|ethan_thomas (ethan_thomas) wrote in thaneros,|
@ 2008-04-21 09:44:00
|Entry tags:||reviews: manga, reviews: manga: uzumaki|
Uzumaki: Spiral into Horror
Story and Art: Junji Ito
Translator: Yuji Oniki
Publisher: VIZ Media
Firmly set in a bizarre and unexplainable world, Uzumaki's Lovecraftian characteristics inspire an amazing case of the creeps, resulting in an impressive piece of horror fiction.
The premise of Uzumaki seems a little silly at first. When I first read the manga's back jacket, I couldn't help but picture little stick figures with spinning heads passing through walls and spooking people. Of course, the idea that such a ludicrous monster could have spawned three volumes also grasped my curiosity. How could the writer possibly turn something as mundane as a spiral into something horrific? Honestly, the book's plastic wrapping was a big plus. It hinted that Uzumaki might be far darker than I anticipated.
Each volume contains a collection of short stories about how the "spiral" coils itself around the people of a town called Kurozu-cho. The entire body of work is narrated from the perspective of a high school student, Kirie Goshima, who encounters the curse time after time.
While the bizarre premise is enough to lure readers in, and the price of each volume is low enough to keep them coming back, the storytelling inside all three is the real draw. The relationships of the people, the horror and the humor, the different manifestations of the spirals, the detailed and grisly but always beautiful artwork... All of it shapes Uzumaki into a moving tale of terror. Junji Ito is surely a master of his craft, his images surreal and frightening and his characters pitiable and real. It's difficult to explain just how beautifully this work is put together. Lovers of comics and horror alike will find this manga utterly fascinating. This short, wonderful read will haunt you for many days and many sleepless nights. Five out of five stars.