Uzumaki is a Japanese horror manga series written and illustrated by Junji Ito. From 1998 to 1999, the Uzumaki manga was serialized in the weekly seinen magazine Big Comic Spirits. From August 1998 to September 1999 the manga’s chapters were collected into three bound volumes and published by Shogakukan. Shogakukan released two omnibus versions, one in March 2000 and the second in August 2010.
From February 2001 to August 2002 the English-language translation was serialized in the monthly magazine Pulp by Viz Media in North America. From October 2001 to October 2002 Viz Media published the volumes with a re-release from October 2007 to February 2008. In October 2013, a hardcover omnibus edition was published by Viz Media. The manga’s English-language critics have given it generally positive reviews.
Uzumaki has been adapted into two video games for the handheld game console released by Bandai – WonderSwan. Higunchinsky directed a live-action film adaptation of the manga that was released in Japan in 2000. In 2003, it was nominated for an Eisner Award and in 2009 made the Top 10 Graphic Novels for Teens list by the Young Adult Library Services Association.
It has been announced that an anime adaptation co-produced by Production I.G USA and Adult Swim and animated by Drive Studio is scheduled to premiere in October 2022. It’s interesting to note that it will air before Japan on Adult Swim’s Toonami programming block and that the anime will be done completely in black and white!
The setting for the story of Uzumaki is a fictional town named Kurouzu-chi (Black Vortex Town), which is plagued by a curse. The story revolves around Kirie Goshima, a high-school student, and her boyfriend, Shuichi Saito, as well as the citizens of the small, quiet Japanese town as they deal with supernatural events involving “spirals”.
Kirie and Shuichi begin to notice how the curse affects the people around them so that they become obsessed or paranoid about spirals. When Shuichi’s parents both die from the horrific psychological and physical powers of the spirals he becomes a recluse.
When Shuichi’s girlfriend Kirie becomes affected by the curse, however, he is forced to get back out into the world in order to save her and come to terms with the fact he knows he has the ability to detect when the spiral curse is in effect.
Kirie’s curse manifests in her hair curling into an unnatural spiral pattern, and it tries to choke her whenever she tries to cut it off. Due to the curse draining her life energy to hypnotize the citizens Shuichi cuts her hair in order to save her life. The curse only appears to get stronger, however, as the town is plagued by a series of typhoons next.
Junji Ito came up with the idea for Uzumaki when he was trying to write a story about people living in a very long terraced house and decided to use a spiral shape to achieve the desired length. There was something spooky about the “spiral” in Ito’s opinion and he thought it would be interesting for a group of characters to be in a world where symbols hold power. The citizens of Kurouzu-cho struggle against a mysterious force stronger than themselves and try to discover the mystery behind it.
Do you like scary horror anime? Are you looking forward to this unique black and white anime adaptation of Uzumaki? Let us know in the comment section below!