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Customer reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
23

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.
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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.
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on 5 December 2016
I ordered this book second hand off amazon, the cover is different but not available on goodreads and my Dad currently has it so I'm not entirely sure how many pages my version has. Any how, once it arrived I picked it up and didn't put it down again until I had completed it. This book is far from ordinary and certainly puts a spin on things (haha)! I can't begin to describe how much I loved this book and how eager I am to get my hands on Volume 2. I'm aware this is only a short review but with this being a graphic novel/manga rather than a book it's a lot shorter and I don't really want to give anything away. Also, the art work is beautiful.

edit: since writing this review in 2011 i ahve since read vol 1 three times and the whole trilogy. i love it. i buy it for any friend who shows a tiny interest in horror and manga
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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.
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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.
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on 19 December 2002
In my opinion, Uzumaki has to be one of the most disturbing visual remedies I've used to quench the utter state of boredom I sometimes find myself immersed within. Its ocular metaphors, coupling the ingenuity of Junji Ito's mind with believably sculpted pictorials depicting horror after sometimes nameless horror, are something unique in the field of terror.
The concept (taken from the back of the book because of its wonderful description):
Kurozu-cho, a small fogbound town on the coast of Japan, is cursed. But the spirit which haunts it does not have a name or a body, only a shape: uzumaki, the spiral, the hypnotic shape of the world. It possessed the father of teenage Kirie's withdrawn boyfriend, causing him to remake himself in its image before he died. It grows in ferns, in seashells, in curls of hair, in the crooked folds of the human brain.... As more people are caught in the pattern, over the town of Kurozu-cho hangs the spiral of cremated corpses; because even in death, there is no escape.
In this installment:
In Chapter 7 through 12, more issues are fleshed out, leading us away from the strange occurances at Dragonfly Pond and our two mainstay characters, using them somewhat but still dancing in other venues of thought. Briefly, these are:
In Chapter 7, Jack-in-the-box, Kirie catches the eye of a seventh-grader named Mitsuru Yamaguchi, a boy they simply call Jack-in-the-box because of his habit of surprising people by springing out at them from anywhere he can conceal himself. He decides that he must have her because it will surprise people to see him with such an intoxicating vision, constantly dogging her every step as he tries to obtain her. This, of course, leads to an ill-fated accident that Kirie blames herself for, one that invites the horror of the spiral into a cryptically grave-unveiling manner. It also shows us the impact the recent events have been having on the town, with the introduction of burial once again taking place, something that people have deemed necessary after the black-spiral clouds that come from cremating a resident of the town anywhere, not just in the town itself.
In Chapter 8, The Snail, (one of my favorites in the series thusfar) it begins to rain, a signal that the slowest boy in class, Katayama, will be coming to school. In fact, it is the only time he comes to school, and he even does this in the most tardy of fashions. Because of the speed he operates at, he is constantly taunted by one of his peers, Tsumura, who actually strips him down after gym class one day and drags him out in the hall. That's when they notice it, the spiracle impression looming upon his back, one that grows and grows as the days progress. Soon its apparent that there is a change transpiring in Katayama, one that causes him to slink across the ground and elevates the impression upon his back. In this, he isn't alone, either.
In Chapter Nine, The Black Lighthouse, an abandoned old lighthouse begins emitting a strangely spiraled ray from within, one that begins to effect people within the town in many a strange fashion. This alarms many of the town's residents, and they demand a party be sent to check it out. There requests are heard and people are sent, and their fate remains a secret until Kirie's younger brother decides that he and his friends should explore this decrepit monument.
In Chapter Ten, Mosquitoes, the mosquitoes begin to fly drowsy circles that put people to sleep, feeding on blood irregularly, large amounts of it in fact, to the mystery of the doctors within the town. While this is going on, herds of pregnant women are being attacked and admitted into the hospital, plus the killing are elevating at even the hospital itself. Victims with holes bored into them are found within their beds, leading to a question of "what the" thast is answered in a most gruesome manner.
In Chapter Eleven, the umbilical Cord, the pregnant women deliver the most adorable, most behaved, babies ever seen. This, of course, can't be good, nor can't it be dwelt on by me for fear of giving something away.
And, lastly, in Chapter Twelve, The Storm, A hurricane comes aground, stopping over the town and simply hovering. It seems to want something, too, because in the night it can be heard calling out a name, one very familiar to the readers.
All in all, I would say that this is wonderful installment, wetting the appetite for the final portion of the storyline. It does a lot to build on the first Uzumaki book, keeping the proverbial ball rolling without making it a boring spectacle. It isn't for the weak of heart of mind, however, and would only be recommended as bedtime reading to your children after you initially dose them with heaping helpings of horror movies and storylines to harden their soft pallets. O, and its in black and white, for those that think color is the only venue producing meritable works.
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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.
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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.
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on 22 October 2013
I really enjoyed the first book, found it completely original and awesomely creepy! So it was without hesitation the I ordered this the second in the series and of course the third book too.
However, I was a little let down. In this book I was hoping to find out a little more about the whole "Spiral" phenomenon and the likes, but we are just treated to another four or so short horror stories with no real connection to each other or explanation of the events. I found it irritating how with the turn of a page the characters seemed to just completely forget any of these events even happened, events which would put any normal individual in a mental institution.
With that said, if you enjoyed the first book, you will enjoy this one too. But it's basically just more of the same.
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on 19 August 2008
If only the Uzumaki film included the sequences in this volume, what an amazing film that would be! May not get past the censors mind you!
Pretty disturbing and awful storyline events that carry on from Uzumaki vol 1 make this an unforgettable read. I had to buy the 3rd volume for the finale. Addictive as the story is so unique so I was quite saddened when I finished reading them.
Highly recommended for anyone of any age (over 16!) who enjoy surreal, unusual stories.
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