In the spirit of the Halloween season I’ll be doing horror manga reviews up until October 31st. First off, the first horror I’ve read: Uzumaki.
Uzumaki is a pretty infamous manga, done by Junji Ito. Uzumaki is translated as “spiral” in English, and the story pretty much revolves in spirals.
The first half of the manga is like an anthology of horror stories, with the heroine and her boyfriend the recurring characters for each of them. Smoke forms in the sky in the form of a spiral, and crazy things happen. When I say crazy, it’s as crazy as can get.
A man contorts himself into a spiral, vampiric babies suck the blood of their own mothers, monster neighbors are just some of the monstrosities in the town.
The latter half of the manga feels like a movie since the manga revolves now on a single story and on the basis of the previous encounters, as the heroine and the other characters do everything to escape the accursed town. Things really get nasty.
The manga is beautifully drawn, detailed enough to make you cringe on the appropriate places, and maybe scare you in the others. I was not scared of the whole thing at all, but I guess this is because of my high threshold when it comes to scary and gruesome stuff coming from reading a lot of horror novels and watching tons of scary movies and TV shows.
There are criticisms for this manga too. The heroine is stupid. Come one, after the third or fourth cases, surely she should have heeded the warning of her boyfriend and left the town. But no, life goes on.
Also, the first few stories feel like they’re not going anywhere, everything is just a rehash of a pattern: put in scary story with spiral, heroine encounters it, heroine survives, on to the next story. Luckily, on the second half of the manga, everything on the first half feels like a setup of the things in it, so the first half doesn’t go to waste.
I’ve read oftentimes that this is the scariest manga they’ve ever read, but meh, didn’t do it for me. Tell me what you think after you’ve read it though. 🙂
(This review covers the whole Uzumaki manga.)