Thursday, August 26, 2010

Uzumaki by Ito Junji

Uzumaki, Spiral into Horror

Pages (Paperback): 208 pages
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC; 2 edition
Released: October 16, 2007

Note: I'll be reviewing the entire series, which span between 3 books, but I'll be only posting the first book here.

Quick Thoughts: This is the third or fourth story I've read by Ito Junji. He has a way of taking simple concepts and making them into strange and crazy things. I also enjoy his artwork, when his characters go crazy you can really tell. Anywho, I've heard great things about Uzumaki so I decided to check it out!

Review: The story starts with Kirie Goshima finding her boyfriend's father staring at a snail shell. He's bewitched by it and doesn't even notice Kirie when she walks up to him. According to Shuichi Saito, Kirie's boyfriend, his father has been acting weird lately and doing this kind of thing a lot. He quit his job and spends all day looking at spirals, spirals, and more spirals. Shuichi mentions, in passing, that the town is contaminated with spirals. Kirie doesn’t believe him and when you first start to read the manga, you think he’s kind of crazy too, but as you continue reading, you start to see just how contaminated the town really is.

The spirals start to change Shuichi’s father and drives his mother crazy. People change into spirals, turn into snails, and well, you’ll just have to read the manga to know what else happens to those who are affected by the spiral. Just know that things will get even stranger and stranger for the inhabitants of Koruzo-Cho.

Final Thoughts: I think I love Uzumaki. Not spirals, because I don’t want to go crazy, but the manga is quite wonderful. Ito-san is one of the best horror manga writers in Japan and when you read Uzumaki you really see that. He takes such a simple concept of spirals and makes it into something so horrifying. And the way he ties everything together is quite smart too. The art is clean and crisp and you can tell that Ito-san took his time detailing everything.

My only complaint would be Kirie. I wish she actually listened to Shuichi and figured out that he was right. Kirie, despite warnings from Shuichi, keeps getting involved with spiral cases. Once she does, she always seeks out his help. I would think that after awhile, she’d start to understand where he is coming from. I do understand why she didn’t and once you get to the ending of the manga, you’ll understand as well. I just wish she did something.

Other than that, this is a fantastic manga! I still haven’t read everything by Ito-san yet, but so far, I think this might be his best work. Definitely check this out! This is one manga that you don’t want to miss!

Grade: 10 out of 10

Read the shorter version of this review at 5 Line Reviews

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