6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 8 April 2003
This is one of the finest mangas I have ever read, and I have read alot. It is not for children of those that do not like to see nasty stuff in a comicbook (no nudity, sex or anything, but nasty all the same).
It centers around a small coastal town that is becoming infected with spirals (yes, the shape) and is explains and details the events that develop as the town shifts further and further into this hellish nightmare.
It is tragic in a way and I felt the plight of the characters as the story continued to develop, the story very much stays in touch with human emotion and sorrow. Well worth sitting on the shelf of any mature manga and anime fan.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 15 November 2002
Terror spirals through a small Japanese coastal town. Girls consume themselves, adults commit suicide by alarmingly unusual means, young lovers intertwine like rope and schoolgirls battle to the death...with their hair.
I loved this - it's scary and darkly comic by turns. If you like Twin Peaks and the Ring movies it's probably for you. The artwork is strong - semi realistic, less cartoony than most manga I've seen- and the writing is pacy.
I recommend the second volume too, in fact I've enjoyed all the Pulp graphic novels that I've read (Dance Till Tomorrow, Black and White), they seem to be publishing some very sophisticated manga.
on 30 August 2014
Usually, and as opposed to horror movies, I am quite cynical of the power of comics to truly terrify the reader. Though there are good and bad works in every medium, I never really have found myself really creeped out when reading something of this genre. I have certainly found good stories with a creepy atmosphere, but nothing truly memorable. So when I purchased Junji Ito’s Uzumaki I didn’t really expect anything in particular, and certainly nothing memorable. Oh, how wrong I was. I had heard of the brilliance of this comic and Junji Ito, but I had never hoped to get to read something this good.
Whilst I didn’t find Uzumaki truly horrifying (though I rarely do, probably a side effect of having read too much of this genre), it was definitely a lot better than what I expected. It is creepy from start to finish, and not only that, is practically impossible to put down. It features a town that, rather than being haunted by a ghost as would typically be the case, is haunted by a pattern; mainly, that of spirals. It is bizarre, and though it has numerous characters it really follows Kirie Goshima and her boyfriend as they confront the many things caused by this haunting. From characters becoming obsessed with spirals to metamorphosis, ‘Uzumaki’ contains a lot of different stories featuring many different events. What is more impressive ist he way the theme of spirals makes its appearance in every chapter. Ito manages to pull through the idea of a pattern haunting a town amazingly well, and it manages to become incredibly creepy and understandable very fast. Spirals seem to be everywhere and affecting everything, and the characters are quite quick to catch on.
Though there is quite a wide cast of characters, most don’t seem to last more than a chapter (or one of the interrelated stories). Sadly, there isn’t much of a character development for the protagonists, and though they are well developed not much about them changes as the story progresses. They succeed in being interesting and empathisable – it is very hard to not root for them – and I found myself quickly invested in them as they had to confront the events happening in the town. There is a lot of death too, and it fits perfectly with the story and outright eerie feeling in all the comic.
The art itself, though not the best, is still good and portrays well the plot of the story. The art always seemed to excel in the most horrifying parts of the story, which also happened to be my favourite. Here, it was detailed and with the right level of gruesomeness, however the same thing can’t be said about the art in all of the comic. The black and white benefitted the story greatly, and did a great job at setting up the subdued mood of the story. It made the town and characters feel oppressed, prime to obsession and the supernatural. The art, in its own way, is certainly beautiful. It can’t be really compared to the art in other similar mangas, such as in Hideout, but still is a great addition to the story. The detail in the most gruesome parts is amazing and memorable, and adds a lot to the story itself. All in all, it isn’t really astonishing, but there is nothing bad about it either.
For this review I purchased the Deluxe edition of the comic (containing the tree published volumes in a single one), and it is absolutely beautiful. Whilst I normally don’t refer to the appearance of the thing in a review (and instead comment on the story and other elements), the hardback cover features spot gloss on the title and a blurb in the back cover. The colour endpapers and coloured manga pages are astounding. Everything about the volume seems gorgeous, and combined with the story elements of Uzumaki, I am really happy with having purchased this manga.
Uzumaki is, in conclusion, a brilliant piece, and absolutely memorable. It was both creepy and interesting, so much that even after I finished I found myself remembering the events in the manga for quite a long time. Though the art isn’t the best out there, this doesn’t harm the story in any way, which –perfectly executed – succeeding in being a brilliant example of the genre. Both an original and fascinating horror manga, Uzumaki deserves the highest rating. It is ‘awesometacular’ in all levels, and will not disappoint the reader. It probably one of the best horror stories I have been able to read.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 2 May 2003
I always thought horror comics were gruesome and grisly, full of unpleasant imagery and horror trappings without ever being truly unsettling or eerie. Uzumaki changed my mind completely.
Junji Ito is an author I'd rank with Ramsey Campbell and Thomas Ligotti as writing good stories with strong Lovecraftian themes that avoid the trap of simply pastiching Lovecraft's style. Full of powerful imagery and original, truly bizarre ideas, Uzumaki really is a must for fans of quality horror.
on 3 November 2011
First and foremost I'd like to issue a warning: This manga is not for the faint of heart, and once you've read it, you might never be the same again, so read at your own risk. I mean it!
Uzumaki tells the tale of two friends living in a small town where, lately, strange things have started to happen. The inhabitants develop an obsession for spirals, and while those obsessions start out as "just" unhealty, they soon turn lethal. Meanwhile, other strange things, also connected to the spiral, starts to happen, and before long the entire village is trapped in an everlasting nightmare with spirals everywhere.
The plot takes weirdness to a whole new level, and combined with the dark mood of the drawings makes this the creepiest manga I've ever read. Several elements actually made me sick to my stomach, and afterwards it left me paraoid for weeks. I almost wish I had never read it, but the spiral keeps drawing me in for more, and I can't escape it.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2003
I came upon it by accident when searching for some new manga to read, and at first i wasn't sure if i would like it because it was the first horror manga i would have read. I WAS WRONG!
It is sheer brilliance, Ito sure knows how to freak someone out especially the disturbing scenes in the second volume.
Im not going to spoil any of the plot so just go buy them NOW! Amazon is the best place to get them (and any other items u need). Amazon keep up the great work and cheap prices :)
Anyway back to the point,
This is a must for any horror or/and manga fan!
All three volumes are superb, and well worth a place in your collection.
You will never look at spirals in the sameway.
BEWARE OF THE SPIRAL!
on 22 October 2013
Simply one of the finest manga I've ever read. If you're into horror, the supernatural or the plain bizarre, then this ones for you too!
I wouldn't rate volumes two & three as highly as this part however. In my opinion they just didn't match volume one, but don't get me wrong they're still pretty decent.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 17 May 2004
Horror at its finest should stay with you long after the last page, and uzumaki haunts with a vengeance.
It is clever, scary and beautiful, all at once. The detail in the clouds, in the grass is superb in its subtlety
Take a break from reality, and slip into the spiral...