A Torumekian airship in distress appears over the Valley of the Wind. Despite Nausicaa's efforts, it crashes with the loss of all hands. Soon after this, the peace of the valley is shattered when Torumekian soldiers invade. They almost immediately take control, as the Valley people are unprepared and militarily overwhelmed. Torumekians, in Medieval-looking armour but carrying automatic weapons, enter the castle of Nausicaa's father King Jhill. A few shots are heard, then we see King Jhill on the floor dead. Although he draws a sword we already know that he is bedridden and not capable of resisting physically, the Torumekians seem to have simply opened fire without warning or explanation.

King Jhill

Their actions don't seem to make sense once we understand the motivations of Princess Kushana, commander of the Torumekian forces. The crashed airship contained an embryonic God Warrior, a weapon which she believes can be used to destroy the giant insects who are now the dominant life form on Earth and threaten human survival.

God Warriors

Later, Princess Kushana gives a speech inviting the Valley people to join them in this enterprize and promises them a life free from fear if they do. So, why kill their king?

Kushana and her henchman

It could be simply a gratuitous action to establish the Torumekians as the bad guys, but this doesn't seem to be director Hayao Miyazaki's style. Kushana is no one-dimensional villain: she's ruthless but her motives are relatively humanitarian (as compared to others who Kushana knows will seize the God Warrior to use as a weapon: this appears to be her main reason for occupying the Valley). King Jhill was not capable of leading any resistance. If he had been left alive he could have ordered the Valley people to co-operate with the Tolmekians.

Ironically, once people find out what has happened to their king people want to fight twice (first Nausicaa, then the entire valley) and cooler heads have to persuade them that this is suicidal and the only option is to co-operate. This costs Kushana lives (after Nausicaa's uncharacteristic one-woman killing spree). The third time the valley people rise up there is no cool head to stop them and they come close to seizing control from the Torumekians.

King Jhill himself could have been persuaded that co-operating with the Torumekians was the only sensible option at that point, and would have had the authority to order his people to do so. Kushana could have forced him to do this at gunpoint if necessary. So why did her soldiers kill King Jhill?

  • 1
    This all seems very opinion-based. Generally you kill people that are waving swords at you, especially in a war
    – Valorum
    Jul 22, 2020 at 22:28
  • They were not at war.
    – Batperson
    Jul 22, 2020 at 23:42
  • 1
    They invaded, killed the king and declared themselves to be the rulers of the valley. That seems a wee bit warlike
    – Valorum
    Jul 23, 2020 at 0:01
  • It's warlike, but they didn't go to war with the Valley in the conventional sense. They didn't have a political goal or grievance. They occupied the Valley because that was where the God Warrior happened to end up by accident, and they needed to ensure it didn't fall into enemy hands (or, the hands of other Torumekian factions).
    – Batperson
    Jul 23, 2020 at 0:26

1 Answer 1


It could be simply a gratuitous action to establish the Torumekians as the bad guys, but this doesn't seem to be director Hayao Miyazaki's style.

I would not discount this explanation so quickly.

Note that the anime is based on a manga, also written by Miyazaki, which was far from complete when production of the anime started. The anime roughly covers the story of the first volume (of eventually 7).

In the manga, the Tolmekians do not kill Jhil. The politics and the plot in general is far more complex: Tolmekia is fighting a large scale war against another empire (the Dorok) and Kushana is levying forces from allied nations such as the Valley of the Wind, the Ohmu attack is provoked by Dorok (not Pejite) against a camp of Kushana and her allies, and the god warrior in Pejite is only shown once and not removed or activated. Jhil dies from his illness shortly after Nausicaä stops the Ohmu.

So the plot had to change a lot for the anime, it needed to be a complete story without leaving big loose ends (like the whole Tolmekia-Dorok conflict, or an ultimate weapon that is shown but never used). And film is a different medium. There is less time for plot details, and things need to make sense visually.

So I would say that it did make sense for Miyazaki to show Tolmekia acting with excessive brutality early on, in order to establish them as bad guys, and give Nausicaä an understandable reason to go berzerk and demonstrate her fighting skills (she also does this in the manga, but with far less provocation so it comes across as rather out of character, Yupa actually remarks on that explicitly).

If you need an in-universe reason, Kushana's absolute top priority at that point was to make sure the god warrior could not fall into anyone else's hands. The worst case for her would be if the Valley of the Wind gained control of it and used it against her, like Pejite planned to do. Killing their leader was a brutal but effective way to disturb their command structure and mess up any plans that might already have been in motion.

Sidenote: I very highly recommend the manga. It's amazing.

  • 1
    I'm reading the manga now. You're right. What an imagination he has.
    – Batperson
    Jul 23, 2020 at 23:07
  • I think the only reason to do so was to invade the Valley , to seize their resources. But perhaps Kushana had inner motives since this action only assured the involvement of Nausicaa against the Tolmekia/Torumekia (I don't remember how was written), so it wasn't a wise move. And if they invaded they easily can force the people of the Valley to work for they.
    – riccs_0x
    Jul 24, 2020 at 2:51
  • 1
    @riccs_0x: It's written トルメキア😃 indicating that it's a foreign word transcribed into Japanese. Torumekia is the direct transliteration into latin letters, but Tolmekia is a reasonable guess at what the word might originally have been. Jul 24, 2020 at 6:33
  • FWIW, in the anime they pronounce it as Tolmekia.
    – Batperson
    Jul 26, 2020 at 9:59

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