Ghibli fans with an eye for background art details will recognize this tough and beautiful young lady.

Japanese specialty shop Donguri Kyowakoku is a wonderland for fans of Studio Ghibli, as it’s filled with all sorts of amazing memorabilia from the films of the world-famous anime production company. Even by those standards, though, their latest offering is especially impressive, as it’s a lovingly crafted figure of the very first Studio Ghibli heroine.

“Hold on a second, that doesn’t look very much like Nausicaa!” you might be saying. “Sure, the jacket and hair are in the same sector of the color wheel, more or less, as those of the titular star of director Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, but the overall character and costume design is all wrong.”

▼ Nausicaa (not pictured: valley, wind)

And right you are, my hypothetical historian, that’s not Nausicaa. However, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind came out in the spring of 1984. That was more than a full year before several former members of anime studio Topcraft (which produced Nausicaa) would formally form Studio Ghibli, and the first film created under the Ghibli banner was actually 1986’s Laputa: Castle in the Sky, which is where this character hails from.

“Hold on a minute,” you say (because you already asked me to hold on a second for the “That’s not Nausicaa” thing). “I’ve seen Castle in the Sky, and that figure looks even less like its female lead, Sheeta!”

▼ Sheeta with plucky pal Pazu (not pictured: your eyeglasses, which Pazu would be happy to hold for you)

Once again, you’re right, that’s not Sheeta. But within the world of Laputa, decades before Sheeta’s story begins, there was another young girl with a bold spirit who went on grand adventures, and her name was Dola.

Yes, that Dola, the burly leader of Laputa’s gang of sky pirates.

By the time we see her in the anime, she’s old enough to be the mother of several adult sons (or at least men in her crew who look up to her as one and call her “Mom”), but Dola makes an offhand remark that the maidenly Sheeta reminds her of herself, and in one scene you can even catch a glimpse of a portrait of Dola in her younger days that she keeps hanging on the wall of her cabin.

Sky Pirate Dola-Age 18, as the figure is officially called, strikes a dashing pose with her flintlock pistol and crescent-handguard saber, and while she may have gained a few pounds and wrinkles while juggling raising a family and aerial plundering, it looks like an indomitable spirit has been a constant in her life.

Preorders for the 29-centimeter (11.4-inch) figure can be made between now and midnight November 8 here through Donguri Kyowakoku’s online shop. It’s priced at 29,700 yen (US$260) and shipping isn’t scheduled until late June, but we’re sure Dola herself would be the first to tell you that she gets even better as time goes by.

Source: Donguri Kyowakoku via IT Media
Top image: Donguri Kyowakoku
Insert images: Donguri Kyowakoku, Studio Ghibli (1, 2)
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