Books, Venue

Spotlight on graphic novels: Junji Ito’s Uzumaki

Junji Ito is one of the most prolific horror mangakas of all time, and even with the sheer volume of content he has put out through his career, people usually consider his magnum opus to be Uzumaki.

The premise is a strange one: a small town on the coast of Japan begins to be haunted by Uzumaki (Japanese for ‘spiral’) in many different shapes and forms. The story follows two main characters: Kirie Goshima, and her boyfriend Shuichi Saito.

Ito’s art is something that has to be seen to be believed. He’s the master of the page turn – he’ll constantly leave the last panel of a double page spread with the characters looking surprised or revolted, only to give the reader a disgustingly shocking reveal on the next page.

Throughout each episodic chapter, Shuichi grows increasingly anxious about the spirals haunting their home of Kurouzu-cho – understandable, as one of the first ‘victims’ of the spiral is his father, and his mother ends up dying shortly after due to her own delusions regarding spirals. I won’t spoil exactly what happens with them – it’s better to see Ito’s striking art than have it described.

24/11/2020

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Jack Oxford


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