I’m just going to talk about the packaging and quality of this box set, because I think most people are familiar with the story and wonderful art found in Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Nausicaä is a manga classic, and it totally deserves the deluxe treatment it gets in this collected edition. This is a two volume set that comes in cardboard box with a glossy cover. The set comes with a folded two-sided Nausicaä poster as well. The hardcover volumes are a mega-sized 10+ inches tall, ensuring the reader can appreciate the full details of Hayao Miyazaki’s art. The covers for each volume are matte, with an image of Nausicaä on the front and some grey and blue tinted abstract designs featuring the flora and fauna from Nausicaä’s world, giving the covers the look of an antique book. I pulled out my Viz Select Comics editions from way back in 1988 when Viz was releasing monthly comics with flipped art, and the reproduction size of the art was the same. I have always regretted not having a complete run of Nausicaä in the larger size. I filled in my collection of the later half of the series with a couple of the Perfect Collection volumes and I thought that the art suffered a little bit from being printed smaller.
The paper used for the box set is a good matte quality, and the ink used is a softer black which I think makes the backgrounds of the story seem even more dreamy and fairy-tale like. The translation here is the same Studio Proteus translation for the series that has been used in the past, but the lettering has been redone and looks much more smooth, compact, and easy to read. There are glossy color plates in front of each volume, which include character portraits as well as maps rendered in the lovely muted color palette I expect to see used for Nausicaä. I think that out of all the deluxe editions of manga that I’ve seen, this is by far the nicest.
I originally had this box set on my wishlist for the holidays, and then got wind of a coupon at Barnes and Noble and picked it up for $22.00, which I consider to be basically free. At slightly below $40 on Amazon currently, this is still an extremely good deal. If you have the money to spare to treat yourself to this set or can make some pointed hints to people who might be buying you presents, I think this is truly a great addition to any manga fan’s library.