More than the art, however, the story and its tone also feels very much like Nausicaa - in a good way.
The basic premise is like something from Nausicaa's world: the world is, seemingly, an ocean of sand and on this ocean swims, literally, the Mud Whale, an apparently-semi-organic living island, populated by 513 human beings, none of whom have any knowledge of any world other than their tiny island. Moreover, the majority of these people are so-called "Marked", and possess psychic abilities called thymia, which are fueled by their emotions. Because of this, emotional displays are forbidden in their society, presumably for fear of someone losing control.
The Mud Whale has been swimming the sands for just over 93 years when the story opens and while life is monotonous and sometimes uncertain, depending on factors such as rainfall and food production, it's good overall, and people know what to expect: until another floating island is encountered and on it... another human being. The first anyone from the Mud Whale has ever seen, signaling to them that there is a world outside of their little home.
What follows is classically Miyazaki in style: the newcomer, though she doesn't even know her own name, knows more about the Mud Whale and its people than they themselves do and before she can share any of this information, the outside world (in the form of storm-troopers reminiscent of Jester-like versions of the troopers who invade the Valley of the Wind) attack the Mud Whale, setting off a chain of events that is halted by the end of the first volume.
Umeda, as so many other mangaka do, wears her influences on her sleeve in this work, but as I said, it's not a bad thing. CotW is a beautifully-drawn, lovingly-told story of exploration and frustration that is clearly leading towards bigger things. I'm personally very curious to see how far she takes the Miyazaki influence or if she'll just use it as a starting point, either way, I'm sure I'll enjoy what comes next.