Fans of Japanese anime may be familiar with the popular animated film “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind” (Kaze No Tani No Naushika), created by successful anime director Hayao Miyazaki. Since its initial release in 1984 (gosh, has it really been 28 years?), the film has been much loved by the Japanese public, both the young and old alike. The anime, which touches on timeless topics such as non-violence and humanity’s struggle to coexist with nature, has become a Japanese classic, and even today, it holds strong appeal and is broadcast in Japan from time to time on prime-time television.
The music in the film, including the main theme titled “Legend of the Wind”, composed by Jo Hisaishi, is also hauntingly beautiful and adds significantly to the movie’s allure. (A video of the theme is posted below for your enjoyment.) Fans of the film are bound to have specific favorite scenes which they can recall vividly along with the music.
Not surprisingly, the film has been well-received abroad as well, earning the Special Jury Prize at the 1984 Paris International Festival of Fantastic and Science Fiction Films as well as winning first place at the Rome International Fantasy and Science Fiction Film Festival.
Despite such high acclaim, however, it has come to our attention that the DVD jacket design for certain overseas versions of “Nausicaä” look just plain – no, make that horrendously – wrong. The jackets look so wrong, in fact, that they make us want to have an hour-long chat with the designer to confront them as to whether they actually watched any part of the movie.
We have some examples of the jacket designs below, so you can see for yourself. Okay, the Australian version and German version basically have the main characters right, sort of. But it looks like they didn’t get the story quite straight, based on the copy and product information on the package.
The American version (shown above) seems to be the most off the mark by far, featuring an action hero-type character in a strange costume, alongside a robot-like figure shooting what appears to be a laser gun and a mysterious alien creature holding something that looks like a light saber, and beneath them, a gigantic monster with a humongous open mouth. Umm … we’re quite sure these characters don’t appear in “Nausicaä”, and we can’t help but think that Hayao Miyazaki would be horrified to see this package! The package looks a lot like a second-rate Star Wars rip-off, so if it’s any consolation, viewers may actually be pleasantly surprised after seeing the movie – but that’s no excuse for the package design being wildly inaccurate.
By the way, here are some images from the actual film, if you want to look at them for comparison.
We still have no idea why these packages turned out the way they did, but fortunately, it doesn’t change the fact that “Nausicaä” is an extremely well-made, enjoyable movie, so we’ll leave it at that!
▼This is the Australian version.
▼And the German version
▼Bonus video: Theme Music “Legend of the Wind”