"When the forest rises up against man, when the anger of the Earth itself can be felt, then shall appear a prophet to stem the tide. In blue with white wings, he shall save his people from the storm and descend onto a field of gold."
Long before this story takes place, humans began a huge war that destroyed civilization itself. They used the God Soldiers: monsters created for the sole purpose of war, monsters that destroyed the world. That war left behind the tattered remains of humanity and a contamination that seeped into the air, the water, the Earth itself, and killed whatever it touched. Soon after, the forests and insects changed.... The humans were forced to retreat into sanctuaries, where they constantly tried to keep out the deadly spores that began to appear in the forests. These spores killed the normal plants left and completely decayed the lungs after five minutes of exposure. The humans also waged a constant war against the insects, especially the Ohmu. Any violence against any one of the insects brought the entire population of the forest out in force. With eyes colored red to show anger, the insects would keep attacking, ignoring their own losses, till every last person responsible was dead.
Nausicaš is the story of a young princess who tries to find a compromise between the life the humans have chosen and the life the forests dictate. She takes on the responsibility of protecting the people of her valley now that her father has succumbed to the disease that the forests have brought. Like all of the main characters in Miyazaki's films, Nausicaš is strong-willed but warm-hearted; she really tries hard to protect both her people and the insects, and she's convinced that there is a way. When other communities try to utterly destroy the insects, her little valley, filled with its farmers and other home-bodies, finds itself at the heart of a new war. Nausicaš finds her valley taken over by a cold, metal-encased woman, her father killed, her people taken captive, and herself held hostage. The only thing that she knows is that she needs to convince the others that trying to kill all the insects is a big mistake. A mistake that could possibly kill all the humans instead.
Having seen Nausicaš more times than I care to count, I find it hard to control how much of the story I can safely give away. Safely as in before Jerry kills me. All I know (apart from the entire story) is that this is one of Miyazaki's most magnificent works; from the animation of the colossal Ohmu to the music that is as much a Miyazaki signature as the character designs. And my favorite, of course: Teto, the fox-cat. Or whatever. This is the fastest paced of Miyazaki's works, but with the same subtle brand of romance and the same underlying message: love shall conquer all.