In 1980, after the not-so-great box office performance of his directorial debut, Lupin the 3rd: The Castle of Cagliostro, Miyazaki set his sites on manga and began work on Shuna's Journey in tandem with the orignal manga for Nausicaä. Nausicaä was published in serial form, in Animage magazine, beginning in 1982. Shuna's Journey, on the other hand, went straight to book publication, in a single volume, in 1983. While Nausicaä soon thereafter entered into production as an animated film – which, of course, as all Miyazaki fans know, went on to be a huge international success, ultimately leading to the founding of Studio Ghibli – which then led, in turn, to the manga to be among the first translated into English and published in North America, by Viz, beginning in 1988, it is only now – close to forty years after its original Japanese publication – that Shuna's Journey at last arrives on our shores in an English translation by Alex Dudok De Wit, in this full color, hardcover edition.
Based on the Tibetan folk tale, The Prince Who Turned into a Dog, the visuals have much in common with Nausicaä – unsurprisingly, given that he worked on both simultaneously. But there's much that is intriguing and unique to Shuna's Journey, and, of course, there is the page after page of wonderful Miyazaki art and story.
This 460 page softcover is a dream come true for anyone wanting to learn more about the life and mind of Miyazaki, the man behind what are probably the greatest animated films of our time. This volume collects essays, interviews, and memoirs written and conducted during the first two decades of his career. Readers will discover his theories of animation as well as how he came to formulate them, stories of his childhood, the founding of Studio Ghibli, as well as how all these came together. Food for thought, indeed.