There are many horror mangas out there that try to make themselves scary. But often we just get a comic that’s more gory or disgusting than scary. Now there is Kazuo Umezu who really can write a horror story that’ll scare you. He is known as the godfather of horror manga, but there is another called Junji Ito called the master of horror manga who has wrote something just as terrifying as any scary movie, book, or comic out there. This story is called Uzumaki.
The story is simply starts us of quick with two main characters to get use to and
the setting for our horror manga. Right away, we get the feeling that something isn’t actually right in this little coastal town. Soon, after the first chapter we get our first freak out and scary moment that is very twisted. The story is written well and focuses on something that really isn’t scary to begin with, a simple spiral.
But as this story shows, there is much more to this symbol then meets the eye.
As the story moves along, each chapter presents us a separate story that is completely different than the last, but still connects to the main plot. We get strange stories about a lighthouse, crazy hair, giant snails, and twisting bodies that all go together into this spiral story, no pun intended. But some of these stories within the story aren’t actually really horrific or anything which is why this grade isn’t a 10.
This story really is scary and what helps it is its sick and creepy style art. These characters are really well drawn and have a small alteration that makes them different than another person, though a lot of the girls seem similar to me and at one point I could tell two of them apart from each other.
Now let’s look at the world itself. It really is drawn well and if you look closer enough, you’ll find spirals that aren’t even apart of the story at hand. There’s also the carnage and scenes of disturbing violence in the story, now this stuff is freaky. This story contains a lot of this story and unlike most stories, it actually makes this story scarier!
Like I mention before, we are instantly given our two main characters right off the bat that both provide two different personalities. The girl is a bit uneasy and refuses to believe a lot of the things happening around her for a while and there is her boyfriend who is really nervous about the town and believes there isn’t something right about it.
Then we get the rest of the cast… there isn’t much of a cast besides these two. The only people that make repeat appearances are Kirie’s mom, brother, and dad plus one of her friends occasionally. Everyone else that has a big part in one of the chapters is pretty much a one time appearance. It’s kind of annoying that you get to know a new character only to never see them again.
Well… this series is extremely rewarding if you get it a chance and you’ll for sure think there is no other horror story around that can reach this level of freakiness. But this story might not appeal to everyone. Some might be put off by the crazy images or might find this story not that scary but just disturbing. Either way, this story provides a chilling, but enjoyable ride from beginning to end if you find that you like this series.
This story might not appeal to everyone like said before, but a lot of people should at least read the first chapter before making their judgment. You never know, you could be missing out on a great horror manga and you could never have even known!
This series contains a lot of disturbing images, violence and gore, nudity, language, and intense scenes of horror. If find any of this not really your style, especially the disturbing images, avoid this series at all costs!
Manga and anime do not scare me easily. Disturb me in some cases with grotesque imagery and copious amounts of gore, yes, but nothing that would constitute in giving me nightmares. I've found the medium as something that I would always gain enjoyment from no matter the genre. I would spend my time with a work, ponder on it for a while, and leave it at that. Rinse and repeat. That is, until I came across Junji Ito's Uzumaki.
The manga is brief, as it is only 19 chapters long with one extra story, but it drags the reader through so much. The manga's first two
chapters set the stage for all the events that are to follow: a man's obsession with all things spiral-shaped, smoke that forms a spiral when it reaches the sky, the protagonist's boyfriend becoming paranoid over the mysterious activities that have been occurring in the small, sea-side town where the story is set, and so on. Once the main points of the story are established, Ito assumes that the reader is aware of the basics and takes a completely episodic approach with his storytelling until the last few chapters. Each chapter is dedicated to one object that is associated with spirals, notably snails and curly hair. He sometimes cuts corners with this concept, though, and dedicates chapters to mosquitoes and lighthouses (Apparently, his excuse for this is that they move around in spiral shapes). What the reader doesn't realize, though, is that this is all build-up for the conclusion of the story, making this one of the most depressing manga I have ever read. I won't say much to avoid spoiling you, but the spiral concept of the story becomes all the more encompassing. Part of the horror that comes from this story is obsession and giving in to that obsession. It comes from watching the gradual downfall of a once peaceful town that has its daily life completely transformed (no pun intended...oops) by the psychological breakdowns of its townspeople. It comes from some of the characters' realization of what is going on, screaming in fear that they don't want to die, and knowing that they not only do not have any control over the situation, but that they know that they will never be the same again. I could go on, but my point is that the horror in this is completely psychological, but this is not Perfect Blue we're talking about. The terror in this is slow and painful, making the story all the more engrossing and terrifying.
Another major part of the story's appeal is Ito's unique drawing style. You could probably read the manga just for the artwork and still gain some enjoyment from that...that is, if you don't suddenly close your book in shock. It's one thing to read in text what is going on and another to see it. The artwork magnifies the reader's imagination hundredfold and presents possibly the only way to visually express everything that Kirie, the protagonist, is experiencing. Some of the scarier images include Shuichi's father rolling up his tongue into a spiral, half-human/snail hybrids, an army of pregnant women with blood-stained drills, and the lost souls that are the townspeople of Kurozu-cho who have resigned to the fate of "becoming one with the spiral", so to speak. That's not even half of the grotesqueness that the art has to offer. Some of the less scary art, such as the spiral-shaped grass and amusingly-spiraled hair, are cool to look at, but at the later points in the chapters, those only serve as distractions from the horror contained within the story. My favorite aspect of the art, however, is the fact that some of the worst images are usually hidden as two-page spreads beneath some of more harmless panels on the previous page. It's almost as if Ito is daring the reader to look on to the next page. One prominent example can be found in the "moon scar" chapter, and you'll know what I mean once you read it. That sort of suspense made the manga all the more thrilling to read. The art is not only creative and nice to look at, but adds its own layer of horror to the story.
I feel bad for the characters in the story. I really do. By the end of the manga, they almost become completely different people. Even Kirie, who seems to consistently remain pure and untainted by the spiral's allure, has trouble facing some of the greater moral choices that she has to make during the story. She is always exposed to some kind of human flaw that is caused by the spiral's influence, such as vanity and lack of motivation. Because of how consistent Kirie remains through all of this, she seems almost like a Mary Sue character. Normally, this can be harmful to character development, and it is in some cases, but in the world of Uzumaki, her innocence is a virtue. She is spared from experiencing the same kind of insanity and corruption as her peers, and yet she has to witness everything first hand. At the same time, it seems like that that is her form of corruption, watching her family, significant other, and the people of her home gleefully give in to the madness surrounding them. Although that is not a form of character growth in the most traditional sense, the characters are growing based on the events happening to them rather than conjuring some kind of growth based on dialogue and interaction. Uzumaki has a very isolated form of character development that occurs in the foreground due to the highly-detailed story elements that take center stage.
Before I finish, I would like to state that this is a review for a manga that I read last, for the first time, in June 2011. The story, imagery, and overall package that this manga contains has stuck with me since. I still get chills from this manga whenever I get flashbacks to it. I might have even experienced a few nightmares from this story a short while after reading it, but my memory of that is a little hazy. Leave it to Junji Ito to take some of the most insignificant things that we take for granted and enlarge them into things to avoid with dread and disgust. If you are looking for some great Lovecraftian horror to sink your teeth into for Halloween, or anytime for that matter, look no further than this manga. Just be weary of any escargot on the menu next time you eat at a fancy restaurant.
Originally posted by me on The Moon is a Dead World (http://ryneb.blogspot.com)
I'm always interested in different forms of media that manage to tie in the horror genre, and being a manga and anime fan myself, I sometimes find myself perusing the various manga shelves at my local bookstores to see what good ol' Japan has in store for us. A few years ago, I stumbled on Uzumaki, a manga which immediately grabbed my eye because of its psychedelic spiral book cover and the words "Spiral Into Horror" printed over the title. Obviously, anything that incorporates horror is going to increase my interest, so I picked
it up, sat down on the couch, and started reading it until my parents came to get me. That was the last I saw of Uzumaki until now, pretty much. I remembered the manga and started reading it again, only to find myself as enthralled with it as the last time.
The manga is done by Junji Ito, known for other horror works besides this one. It follows Kirie Goshima, our narrator, who lives in Kurôzu-cho with her family. Her boyfriend, Shuichi, is the first to experience any happenings with the spiral - his father becomes obsessed with anything of spiral formation, and finally breaks all of the bones in his body to become a spiral. If that's not trauma enough for the poor kid, his mother becomes so crazy with grief and obsession about spirals that she begins to purge any on her body, including the whorls on her fingertips, and eventually, she kills herself. There's some strange stuff going on in Kurôzu-cho, and Shuichi knows it, so he becomes a recluse, hiding out in his house. Kirie, on the other hand, is not fazed by the madness of the spiral, and continues living at her house. Through a series of experiences, including spiral obsessions that turn people into spirals themselves, people turning into snails with spiral shells on their backs, violent hurricanes that want only Kirie, and pregnant mosquito ladies who need blood for their unborn children, Kirie begins to realize that Kurôzu-cho is a cursed town. But it's a little too late, for the town won't let them leave, at least not until they join the spiral themselves.
Just from that summary, Uzumaki seems like a lot of fun, right? Very true. Never have I read a comic or manga that sucked me into the story and artwork as Uzumaki. It's ironic that the story is so compelling, almost mimicking the fact that spirals have an inescapable, hypnotic effect to them. The main characters are pretty rich and developed, especially Kirie, because we associate most with her. Most of the secondary characters are flat, but if they are important to a segment of the story, they get some sort of backstory and development to give the reader a little more interest in them. Obviously, this is a horror manga first and foremost, and at only three volumes, there's barely any time to establish a host of characters. However, the reader easily gets a feel for Kirie and her brother, as they begin to take more important roles in the narrative.
In the beginning, each chapter feels almost like a one-shot, presenting a story and concluding it (or giving as much of a conclusion as possible) at the end of the chapter. Most scenes have little to no bearing on the last one, and at first I felt that all of the chapters felt really disjointed to the point where it felt like the author was just throwing out cool ideas that incorporated spirals. Towards the end of the manga, though, scenarios start to tie together a little more cohesively. That's not to say that all of the mystery is cleared up, because much of why certain events happen are left ambiguous. This is one of the downfalls of Uzumaki; there's a really amazing lead-up of events, with creative monsters or horrifying situations, and then the chapter drops off, never clearing up why the spiral chose to manipulate the people in this way. It's very fun and care-free, but there's a sense that the audience is missing an explanation.
Even towards the end, when some of the earlier story arcs come into play again, there's a generic exposition of "the spiral made them do it," but it doesn't cut it for me. I want to know exactly why some people turn into snails while others willingly make themselves into spirals. The conclusion to the story feels like a cop-out too. Shuichi and Kirie have worked non-stop throughout the manga to avoid the spiral, and for the finale, we are forced to accept the fact that there is no other way to survive except to complete the town's spiral. It gives a large sense of abandonment and futility for the reader, but it also lets them down, because all the events that occurred could have been left out, Kirie could have died in the first chapter, and the outcome would still be the same.
Other than these nitpicks with the story, though, Uzumaki is creative enough to stand out from other J-horror titles about curses. Sure, the city is cursed with a spiral instead of a ghost, but there are endless possibilities for strange happenings, and Ito certainly uses his imagination, both in concept and artwork. The drawings are, for the most part, typical manga style, except when characters are abnormal or are going crazy because of the spiral. The latter characters begin to develop dark splotches around their eyes, have strange postures, and become plain creepy. The chapter on the pregnant women sucking blood is hypnotically creepy, in fact.
Everything is so twisted in the story that you can't help but feel the atmosphere of depression. Ito tends to present complex choices that the characters must make, normally with frightening results either way. Food becomes scarce in Kurôzu-cho and our protagonists are forced to cook and eat the snail-people, trying to convince themselves that the snails have ceased to be human. However, this is still a sickening and twisted turn of events, especially when Kirie's brother becomes a snail, and I felt disgusted and actually fearful when reading.
The moments stated above are just some of the respectable plot lines that Ito brings to the table, and rather than read my lackluster attempt at a review, it would be much more fun to read the 500 or so pages of the manga instead. Expect a few uncomfortable moments, however, as Ito finds it fun to get under the reader's skin.
Uzumaki was one of the very first manga I ever read, as well as my introduction to the horror genre, this manga is somewhat precious to me. Uzumaki is narrated by the main character, a somewhat one-dimensional student named Kirie, who lives in Kurozu village. It tells the story of a town and the weird occurrences that keep happening to it's residents.
Story: Uzumaki is a collection of short stories that all share one common theme: spirals. Each story stands by itself as creepy story, but read the whole series and you will find that all of
the stories help build suspense as the entire town is slowly succumbs to the oddities of the spiral. I found the plot original and easy to follow, although towards the end it can get complicated. A very creepy, at time gruesome, horror stories.
Art: I'm not an art critic, but I found the art was quite good. It was scary without being TOO gore-y (although my standards of what is and isn't gore aren't like many others). I found that it helped elaborate the story at many times and really the manga achieve it's creepiness.
Characters: The characters were most certainly not the highlight of this manga, but they weren't horrible either. I found the main character, Kirie Goshima, defenseless at most times and didn't do much to help the ongoing situation. Shuichi Saito seemed to be the voice of reason throughout these stories, and was also the first one to become aware of the damage the spiral was causing. His character has a very rough time throughout this story, but still keeps a stronger head on his shoulders than Kirie. There are many other minor character throughout this story, but let's just say they don't live long. Overall the characters are simply average, but that's okay because they aren't the strong point of this story.
Enjoyment: As a huge horror fan, I really enjoyed this manga. I finished it in one sitting, and was let hanging after every chapter, wanting to find out what was happening to this town. I'd re-read it a few times, and it still holds a special place in my library.
Overall: Overall, this is one of, if not, my favourite manga. It is genuinely scary and leaves you guessing until the climatic conclusion. I'd recommend it to anyone, even if you aren't necessarily a "horror fan", I'm only certain you'll be able to find something you enjoy in it.
Junji Ito, master of the horror manga.
I had expectations for Uzumaki, having heard it was one of Junji Ito's better known work. But I was disappointed in this manga: Uzumaki is hardly scary or horrifying. Uzumaki is not, in my honest opinion, a horror manga. Let me tell you why.
It's all in the atmosphere. Or in this case, the complete lack of it. The story is just so ridiculously over the top! It breaks any kind of immersion. The best (and well known) example is: The Spiral is granting the mosquitoes the terrible power of... flying in spirals. Hypnotizing! I won't spoil it for you, but
it gets better. As in hilariously stupid.
While the overall concept of a strange and unknown force messing up the world is refreshing (no big bad monster!), I could never get into it. Once the Spiral has taken hold of the city, it never stops tormentinq it. And it goes way too far. Intentionally or not, this manga is parodying itself.
Each chapter can stand on its own, the manga being more of a collection of interconnected stories. And after reading a couple chapters, you start noticing a pattern... Ito's world follows a number of rules. For example:
1-Newly introduced character(s) will die at the end of present or next chapter.
Corollary:1.1- Fighting the Spiral is useless. Humans cannot escape or change their fates.
(And I'm not even spoiling anything. Just read a couple of chapters, you'll see! Discerning this pattern made the reading boring as hell too)
The minor character don't get a lot of exposition or characterization. One chapter isn't enough to get me to know and get attached to any character. It leaves them flat as cardboard, and half as interesting. They do serve a purpose, however: meatbags. It's sad really: potentially interesting characters reduced to meatbags. They exist so they can get killed. Quite gory deaths too. I didn't care about them though. And seeing a character you don't care about suffer or die won't trigger a strong emotional response. I mean, I didn't care for their deaths. Too bad for the horror I wanted. Ito got me a truckload of gore though.
Now, I've got to give credit where credit is due. The art is nice. Ito's got his own realistic-ish character drawing style, and he always show the mutilated dead people in great detail. He also tends to exaggerate his character's expressions when they get crazy, making them look inhuman. I find it ugly and silly, but it's a personal preference.
In the end, I found that only one chapter of the manga was interesting and memorable: the attention seeking-hair (it still is one of the first chapters, don't worry). This one is light on blood and gore, but was still delightfully creepy.
All in all, this manga was rather boring. Bland and forgettable characters lessen the impact of the gore. The ridiculous storyline gets out of hand pretty fast and I found myself laughing at the stupidity of it all in the later chapters. As I said, the art is really nice, but I find that Uzumaki lacks the most important part of a horror manga: the horror. It's got gore though.
Warning: This manga isn´t for the faint of heart and I REALLY mean it.
I have to admit that I enjoy horror stories. Why? Because I often laugh while reading/watching it. Yes, I am quite sarcastic person and some horrors are just so ridiculous, it´s not even scary. Is this case of Uzumaki?
I must say: "NO."
I think that Uzumaki is one of best horror stories ever and Ito Junji is master of this genre.
I love the ways of Spiral Curse. It starts unobtrusively but as story progress, madness spreads between inhabitants of Kurozu-Cho. Uzumaki isn´t manga with surprising storyline, you can kind of
guess what happens next but charm of this piece is in gradation of horror and in knowing that nobody can escape horrific curse. You don´t know why spirals cursed Kurozu-Cho but that´s, in my opinion, really great, because it supports feeling of horror - you are just like main heroes, wrapped into strange wolrd and you don´t know rules. In one word: awesome.
I just fell in love with Juni-sama´s art. His art is so beautiful, so pure... And so detalistic in moments of death. He has unbeliavable imagination when it comes to killing. Oh, I almost forgot: art in Uzumaki is full od spirals. Spirals are everywhere.
I can´t say that I loved them but they were okay. Kirie insn´t annoying and whiny and Shuichi... He is just okay. Character develepment wasn´t that great but hey, everything else was!
When I started reading, I couldn´t stop. This speaks for itself.
Uzumaki is a "must read" for all horror fans. It has everything: intriguing storyline, amazing art and breath-taking ending. Believe me, you just HAVE to read this.
Nobody knows the origin of the universe. We can only perceive what is logical through theoretical analyses or imprints of what the galaxies have for us. Probably, questions about the existence of our world are also deeply rooted in how humanity acts, and how close encounters with our origin may lead to questionable actions that portray the primal truth of humanity.
Uzumaki is a manga made by Junji Ito, known by some as the master of horror in the medium. This particular series is hailed by many as a masterpiece and Ito's magnum opus, known for its hyperrealistic depictions of a blend of supernatural and human
horror through the use of spirals. Unbelievably deep in philosophy and complex in terms of artistic narrative, Uzumaki captures the essence of the aforementioned themes with disturbing imagery and wholesome character development—
WHAT A LOAD OF TOTAL BULLSHIT.
If anything, this manga can be compared to my first two paragraphs—totally redundant. Uzumaki is no less a "horror" that can only go as far as to provide shock value. What some present as one of the most horrifying contribution to the genre in manga is nothing but B-movie quality episodical tales through the first two thirds of the entire series, then shows off in the later third as an apocalyptic environment filled to the brim with disturbing imagery. Not much plot progression is even present as you get a rinse and repeat for the first eleven chapters and nothing afterwards but an exploration of the mess their town has become, which could have been good world-building IF ITO DECIDED TO BUILD ON THE STORY TOO.
The entire pacing of this manga is abrupt—nothing is ever consistent with how it runs throughout the course of the story, and that includes in-between chapters. I thought that what is necessary in horror is a proper buildup to scenarios so as to truly scare readers, but all it had done was give me a few shaky moments that could barely classify as terror from reading this manga.
If there is one thing to commend, it would be the well-detailed art. In most times, the anatomically correct art style cements its quality as a good shocker, albeit in some moments the art surpasses life that it's more hilarious than anything. There were some real high points that this manga had to qualify as a terrifying read, but I was too caught up with how over-the-top everything is for it to become believable in the first place.
Now I know horror should require some suspension of disbelief, but Uzamaki pays little attention to the logic it should have and the whole structure of the series at one point is a repetitive "spiral-of-the-week" of which their conclusions are not only detrimental to the plot but also to my biggest gripe about the series.
What little character development Uzumaki has can be seen in the series' main led Shuichi, and you can see his slow descent into insanity as the spirals take over Kurozuchou—which could have made the story so much better if it was his perspective that we were looking at. All Ito provides us is the world of spirals through the eyes of Kirie, Shuichi's girlfriend, who has the habit of dismissing everything he is saying about the impending danger EVEN AFTER FALLING VICTIM TO AN EVENT just a chapter ago. Kirie as a character is as dense as you're ever going to get from a horror plot; and it's a surprise that her bland archetype is what makes it out alive at the end of each chapter. Maybe if you count the spirals themselves as a single entity, then I can probably say that Uzumaki has one of the best character developments of any manga. Aside from that, this is by far one of the worst selection of cookie-cutter characters in such a would-have-been intriguing storyline about spirals.
I don't know when I got tired of it, but Uzumaki immediately became formulaic to me after the first few chapters. I couldn't keep my hopes up with how poor the execution is, and I just kept making excuses to allow myself to finish reading it. While it is at best an entertaining read, in no ways is this even qualifiable as a masterpiece in horror, nor in manga.
PD. Sorry for my bad english im from a latin american country
When I first saw Uzumaki, I was guided by the reviews, how pepole said that was one of the greatest mangas that was ever made, even so when i was reading it i came up to my head that this one isn't actually a very good manga so here is my rate for Uzumaki
WARNING SPOILER ALERT
1. Story : 8
yeah, it's got an amazing storyline, how pepole get turned on into spirals and how all the world evolves by the spiral curse, i loved the concept of how such simple things like spirals can
make up one of our most inner fears come out to the surface and how things like snails freaked the hell out of me. Even so as i was reading it i realized that the timeline did not make sense. It occured to me that there were going to be like little stories around that weren't suposed to have any relationship, but as a matter of fact it had, so it comes up the next part of my review.
2. Character: 2
the characters are so damn bad, when you see a manga where are little stories having relationship between them with the same characters you'll notice that the characters change their way of seeing the world or maybe at least be freaked out about anything , but they're not they (excluding Shuichi) are so lifeless, like they don't give feelings about anything (yes im talking about Kirie), i mean how the hell are you supposed to feel after you see a bunch of pregnant women eating all doctors, i mean it freaked the hell out of me but even so she is lifeless, and of course there is no character development at all.
3. Art: 9
I got to admit art at his anime is soo amazing, it just gave me the creeps through the whole manga i felt like the spirals were coming to me and the spiral curse just moved around the real world.
4. Enjoyment: 4
well it all sums up to the characters again.
5 Overall: 5
even if it was an amazing storyline, characters make it feel empty like it doesn't matter at all, so it's a manga you just read while have nothing better to do or read.
When you think of the genre of horror, the first things that might come to your head are words like blood, fear, and death. Junji Ito takes the word horror and literally twists and squeezes the life out of it towards a whole different meaning.
Looking at the cover you may notice the abundance of spirals. And Spirals there are a plenty. The symbol of the Spiral can often mean mesmerizing, entrancing or hypnotic, but Ito has turned this rather beautiful symbol into a deranged, inescapable hellhole.
Without trying to spoil the mystery that awaits interested readers, Junji Ito weaves his precious symbol the spiral by
incorporating the opposite side of this coin. With concepts such as passion-turned-twisted obsession, phobias turned into day and night realistic nightmares, and even has the chance to play with the innocence of love be it romantic or maternal. Guaranteed, Ito has something in store for everyone of different circumstances.
The story begins rather from rather small suspicious events and drills further deep into the limits of the human psyche in a dreadfully consistent manner. Ito guides the reader into the bowels of the rather simultaneous happenings within the town of Kurouzu-cho. These events are divided into chapters in which each could be a high-rating horror one-shot all on its own.
Very well done for its time. The artwork beautifully (for the lack of a better word) reflects the happenings of each chapter beginning from it's rather ordinary and simply living inhabitants to the twisted rather monstrous outcomes of the events. It's old, heavy pencil drawn designs add to the plain, but gritty nature of the story as you can tell the amount of detail difference in the human characters and the other "entities" that exist in the manga.
The main protagonist Kirie Goshima, is followed throughout the novel as strangely, but predictably enough everything that goes wrong happens around her. Her character doesn't exactly change or develop in comparison to her counterpart Shuichi Saito who reveals the most mental instability as can be seen from the first chapter. I won't reveal what happens around him but he appears to understand the most of what's going on throughout the novel. These characters appear to have little to no development other than learning and surviving, perhaps because the interesting ones aren't the main ones.
Junji Ito puts a plethora of different entities that Kirie encounters, each with their own unique story to tell. Although, aside from a few, most of them are simply discarded and unheard of after Kirie flees from them. Regardless, at least in my point of view, it only adds on to the slowly, spiraling and deteriorating world around the main characters.
It takes an iron stomach and "experienced" eyes to truly enjoy the horrific and twisted masterpiece that is Uzumaki. One can easily be turned away by the first two chapters if he/she can't appreciate what it takes to make a psychologically disturbing piece without going into mindless gore and mutilation.
The best part, at least in my opinion would not be the end, but how Junji Ito crafts the individual stories so well that each story can become more disturbing than the next without losing it's essence of giving readers a feeling of "being sucked in and the inability to escape from it's gaze".
I classify this manga a masterpiece in it's own unique right. I am no experienced horror genre junkie, but I can sense a classic when I see one. I warn potential readers that this is not your everyday blood and guts horror show, but a truly psychological tragedy. A story that might disgust or disturb you, but will definitely make you feel like there's no escape but death itself.
I'm absolutely a fan of horror mangas. I don't find them scary at all I instead appreciate the detailed art over getting scared and nightmares. I'm not in favour of watching live action horror movies or shows though but I'm fine withe anime.
The manga consists of short stories revolving around the two main characters in this small town where a frequent spiral symbol appears. The story isn't really scary or frighting but the victims that fall to be consumed by the spiral are left in a pitiful and sympathetic state. Although the chapters consists of short chapters the story progresses well to the
core of the story. The constant motif of the spiral appears throughout the manga. The only message that haunted me after reading this manga or the moral I perceived from the relevance of the spirals: is that the finite turns of the spiral is like a cycle. Like a cycle that moves to spin indefinitely is similar to the cycle of life, and how one continues to move on.
I honestly loved the grotesque drawings of the demented forms that fall victims of the spiral. Although, it's scary for some I truly appreciated the fine and detailed art that Ito did. Furthermore, I love how distinct his art is, similar to how one can tell his or her favourite singer, I can distinguish Ito's art from other horror artists. The amount of detail drawn to illustrate the character's frightened faces and the distorted bodies left me to think how this author can come up with these disgusting and frightening yet remarkable poses. Surely, these drawings will haunt some people in their dreams.
There was very little character development since the story consisted of short stories. The major character perhaps are like-able, both with unique personalities and flaws. Despite their flaws of either being too naive and the other too self conscious, the pair complements each other which helps the story to move forward. If it wasn't due to the naivety and self-consciousness of these characters the mystery of the spiral will forever remain undiscovered *spoiler* and HA! the continuous cycle of the spiral will be disturbed *spoiler ends*. The rest are recurring characters and the sad but understandably the victims appears once.
Reading manga I needed to finish it quickly as I was intrigued by the creepy little spirals. But the ending wasn't magnificent but it served it's purpose for being a horror manga as it left me creeped out. It's a good short read.
Nothing really serious but still looking for a good horror manga to read then Uzamaki is the book for you. There really isn't any major story and character development but if you want to see and appreciate good illustrated pictures, this manga is for you.
While Uzumaki starts off strong with its truly creepy first few chapters, it then loses everything that made those chapters great and becomes neither scary nor interesting. With the first chapters, even though the events that take place could obviously never happen, the author succeeds in making them believable. This is not the case for the majority of what follows, the plots become ridiculous to the point where the entire manga just doesn't work anymore. What is perhaps the scariest part of the manga after the first few chapters doesn't even come from the deeper, more psychological horror that is intended, but rather something that
feels overtly done before, people who become zombies at night and feast on the blood of others. It's more complicated than that, but instead of those complications being scary, as they're supposed to, it's just the drawings at that point.
There are some stories (the manga generally works in the fashion of telling interrelated stories every chapter, with each chapter having a closure, the exception being the last set of chapters, which is the manga at its best other than the beginning due to its continuity) that are not only ludicrous and completely separated from reality (as opposed to the beginning, which succeeds in seeming as more of an extension of reality, something that could actually happen, which is the root of it's creepiness that isn't present for the rest of the manga), but aren't even remotely scary on the most basic level. Marvel as... a blinding light causes select people to walk in circles! The horror! The overall story is interesting and unique, much different from your average example of horror, as the "evildoer" is something as ambiguous as a shape. Now, if done correctly, this could make for a chilling manga that would haunt some readers' sleep for weeks. However, once again, the beginning of the manga is the only section that comes anywhere near accomplishing this. Many of the stories are barely even related to spirals (the shape in question), the "zombie" story mentioned earlier in particular, which also lessens the blow, making the stories feel much less related to each other, and the spiral as well. This takes away the feeling of the spiral taking over the town, one of the main elements of horror that's meant to be present.
The characters here have absolutely no personality. At all. The vast majority of characters are just generally kindhearted people whose dialogue is the same as everyone elses'. The only exceptions: Shuichi, who becomes a recluse early on in the story, mumbling to himself about how the spiral is taking over. No, he's not interesting (probably more interesting than any other character though). Kirie's (the main character's) little brother, whose name doesn't come to me despite having just read the last few chapters (a sign of how forgettable the characters are?). He's whiny. That's it. The final exception are the "bad people," the people who become possessed by the spiral and have a mean disposition. But nothing else. Yes, they're all cruel, but they're all the same type of cruel. There is a subsection of "bad people," however, attention cravers. And that's the only thing setting them apart. And yes, like the others, they're all the same as each other. So let's sum the characters up: We have nice people. We have mean people. We have attention craving mean people. We have Shuichi. We have Kirie's little brother. The characters are another thing that takes away from the horror of the manga; if I was at all interested in the characters, all these terrible things happening to them would have a much greater impact.
Uzumaki is a unique idea that lost all its steam early on. We can at least be glad that we got to see it live up to its potential, for a few chapters anyway.
This manga built up suspense like it was your own life! Junji Ito is very good at flashing out the scarriest scenes when you wouldnt even expect it, unlike the other stories that when you open a door slowly at night, you would already know something scary would be behind it. Junji Ito would keep it at daytime, the most natural time of the day, and something scary would be climbing out of your WALLS - or better yet, the walls could be your enemy!
He really sets up the unexpected, and also puts in the right amount of suspense in everything. The story really
made me think, and even after it ended, I still wonder if the ever-continuing story would ever finish, and if some hero would come along to stop the chaos.
This masterpiece started out like any normal day, meeting up with her boyfriend in a peaceful town. But can you expect what would happen next, with Junji Ito as the author? Probably not, if you have already read his other mangas. I dont want to supply you with any spoilers, but I admit everything was so unexpected! Even though it was just a manga, already recorded on paper that can never be changed, I still begged in my mind that nothing bad would happen, as the days go on, and the chaos just rises by huge levels.
I loved it because it set the most disturbing, scarriest, most affecting end I have ever seen. I didnt know if I should have cried because it was so nice to end that way, or jumped that it became what I thought of avoiding. This manga will make you feel like you were there, experiencing the huge impact at an explosive climax!(ITS OVER 9000!)!
Over all, I can say without doubt, that this story will affect you in many ways.
"How will it affect me?" You may be asking. Well...read the manga to know for yourself!
I'll never be able to look at spiral shaped objects the same way again...
I stumbled upon this manga while browsing through horror/gory manga. I thought "3 volumes? Eh, why not?" I can say that I definitely wasn't disappointed.
The manga doesn't have the most linear story, as it is more of a collection of small stories, each revolving around the concept/theme of a spiral or vortex. There's a chapter or two that have almost nothing to do with the task at hand, but are just there for entertainment. Think of these stories as those kind of stories someone would tell at a campfire or a
sleepover. Though when you really observe the stories, some are really good at telling a simple story/theme with a powerful moral, just in a very dark, twisted way.
Art - 10
Hooooolyyy crap. I swear I can get nightmares from the art alone. Junji Ito has got to be one of my new favorite artists. It doesn't help that the most disturbing images tend to be the biggest panel on the spread or even cover the entire 2-page spread. The style of the environment and the occasional gore is awe-inspiring. Being an artist (in training), the art in Uzumaki has definitely inspired me.
Character - 6
There is little to no character development in this manga. The main character, Kirie, and her controlling boyfriend, Shuichi, aren't the sharpest tools in the shed, though not completely unlikable. Kirie can barely defend for herself and relies on overly conscious Shuichi (and a pinch of luck) to get out of near death experiences. There are a handful of minor characters, but let's just say they don't last long enough to talk about.
Enjoyment - 9
I love horror, so I definitely enjoyed Uzumaki for what it was, despite how borderline stupid some parts are. I laughed, I was terrified, I was amazed, I was even dumbfounded. Uzumaki definitely gives me my horror fix. If only it was longer, the manga ended before I could REALLY enjoy it.
Overall - 8
This is a cool, quick read for anyone who's a fan of the horror series. It's one of the only things I've read/played/watched that's actually scared me. But whether you may find Uzumaki terrifying or silly, it's an overall entertaining manga.
Successful horror stories scare or repulse, assaulting the audience with an arsenal of monsters, shocking or unexplainable events, and playing with the character's mind and feelings. Horror is frequently supernatural, though it can be non-supernatural. Horror is about fear and tragedy, and whether or not one is capable of overcoming those things. It’s not all about severed heads or blood-glutton vampires. It’s an existential thing, a tragic thing, and somewhere in every story this dark heart beats. One of the defining traits of the genre of horror is that it provokes a response; emotional, psychological or physical, within readers that causes them to
react with fear.
Inspired by manga horror greats like Hideshi Hino (Hell Baby) and Kazuo Umezu (The Drifting Classroom) but working in a highly detailed style all his own, Junji Ito successfully managed to create a story that has many - if not all - of the characteristics that makes a horror story, good and scary. There's no doubt that he is one of the most popular horror manga artists.
But let's go deeper...
The story follows what must seem like a bizarre, absurd premise even by the standards of weird fiction. A small Japanese town is “infested by spirals.” This means spiral shapes begin to appear everywhere: blades of grass, clouds, pottery baking in a kiln, whirlpools in creeks. The story quickly goes into the scary stuff, where townspeople begin obsessing over the spiral. This situation becomes even more menacing when terrible things happen to human bodies which leads to some truly disturbing images of the horrifying pliability of the human body, culminating in an iconically nightmarish scene that will have a profound effect on how you view personal baths.
For the most part, each chapter has it's own story, characters and events, which means that sometimes, an event or a character won't affect the story in any way, in later chapters. Which is something that some people may not like. Though, that isn't always the case. There are some very noticeable moments who trully managed to capture my interest. Also, the story is narrated from one of the main characters.
Not many things to write here. As a horror manga, the art is pretty good overall. Sometimes the backround isn't very detalied, but it's not necessary. Characters have a realistic style, which fits with the story and the atmosphere, and some pages, mostly the scary scenes, are really well drawned. Ito knew what was important and needed more detail, and what not.
The "characters part" wasn't the highlight of this manga, but that doesn't mean that it makes the manga repulsive. There isn't much of character development, which isn't unprecedented, considering that the story is mostly based on short stories. The main characters are likeable, both with their own personalities and flaws. Despite their flaws of either being too naive and the other too self conscious, they complement each other which helps the story to move forward. Secondary characters support the story good enough to make the story interesting and scary. But other than that, nothing remarkable about them.
This was actually my first time reading a horror manga, and i really liked it. It is a great example of how scary and weird a horror and supernatural manga can be. It leaves you guessing until the climatic conclusion, which is also part of the horror that this manga wants to pass to the readers. This series contains a bunch of disturbing images, violence and gore, nudity, and intense scenes of horror, so if you think you can't handle all these, then this manga probably isn't for you. I would recommend it, but if you never have read any horror manga before, then you might want to read something else first.
Uzumaki - 8/10
Uzumaki is a great manga classic that even had a live-action movie adaption, while the movie was kinda of meh, I think the manga is truly timeless due to it's genre, which is Horror, and the way it utilizes horror elements to connect to the reader. The artwork has a definite style and has a great amount of detail throughout all the pages, speaking of which it's only 653 pages long, including afterwords and the lost chapter. The Story is quite good, although first 10 or so chapters feel very disconnected from each other as if being separate stories just with the same
cast of characters, which is a good thing in some ways, as it provides variety and keeps you interested, but is also a bad thing since it creates inconsistencies with the town becoming full of mysteries yet no one believes anything that is slightly not normal. The stories themselves need a bit more atmosphere and tension to them, but this really depends on your taste of horror. If you like atmospheric horror like Silent Hill and stuff with it's own unique world, then you probably won't like this very much, maybe you will enjoy the last 10 chapters which I will talk about later. But if you like sort of more of a creepypasta-esque approach to horror, (chapter 3,5,6,7,8,10) which is less so atmospheric, but more actually creepy much more relatable to real life and very bizarre in their scares and stories, this was certainly my favorite part, and if you like this kind of stuff, then this manga is for you although I think this manga is worth checking out to everyone just thanks to the artwork and the amount of "weird" this manga has. Now the last 7 chapters were way less horror and much more of a conclusion to the story, and generally more story, like the first two chapters, except well, not very scary or entertaining.
The ending, in my opinion was way too stretched out with very little substance added to the story or any horror provided, aside from the whole concept of why were the horrors happening, which wasn't so entertaining, and I'd rather have a much less clear explanation of it or something more mysterious and vague rather than an explanation the characters pulled out of their asses, at least it was no happy end and it made sense within the story.
While putting down the scores for this Review, I put down 10 for story and yet 1 for Enjoyment. This simple setence will make you know how I feel about Uzumaki.
Uzumaki is about a cursed town which strange events happen that center around spirals...and that's about as far as I can go without confusing you into a complete recluse. Sure I could mention the snail people and the man who bend himself into a spiral in the first chapter, but then again I would be ruining all the best points now.
The Story above is probably a unique in it's way to draw you deeper
and deeper in. The first and second volume are almost like building blocks for the spiral that will draw you in at the third volume.
However, once you get to the end, you will instantly feel...what's the word I am looking for?
Oh yeah, Utterly disapointed!
To say I grew at least attached to the people of the town was understatement, I honestly wished that they would get things back to normal...but here's a spoiler for ya.
They Don't. They all die at the end, turned into stone and wrapped around each other in spirals, waiting for the next sucker to decide "Lets built a Town here!".
But then again, my disappointment could be from Japanese unique horror storytelling.
Whenever you watch American Horror, don't you sort of root for the monster instead of the main hero? Sure you do! Because you don't feel connected to the Hero in any way. He keeps doing incredibly stupid things for no reason other then to waste our time for a hour and a half.
However, When you watch Japanese Horror, You will get sucked in and will be constantly rooting for the Hero's, because they are normal people fighting against what use to be normal people! Ghost in Japan usually are people who died horribly in the hands of evil people, so they become ghosts and haunt others for all eternity, trapping anyone that comes close to the same fate.
And that's what happens in Uzumaki. Anyone who enters the town is doomed to be trapped into the town...trapped for all enternity in a endless torture!
Thats what a true horror story is. Not the threat of Death, but the threat of PAIN.
The Art is okay, not too special or anything like that. Except when things are put into a spiral...it suddenly becomes weird and unfocused, feeling nasuating and truly wondering when it will end.
Overall, this is a good read if your in the mood for something scary and horrible.
However, if your in a down ridden deppression with anxiety about death and blindness...you should go watch naruto instead.
Uzumaki was a horror manga which made my eyes go wide. The story was actually pretty good though a bit on the creepy side. The characters are quite unique and psychotic which adds a bit more spice and suspense to the horror section. The art wasn't all cutesy and stuff which also help the story come alive. It amazes me how one shape (the spiral) can expand into a series of conflicts and stories. This is definitely one of the best horror stories that I read. If you want a good horror manga to read, this should be one that you should read.
Uzumaki would seem to be a strange first manga to read - it's not the most mainstream of manga, and it's not necessarily the most accessible, either.
But when you're lucky enough to have a partner that understands your unique taste in entertainment, recommendations such as this one just fall in the lap.
Uzumaki is weird, and occasionally horrific and disturbing, but at other times laugh-out-loud funny. It's the kind of manga with such a unique artistic vision that you really wish they didn't make a film from the base material, and you REALLY hope the American film studios never discover its existence.
typical of 'horror' - Uzumaki has all kinds of plot holes that are sometimes difficult to overcome, and can pull down the whole experience. At the same time, and like a good horror text, Uzumaki is also a page turner of the highest standard, and you'll find yourself flying through the entire series in no time at all.
While it would be difficult to recommend Uzumaki to newcomers myself, I also consider it the kind of manga that any long-standing fan of the form should read. Even non-horror fans can enjoy this one, because its vision is second to none.
"Kurozu-cho, A small fogbound town on the coast of Japan, is cursed. According to Shuichi Saito, the withdrawn boyfriend of Kirie Goshima, their town is haunted not by person but a pattern: Uzumaki, the spiral- the hypnotic secret shape of the world. It manifests itself in everything from seashells and whirlpools in water to the spiral marks on people's bodies, the insane obsessions of Shuichi's father and the voice from the cochlea in our inner ear. As madness spreads, the inhabitants of Kurozu-cho pulled ever deeper into a whirlpools of no return!"
First off this is a great manga written by
Junji Ito he also did the art for the manga.
What first got me into this 3 volume series was when I saw the movie Spiral a few years back on IFC ( I think ) after that I didn't think much of it then when I was shopping for Manga I spotted it I grab the first two vols. Anyway I was pulled in instantly the storyline is so odd you can't look away you have to keep reading just to see what happens next. People start turning into Spiral Snails, Hair that gets taken in by the Uzumaki, Cannibalism and much more. If you do decide to buy this Manga I suggest buying all 3 volumes at once because it drove me nuts having to wait just another two weeks for the last volume that ends in a slight cliffhanger but hopefully that's means we will get another volume or spin-off of this great horror manga.
As for the movie based on this manga it is slightly low budget and has cheesy effects but still fun to watch, and takes place mid way thru volume 1 of the manga.
Published By Viz Media
Volumes 1-3 Rated Older Teen For Violence and disturbing images.
Volume 2 has Mature Content.
Cost $9.99 USA and 11.99 Can
Manga is in right to left format
Art: 10 out of 10.
Artwork never seems to cheapen and does a great job of shocking you when it comes to the gory horror.
Story: 8 out of 10.
Has much as the story kept me on edge and had me hooked til the end I still wish there was more. Should have been at least a 6 volume series.
Price: 9 out of 10.
Same price as most Manga's at $9.99
Overall: 5 out of 5.
I highly recommend this manga to those of you that love horror, crazy stories and manga that just makes you think of the simple things around you.
I consider myself a great lover of manga and have read tons of them. However none have influenced me as strongly as Uzumaki.
The plot of the story starts rather subtly in a village with a man who is obsessed with spirals. As the pages turn, you become engrossed as the obsession with spirals spread towards the whole village. The way Junji Ito chose such everyday items and make it so scary is truly amazing. His drawing style is unique, where the drawings are light and simple in normal scenes, but horrifyingly realistic and disgusting in the horror scenes.
You know how when you read a book
only to glimpse into the world that is in the book. When i read Uzumaki, however, the world inside the book seems to creep out from the pages right into my own life. Uzumaki is not a scary manga that makes you dont want to sleep at night. but it is a manga that will change you, even if it's just a little. The first time i read Uzumaki was 4 years ago, and by god i still get chills when i see a snail.