Nausicaa manga

I’m about to enter level 13, so I still have a long way to go. When do you think it’s possible to start reading Miyazaki’s Nausicaa manga in Japanese? I’m not in a rush to read it, but it’s a goal I want to set for myself.


Omg, my reply won’t help you in the slightest, but I was thinking the same thing :sob:.
I really love Ghibli and I’m waiting for the day I’m connfident enough to read some Ghibil mangas/books. I actually watched Nausicaä last week again after about two years of not watching it!

So I guess, I have the same question, hehe.


Haha that’s awesome! I want to watch it again soon as well, since it has been a while.

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Whenever you feel comfortable with spending a lot of time on going through it. Your first read will always be a struggle, regardless of when you start it. The only recommendation I can give is that you at least familiarize yourself (or rather yourselves now) with the most common (so N5) grammar patterns. This means either reading through genki I for example or going through a bit of tae kim’s guide, or choosing a youtube series you aren’t completely bored to hell by. I personally started reading at about level 15-20 before my reset, if I remember correctly. If the manga has furigana, your vocab knowledge won’t be the issue (if it doesn’t, it might be way too painful so I recommend starting with something else like the Absolute beginner’s book club)


Thanks for the tips. I might just buy it already, and have a go at it. If I get stuck I’ll work through the things you suggested first.

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That’s probably the cleanest route you can take. I checked and it doesn’t have furigana, so to get around that, you might want to try out google lens if you have an android phone, it’s pretty decent at recognizing kanji.


Reading itself is another skill that involves way more than just memorizing a bunch of kanjis. In order to be able to read one needs to start. There won’t be a level where one will find themselves automatically ready to read. Like Gorbit99 said, the first handful of books/manga/light novel/articles will be a struggle. So my advice is: start as soon as you done with reading Genki I or Minna no Nihongo I, which means get some grammar foundation under your belt, and then go test the waters. I personally started reading at level 8, and have been doing extensively (without dissecting every piece o grammar) since then. You can always check the Learn Natively website to scout for something that’s more Kanji appropriate to your level, and go for it. Just remember to have fun!

My suggestion to ease the pain is get something with furigana, it works as training wheels and makes a bit easier to search in the dictionary for those words that you don’t know.


I read the Nausicaa manga in English (my native language) years ago and thought it was really complicated. To read it in Japanese, you’d have to not only have good knowledge of modern Japanese (kanji, vocab, grammar), but also (I think?) some classical Japanese. Not to mention a general ability to follow complex geopolitical stories.

For what it’s worth, the manga is nominated to be read by WaniKani’s Advanced book club (i.e., not Absolute Beginner, Beginner, or Intermediate). It also has a difficulty level of 35 on Natively, which makes it one of the hardest manga currently rated on that site and harder than many novels.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t make reading Nausicaa a goal, just that you’ll probably need to read a lot of other things first to reach a high enough level of Japanese.


Starting with reading so early contributes to making the journey fun and engaging I bet

Thanks for letting me know it won’t be an easy read, I guess that would make it not very practical for a first manga.

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well, even in my current level I would stay away for a while from it

learnnatively considers it a N1 level

I also have manga I wish I could read but even my grammar lvl (n3-n2) is not enough for them.



Wow, I’m definitely far from N1. It will be more of long term goal then.

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you can check that site so you can see which JLPT lvl you could start, usually the N4-N3 are the most recommended.

My approach actually is finding the anime for those manga, so I can kill two birds with one stone:

watching with japanese subtitles I can increase my reading speed and also reminding me of those long burned kanji/vocab I had already forgotten.

Everyday I watch one episode of odd taxi (quite complex and really fast dialogue!) and another for shirokuma cafe (really chill, you easily understand the dialogue)


May I suggest starting with シュナのたび instead? It’s an amazingly beautiful watercolor one-shot manga by Miyazaki. No furigana here either, but reading it should be much less of a challenge than the entirety of 風の谷のナウシカ.


It does indeed. I have a huge list of things I want to read and I’m trying to set myself up for success in that I learn the basic grammar first (N5/N4 ish grammar) and reach wk level 30. While I’m still far from it (currently level 17) I dab into Yotsuba (which I love and is somewhat easy) and Meitantei Conan, the later started as one hard piece. Could barely understand a page and after 5 volumes I can already see some light. I can understand the gist of it and read a bit faster than I did way in the beginning. Learn Natively Community considers Yotsuba a level 18/19 and Meitantei Conan a level 25 reading.


In my experience, something enticing at a higher difficulty than you’re ready for when you get it, that you open up occasionally to try to see how if it’s gotten easier, until the one day when it’s just doable enough that it sucks you in… Those are honestly some of the best and most helpful experiences.

Which is just to say there isn’t necessarily any harm in picking up and trying it even if it’s well outside your current nominal level (no one’s gonna arrest you for it at least!)


I wasn’t even aware of that manga. Thanks for the recommendation!

I’ve nominated Nausicaä for the Advanced Book Club. They’ve read full-sized novels, but are still too chicken to vote for Nausicaä. :stuck_out_tongue:


Yes, some characters use classical Japanese in their speech pattern. There are also concepts or words that may not be known by the average (Japanese) reader and are explained in the margin.

Definitely not recommend as a first manga, but I loved it myself. As @rodan said, it may be good to just pick it up once in a while to see how your progress are going.


I wasn’t voting for it because of the lack of ebook options. Then I got a copy of the ridiculously cool oversized “豪華装丁本” edition and suddenly stopped caring about that…