Oh, where do I begin with Uzumaki? I had such a hard time writing this without spoilers, because there is just so much I want to say about this manga. I may actually write a second part to this, just so I can share all my feelings and thoughts that will contain spoilers, so those that don’t mind them can read it, and the those that do mind can avoid it.
The images of the manga featured in today’s review were all scanned from my copy of the Deluxe Edition. I apologize if some of the images I share here are a little blurry.
Without further ado – Uzumaki by the amazing Junji Ito.
My best friend (who I sometimes refer to as my soul sister) bought this as my birthday gift off Amazon.com. This manga is three volumes long and 19 chapters long, not including a lost chapter and afterword. I have the Deluxe Edition, which has all three volumes, including the lost chapter and afterword. I found this version of the manga at my local Barns & Nobel for $27.99 without tax, and on Amazon Prime for about $18 without shipping. Uzumaki is rated OT for older teen, and is full of graphic and disturbing images. If you’re into horror, especially psychological horror, then Junji Ito’s work is for you. On a scale of one to ten for graphic content, I’m going to rate an eight.
I read the first two chapters the night my friend gave it to me, and knew right away it wasn’t something I should read at night. I’m the kind of person that certain images stick with, so even though I love all things spooky and bloody, I have to be careful not to take certain things to bed with me otherwise I may have difficulty sleeping. That being said, quite a few things in this manga made me cringe and shocked me, and during the day I handled it just fine (lol).
Kurouzu-cho is a small town on the coast of Japan. A town that happens to be cursed. Shuichi Saito, a withdrawn high school student who commutes out of town for school, believes this place is haunted by the pattern of a spiral. He tries to bring the bizarre feelings this town emits to his girlfriend, Kirie Goshima’s, attention, but she doesn’t really start to see it for herself until he invites her to his house to witness some strange behavior his father has been displaying. From then on, things take a spiraling down fall as Kirie narrates to us the strange events that took place in Kurouzu-Cho.
This story pulled me in right away. Immediately the story indicates to you through it’s narrative and images that there is something wrong with this town. Within the first few pages, it also becomes clear that whatever is going on here is also effecting the people in incredibly strange ways. I found myself curious as to what was going to happen next, and I wanted to know how all of these things were happening, and despite wanting to be hopeful, the entire time I read this all I felt was impending doom.
I have been looking forward to, eventually, getting my hands on one of Junji Ito’s manga, so when it was given to me as a gift I was so excited! I had been watching several YouTube videos talking about his stories, and I was so happy to have him added to my collection.
I fell off track a little there (sorry), but all that being said – I very much enjoyed Uzumaki. I felt a variety of things going through this story, I can’t stop thinking about this story, and I highly recommend it. I haven’t read anything like this in a while, and I am so happy. I’m rating the story a definite ten out of ten, especially considering I plan on reading the whole thing again soon and I want others to read it so we can all talk about it.
Junji Ito created Uzumaki in the 1990’s, so the art style is older but amazing. The attention to detail brings the town and the characters to life. How realistic the artwork was made all the different expressions and reactions from them feel very believable. I’m not sure if the original volumes of the manga feature these, but separating each volume in the Deluxe Edition are colored pages. These pages are, in my opinion, very stunning, and are definitely eerie (as the whole manga is). Without even reading the text, I could tell right away that there was something wrong – just by looking. If you enjoy older anime and manga, then I think you’ll definitely enjoy the artwork Junji Ito has created. I may be a bit bias here (I’ll admit it, because I’m so in love here) but I got to give the artwork/style a ten out of ten.
However, if the older styles aren’t really your jam, you may not care for it at all. I still recommend giving a chance despite artistic preferences because the story is so intriguing. As I said before, if you enjoy psychological horror, then I highly suggest looking into Junji Ito. The story of Uzumaki is definitely creepy on it’s own, and I think his art style only adds to that feeling.
Maybe I’m still excited by simply owning a piece of Junji Ito’s work, but I really enjoyed this story. It had me totally sucked into it’s twister of a story, and it still does. I cannot recommend it enough, because I really do want to talk more about the experience that is Uzumaki. I’m looking forward to reading again myself, as well as looking forward to collecting more manga by Junji Ito.
Graphic Content: 8 out of 10
©S.T. Jul. 11, 17 *Disclaimer – the writing is my own, however none of the images you see in this post belong to me. I do not own any rights to any images used, only the writing portion*