Gahhh I love the Nausicaa manga SO MUCH and really need to finish it. It expands on her character so amazingly, it really lets you get to know her in a way the film sort of stumbles on due to time constraints. And I thought it was interesting that they emphasised her gender much more than in the film; early on, her father muses that a woman has never led them before, and that it could be problem, because while she’s a great leader with great potential people might not accept her. I mean, there’s implicit stuff in the film (like the way it’s assumed the ‘chosen one’ figure is a man, and it ends up being her), but never as blatant IIRC? It makes sense since the manga also emphasises the political side more, of course.
But I just love that Nausicaa is this interesting mix of being a very physically capable heroine, who can hold her own in a fight, fly, etc. etc. while also being a very compassionate, emotional person. She’s not any kind of extreme, she’s made up of a lot of different traits, and that’s cool to see. Being tough doesn’t have to mean being cold! Women do not have to be written as closed off all the time to be badass!
And, you know, she’s a ‘princess’ style character who actually has to deal with what that means, which I always love. Female daughters of leaders: actually have to worry about the ‘leading’ thing at some point, ahem, Disney.
God, this hits on exactly why Nausicaa is my favorite character of all time in anything ever. She is effectively a princess but it’s not a status symbol or a convenient plot point or something that’s happened to her; she’s the one who has to take charge and act as her people’s representative. She does have an affinity for animals and nature but doesn’t choose them over humans or the reverse. She’s gentle and loving and flies like a dream but can lose her temper and fight like a berserker. Basically, she’s not perfect…but she totally is.