The Most Evil Villain Ever....A SPIRAL!

I'm going to try not to blog about Uzumaki like I discovered manga HOWEVER to my untrained eye, manga before Uzumaki always looked like Pokemon The Book or Harlequin the Graphic Novel.

Uzumaki is not either of these things. It is pure, undiluted awesomeness. That is probably the only fair way to describe it. It's bizarre and nightmarish and based upon the thin premise of a town haunted by a spiral.


Released by Viz in North America in 2001 (and re-packaged in 2007), Uzumaki is available in three volumes.

The author, Junji Ito, was born in Gifu-ken, Japan in 1963 and was formerly a dental technician. This just confirms my belief that dentists are twisted souls (please also refer to Ghost Town).

Uzumaki features Kirie and her boyfriend Shuichi. They have a very innocent love and Kirie, in particular, is naive and rather colourless. This works, however, as it sets off the gruesome events to come.

The town, Kurozu-cho, sitting between the mountains and sea, is at first afflicted with mild absurdities which quickly devolve into absolute horror.

Some stories, like Dark Lighthouse, are more atmospheric. You can almost feel the blinding, disorienting light of this strange tower as it cuts through the dusky light (Ito is very good at conveying sound and light, it's almost freakish).

Others, like Umbilical Cord, are gross. Just gross. Twisted even. Let's just say some eating of placentas are involved. And I love it.


I'm not truly sure if there are any sort of philosophical underpinnings to Uzumaki. I'm quite fine with it just being a visual marvel, a delightful exercise in imagination, especially the darkness that imagination can touch.

Although the way that Ito subtly transforms his characters as they change from human to demon is unnerving. The expressions on the faces of the deranged were enough to make me feel that if transfixed by the wrong thing, a person can all too easily be led to touch some darkness inside themselves.

Brilliant.

More info HERE. Trailer for the live-action film based on the manga below.

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