By anime standards, Nausicaä from Hayao Miyazaki’s classic does not have a ridiculously large chest. But Miyazaki has said that the size of her bosom does have meaning, it seems.
Here is the exchange in which he discusses why he made the decision to portray the character this way. The interview apparently took place the day after the film was released in 1984:
Miyazaki: Nausicaä’s breasts are quite large, don’t you think?
Interviewer: Yes. (laughs)
Miyazaki: That’s not only so she’ll be able to breast feed her children, or for sleeping with the guy she likes. They’re when she embraces the old man and old ladies in the castle when they are dying. I think her bosom is something like that. That’s why it had to become big.
Interviewer: Ah...I see... (Shock!)
Miyazaki: When she held them to her chest, they could die peacefully. I thought her bosom needed to be as such.
(Note: This interview was also translated by Viz Media in Starting Point 1979-1996.)
There is another interview Miyazaki gave in 1995 in which he also discussed how he portrayed the character’s body from her original concept through the process of finishing the manga. Miyazaki mentions how he wanted to “draw her forcefully, with large breasts.” But as he progressed, however, he was worried about possible nude scenes.
“If a nude scene came up, I wouldn’t have been able to draw it without apologizing,” Miyazaki said. “That was the one thing I was sure of. Really. Not because I would be ashamed, or anything like that, but because I’d feel like drawing things that can’t be published.”
There are images from the manga depicting the character with a large chest—and there is a nude scene as well. It’s hardly sexy, and her physique appears to have been toned down.
The above manga frames have become a minor meme of sorts in Japan.
Interestingly, in this later interview, Miyazaki also reportedly said, “I don’t think that I’m the kind of person who embarrasses easily at things like that. In any case, having now reached this point, I can see that there was no need to have drawn her that way. I think that the only thing that changed there at the end was my desire to depict a more spiritual story.”
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