "Kaze no Tani no Naushika", with its translation and
director's name did.

The third unexpected place Nausicaa showed up in was in Mektron II for
the Super Nintendo.  My sister's sister-in-law's son (Got that
relationship straight?  His name is Orion.) told me that he had seen
Nausicaa's mask, glider, and body at the entrance to the room containing
one of the Big Bosses.  He brought his Super Nintendo to our house, and
while he was playing the game, he told me to come look at the baby
Ohmus.  Unfortunately, they were part of the random menaces that have to
be avoided, neutralized or killed in that room, and he told me that the
mother really was bad news.  I don't think he actually killed any of
them, so maybe Nausicaa's ecological message wasn't entirely lost by the
game designers who transplanted the Ohmu here.

I sat down to watch as he continued playing, and eventually he entered a
room with 3 squirrel foxes in it.  They also had butterfly antennae, but
they definitely were squirrel foxes.  They took off, jumping from wall
to wall up a shaft, and the technique, while difficult, did seem to work
for his character, although he didn't succeed in scaling the shaft and
finding the goodies at its top until he came back to the area after I
had stopped watching.

Another room had a toriuma (rendered as "horseclaw" in Viz's
translation) in it.  By imitating its actions Orion was able to escape
and to free it, although when he returned later the toriuma was back
tending an egg.  After I stopped watching, Orion eventually found a way
to properly rescue it and was rewarded with more goodies.

I was concerned and annoyed with the game designers for including
Nausicaa's body in the game, but apparently it wasn't her, or she wasn't
dead, since Orion tells me that, at a later point, he was forced to jump
from a dangerous situation, and Nausicaa flew up on Mehve and rescued
his character.  He also says that according to a friend who's gotten
farther, that his character will end up flying Mehve herself (the game
character is female) for a short time later in the game.

None of the Nausicaa references is explicitly identified, and Orion's
friend didn't recognize them (he had never watched Nausicaa), although
Orion recognized them immediately from his descriptions, and, of course
they were obvious once he had seen them himself.

I wonder when Nausicaa will surprise me again from an unexpected place.

Jefery Roberts        Locus Computing Corporation