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Uzumaki: Spiral into Horror, (3 in 1)うずまき

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30 review for Uzumaki: Spiral into Horror, (3 in 1)うずまき

  1. 5 out of 5

    Calista

    Wow, what a macabre masterpiece. This was gory and grotesque and very disturbing and at the same time the story is amazing and I could hardly put it down. It was amazing and it had boundless imagination. The story kept getting more and more hopeless until the bitter end. I mean this really is a horror story, but man, it's so good at the same time. It's a nightmarish brilliant piece of art. I can't explain it better than that. Thank goodness the artwork is in black and white except for one chapte Wow, what a macabre masterpiece. This was gory and grotesque and very disturbing and at the same time the story is amazing and I could hardly put it down. It was amazing and it had boundless imagination. The story kept getting more and more hopeless until the bitter end. I mean this really is a horror story, but man, it's so good at the same time. It's a nightmarish brilliant piece of art. I can't explain it better than that. Thank goodness the artwork is in black and white except for one chapter. I don't think I could have taken these drawings in color. This story is twisted and at the same time, so brilliant. I am really blown away. I am so glad I read it and I'm so glad I'm done and it was astonishing. I mean, this was master storytelling. It was amazing.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Vacca

    Possibly one of the most inspired hunks of derangement I have ever had the pleasure to thumb through. Manga maker Junji Ito conjures up an epic phantasmagoria that obsessively plumbs the most modest of shapes, a spiral, for all the perversity and horror to be found within its endless contours. Set in a small town, the first segment of chapters presents various ways in which a spiral can configure into madness, mutation and murder. A slow-moving fatso turns into a lusty snail. A battle for popula Possibly one of the most inspired hunks of derangement I have ever had the pleasure to thumb through. Manga maker Junji Ito conjures up an epic phantasmagoria that obsessively plumbs the most modest of shapes, a spiral, for all the perversity and horror to be found within its endless contours. Set in a small town, the first segment of chapters presents various ways in which a spiral can configure into madness, mutation and murder. A slow-moving fatso turns into a lusty snail. A battle for popularity ensues between two high-school divas with increasingly treacherous coifs. The local incinerator for the dead starts pumping out winding trails of ash that wreak ecological havoc. A woman decides to rid her body of any spiral that may naturally form within her body. The eye of a tornado gets the hots for a particular girl and hilarity ensues. Bad things happen with a maternity ward and umbilical cords. And then things get even weirder. By the time the reader reaches the last two-hundred pages, chaos reigns as the town turns into a wasteland of freakish mutants and good old-fashioned human depravity. This is a horror yarn of grand scope that is filled with wild free-wheeling inventiveness, wicked black humor and grotesquely detailed drawings.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Raeleen Lemay

    WHAT A RIDE. I am already itching to get my hands on some more Junji Ito, because I'm in a spooky frame of mind and only he can deliver this level of creepiness and body horror!

  4. 5 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    If you've been following my reviews for a while, you may remember that, a few months back, I accidentally got Volume 2 instead of Volume 1 from the library and decided to read it, anyways. I was less than impressed (and incredibly confused) and chalked it halfway up to not having read the beginning of the story (my mistake) and halfway up to this manga just not being my cup of tea. I decided recently that I wanted to give it another try by reading the entire story, since I know this is a very po If you've been following my reviews for a while, you may remember that, a few months back, I accidentally got Volume 2 instead of Volume 1 from the library and decided to read it, anyways. I was less than impressed (and incredibly confused) and chalked it halfway up to not having read the beginning of the story (my mistake) and halfway up to this manga just not being my cup of tea. I decided recently that I wanted to give it another try by reading the entire story, since I know this is a very popular horror manga, so I managed to get my hands on a copy of the deluxe edition version, which has all of the volumes in one hardback. Having learned the beginning of the story now, I'll say that Uzumaki is a very intriguing concept. The book takes place in a city that has been overtaken by spiral designs which are slowly causing the city's inhabitants to go entirely mad. It causes mutations and illnesses in people, and nobody who enters the city is able to leave. Random whirlwinds appear from time to time, destroying houses and sucking people up to never be seen again. The artwork in this book is probably capable of being pasted beside the dictionary definition of the word "grotesque". There is so much gross imagery (like people slowly turning into massive snails), and while gore doesn't bother me, this is just beyond my comfort level of "ick factor". If you enjoy stuff that makes you squirm and go "ewww", though, this is probably perfect for you. As far as the plot itself goes, it's bizarre but kind of like a train wreck: it's so god-awful you just can't stop looking. Would I ever read this manga again? Highly doubtful. Did I enjoy it, though? In a weird way... yes.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Oriana

    Oh man, Jugs & Capes. This club sure knows how to expand my horizons. I haven't read much (any?) manga. And this one, which seems to be something of an international cult horror fave, was certainly an interesting place to start. It'd be tough to be terribly spoilery because any description I give you won't make much sense if you don't read the book. But let's just say that Uzumaki is about a town that gets overtaken by spirals. (I know, right?) This takeover assumes many forms, from spiral-shaped s Oh man, Jugs & Capes. This club sure knows how to expand my horizons. I haven't read much (any?) manga. And this one, which seems to be something of an international cult horror fave, was certainly an interesting place to start. It'd be tough to be terribly spoilery because any description I give you won't make much sense if you don't read the book. But let's just say that Uzumaki is about a town that gets overtaken by spirals. (I know, right?) This takeover assumes many forms, from spiral-shaped scars that eat your face to spiral-patterned plates that poison your food, from spiraling tornados that knock down your damn house to spiraling hair that chokes anyone who tries to cut it off. Oh look, the internet has made us a gif of what that last one looks like before it gets deadly: So yeah, with 300 pages of spirally craziness? Obviously the art is incredible. The book is really hypnotic, in fact, especially if you wait until two days before book club to buy it and have to burn through the whole thing in an evening. As an avowed anti-horror person, my #1 hope going in was that the book didn't give me malevolent lingering nightmares. And that, at least, was a win: despite being often horrifying, I didn't really actually find it scary. Which is so strange for me! I get scared by like a single well-crafted measure of ominous music, or a single sparsely spooky paragraph of text, or even a shadowy dark split-second shot in a movie—and yet this book, replete with face-eating spirals, vampire babies, and jack-in-the-box zombies, left me... well to be honest, it left me a little bit bored. Or, well, not bored really, but definitely not afraid. Partially I think this was due to the melodrama that is (I think?) inherent in manga. I mean there's so much AIEEE-ing and cartoonishly gaping mouths, so much scampering around and overplayed reaction shots, that it's tough to keep a patina of fear going. Also in fact so much of the "scary" stuff here is actually gross-out, like people turning into giant slimy snails, or a baby being surgically reinserted into its mom, or two people twisting together so tightly that their bodies become enmeshed. Like b-grade horror, which even I know isn't the same kind of scary as when there's a girl alone in a dark house who hears a whisper-soft tap tap tap at the window. Another Uzumaki gif? Okay: The last thing I'll say is that this book is really, really, really long. I mean, yes, this is a combination of three volumes, each of which is probably made up of dozens of issues, but it's supposed to be a whole, right? And a lot of the time what it felt like was a whole lot of repetitive vignettes where the same characters go through similar but slightly different horrors, while everyone in the town dies in a different horrible (spiral-related) ways. Some of the vignettes didn't even have spirals, and some didn't seem to fit into the storyline either temporally or character-wise. And then the ending... Several J&C ladies felt that the ending redeemed much of the journey, but I thought it was kind of a letdown. So. Even though I didn't really love this, I'm not at all sorry I read it. It was a great departure from the twee graphic novel memoirs we often read (though I adore those!), and the art was fantastic, and the story was super weird and in many ways awesome. Here's one more gif to close us out:

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tristan

    SPIRAL INTO MADNESS “I saw it myself now. His eyes were spinning around and around…separately." Among storytellers of whatever stripe, conventional wisdom dictates that there are two genres which you have to work the hardest at to perfect: comedy and horror (the kind that evokes dread, not the one that assaults you with cheap jump-scares). Both are very specific responses to elicit from your audience, and enormously tough to pull off. It shouldn't come as a surprise then that horror comics rarely succeed in unsettling meMADNESS SPIRAL INTO MADNESS “I saw it myself now. His eyes were spinning around and around…separately." Among storytellers of whatever stripe, conventional wisdom dictates that there are two genres which you have to work the hardest at to perfect: comedy and horror (the kind that evokes dread, not the one that assaults you with cheap jump-scares). Both are very specific responses to elicit from your audience, and enormously tough to pull off. It shouldn't come as a surprise then that horror comics rarely succeed in unsettling me to my core. Unlike some of its cinematic counterparts - which naturally greatly benefit from the use of sound and music- there always seems to be a frustrating disconnect, an invisible barrier erected between what’s pictured on the page and the mind that is targeted to be affected. This is not what happened while I, as in a trance, was thumbing through Junji Ito’s epic Uzumaki, in all likelihood the most genuinely disturbing, iconographically nightmarish piece of sequential art I have thus far come across (believe it or not, the pictures shown here are relatively tame compared to the fevered phantasmogaria this manga is brimming with). Formerly a placid Japanese coastal town, Kurôzu-cho has fallen prey to a series of strange, seemingly unexplainable occurrences, all somehow having to do with spiral patterns. They pop up in the unlikeliest of places, while infiltrating, taking over, contaminating, even mutating human bodies, and slowly but surely its inhabitants one by one succumb to its mysterious spell. Some turn obsessed and go mad (one woman after learning that a part of the inner ear, the cochlea, has a spiral shape hysterically stabs herself there with a pair of scissors), literally turn into snails or find their bodies twisting themselves into a coil. Other, highly inventive, yet disagreeable fates await the rest. This premise (secluded village, odd happenings, ensuing madness and hopelessness) does remind one vaguely of a certain early 20th century American horror writer, and the comparison isn't at all a trite one to make. To be sure, it has a distinct whiff of the Lovecraftian to it, especially as a hinting at a deeper horror - on the cosmic scale - is never far away. Yet even though Ito has taken some noticable cues from one of the acknowledged masters of the weird, he had the good sense - and artistic flair - to make it wholly his own, delivering a new horror to the modern world. Utilising an episodic structure for his storytelling, with our protagonist Kirie each time witnessing a strange event, he takes us through the various stages of the infection, slowly ramping up its severity, right until the inescapable bleakness of its conclusion. Some suspension of disbelief is required of course ( it's highly doubtful the villagers would have stuck around that long, if they hadn't committed mass-suicide under the direction of some Japanese Jim Jones first), but in this genre, that just comes with the territory. I for one applaud Junji Ito for this expertly crafted masterpiece, and consider it to be more than worthy of inclusion in the Hall of Fame of the weird. If the patently bizarre and transgressive holds even the tiniest shred of appeal for you, I very much urge giving this collection a look. Just remember to turn your attention away from the page once in a while, if you please. It tends to set its claws into you... Hmmm... Now what's with that spider in the corner back there? It's moving around so fast, going into spirals, spinning spirals, ever more spirals, unending SPIRALS...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Roxana Chirilă

    It all starts with a man who becomes obsessed with spirals - he collects kimonos with spiral patterns, he looks endlessly at snails, he commissions a spiral bowl from the potter in town. And, well, there are quite a lot of spiral-y patterns in nature, just look at those leaves! But as time goes by, his obsession grows so much that his wife throws out his spiral collection, and he decides he can turn It all starts with a man who becomes obsessed with spirals - he collects kimonos with spiral patterns, he looks endlessly at snails, he commissions a spiral bowl from the potter in town. And, well, there are quite a lot of spiral-y patterns in nature, just look at those leaves! But as time goes by, his obsession grows so much that his wife throws out his spiral collection, and he decides he can turn his body into spirals: he spins his eyes around, he rolls his tongue into a chameleon-like spiral and, eventually, dies after breaking his whole body to fit himself into a spiral shape. It's only the beginning of odd and increasingly terrifying occurrences, which slowly make the town descend from normal life into a terrified struggle for survival as the spiral affects the lives of their inhabitants, killing them in horrific ways, turning them into monstrous creatures, and wrecking their homes with whirlwinds. There's a lot of body horror here, with people twisted into spiraling shapes in each and every way. Eventually, as the town is driven mad, the darker side of the human psyche surfaces - is it bad to eat a human being if you're starving and they're not human anymore? What if they're really delicious? The art is really good, by which I mean that it'll probably haunt me for a while. And the story escalates really well, really knowing how to become more and more horrifying as it goes on. Kudos to Junji Ito, now I'll try to remove some of the images from my memories so I can sleep tonight.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    When Shuichi Saito's father turns himself into a human spiral killing himself getting cremated, his ashes are accidentally sent up into the atmosphere and land into dragonfly pond. This results in a horrifying curse that is spread onto the small coastal town of Kurôzu-cho, Japan. Can Kirie Goshima and the rest of the town survive the Spiral curse that is Uzumaki? Read on and find out for yourself. This was a pretty good and freaky horror anime. The artwork is great and it had a good s When Shuichi Saito's father turns himself into a human spiral killing himself getting cremated, his ashes are accidentally sent up into the atmosphere and land into dragonfly pond. This results in a horrifying curse that is spread onto the small coastal town of Kurôzu-cho, Japan. Can Kirie Goshima and the rest of the town survive the Spiral curse that is Uzumaki? Read on and find out for yourself. This was a pretty good and freaky horror anime. The artwork is great and it had a good storyline too. If you are looking for something different to read in a manga then definitely look for this book at your local library and wherever books are sold.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Angel Noir

    It’s like a strange dream you’d have ...if you ate too much sugar right before bed, had a low grade fever, over indulged in NyQuil, or fell asleep too fast from exhaustion. As the story continued, it got even weirder —even to the end where I was like, “WTF... did I just read?!” It was worth every twist and turn, so to speak. Nope, I’ll own that one, pun intended. If you don’t mind shoving reason down a disposal, then this book is for you. Every time I wanted to tell Reality to take a hike, I pic It’s like a strange dream you’d have ...if you ate too much sugar right before bed, had a low grade fever, over indulged in NyQuil, or fell asleep too fast from exhaustion. As the story continued, it got even weirder —even to the end where I was like, “WTF... did I just read?!” It was worth every twist and turn, so to speak. Nope, I’ll own that one, pun intended. If you don’t mind shoving reason down a disposal, then this book is for you. Every time I wanted to tell Reality to take a hike, I picked up this read and enjoyed every bizarre moment of it. This book is twisted. Yep, I said it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sheila

    5 stars--amazing. This novel is a frenetic nightmare of imagery. The stories and art combine to create a truly chilling, fascinating tale. If you're a horror fan, it's a must-read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Krista Regester

    Junji Ito gives me the absolute best nightmares.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    3.75-4/5stars Wow this one was a RIDE - I was always confused by what people meant about this being a book about a town obsessed with spirals but now I GET IT. This one started and ended SO STRONG but definitely lost me for about 200-250 pages in there (when the storms started happening and the twisters) which is why it dropped a bit in rating for me but I still HIGHLY recommend - super creepy and unsettling !

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cameron Chaney

    Okay, I know what you're thinking: only three stars?! Yes. Three stars. Keep in mind that three stars isn't bad. Three stars means I liked the book. And I did like it, for the most part. In fact, I loved the first three quarters of Uzumaki, and I thought I would be giving it five stars... until it took a (view spoiler)[post apocalyptic (hide spoiler)] turn that I did not care for. (view spoiler)[I am not a fan of post apocalyptic stories. T Okay, I know what you're thinking: only three stars?! Yes. Three stars. Keep in mind that three stars isn't bad. Three stars means I liked the book. And I did like it, for the most part. In fact, I loved the first three quarters of Uzumaki, and I thought I would be giving it five stars... until it took a (view spoiler)[post apocalyptic (hide spoiler)] turn that I did not care for. (view spoiler)[I am not a fan of post apocalyptic stories. They just don't do anything for me. The whole trope of finding out that people are the real monsters just doesn't speak originality to me anymore. It isn't fresh. So needless to say, I was disappointed when Uzumaki began to take this approach. It just felt out of place. (hide spoiler)] The imagery was terrifying though, and I was blown away by the artwork. All manga art tends to look the same to me, but Ito's style was unique, as were his ideas. I'm excited to explore more of Junji Ito's work.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mur Lafferty

    Excellent horror. The gore is low and the "OMG WEIRD F-ED UP STUFF" is high. The only downside is there is supposedly a romantic subplot (it is kind of important near the end) that fails to deliver. If they didn't say "boyfriend" I would assume the protag's boyfriend was just a neighbor who was a good friend. But this was amazing overall.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Baal Of

    This was the most recent selection for the Nightmare Factory book club, which I had suggested based on my reading of the Viz editions in the early 2000's. I loved Uzumaki when I first read it, which then launched me on the pursuit of reading anything I could find by Junji Ito, and for me this re-reading didn't just reveal how well Uzumaki holds up, but cemented this story as my favorite horror manga. Horror is particularly difficult to pull off well in comic form. For many people, the criticisms This was the most recent selection for the Nightmare Factory book club, which I had suggested based on my reading of the Viz editions in the early 2000's. I loved Uzumaki when I first read it, which then launched me on the pursuit of reading anything I could find by Junji Ito, and for me this re-reading didn't just reveal how well Uzumaki holds up, but cemented this story as my favorite horror manga. Horror is particularly difficult to pull off well in comic form. For many people, the criticisms will immediately turn to discussions of how less is more, and how the most frightening monsters are those you never see, etc. I've never quite bought into those notions, even though I think there is an element of truth. I love not only the suspenseful, hidden evil type stories, but also the gory, sticky, noxious, effluvia-thick fun of body horror. The first night I cracked open the covers of this gorgeous volume, I read nearly 300 pages, and that night I had intense dreams about spirals, that were continuations of the story I had just read. I am always seeking good nightmares, as opposed to the mundane dreams of work/life anxiety I usually have. It is a rare book indeed that can infect my brain in that way, thus five stars is the only possibility. That night I felt like I was being drawn into this world, and my mind could not escape, just like the characters in the book. Junji Ito has a masterful touch when it comes to portraying bizarre and grotesque ideas, and his style of weird stands out from much in the genre. His artwork is gorgeous, and the nightmarish obsessions with spirals makes for some amazing panels. The number of ways he manages to work spirals into the various chapters is impressive. The book starts off feeling rather episodic in nature, as if the full story had not yet been conceived, but as events transpire, the disparate elements are pulled together into an over-arching narrative that clearly blends Lovecraftian themes into Junji Ito's unique vision of madness and obsession. I liked this book better the second time around, because I could see the various chapters pointing the way towards the end, and it was also better served as a single volume, instead of three separate books spread out over too much time. So on to a few favorite scenes, which I will tag a potential spoilers (view spoiler)[The girl Azami, whose scar on her forehead turns into a spiral which grows large, eventually consuming her entirely. The panels in which she removes her hat revealing the spiral as it spreads just below her eyeball, which then shlurps it's way around and into the spiral is wonderfully disgusting. Shuichi's mother cutting off her finger prints with scissors. The dead Mitsuru, coming back as an undead jack-in-the box, landing from one of the jumps which causes his guts to spill out from the body all over the ground. People turning into giant snails, and then being led around on a leash by other people to be later cooked and eaten. And perhaps best of all, the pregnant women turning into some kind of vampiric mosquito hybrids who use hand drills to open up their victims, having babies which then also need to feast on blood. The babies then grow back their placentas which sprout like mushrooms all over the hospital - and people start eating them. And then it gets even weirder and worse (or better). (hide spoiler)] The only idea I didn't like was the gang riding the whirlwinds, because it crossed over into typical manga fare, feeling more like a goofy martial arts farce. Some people in our discussion group thought the ending was weak, but personally, I liked it. Endings are difficult, particularly in weird fiction, and in this case I liked the way it wrapped up with a feeling of both closure, and cyclical inevitability. Unlike much western horror, where people can fight back, here the characters have little power, and even when they struggle, they ultimately lose. The forces arrayed against them are too strong, too ancient, and too powerful, and for me that makes for an effective sense of dread.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jedi JC Daquis

    While in the hospital, I read Uzumaki. This huge tome that collects all three volumes is the horror-child of Junji Ito. It has a twisted (no pun intended) imagery that is just so eerily beautiful to look at. What started as episodic and seemingly strange events that took place in the town of Kurouzo-cho became horrific mystery that involves the whole town. The first few chapters of this deluxe edition are full of promise and genuinely scary. With the spirals he drew, Junji Ito has eff While in the hospital, I read Uzumaki. This huge tome that collects all three volumes is the horror-child of Junji Ito. It has a twisted (no pun intended) imagery that is just so eerily beautiful to look at. What started as episodic and seemingly strange events that took place in the town of Kurouzo-cho became horrific mystery that involves the whole town. The first few chapters of this deluxe edition are full of promise and genuinely scary. With the spirals he drew, Junji Ito has effectively made the graphic novel medium into a true horror material. Uzumaki doesn't have any jumpscares because such are not effective in comics. Rather, these images give a strong psychological impression to its readers. I'm telling you, his spirals are both mesmerizing and scary to look at. Yes, I did say promising, because the whole series spiraled (now, pun is intended) from genuine horror to a mess of different things. It seemed like Junji Ito has lost most of his inspiration that made him start Uzumaki in the first place. It doesn't feel scary anymore. Perhaps it is the utter indifference of the people to the weird and supernatural events that are taking place in their town that turned me off or the shallow connection of objects which are supposed to be contaminated and scary just because they resemble a spiral (the spiral hairstyle, seriously?). The origin of the spiral phenomenon of the town has also been vaguely explained without offering any complete resolution. If there is one thing that is consistent all throughout the graphic novel is Junji Ito's drawing talent. There is always this giddy reader anticipation of what s/he will see next, a longing to see the next full-page panel will reveal. Uzumaki may not be the definitive horror manga you'll read but it is certainly on top of the list in this genre.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

    I've previously rated this as individual volumes, but rereading it in a single collection just begs for a proper review. Uzumaki is one of the most disturbing and genuinely terrifying horror comics I've ever read. There's a nightmarish sense of creeping dread that pervades this book. I actually had to put it aside a few times, not wanting to subject my mind to any more of Junji Ito's art for a while. Uzumaki tells the tale of Kurouzucho, a small city in Japan that becomes haunted not by a ghost, I've previously rated this as individual volumes, but rereading it in a single collection just begs for a proper review. Uzumaki is one of the most disturbing and genuinely terrifying horror comics I've ever read. There's a nightmarish sense of creeping dread that pervades this book. I actually had to put it aside a few times, not wanting to subject my mind to any more of Junji Ito's art for a while. Uzumaki tells the tale of Kurouzucho, a small city in Japan that becomes haunted not by a ghost, but by a pattern: a spiral. Kirie Goshima is on her way to high school one morning when she encounters a small whirlwind. She then runs across a man staring fixedly at a snail climbing a wall. Her friend, Shuichi, identifies the man as his father who, he says, has recently become obsessed by spiral patterns. And so it begins ... whirlwinds, whirlpools, people who turn into giant snails, pottery (made from a spiral of clay) that morphs into bizarre shapes in the kiln, smoke from burning bodies that rises in a spiral pattern, bodies morph and shift into impossible spiral configurations ... Junji Ito has the visual imagination of a Charles Burns or a Basil Wolverton. There's a dark, slightly sweaty quality to his line that just ... unsettles. There is seemingly no place he won't go in the name of a story, and his visuals can be more horrifying than anything you can imagine. The end of the book contains all three of Ito's Afterwords from the original three volumes. These two page strips show him working in humor mode, which is kind of jarring after the horrors of the preceding pages. The "About the Author" paragraph mentions H.P. Lovecraft as one of his influences. After reading Uzumaki, I can definitely believe Ito would be capable of adapting Lovecraft in comics form. This is easily one of the best horror comics I have ever read. I can't recommend it highly enough.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Miglė

    Lovecraftian horror meets body horror in this collection of Junji Ito's comics. And shit, it gets scary! The chapters tell distinct stories, but they accumulate in a more and more twisted (ha!) way, leaving the characters facing something they can't understand and can't fight. The premise of this comic doesn't seem too scary - a particular town is infected with a spiral. The spirals are everywhere: plants are spiral-shaped, snails are spiral-shaped, whirlwind turns like a spiral, even human body contains spirals (colhea in the ear). Lovecraftian horror meets body horror in this collection of Junji Ito's comics. And shit, it gets scary! The chapters tell distinct stories, but they accumulate in a more and more twisted (ha!) way, leaving the characters facing something they can't understand and can't fight. The premise of this comic doesn't seem too scary - a particular town is infected with a spiral. The spirals are everywhere: plants are spiral-shaped, snails are spiral-shaped, whirlwind turns like a spiral, even human body contains spirals (colhea in the ear). The inhabitants of this town get twisted in the mind and in the body in the most creative and horrifying ways. If you're not into body horror, you should take a hard pass at this book. However, if you're not too perturbed by it, the art is wonderful. For example, here's a picture taken out of context that I have once seen on reddit with a caption "What migraine feels like" and I agree absolutely. Never saw a better depiction of migraine, even though (again) migraine is not what the story is about. You know, maybe I'll mark the image as spoiler, it's not scary in my opinion, but some people might not want to see a hole in the head. So here it is: (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] If you decide to read it alone at night, and you've already gotten through 1/3 or so, my advice would be to go ahead and finish it. I personally found the first half of the book more scary, because you don't know where exactly the horror would manifest, and the appearance of 'normal everyday life' around supernatural occurences just gives even more chills. At the end everything moves to a sort of 'other dimension', and the story wraps up nicely. I mean, you kind of feel you got the conclusion when you finish the book, and when you go to sleep your nightmares will at least have a direction.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Emm the Bookmunculus - Half Human, Half Library

    "This town is contaminated by spirals!" It's contaminated with many stranger things than spirals, if you ask me. Vampiric mothers-to-be, a lighthouse whose beam melts flesh, hair that takes a life of its own, all products of madness caused by an unknown force which is slowly taking over a sleepy mountain town. I read this series before it was that popular, being kind of a quirky cult classic. I owe Uzumaki and its artist a lot. This started a complete re-evaluation of the way I look at art, I had a "This town is contaminated by spirals!" It's contaminated with many stranger things than spirals, if you ask me. Vampiric mothers-to-be, a lighthouse whose beam melts flesh, hair that takes a life of its own, all products of madness caused by an unknown force which is slowly taking over a sleepy mountain town. I read this series before it was that popular, being kind of a quirky cult classic. I owe Uzumaki and its artist a lot. This started a complete re-evaluation of the way I look at art, I had actually never seen anything like this before it. Uzumaki nowadays is known as the quintessential horror manga, unparalleled in Lovecraftian weirdness, compulsively detailed and realistic artwork, and a story that executed by anyone else, wouldn't have made a bit of sense. Does it make any logical sense as it is? Well... don't worry about logic, an overrated silly thing in books. But if I'm honest, while it's Ito's best-known and best-loved work, I don't think it's his best. I really think his short stories are better, and have more focus than his series, which as great as they are tend to drift all over the place. Even this book drifts into short-story mentality during the middle. The infamous hospital chapters, the jack-in-the-box and the lighthouse segment are all never mentioned by the characters again, despite being very freaky and traumatic. They feel like stand-alone short stories that Ito remolded to fit into the narrative. However, they are some of the most intense, horrific, very well-executed chapters of the series. Anyway, I can't even put in words how extremely deserving the high ratings this, and most of Ito's work has. I recommend looking into his short story collections as well, however, as to me they seem more composed and better-suited to his style. Story - 4/5 Art - 6/5 Characterization - 4/5 Inventiveness - 5/5 General - 4.5/5

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    For the past few months, every time I walk into our local comic store I found myself hesitating near this book and petting it. I don't really read manga, but for some reason the prettiness of the edition, the bizarre and creepy cover art, and the spiral....just kept drawing me in. So I bit the bullet and bought it (it isn't owned by my library system), and I am SO GLAD I DID. I feel like the art in most manga is kind of light and airy and sketchy, and it feels like it's just there to For the past few months, every time I walk into our local comic store I found myself hesitating near this book and petting it. I don't really read manga, but for some reason the prettiness of the edition, the bizarre and creepy cover art, and the spiral....just kept drawing me in. So I bit the bullet and bought it (it isn't owned by my library system), and I am SO GLAD I DID. I feel like the art in most manga is kind of light and airy and sketchy, and it feels like it's just there to representationally move the story along. This manga is all about the art. The art is it. This is horror art at its best -- the images are disturbing and detailed and unnerving, and they make the story (instead of just existing to serve the story). The first half of Uzumaki is probably one of the best horror comics (comics, in general?) I've ever read. The vignette style works perfectly, and I just totally could not get the art out of my head. It's just so....so scary. The second half I didn't like as much. It felt like it had moved into a more traditional story line and focused on the characters too much. The first half used the characters to bring out the terror, and the second half for some reason got too plotty for me. But man, the art. It is SO WELL DONE. If you love horror and you haven't read this comic, you have to. The art and the first half of the series alone are worth five stars.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brittney

    I meant to read this in one day, but it felt like it took me forever. (Maybe I'm turning into a snail person?) The good: - The art. - Some really creepy body horror moments, especially in the early chapters. The bad: - The characters don't act like people. There's no clear motivation for what they do, especially staying in town. (Yeah, it's sort of explained right at the end of the book, but that explanation feels too late and too insufficient.) They don't change or grow in I meant to read this in one day, but it felt like it took me forever. (Maybe I'm turning into a snail person?) The good: - The art. - Some really creepy body horror moments, especially in the early chapters. The bad: - The characters don't act like people. There's no clear motivation for what they do, especially staying in town. (Yeah, it's sort of explained right at the end of the book, but that explanation feels too late and too insufficient.) They don't change or grow in convincing ways, and I spent almost all of the book wanting to shake most of them. - Junji Ito never satisfactorily explains why any of the spiraling creepiness is happening. Episodic chapters add up to a disjointed story of WTF-ery that never really coalesces into anything substantial. I had seen so many isolated, eerie panels around the Internet over the years that, when I realized we had it in my library system, I had to read it. I'm not upset that I did, but it wasn't that impressed, either. That said, I need a SFX makeup artist to do a look based on the spiral forehead chapter.

  22. 5 out of 5

    mangaman

    For the most part this is a good manga. A good setup and a great conclusion. A ridiculous nonsensical premise. And beautiful surrealistic artwork from horror manga master Jungi Ito. The one problem though was that there are to many filler stories that feel like side chapters. It starts off as a linear plot and then develops into seemingly different short stories, but the story eventually picks back up again towards the end. I feel like this would make a fantastic video game. Please Hideo Kojima?

  23. 5 out of 5

    Victoria ♡

    I love Junji Ito so much, his work is just incredible. I loved this manga a lot, it was just so jarring and creepy!! I usually struggle to find things that scare me but this was one of those manga’s I’d avoid reading at night just not to creep my self out! The artwork is gorgeous, you can really see all the time and effort put into every single panel. I really need to buy the physical deluxe edition so i can see it in personnnn

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sud666

    Uzumaki was surprisingly good. I didn't know what to expect, but was surprised by what I found. The art style is truly gorgeous and is one of the best manga art styles I've seen. The story focuses upon two teenagers- Kirie Goshima and her boyfriend, Shuichi Saito. They live in a small rural town called Koruzo-Cho. At the very start of the story we see Shuichi complaining to Kirie about how much he dislikes this town and wants to move away. The reason? There is something very wrong wit Uzumaki was surprisingly good. I didn't know what to expect, but was surprised by what I found. The art style is truly gorgeous and is one of the best manga art styles I've seen. The story focuses upon two teenagers- Kirie Goshima and her boyfriend, Shuichi Saito. They live in a small rural town called Koruzo-Cho. At the very start of the story we see Shuichi complaining to Kirie about how much he dislikes this town and wants to move away. The reason? There is something very wrong with the town. It starts with Shuichi's father who seems to be interested in spirals. This is where the horror begins and the overall atmosphere is quite claustrophobic. As more and more people begin to see spirals (they are everywhere), terrible things begin to happen. With each and every death-the town further descends into madness. But what is the mystery of the spiral? Why is it tied to this town? What is the importance of the pond in the center of the town? These are the questions that will be swirling, no pun intended, throughout the story. I really enjoyed the story and it certainly one of the best horror stories I've run across. It's dark and twisted with the artwork doing a great job of instilling a sense of dread and horror. Some of the horror is disturbing and that makes it work all the better. Like horror? Like manga? Like an interesting story that is dark and visually appealing? Then Uzumaki is something you will truly appreciate. I certainly did.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    080815 first review: vivid, viscous, visual, visceral. this manga is all art in the best medium, better than the movie i barely recall, more essentially visual than written fiction could offer, the art is representational, images tactile, distorting, horrific. it is true i have not read much horror manga to compare, or horror in all mediums (66 books), but from surrealistic conception to typical, uninflected, direct artwork, it is difficult to imagine more effective work. this is the sort of hor 080815 first review: vivid, viscous, visual, visceral. this manga is all art in the best medium, better than the movie i barely recall, more essentially visual than written fiction could offer, the art is representational, images tactile, distorting, horrific. it is true i have not read much horror manga to compare, or horror in all mediums (66 books), but from surrealistic conception to typical, uninflected, direct artwork, it is difficult to imagine more effective work. this is the sort of horror i most appreciate: not monsters, not haunted house, not ghosts or zombies- this is when the entire experienced world has escaped human logic, human sense, and to be human is only to escape... there are no tricks, no avoidance, no knowledge, nothing but inexorable approach and surrounding of this image swallowing the world, this horrific spiral that is the ideal spiral manifest in our world in so many spirals... this is what would best illustrate lovecraft...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mindi

    This is my very first foray into manga, and it's definitely not going to be my last. I've been aware of manga for a long time, but I had no idea that horror manga existed. I'm assuming that Ito is sort of the master of horror manga, but I'm definitely not sure, so don't rely on that. He has a number of books, and I've already purchased 3 more, and will probably end up buying the rest, since I've already had people recommend other titles to me. I also have a friend who lives in Japan, This is my very first foray into manga, and it's definitely not going to be my last. I've been aware of manga for a long time, but I had no idea that horror manga existed. I'm assuming that Ito is sort of the master of horror manga, but I'm definitely not sure, so don't rely on that. He has a number of books, and I've already purchased 3 more, and will probably end up buying the rest, since I've already had people recommend other titles to me. I also have a friend who lives in Japan, and she hooked me up with some recommendations as well. She's definitely the one I trust the most when it comes to manga, so I will definitely buy the titles she suggested. Uzumaki is about a town that is contaminated with spirals. I write that line and it sounds absolutely ridiculous, but when you read the book it makes sense. Spirals are everywhere in Kurouzu-cho, and they slowly begin to corrupt the people who live there. "How can people be corrupted by spirals", you ask. I never would have thought of that as a horror concept, but Ito makes it so messed up and absolutely twisted (Ha!). There are some haunting images and stories in this collection. It's totally weird and so unrealistic, but Ito makes it work. I'm still thinking about this book, and some of the stories will haunt me for a long time. This edition contains all the issues which is the entire story all in one volume, so I definitely recommend this one. And you better believe that I'm recommending this book. There is something about manga that pulls you in, and even in the craziest situations, and the most disturbing and revolting storylines, I just could not put this book down. Ito comes up with the most insane storylines, and then creates illustrations that make them ten times more disturbing. I'm so here for that. I absolutely loved it, and I can't wait to start my next book by Ito. I think I'm going to read all of Ito's books and then move on to other recommendations. Horror manga, and I think eventually all manga, is going to be my new obsession.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ilana

    I discovered Junji Ito this year and wanted to experience his master work, having enjoyed his short horror manga stories for their psychological aspects and the beautiful drawings. Collected into a single volume, this manga forms an impressive tome. The inhabitants of Kurouzu, a city in Japan become obsessed with spirals motifs. In a series of interconnected short stories, we see how the influence of the spiral drives people to more and more bizarre acts, starting from Shishi’s father giving up I discovered Junji Ito this year and wanted to experience his master work, having enjoyed his short horror manga stories for their psychological aspects and the beautiful drawings. Collected into a single volume, this manga forms an impressive tome. The inhabitants of Kurouzu, a city in Japan become obsessed with spirals motifs. In a series of interconnected short stories, we see how the influence of the spiral drives people to more and more bizarre acts, starting from Shishi’s father giving up work and all other activities to collect a spiral-themed collection to young lovers eventually twining themselves into a spiral so they can never be separated by their disapproving parents. Every time someone dies and is cremated, their ashes form a giant spiral in the sky which is sucked into a local pond. The mystery is of special interest to Shiushi and Kirié, who both lose their parents to the influence of the spiral. They both want to leave the city and yet want to figure out what is going on. Things become more horrific from chapter to chapter until the final reveal which is as the young Shiushi has suspected all along, that the city itself is under the terrible influence of a strange spiral formation. Told this way, it seems completely flat. The magic is all in this Junji Ito’s drawings, the repetition of the theme, the building up of terror. Very happy all this is done in black and white as would be unbearably gory in full colour. In black and white and with this fine artwork, plenty is left to the imagination, and that’s a very good thing. 4.5 stars

  28. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    This had the potential of being really, really creepy but unfortuantely fell extremely flat for me. The art style was terrifying and the premise of a town being haunted by a spiral was definitely intriguing; however, story-wise this just wasn't interesting at all. No convincing build-up of suspense, no actual reasons for why what is happening is happening and also no compelling characters to care about throughout the story. Most chapters follow the pattern of a new character being int This had the potential of being really, really creepy but unfortuantely fell extremely flat for me. The art style was terrifying and the premise of a town being haunted by a spiral was definitely intriguing; however, story-wise this just wasn't interesting at all. No convincing build-up of suspense, no actual reasons for why what is happening is happening and also no compelling characters to care about throughout the story. Most chapters follow the pattern of a new character being introduced that is then instantly killed while nothing much happens to the main cast until much later. Especially the first half of this volume bored me to tears at times. The most creepy to me were the two chapters on mosquitos, because it felt like there was actual suspense, despite the utter predictability of it all. Overall, I'm extremely disappointed in what was done with such a spectacular premise and such a phenomenal art style. In no way did it live up to its potential and if you need a little more than creepy pictures to actually freak you out then I recommend steering clear of this book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jackie "the Librarian"

    This graphic novel draws the reader in to a world of obsession for spirals that gets weirder and more disturbing the further in you read. Set in an isolated Japanese town, one after another townspeople become afflicted, suffering bizarre fates all associated with spirals. Like a whirlpool sucking you down, there's no escape. Creepy, weird, gross, fascinating, unlike anything I've ever encountered before, this unique graphic novel attracted and repelled me at the same time.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Octavi

    A-C-O-J-O-N-A-N-T-E. Brutal.

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