In Uzumaki, Junji Ito unleashes some of his most creative work to explore the dark sides of the spiral pattern.
Often seen in nature, the spiral could represent mystery and infinity. But in this series it also represents horror and cursed flesh.
If you like horror manga, or are even just vaguely aware of it, chances are that you have heard of this manga title. Uzumaki is pretty much the quintessential horror manga series and is one of the titles to cement Junji Ito’s title as the master of the genre.
What is Uzumaki about?
The word Uzumaki itself is Japanese for spiral. From wikipedia:
“In mathematics, a spiral is a curve which emanates from a point, moving farther away as it revolves around the point.”Wikipedia definition of a Spiral
And it is exactly this shape that is the core focus for the entirety of Junji Ito’s masterpiece. It starts off small, with one particular man’s interest in small shells and patterns he finds in nature. But, in true Ito style, the story quickly escalates into a terrifying journey into the depths of all spirals.
Slowly, over the course of twenty chapters, Junji Ito explores the spiral pattern in many different areas of life. All within a small coastal village in Japan and its residents. From schools to hospitals; from the young to the old; and from love through to terror and disgust.
An exploration in twenty parts
Over the course of the next few months, I will be exploring each of the chapters of Uzumaki in turn. I will be attempting to dig through the horrifying visions to find the meaning within the pages. To really dig deep and explore my own thoughts and feelings about this awesome series.
Much like the Tomie Series I wrote about, I feel that this series would do better as a series of posts, instead of just one huge post covering it all. There are just too many great parts and interesting characters to risk washing over any of them.
I invite you to join me
I would love for you to join me each week to explore the Uzumaki series. And if you find this post after several months of me having published it, you should have a collection of posts to read – one for each chapter.