Hi everyone! So it is the end of October which means Halloween is almost here. As we creep towards the night of candy and toilet paper, let’s take a look at the sick and twisted manga Uzumaki by Junji Ito. I have been waiting to talk about this craziness all month! But before I dive into the spiral, let’s talk about Junji Ito.
Junji Ito became a horror manga artist in 1987 while working as a dental technician (I’m sorry but after reading Uzumaki, this guy can never work on my teeth…ever!). Ito would find early success with his series Tomie. He will continue to be a successful horror manga artist, with stories like Uzumaki and Gyo. You gamers may have seen his work in the Silent Hills P.T. demo. It makes sense that Ito collaborated on that creepy, atmospheric demo. Now that you know a little of Ito’s works, let’s talk Uzumaki.
A Creepy Country Town
Uzumaki is set in the mountain town of Kurouzucho. Kurouzucho is a simple country town, full of simple country folks, living a simple country life. Out of nowhere, strange occurrences start happening in town. All of this weirdness involves spirals in some way. Spirals show up everywhere in this town, in the water, in the sky, in hair (yes, hair). No one knows why this is happening, and when it will all end. Kirie and Shuichi are our witnesses to this chaos.
Kirie and Shuichi
Our protagonists in Uzumaki are Kirie and Shuichi. Let me say that Kirie is the most frustrating character. She reminds me of those kids in King’s Game in that someone tells her something horrible is happening, she can see those horrible things are happening, and she chooses to ignore it. SHE MAKES ME SO MAD!!! Her poor boyfriend Shuichi, who suffers tragedy because of the spirals, is trying to tell her that the spirals are evil. Every time Kirie is about to be at the mercy of the spirals, Shuichi warns her. He’s like, “Hey bae, it’s about to go down!”. She’s like, “you’re crazy! That’s not going to happen”. How many times does this guy have to warn her!? LISTEN KIRIE, JUST LISTEN!!!!
My Thoughts on Uzumaki
For the most part, I loved Uzumaki. The further you get into it, the sicker it becomes (kind of like a spiral). I bought the hardcover book that contains the entire series. The visuals in this book are incredible. The artwork really gives the story a feeling of dread and a dissension into darkness (of course you descend in a spiral shape like going down the drain). What I truly love about Uzumaki is the page turns. You never know what you will find on the next page, Most, of the time it was something completely horrific that makes you scream “what the hell?!”.
I am gushing about the story, but I have an issue with ending. When I first read the ending, I was a little drunk so I was confused. So I read the last few chapters again, this time sober. This time, I did understand what was happening, but I did not feel satisfied. I feel like the big reveal of why the spirals exist was kind of glossed over. And then there was all this extra content at the end that felt unnecessary. But, the disappointments in Uzumaki pale in comparison to the pure enjoyment of reading such a disturbing and entertaining story. Uzumaki will change the way you look at spirals, and Ito will change the way you look at horror.