Shuuna no Tabi
1 Volume – Completed
In a valley surrounded with tall icy mountains, life is a struggle. In that barren land, harvests are low and even the cattle are famished. One day a traveler appears and tells a story about fields far in the west with golden plants. Plants that can save them from starvation.
Shuuna, the young prince of that land decide to look for it. No one supports him, so he starts his lone journey to the unknown lands.
It’s more like a colorful pictorial story book than a manga, without any column and balloon text. All of the dialog is written as narration. The story itself, you might find it simple, but its dazzling art and bottomless fantasy will assure you that this is really Miyazaki’s creation.
In the postscript, Miyazaki explained that the story is based on a Tibetan folk tale called “The prince who became a dog”. It’s one of his dream to make an animation from it. Well, if you’re familiar with or moreover a fan of Studio Ghibli’s works you will realize that he hasn’t created just one, but several animations which have a resemblance to Shuuna no Tabi.
At first you’ll immediately be reminded about Nausicaa, a royal blood of a small kingdom in a barren valley. When Shuuna starts his journey, you’ll realize that it is just like Prince Ashitaka from Mononoke Hime, not to mention his ride, Yakul. But most noticeable is the similarity with Gedo Senki, the latest work of Studio Ghibli, which is IMHO a disappointment compared to the others. And FYI, this manga is written and published in 1983. Just around the time they started to produce Nausicaa.
A good collection though for a Studio Ghibli fan, and it’s good enough to be a bedtime story :).
[Reviewer: Adityo Ananta K.]