UZUMAKI, by Junji Ito
Genre: Horror, Seinen
(Relatively spoiler-free.;D I worked hard to stop myself from giving out spoilers.>:3)
I’ve got two things to say about Junji Ito: he does NOT hold back from drawing gruesome scenes and he has some wild imagination, if I do say so myself. The way he even drew himself is very unflattering.(<– Toned down a lot.) When I started reading it, I was grossed and freaked out by the graphics and the events itself, but I can’t stop reading either, as if I was being sucked in by THE spiral.(@_@)
Meet Psycho#1. I got my spiral addiction from him. He is Shuichi’s dad. He is dubbed as Psycho#1 since he is the first to turn psycho in their town. This town has a sick sad story to tell. What’s up with this town, eh? Here’s a synopsis of the story as provided by the manga itself:
*One word of wisdom if you’re planning to read this manga: read it from left to right. I got confused reading the first few pages because I was expecting it to have the traditional right to left manga layout.
The town’s story is told from the eyes of a female teenager named Kirie. Kirie is really beautiful, even when she had a boyish haircut. She’s also pretty calm, considering that she witnesses and experiences a lot of out-of-this-world events. She’s the kind of heroine that I like. What amazed me is how she and Shuichi maintained their relationship since Shuichi is already on the verge of being insane and hideously ugly (Hideously ugly: since the word “ugly” is not enough). Take note that Shuichi used to be normal, but as the story progressed, he became Psycho#whatever as he stayed indoors, looking as if he’s been starved for days, taking drugs or something, mumbling out the word spirals, freaking out at everything… you can imagine. But the noteworthy thing is, at that state, Shuichi seems to be one of the sanest persons in town and is the one who knows most. What drove Shuichi to this state is that his family is the first victim of the spiral.
What is with all these spiral talk anyway? Why did Shuichi’s dad get obsessed with it? Is it a virus that can “infect” people? What has it got to do with this town called Kurozu-cho?
I do not assure you that if you read this manga, you’ll find all the answers. I admit that I didn’t understand everything completely, and I have the feeling that it is the manga’s intention to leave some mystery behind.
At first, you’ll be given a collection of stories that seemed independent from each other, but as the story goes on, everything spirals into the worst possible scenario for the town… which I’m not going to say. I hate being spoiled, don’t you?=P Did you notice I was avoiding saying the events themselves? Why don’t you just read it? Hehe. I guarantee you 100% awesomeness! Awesomeness as in you’ll be having nightmares from there on, and you’ll be glaring at spirals when you see ’em. Joke. It depends on you, I guess.
This must be the most unique (I know the phrase “most unique” is wrong. No need to point it out.>:D) manga I have read in my life. Period. If you know of any manga that are this weird and disturbing, please tell me.:D
The kind of horror this manga provides is not similar to “The Ring”-like horror. No, it doesn’t contain any violent crawling avenging ghosts, nor mad axe-murderers. What it contains is likely to psychological horror (in lack for a better phrase), since it also showcases the innermost desires of people: people’s desires to be noticed, to be close to the ones they dearly love, to have their unrequited love fulfilled, to survive. There are many other themes prevalent in this masterpiece of a manga.:3
Oh hoho. I just remembered that this has a live action movie adaptation. When I learned about that, I was like:
WTF. WTF. WTF. WTF.
They dared make a movie on that storyline? I’ll watch it someday.
On a morning.