From the back cover:
Humanity, in its hubris, has precipitated a devastating environmental disaster. Flourishing industrial civilizations have been swallowed up by the Sea of Corruption, an enormous forest of fungi that releases a miasma of poisonous spores into the air. Nausicaä, a compassionate young princess, and her allies battle to heal a wounded world and its inhabitants…
Now Nausicaä embarks on an inner, spiritual journey to the very heart of the Sea of Corruption, where she discovers its surprising secret! Compelled to share her discovery, she returns to the land of the living. But then she accidentally awakens a God Warrior, a biotechnological abomination of the war known as the Seven Days of Fire, from its stasis. And now the monstrous, yet childlike, God Warrior thinks Nausicaä is its mother!
I have no idea what those last two sentences are on about, because that did not happen in this volume. What does happen is that the environmental threat comes to a head, bringing many epic scenes of noble insects on their way to sacrifice themselves to neutralize a man-made mutant mold. Nausicaä nearly loses hope then regains it, and winds up being worshipped by a people who’re universally reviled.
There isn’t as much political stuff this time around, but that must be in the next volume, because now that things have kind of settled on the environmental front the big problem that’s left is the two crazies in charge of the warring nations. As a result, Kushana doesn’t appear much, but when she does, she is a complete badass. Seriously. I was tempted to bust out a scanner at one point just to have evidence to support my claims.
One thing I wanted to point out specifically is how well Miyazaki conveys a character’s thoughts with just a glance. There’s one nice sequence where Nausicaä is standing in a section of purified forest, spores floating about her, and the focus shifts to her young male companion, who’s watching her with a small smile on his face. It’s obvious just from that how he feels about her.
There’s not a lot I can say about this that I haven’t already. It’s really, really good and I’m extremely happy that I heeded all the recommendations I read. I hope someone will heed mine!