Thu. Oct 21st, 2021
Author: Junji Ito
Publisher: VIZ Media
First Published: October 16, 2018
Genres: Horror, Seinen
Pages: 648
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased


Kurouzu-cho, a small fogbound town on the coast of Japan, is cursed. According to Shuichi Saito, the withdrawn boyfriend of teenager Kirie Goshima, their town is haunted not by a person or being but a pattern: UZUMAKI, the spiral—the hypnotic secret shape of the world. The bizarre masterpiece horror manga is now available all in a single volume. Fall into a whirlpool of terror!

Also by this author: Gyo, Tomie, Venus in the Blind Spot

My Thoughts

A horror manga about spirals – it sounds strange, doesn’t it? What makes Uzumaki so brilliant is that it takes something abstract and transforms it into the stuff of nightmares, utterly corrupting one of the most beautiful patterns in nature: the spiral. When I had first started reading this comic I was skeptical, how could a spiral be scary? There is nothing sinister about a spiral, just as there is nothing all that unusual about the town and its inhabitants. However, there is an air of unease that hangs over the mundane town, an evil far greater than humanity.

“Spirals…. this town is contaminated with spirals.”

Uzumaki challenged my perception of horror in its twisting narrative, starting slow as the madness began to spread, spiraling out like a flower in bloom. As the story reached a fever pitch, it quickly descends, like a whirlpool sucking everything underneath its surface. The pacing is unbelievably well crafted and I love the way that the narrative wound me up the farther along I got in the series.

The art is also a wonder with extremely detailed drawings depicting some of the best examples of body horror that I’ve ever seen. I fell in love with Ito’s art style immediately and took time admiring the panels as I read. While this is of course up for debate, many fans and critics have chosen Uzumaki as Ito’s magnum opus, and after reading a couple of his other comics I would have to agree. Uzumaki is one of the best works of horror I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. I highly recommend this for any fan of the genre, but especially for fans of the works of H.P. Lovecraft, whose books greatly influenced Ito in his creation of the series.

Warnings: body horror

About Junji Ito

Junji Ito is a Japanese horror manga artist. He was inspired from a young age by his older sister’s drawing and Kazuo Umezu’s comics and thus took an interest in drawing horror comics himself. Nevertheless, upon graduation, he trained as a dental technician, and until the early 1990s, he juggled his dental career with his increasingly successful hobby — even after being selected as the winner of the prestigious Umezu prize for horror manga.

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