Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (Animage Magazine)

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Cover. Animage Magazine February 1982. The first chapter of Nausicaä appeared in this issue.

Animage[1] is a monthly Japanese animation magazine, founded in 1978, published by Tokuma Shoten. The owner and editors of the magazine played important parts in the creation and publication of Hayao Miyazaki's manga Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, the film of the same name and in the foundation and operation of Studio Ghibli.

Nausicaä in Animage Magazine


Animage December 1981 announcement for the manga with first published picture of Nausicaä.
Nausicaä (Manga). Announcement in the January 1982 issue of Animage Magazine (p.195).

In the August 1981 issue of Animage Magazine Miyazaki's visions for animation were published.[2] Illustrated by only a few tantalising images from his sketchbooks. Barely revealing in the published magazine the ideas for manga he had already been mulling over for years. The magazine was shown in the documentary The Birth of Studio Ghibli.[3] The two illustrations from the article and many other images from his sketchbooks have since been reprinted in Image Boards and books such as the The Art of Nausicaä (Japanese) and Nausicaä Watercolor Impressions. [4] The sketches also hold the earliest design notes for later films such as Laputa, Totoro and Princess Mononoke but that much wasn't shown the general public in the August 1981 issue. At the time Miyazaki was between animation projects and entered talks with Animage Magazine, ultimately reaching an agreement for the serialization of his manga.

In the December issue of the same year the first glimpse of the Nausicaä character appeared in print, a small color image with the announcement of a new series about "a girl who lives in a chaotic age, 1000 years after the collapse of the great industrial civilization".[5]

In the January 1982 issue of Animage the same character re-appeared, unchanged but quite a bit larger, in a monochrome announcement for the start of serialisation in the upcoming February issue. The next month the story got underway inside the magazine and Nausicaä started to change.


Sample page. Panel 7 & 8 from the November 1993 issue of Animage Magazine, page 238 (UP# 972).

In Japan the Nausicaä manga was serialized in Animage magazine. The first chapter was published in the February 1982 issue. The finale, chapter 59, was eventually published in the March 1994 issue of Animage. The series was interrupted several times. Most, but not all, chapters appeared towards the back of the magazine. The number of pages per issue varied. The reading direction is Right to Left.


A chapter guide, matching Animage issues to Collected Volumes can be found on The Miyazaki Web. It shows that most interruptions coincided with Miyazaki's involvement in the creation of animated feature films.

The first interruption occurred in the autumn of 1982 when Miyazaki travelled to Europe. Instead of a new chapter, an apologetic cartoon and four pages of illustrations from Miyazaki's sketchbooks were printed, monochrome, in the November issue of the magazine. [6] Serialization resumed the next month when 15 new pages were printed in the December Animage.

Most of the longer intervals between episodes coincided with Miyazaki's work on the creation of animated films. Beginning with the hiatus after the June 1983 issue, due to the creation of the Nausicaä film. Although the film had a nationwide release in Japanese cinemas on 11 March 1984 the publication of new chapters of the manga in Animage did not resume until the August issue. In the interim period a series of Nausicaä Notes were published in monthly instalments.

Other long breaks followed, after the foundation of Studio Ghibli, for the making of Laputa, Totoro, Kiki and Porco Rosso. Illustrations and background information for those stories was also printed in Animage magazine. Even when Miyazaki interrupted serialization of Nausicaä he didn't completely stop working on anything else besides films during those periods. He must somehow have found time to draw stories such a Shuna.

Animage Bonus materials

Nausicaä. Animage Magazine. Sample image. Front endpaper booklet Animage 1982 Notes.

With the February 1982 issue Nausicaä also made her first of many appearances in Animage bonus materials,[7] when the same illustration was printed, in color, on the front-endpaper of the booklet Animage 1982 Notes. Not only did Miyazaki's own artwork frequently appear but interpretations of Nausicaä by other artists also featured on the pages of the magazine and its appendices. A partial list of Animage Magazine bonus materials can be found in the Japanese language book Archives of Studio Ghibli vol.1.


Nausicaä appeared several times on the cover of Animage. Eight times with a full color cover illustration. The first one for the July 1982 issue. The next three Nausicaä covers are film related and appeared on issues without a chapter of the manga. The remaining 4 covers all appeared on issues in which serialization was resumed. Miyazaki was asked to create more cover illustrations for Animage but declined. For the finale of the manga, in Animage March1994, only a panel from the first Nausicaä chapter was re-printed on the cover, underneath the name of the magazine, while the main cover illustration was made by Miyazaki based on his manga The Return of Hans[8]. Accompanied inside by one of Miyazaki's cartoons, Cover words[9], illustrating his motivation for preferring Hans and Rosa and their tank over Nausicaä for this final issue. Owari!

Collected Volumes

The publication of softcover books, collecting the serialised chapters into Animage Comics started long before the series was completed. Before Miyazaki knew how he was going to end the story. The first volume was released in the autumn of 1982. The Nausicaä from the previous announcements made an other appearance in the September 1982 issue of Animage to inform the readers that the first collection volume would be out 25 September 1982.[10]

The most immediately visible difference between Animage Magazine and the Animage Comics is the absence of chapters in the latter. Each episode in the magazine has a title banner with chapter number printed somewhere on the first page. These title banners and chapter divisions of any kind were omitted for the collected volumes. As a result more of the artwork is visible and on occasion, such on as the first page of the story, a new panel was drawn to replace the chapter banner. The collected Volumes also have far fewer notes in the margins than the magazine.

Those changes are perhaps rather trivial compared with some of the other edits Miyazaki performed to improve the text and panel artwork prior to the publication of the Animage Comics. Scott Ryan put together a comparison article in which he explored the reasons why Miyazaki may have made changes to the pages as printed in Animage magazine before they were collected in book form.

Publisher's website

Tokuma Shoten site (Japanese)

Related site:
Animage site (Japanese)
Animage Historica (Japanese) covering the period in which Nausicaä first appeared in Animage (Archived).


  1. Monthly Animage (月刊アニメージュ Gekkan animēju?) Monthly magazine Animage, frequently abbreviated to Animage. Each monthly issue is released on the 10th day of the preceding month (i.e. The February issue appears 10 January).
  2. マンガ映画の魔術師 宮崎駿 冒険とロマンの世界 (Manga eiga no majutsu-shi miyazakishun bōken to roman no sekai?)
  3. ジブリはこうして生まれた (Jiburi wa kōshite umareta This is how Ghibli was born?)
  4. See Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Watercolor Impressions, p. 154
  5. A scan of the announcement was previously posted on The Miyazaki web by Scott Ryan, together with a translation of the text provided by Julio Gea-Banacloche, which can be read here: [1]
  6. Seven drawings in total. The line drawings were reprinted and all except one of the watercolor sketches were reproduced, in color this time, in Watercolor Impressions (on pages 93, 102, 103 and 205).
  7. 付録 (ふろく Furoku?, appendix) with the spelling in hiragana the most common usage in Animage
  8. ハンスの帰還 ( Hansu no Kikan?)
  9. Hyōshi no kotoba (表紙のことば?)
  10. Unlike advertisements for later collected volumes, no image of the cover of Volume 1, Animage Special, was printed with this announcement.