The nice thing about having soundtracks in the year’s project roster is it gives me a chance to take a bit of a break. Think of them as sort of like a “bottle episode” of a TV show.

What is it?

It’s the soundtrack to Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, released in 1984.

How does it sound?

Like music used to soothe gigantic bugs.

Why this pick?

Part of the successful immersion into the weird post-apocalyptic future of this particular Miyazaki film is the compelling, slightly off-kilter score. Listening to one or another of the pieces on this soundtrack album is enough to put me in that world, if only for a few minutes. And so, I’m sharing that opportunity with you, here.

Which songs are the highlights?

This soundtrack album does something a bit odd: Most tracks are made up of two or three bits of the soundtrack score proper, so while half of one track might be something you find relaxing or whatever, the other half might be from a fight sequence. The lead track contains the opening theme, sure, but it’s bookended by two unrelated bits of background music.

This being the case, it’s hard to point to a specific track and say, “This, this one stands out.”

Other than “Nausicaä Requiem,” that is.

Which songs don’t work so well?

See above…

I guess if this soundtrack has a weakness, it’s that the occasional 80s-style synths leave it feeling rather dated in places.

Which album did you almost pick in favor of this one?

I almost went with the soundtrack to Iria: Zeiram the Animation. They’re of a similar vintage and there are some bits on that album that I really love.

Any final thoughts?

I’d prefer them to have made more individual tracks to separate out the themes instead of sticking two or three per track, but that’s the way the Giant God-Warrior crumbles, I suppose. (Does the Giant God-Warrior count as a giant robot for “giant robot warning” purposes? Nah, let’s say it doesn’t. Ha.)