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Uzumaki: Spiral into Horror, Vol. 1

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Shortly after Shuichi Saito's father becomes obsessed with spirals -- snail shells, whirlpools, and man-made patterns -- he dies mysteriously, his body positioned in the shape of a twisted coil. Soon, the entire town is afflicted with a snail-like disease.


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Shortly after Shuichi Saito's father becomes obsessed with spirals -- snail shells, whirlpools, and man-made patterns -- he dies mysteriously, his body positioned in the shape of a twisted coil. Soon, the entire town is afflicted with a snail-like disease.

30 review for Uzumaki: Spiral into Horror, Vol. 1

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    well, that really spiraled out of control quickly

  2. 4 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    Can a comic--a horror manga, in this case--creep you out or even scare you? You know movies can do it, such as Psycho or Halloween. Stephen King can do it. I like some of Joe Hill's work such as Locke and Key, and that works to unsettle me, but this is different, atmospheric, black and white. . . and gory, at times, creepy, nightmare-inducing (maybe). It proceeds less from plot than from images of spirals, of the vortex, proliferating. Uzumaki, or spirals, seem to take over a town. Possibly curse Can a comic--a horror manga, in this case--creep you out or even scare you? You know movies can do it, such as Psycho or Halloween. Stephen King can do it. I like some of Joe Hill's work such as Locke and Key, and that works to unsettle me, but this is different, atmospheric, black and white. . . and gory, at times, creepy, nightmare-inducing (maybe). It proceeds less from plot than from images of spirals, of the vortex, proliferating. Uzumaki, or spirals, seem to take over a town. Possibly curse it. No real reason why that we can say for sure. Some theories are hinted at: The sort of aesthetic need to see patterns? Or is that OCD?Collective madness centered in a single coastal Japanese town? This pattern is everywhere, though at first you just see it through the eyes of one man, then others see it, and then everyone sees it, and we see it! AUGH!!! Help!! It reminds me of how the threatening bird population seems to grow in Hitchcock's The Birds. And these spirals are artistically powerful, beautiful, horrifying. In Camus’s The Plague a disease strikes a single town, with some possible allegorical purposes, but what can be the purpose for these spirals?! We get to know adults and kids in this one, and things get increasingly crazy. The central characters are Kirie Goshima (a sculptor's daughter), and Shuichi Sato, who at different times discuss leaving town, which seems like it would have been the best thing. . . but then we would have not had horror, right?! In one chapter Azami's swirling scar seems to be a guy magnet, femme fatally drawing them to their doom. In another chapter Kazunori and Yoriko are in love, living in housing projects, where everyone seems to be insane, and the love relationship seems doomed. There's a nice visual of two entertwined (right, spiraling) snakes they see that. . . let's just say figures in the end. In another chapter Kiri grows hair into spirals and so does another girl, and their hair does battle! Funny premise? Weird, macabre, initially amusing, maybe, but things turn darker. The visuals, again, are crazy, but amazingly imaginative. Ito is inspired, as he shows in a chapter focused on his creating the series. Top notch, but creepy and kinda gross in places. But hey, I already told you it is horror, so that's what you're paying for. A masterpiece of the genre! I read the first volume 2013, the second for a class in 2015 and now again in 2017 I read volume 1 for a class. But the whole series is worth it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    Re-read 2018 OCTOBER read. So worth it. Perfection. :) Original Review: Creepy awesomeness. This pacing is perfect and I love the MCs. The whole town has gone truly sideways. Lovecraft or the Golden Spiral, it doesn't matter, it's all so damn connected anyway. I love it. I love it. He's turned nature and the normal state of reality into something truly horrific and awe-full. These images are going to stay with me for a very long time, and I say that with utter abandonment and joy. Setup, punch, knoc Re-read 2018 OCTOBER read. So worth it. Perfection. :) Original Review: Creepy awesomeness. This pacing is perfect and I love the MCs. The whole town has gone truly sideways. Lovecraft or the Golden Spiral, it doesn't matter, it's all so damn connected anyway. I love it. I love it. He's turned nature and the normal state of reality into something truly horrific and awe-full. These images are going to stay with me for a very long time, and I say that with utter abandonment and joy. Setup, punch, knock-out. This isn't the slow burn of Naoki Urasawa's Monster, Volume 1, which had a serious impact on me. This is quick, disturbing, and while I want to say it's truly creative, I've read and seen enough wonderful works using the golden ratio that I can only tip my hat at how WELL it was pulled off. And it was. Seriously good. No one needs to know the whole Lovecraftian genre to enjoy this. It's fully self-contained and truly magical. There's only twenty issues -- or three volumes, so it's a quick read, complete, and worth every moment. :)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mir

    Lovecraft approves of your spirals. (Except for that last story, with the hair. That was weak. Still creepy, but weak.)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tina Haigler

    This is going to be hard to put into words but I'll give it my best. The best way to describe this manga is weird. It is so peculiar and strange and I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. I liked it enough but I didn't keep turning the page because I was intrigued. I kept turning the page because my brain was short circuiting and looking for answers. In all honesty, it's a very interesting premise but it was a bit too random for me. The characters from one chapter to another had no interaction This is going to be hard to put into words but I'll give it my best. The best way to describe this manga is weird. It is so peculiar and strange and I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. I liked it enough but I didn't keep turning the page because I was intrigued. I kept turning the page because my brain was short circuiting and looking for answers. In all honesty, it's a very interesting premise but it was a bit too random for me. The characters from one chapter to another had no interaction or connection, except for living in the same town. I think I would've enjoyed this more if subsequent chapters followed a minor character introduced in the previous one. It was definitely creepy, and I'll never see a spiral without thinking of this book but I'm not sure I'll continue reading the rest of the series. I would only recommend this if you are a fan of bizarre horror.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Danger

    CONFESSION: This is the first manga I’ve ever read. IT’S TRUE! While I love graphic novels in general, for whatever reason, I’d just gloss over the manga titles like they were telephone books. Perhaps it’s because they read backwards from the English titles that I’m used to. In case you’re wondering, the answer is yes, I had to give myself a bit of a learning curve when it came to the mechanics of the Japanese-style book design when I started this thing. Even the word balloons read from right to CONFESSION: This is the first manga I’ve ever read. IT’S TRUE! While I love graphic novels in general, for whatever reason, I’d just gloss over the manga titles like they were telephone books. Perhaps it’s because they read backwards from the English titles that I’m used to. In case you’re wondering, the answer is yes, I had to give myself a bit of a learning curve when it came to the mechanics of the Japanese-style book design when I started this thing. Even the word balloons read from right to left. It was confusing at first! But that said, I picked up the first volume of Uzumaki on the behest of a friend and HOLY COW I HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS MISSING! This is one of the best graphic novels I’ve ever read. Granted, it’s only volume one (of three) so there’s no resolution to the main storyline here, but in this tale of a town that is terrorized by the shape of a spiral (weird, right?) told in episodic fashion, it is near-perfect in execution. The pacing couldn’t be more spot on, and I could barely stop myself from turning each page. And there’s so much strange and gross and gory things going on in here - and an impeccable coalescence of cosmic and body horror (all of it brought to life by the haunting panels of Ito’s art) - that as far as beginnings go, I couldn’t ask for more. Seriously can’t wait to dive into volume two!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    I adored the died of a horror manga simply based on the idea of a "spiral." I now genuinely get freaked out by the idea that part of the inner ear has a "spiral." My main and only issue is that it dived straight into the horror aspect before we get to know the characters. Because of that, part of me didn't care if everyone died.

  8. 5 out of 5

    NReads

    this sounds exactly what I need right now

  9. 5 out of 5

    Paige Bookdragon

    Okay fuck that was creepy. I'm only at Chapter 4 yet and won't probably be able to continue for quite a while because I have to return the book, but holy fuck, I've never been so disgusted and creeped out by a book. Junji Ito, what kind of world do you live in? Okay fuck that was creepy. I'm only at Chapter 4 yet and won't probably be able to continue for quite a while because I have to return the book, but holy fuck, I've never been so disgusted and creeped out by a book. Junji Ito, what kind of world do you live in?

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    The small town of Kurozu-Cho (a Japanese version of Lovecraft’s Innsmouth) is haunted by… a pattern! Wooooo! Yup, spirals - lines going round and round - are deadly. It sound silly but that’s pretty original really. I don’t think I’ve read a horror that’s got so abstract a big bad, AND Junji Ito manages to make them disturbing too so kudos! Our hero is schoolgirl Kirie whose boyfriend’s father is obsessed with spirals – and then terrible things happen to him! Then later the boyfriend’s mother is The small town of Kurozu-Cho (a Japanese version of Lovecraft’s Innsmouth) is haunted by… a pattern! Wooooo! Yup, spirals - lines going round and round - are deadly. It sound silly but that’s pretty original really. I don’t think I’ve read a horror that’s got so abstract a big bad, AND Junji Ito manages to make them disturbing too so kudos! Our hero is schoolgirl Kirie whose boyfriend’s father is obsessed with spirals – and then terrible things happen to him! Then later the boyfriend’s mother is obsessed with spirals – and then terrible things happen to her! Then another girl is obsessed with the boyfriend and gets involved with spirals – and terrible things happen to her! And so on. Spirals are bad news, people! So there’s a pattern about this book about patterns. The book is made up of several short stories that build up to a big spiral-centric horror reveal and then ends only to repeat in the next story – an approach that gives it a bumpy stop/start rhythm. Short story collections are often like this except Uzumaki uses the same characters/events/settings, so they’re all meant to be connected. Instead of there being an overarching storyline though it’s a series of isolated stories, almost self-contained given how little the events in each one affects the recurring characters. Maybe that’s the intention, that you’re supposed to wind up at the end where you began, the structure itself mimicking a spiral, but I thought it was unsatisfying how we never know why spirals are so important or why any of this is happening. It’s just one horror story involving spirals after another until it’s over. That said, the stories for the most part are interesting with some nightmarish body horror imagery. The first story involving the boyfriend’s parents was my favourite with some amazing art – Shuichi’s father’s fate and the smoky visuals of the crematorium were chilling! The boyfriend’s mother’s madness was disturbing too even if I didn’t buy that a hospital would allow scissors anywhere near a patient with severe mental problems. The last two stories are definitely the weakest. Two teenage lovers who want to be together but whose parents disapprove take their desire to an extreme, and Kirie’s hair becomes haunted with spirals – bah, so stupid! Kirie’s gone through so much in this book, she has from the same problem as all horror protagonists when they’re in a haunted place: why don’t they leave? Why doesn’t anybody leave this obviously cursed place!? Even though the series is only three volumes long (extremely short by manga standards) there’s not much incentive for me to keep reading. I wonder, is the whole series going to be like this – one story after another of evil spirals taking the lives of these townspeople? That approach, as seen in this book, is effective only for so long before the formula becomes overly familiar and predictable. But there's no indication otherwise that the series will be anything more than these people getting it from the spirals ad nauseam! Uzumaki Volume 1 is a fine horror manga with some good stories mixed in with some mediocre ones and featuring excellent black and white artwork throughout - definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of the genre but don’t expect a masterpiece going in.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    A creepy comic about a town in Japan that suddenly gets cases of people going crazy and it all has to do with spirals. The comic (manga) consists of 6 chapters, short stories within a larger context if you will, all detailing events in the same town as seen through the eyes of a young teenage girl. We have her best friend's father going crazy as well as the resulting consequences for that friend's mother, before another friend of the protagonist's as well as neighbours and even her own family are A creepy comic about a town in Japan that suddenly gets cases of people going crazy and it all has to do with spirals. The comic (manga) consists of 6 chapters, short stories within a larger context if you will, all detailing events in the same town as seen through the eyes of a young teenage girl. We have her best friend's father going crazy as well as the resulting consequences for that friend's mother, before another friend of the protagonist's as well as neighbours and even her own family are getting sucked into the whirlpool of madness (though the story about the neighbouring kids was actually very sweet/romantic). All in all, it's a downward spiral (excuse the pun), a town's descent into horror and madness. The manga is black-and-white, the images detailed and always as weird as the scenes they are depicting. I wouldn't call myself a fan of the art / the artist's style, but it was nice and appropriately creepy and the black-and-white actually helped intensifying the sense of abstract dread and downright weirdness. There are two more volumes and, supposedly, we'll get an answer as to WHY this is happening by the end of volume 3. Only one way to find out ... Definitely a great read for October.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Seth T.

    [Review of whole series.] I’m skeptical of comics’ power to truly horrify using supernatural elements. Because the reader controls entirely the pace of a story’s execution, one of the primary tools of the horror genre is kept from authors in the comics medium. Additionally, revulsion is increasingly difficult to elicit from static imagery—a gross drawing is merely that and draws forth none of that sense of fear or terror that aficionados of the genre tend to relish. Certainly a compelling story a [Review of whole series.] I’m skeptical of comics’ power to truly horrify using supernatural elements. Because the reader controls entirely the pace of a story’s execution, one of the primary tools of the horror genre is kept from authors in the comics medium. Additionally, revulsion is increasingly difficult to elicit from static imagery—a gross drawing is merely that and draws forth none of that sense of fear or terror that aficionados of the genre tend to relish. Certainly a compelling story about the affects of war on a civilian population can horrify, but only because it is humanity who is the monster and not some lumbering creature of the imagination. There seems little room for the supernatural to scare us from the immobile, two-dimensional page. When I first approached Junji Ito’s Uzumaki, I hoped for my understanding of comics horror to undergo a dramatic shift. I hoped that his mind-bending work would bring me to see that the comics page could truly deliver terror. Not so much because I like being frightened but simply because I love experiencing the expanding boundaries of what the medium is capable of. And Ito seemed the perfect guide if anyone was. Junji Ito is, so I read, considered to be a master of Japanese horror. He’s created several works that have been lauded for their depiction of strange horror. But as inventive as his stories are and as horrifying as I would find these tales had they been committed to film, they come off rather sterile in screentones. Which is not to say that Ito’s Uzumaki isn’t a good time. It is. What it isn’t, however, is in any way horrifying. Uzumaki, in Japanese, means “spiral” (hence the helpful English subtitle for the book: Spiral into Horror) and throughout these three volumes we become well acquainted with a town that is becoming possessed by the idea of the spiral. The theme of spirals makes its mark across every chapter and in numerous inventive (and usually gruesome) ways. In one case, a girl’s hair takes on a spiraling, hypnotic life of its own. In another, a boy grows a spiraling shell on his back and gradually becomes a snail. A scar bores into one girl’s mind. Another girl finds herself the love interest of a typhoon. Uzumaki begins as a collection of interrelated short stories, each exploring one more aspect of the town’s strange connection with spirals, but gradually takes on the form of a longer, more interconnected narrative. There isn’t much in the way of character development because apart from the protagonist and her boyfriend (who wants desperately to get out of Dodge), most characters don’t last much farther beyond the chapter of their introduction. There is a lot of death (and worse) in Uzumaki and so the story soon becomes the question of how this couple will survive the increasingly manic terror being visited upon their town. Really, by series’ end, the moral becomes clear: Girls, when your high school boyfriend says that the town is possessed and you two should run away together, you’d be crazy not to do as he says. Perhaps Ito is projecting his own childhood’s discreet woes. Really, after even just one of these incidents, it’s not entirely clear why any of the witnesses don’t flee the town immediately. Perhaps they find the spirals too hypnotic. Uzumaki, though boasting its share of faults (both in art and in storytelling), still stands out as something that may be worth your time. While it probably won’t frighten you or give you any kind of nightmares, you may find Ito’s images, in a certain sense, indelible. In the couple weeks since I finished the book’s last chapter, I have continually found myself reminded of particular story moments or ideas that were rather strikingly composed. If you’re curious what Ito’s all about, his short story “The Enigma of Amigara Fault” is a good starting place. It’s pretty representative of the kind of horror that is found in Uzumaki. [review courtesy of Good Ok Bad]

  13. 5 out of 5

    Khashayar Mohammadi

    What an absolutely unsettling experience. There's something eerie about the abstract nature of the book's cosmic, Lovecraftian forces of evil that shook me to my core. Who knew that the absurd obsession with the abstract concept of a "Spiral" could create such horrors...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mario

    Ooooookay... That was the creepiest thing I've ever read. But since I love creepy, of course I enjoyed it. Can't wait to read Vol. 2 'cause I've god a feeling that it will be even creepier.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sleeping with Ghosts

    Sincerely, this style of manga don't like me at all. Too much gore and obscure...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Elle

    5* STARS! Uzumaki is Japanese for Spiral. Fucking blow my mind! Obsession for spiral? It started from a small town, Kurōzu-cho which is cursed by supernatural events. The main lead, Kirie asked by her boyfriend, Shuichi to leave the town. Shuichi has eerie feeling with his surrounding but Kirie didn't really buy it. Then, the bizarre phenomenon start from Shuichi's father. His obsession towards spiral caused several deaths including him. After what happened to his parents, Shuichi rarely leave his 5* STARS! Uzumaki is Japanese for Spiral. Fucking blow my mind! Obsession for spiral? It started from a small town, Kurōzu-cho which is cursed by supernatural events. The main lead, Kirie asked by her boyfriend, Shuichi to leave the town. Shuichi has eerie feeling with his surrounding but Kirie didn't really buy it. Then, the bizarre phenomenon start from Shuichi's father. His obsession towards spiral caused several deaths including him. After what happened to his parents, Shuichi rarely leave his house. He believed with the spiral curse. But Kirie is still continue her daily life. Anyway, both characters are okay but I totally love the story from each chapters. From a strange new girl in town who bewitched boys; not include Shuichi till a Romeo and Julie kinda couple but in twisted way. Just.. WOW!

  17. 4 out of 5

    L.S. Popovich

    Many of Junji Ito’s themes and motifs are simple and even nonsensical, but they tend to stick in the mind. They have the ineluctable quality of nightmares, of good horror films. His concepts have the same staying power as a cheesy slasher flick, with the advantage of impressive artwork. No matter how far he takes the mutilation and monstrosities, they are rooted in true nightmares and real-life phobias. One gets the sense that the author is of a delicate sensibility and exorcises these demons in Many of Junji Ito’s themes and motifs are simple and even nonsensical, but they tend to stick in the mind. They have the ineluctable quality of nightmares, of good horror films. His concepts have the same staying power as a cheesy slasher flick, with the advantage of impressive artwork. No matter how far he takes the mutilation and monstrosities, they are rooted in true nightmares and real-life phobias. One gets the sense that the author is of a delicate sensibility and exorcises these demons in his work. Maybe horrors accumulate inside his mind and he has no choice but to draw manga for temporary relief. Inanimate objects take on ominous contortions and morph into a dramatic diorama of blood and guts in most examples. Something as tame as clay pots are twisted into mesmerizing terror in his most representative work, Uzumaki. More so than in Tomie or Gyo, this is considered his stand-out production. Reading it once is enough to start seeing spirals, to be infected by the madness. He points out society’s flaws indirectly, and you can usually dig beneath his nonsensical fables for subtle commentary. It was easy for me to acquire a taste for this brand of obscuring reality and blending it with nightmare. There is a gnawing madness to this and most of his other stories. Everything from marionettes to advertisements to snails to hot air balloons become objects to be questioned, or even to be abhorred. In Junji Ito nothing is as it seems. But under the horrid images, I can sense humor. The surface is only one layer. The true heart of his manga lies in a pervading irony and solid sense of grotesque joy that is easy to miss if you only consider the bones of the story. Like in any good horror story, the characters in Uzumaki are constantly acting contrary to reason. I have heard of the unsuccessful live action film based on the manga. His ideas really only work on paper if you ask me. The exaggeration becomes silly when mishandled. That's why I'm a fan of the manga alone, and will remain a fan, as we're finally getting more of his titles and collections in English.

  18. 4 out of 5

    John Wiswell

    Well, that was messed up. The black and white style of manga is very helpful to setting the subdued mood of the stories. The town feels oppressed, prime to a supernatural infection. If you haven't heard, Uzumaki is about the curse of spirals that infests a small town in Japan. They begin arising everywhere: on the local pottery, in the clouds, from the smoke of the crematorium, increasing until the suggestible people become obsessed with them. But once an obsession sets in, the curse triggers tru Well, that was messed up. The black and white style of manga is very helpful to setting the subdued mood of the stories. The town feels oppressed, prime to a supernatural infection. If you haven't heard, Uzumaki is about the curse of spirals that infests a small town in Japan. They begin arising everywhere: on the local pottery, in the clouds, from the smoke of the crematorium, increasing until the suggestible people become obsessed with them. But once an obsession sets in, the curse triggers truly supernatural events that cause the victims' lives to spiral down. Each chapter is punchy and tells its own story, loosely linked together by a few observer characters. The punchy chapters are compelling reads; I went through a hundred pages in a half hour. Many comics readers will probably be able to finish this in one sitting. Unfortunately the last chapter in this volume, "Medusa," is the weakest, being downright goofy (EVIL HAIR!). You turn the page, not to see what's next, but to get away from what you just saw. It's engrossingly disturbing, and definitely not for the faint of heart. It's not as violent or nasty as I was led to believe, but when something disgusting happens (a woman cutting off her fingertips, for instance), Junji Ito is happy to show it. Far more disturbing than the little violence in the story is the surreal warping of human bodies - tongues elongating into spirals, human bodies intertwining, the silhouettes of human faces emerging from the spirals in art. These impossible things are far creepier. The essence of the spiral (which is never properly explained in this volume) is that it is an unending shape. It's an imperfect circle, and where you might close the circle, the line draws inward, such that you can only swirl the line inward or bump into an existing line. The idea of the spiral is a great analogy for madness, with introversion, the attempt at getting to a truth, and weird fascination. This book is all about that.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jaya

    I-didn't-get-the-horror-memo-stars Spiral Obsession (part 1) : 3/5 Spiral Obsession (part 2) : 4/5 The Scar: 0.35/5 The Firing Effect: 2.75/5 Twisted Souls: i won't bother with any rating Medusa: WHY??? 1.5/5 Artwork : 4/5 though I wish it was a little less text heavy. So, over all 2.85 underwhelmed stars P.S: I liked the Afterword better than most of the stories. I-didn't-get-the-horror-memo-stars Spiral Obsession (part 1) : 3/5 Spiral Obsession (part 2) : 4/5 The Scar: 0.35/5 The Firing Effect: 2.75/5 Twisted Souls: i won't bother with any rating Medusa: WHY??? 1.5/5 Artwork : 4/5 though I wish it was a little less text heavy. So, over all 2.85 underwhelmed stars P.S: I liked the Afterword better than most of the stories.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)

    4.5 Stars - Who knew that spirals could be so horrifying!?! Playing with elements of psychological horror, the manga was incredibly dark and twisted. I honestly did not expect to have such a strong reaction to this deceptively simplistic story. The artwork was incredibly disturbing and gruesome. I highly recommend this weird manga to serious horror readers looking for an intense reading experience.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Caro the Helmet Lady

    You can't win with this thing... I think... I enjoyed it... Now off to find some snails... You can't win with this thing... I think... I enjoyed it... Now off to find some snails...

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    I am surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. The story was original and truly horrific. One panel in particular made me gasp and I had to place my hand over the picture in order to continue reading the story. Now that's what I'm talking about, even though part of it is due to my personal aversion of people cutting on themselves. But it made for a frightening addition to the story. Essentially, there is a town plagued by spirals. The townsfolk are being possessed and consumed with a spiral obs I am surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. The story was original and truly horrific. One panel in particular made me gasp and I had to place my hand over the picture in order to continue reading the story. Now that's what I'm talking about, even though part of it is due to my personal aversion of people cutting on themselves. But it made for a frightening addition to the story. Essentially, there is a town plagued by spirals. The townsfolk are being possessed and consumed with a spiral obsession. The book is an easy read but disturbing and meaty enough that I am happy I bought a copy. Most manga and comic type books these days read too quickly. Yet there was enough story here to keep me interested and thankfully I did not read it all so quickly that I was finishing barely after beginning. I am excited to read more by the author. And I almost forgot to mention how much I loved the art! The fear and confusion of the characters was amplified by the simple black and white pictures. The art and story complimented eachother perfectly.

  23. 5 out of 5

    David

    Oh. My. Gawd. HOW is this NOT an american movie yet??? (I see there IS a Japanese interpretation, but haven't been able to locate a copy- but like "The Ring" (Ringu) and "The Grudge" before it... this has AMAZING pottential for an American Horror Movie... REAL Horror, not that blood-n-guts stuff they pass off as 'horror' nowdays... This is the story of a village. A village infected with SPIRALS. Oh sure. Go ahead. Chuckle. Go, "yeah... AND?" But really. Think about it. ...what happens when something as Oh. My. Gawd. HOW is this NOT an american movie yet??? (I see there IS a Japanese interpretation, but haven't been able to locate a copy- but like "The Ring" (Ringu) and "The Grudge" before it... this has AMAZING pottential for an American Horror Movie... REAL Horror, not that blood-n-guts stuff they pass off as 'horror' nowdays... This is the story of a village. A village infected with SPIRALS. Oh sure. Go ahead. Chuckle. Go, "yeah... AND?" But really. Think about it. ...what happens when something as simple, no... as MUNDANE, as a 'spiral' becomes greater than just one aspect of the world, one pattern... and begins to take OVER? It's HORRIBLE. I couldn't stop reading untill I had gotten through the trilogy- TWICE. It would take some translating... but this, like many other 'surreal' movies (like "Ink" and "Pan's Labyrinth" would make an EXCELLENT movie that would make your SKIN crawl. You have spirals on the skin over your fingertips you know. ...and they don't stop there. Don't think too long, too hard, about it... or YOU could get infected, too.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shalini Nemo

    This review is for the entire series. Uzumaki is truly visceral horror, body horror so extreme you feel nauseous. It isn't even splatterpunk and there's little gore, but it's very distressing just the same. I couldn't even look at swirly for a couple of days after reading this. True to Ito's style, there is never any hope, and all we can do is watch everything crumble so very, very slowly. Be glad this is a work of fiction... or IS IT?

  25. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Wells

    You were a fully-funded Nope Factory operated by unionized nightmares and your non-OSHA compliant slurry still trickles into my waking thoughts years later Good job.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Marc

    Reading Ito really takes on a kind of cinematic experience for me. I don't always love his story ideas or narrative twists necessarily, but I am absolutely transfixed by his artwork and the wonderful pacing. He even manages to make it feel like the pages have sound. I find myself alluringly disgusted by his unique manifestations of surrealistic body horror. If you even think that your town or family may be cursed by spirals, leave now. Trust Ito.

  27. 5 out of 5

    A.M.G. ☮Hippie/Fantasia☮

    Rating: 3.1 / 5 For this, I will review individual stories as I read them, and then give an overall rating to Volume 1. The Spiral Obsession, Parts I and II -- 4 / 5 It's kind of a neat idea and very graphically (and disturbingly) illustrated, but...I don't really get it. I myself like spirals fine and don't understand having a phobia(?) of them, but since the significance of them is never really explained, it was hard to get fully on board with what was going on and what was the reason behind it. T Rating: 3.1 / 5 For this, I will review individual stories as I read them, and then give an overall rating to Volume 1. The Spiral Obsession, Parts I and II -- 4 / 5 It's kind of a neat idea and very graphically (and disturbingly) illustrated, but...I don't really get it. I myself like spirals fine and don't understand having a phobia(?) of them, but since the significance of them is never really explained, it was hard to get fully on board with what was going on and what was the reason behind it. The Scar -- 3 / 5 Okay, a continuation of the first two chapters in a spiral town and an extension of what the spirals can do, but there's still no explanation on the why. Should we maybe investigate the spirals yet? Or, better yet, why not just MOVE if they're taking over the entire town or something? I'm not at all scared, but I do have mixed feelings on how I should be interpreting things right now... The Firing Effect -- 2.5 / 5 So, I see we're continuing with the whole spirals thing, but with no explanations behind it. Also, whereas the imagery for the previous chapters was at the very least somewhat scary and/or gruesome, this was was very mild in comparison, so I'm deducting further marks. Here's hoping that by the time I get to the end of this value, I'll have some clue as to what's going on. Twisted Souls -- 2.9 / 5 What in the--? Romeo and Juliet spiral-style is the only way I can describe this. Medusa -- 3 / 5 And now the spiral's in hair. Possibly the weirdest chapter, but nice aesthetics on spiral hair, well-suited to the title. On the whole, but was an okay read, but I can't say that it was great. Yes, we've got a clear obsession with spirals, but unless they mean anything in particular to you, I don't see how you can really get into the story. Some of the imagery is gory but, for the most part, I can't say that there's really and in-depth story developing, so much as the author experimenting with what he can do by injecting spirals as a scary thing into the story. Myself, I might read Volumes 2 and 3 of this some day, but for now, I think I'll set it aside on the "meh" shelf.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Xara Niouraki

    I don't know if it's because I've read too many horror manga or watched too many horror anime but I can't find this manga terrifying. It's weird all right but when I finished the volume I just asked myself So what? Why should I be scared? It just doesn't make any sense. Usually I get scared pretty easily but this is just a bunch of weird stories with some disturbing images, but there are a lot of disturbing manga out there and I've read a few. It wasn't enough to make an impression. Maybe it was I don't know if it's because I've read too many horror manga or watched too many horror anime but I can't find this manga terrifying. It's weird all right but when I finished the volume I just asked myself So what? Why should I be scared? It just doesn't make any sense. Usually I get scared pretty easily but this is just a bunch of weird stories with some disturbing images, but there are a lot of disturbing manga out there and I've read a few. It wasn't enough to make an impression. Maybe it was the absence of a story, maybe the characters (I didn't really care for any of them) or maybe the fact that I can't get afraid of a spiral.. I'll finish this manga but I don't have high hopes for the other volumes.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michael Sorbello

    Kurouzu-cho is a small, fogbound town on the coast of Japan, and it is haunted by an unusual curse. The curse of the spiral. A reclusive young man named Shuichi Saito is the first to take notice of the spiral patterns popping up everywhere and having strange effects on people, most of them not even noticing what’s happening to them until it’s too late. No one takes Shuichi’s warnings about the horrifying delusions the spirals cause to those who become entranced by their hypnotic spell seriously, Kurouzu-cho is a small, fogbound town on the coast of Japan, and it is haunted by an unusual curse. The curse of the spiral. A reclusive young man named Shuichi Saito is the first to take notice of the spiral patterns popping up everywhere and having strange effects on people, most of them not even noticing what’s happening to them until it’s too late. No one takes Shuichi’s warnings about the horrifying delusions the spirals cause to those who become entranced by their hypnotic spell seriously, do to his past paranoia-induced ramblings that have given him the reputation of a mentally unbalanced conspiracy theorist. Not even his girlfriend takes him seriously at first. Shuichi’s father is the first of many to fall under the dangerous spell of the spiral, becoming obsessed with the whirling patterns until his obsession drives him to the brink of madness. The story begins with Shuichi Saito trying to explain to his girlfriend that he thinks his father is being driven insane by his recently developed obsession with spirals. He collects hundreds of spiral shaped objects, hoarding them to the point of his house nearly overflowing with them. He refuses to take a bath unless he makes the water form a whirlpool before he jumps in, he even refuses to eat a bowl of soup unless his wife throws in a few spiral shaped fishcakes to please his bizzare fixation. Eventually, Shuichi’s father’s obsession with spirals becomes so extreme that he throws himself into the family pottery machine and sacrifices his life to become a human spiral. All of the bones in his body are crushed, his remains are contorted into a spiral of baggy flesh, leaving his wife and son to discover the horrifying sight of his grotesquely disfigured corpse balled up into a mess of limbs stretched beyond human capacity. The nightmare doesn’t end there. After Shuichi has his father cremated, even his ashes form a disfigured, humanoid spiral in the sky that looms over the terrified locals of Kurouzu-cho like the gaze of an all-powerful god. In that moment, everyone begins to realize that the curse of the spiral is very real. After the tragic incident with Shuichi’s father, the spirals begin to contaminate and consume more and more victims with their hypnotic sadism. They turn school students into snails, pregnant women into bloodsucking monsters, they transform villagers' bodies into tree branch-like limbs that get tangled together when they get too close to each other, they even turn a girl’s hair into a living hypnosis wheel that can drive you insane if you look at the spiraling strands of hair for too long. The curse of the spiral is vicious and it doesn’t stop spreading until the entire island is consumed by its vengeful spell. Before I started reading this manga, I asked myself “how can a cute and innocent thing like spirals possibly be scary?” Well, Uzumaki did a pretty great job of proving that they can be nightmarish little monstrosities. Uzumaki takes full advantage of its visual story-telling format, looking at the pages for long periods of time made me feel slightly dizzy at times, almost making me feel like I was becoming a victim of the spirals myself. It made the experience that much more surreal, being able to see the hypnotic effects the spirals have on the characters while also feeling some of their dizzying effects on my own vision. It’s a masochistic feast for the eyes, drawing you in with surreal body horror and mind-warping imagery. The paranoia, the delirious madness, the lovecraftian themes of normal, everyday people being driven insane by seemingly innocent obsessions. The scales keep getting higher, escalating from strange body disfigurement to full-on gory nightmare fuel. If you’re a horror fan or a fan of lovecraftian themes and imagery, and you’re not all that familiar with what manga has to offer in terms of horror, Uzumaki is the best place to start. It doesn’t have a brilliant plot or deep characters with major story arcs, it’s about average, perfectly ordinary people getting drawn into something otherworldly that the human mind can’t possibly fathom without self-destructing. The story is also told in an episodic format, each chapter having its own self-contained narrative that slowly builds upon the alluring mystery and origins of the spiral curse. The ending also has that poetic lovecraftian touch of humanity being small, helpless and completely irrelevant in the face of greater things that humans can never hope to comprehend. *** My Social Media My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPPs... My Instagram Account: https://www.instagram.com/michael_sor... My Wattpad Account: https://www.wattpad.com/user/Michael-... My Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/SorbelloHorror My Facebook Account: https://www.facebook.com/michael.sorb...

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Furniss

    Set in small town in Japan this unique horror manga tells the story in black and white gruesome imagery of a supernatural curse, the geometric shape of spirals. Spirals infest the town everywhere, in the sky, clouds, pottery, smoke, tongues & hair etc. As characters become obsessed with them their lives will "Spiral out of control'. Lots of consuming, gross & squirming contorted body horror into coils and snails as the disease takes hold . Wondering how the author came up with his ideas I read a Set in small town in Japan this unique horror manga tells the story in black and white gruesome imagery of a supernatural curse, the geometric shape of spirals. Spirals infest the town everywhere, in the sky, clouds, pottery, smoke, tongues & hair etc. As characters become obsessed with them their lives will "Spiral out of control'. Lots of consuming, gross & squirming contorted body horror into coils and snails as the disease takes hold . Wondering how the author came up with his ideas I read a review where someone deciphered it as portraying the analogy for madness- An imperfect circle, unending shape where the lines draw inwards and inwards leading you down and that makes sense to me and explains the whole ideology. I would certainly recommend this to any fan of this genre.

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