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Kurôzu-cho, a small fogbound town on the coast of Japan, is cursed. According to Shuichi Saito, the withdrawn boyfriend of teenager Kirie Goshima, their town is haunted not by a person or being but by a pattern: uzumaki, the spiral, the hypnotic secret shape of the world. It manifests itself in small ways: seashells, ferns, whirlpools in water, whirlwinds in air. And in large ways: the spiral marks on people's bodies, the insane obsessions of Shuichi's father, the voice from the cochlea in your inner ear. As the madness spreads, the inhabitants of Kurôzu-cho are pulled ever deeper, as if into a whirlpool from which there is no return...
うずまき 漩涡 Spirála Spirale (French) The Spiral Vortex Whirlpool
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It was pretty good.
Uzumaki is not exactly what I'd consider horror. Like the reader below said, it was more shocking than anything. I also wondered why the people in the town never tried to abandon it in the first two volumes, but you see exactly why they couldn't near the end of volume 3 even if they tried, so...
Speaking of volume three, let me warn any and all potential readers that you may become a little (or in my case, a lot) frustrated with this volume. TBH, the mangaka just seemed to have thrown a bunch of crap together in order to make for a quick wrap up. I was, to say the least, let down in the biggest way. Yeah...it sucked reading it. Also, some rather important events are never fully explained (if even at all), and that annoyed me, too.
On the plus side though, for those of you who are familiar with Ito's work, you know that the guy has a rather macabre sense of humor, so there were actually some eerily funny moments in there as well. I laughed almost as much as I said "WTF? O__o??" while reading this. Also, his artwork is horrifyingly beautiful, as usual, and the overall theme is rather solid. It does feel like a series of one shots, but that was cool. It kind of reads like "Mimi's Ghost Stories," so I didn't mind that.
Overall, this series was pretty good. Not his best work (some of his one shots are amazing), but still pretty good.
... Last updated on June 16th, 2015, 1:05pm
Craziest story I've read, hands down
It wasn't really horror-it was more of the shock (or rather, aftershock) of the entire thing. The spirals and how everyone becomes spirals in the end is the shocking part-the morphing, and the result. It was still clever, though, although it was repetitive for a while. The random ongoings and spirals which popped up somehow or another made it interesting.
How Shuichi's parents were the first to get it is interesting-and in the end, how he was the last one-quite tied up the whole thing. And also...the ending-if everyone became a spiral (or somewhat tangled as one) in the end, what about the guy in the end who cleared the corpses off the road? He was human, not spiral.
I'm wondering...if they had eloped earlier, would they have managed to escape the spirals?!
Ha ha ha
What horror? This was more ridiculous than horrifying.
Bunch of random things happen--all of which are related to spirals.
Everyone pretty much dies, and I think that's pretty predictable judging by the genre and what not. However, such creepy things happen to them in such extreme proportions that I ended up laughing rather getting scared.
I read this back in 6th grade...at night...while everyone else was asleep...I love and hate this story at this same time. It is creepy as shit but it was so good that I finished the entire thing. Honestly it was a horrible move on my end. I'm in 11th grade now and when I see something in a spiral sometimes I still feel like throwing up. So if you want a horror with lasting effects this is the way to go...though I may have mentally scarred myself...hell my fingerprints are all swirls so on days when something triggers an Uzumaki flashback I can't stand to look at my hands...yeah so I officially have semi-issues now because of this manga...LOLZ!
The story 3/5 : It was really good and scary but some things were not fully explained, like why did this town become cursed, and the ending was not good. The only characters you're going to care about are the protagonists, all most all side characters
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
either die or turn into snails
the art 5/5 : beautiful and very realistic, the panels were easy to follow and they show every detailed move, unlike some other mangas were some moves appear out of nowhere *cough naruto cough*.
My only complain is the ending
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
after all the suffering they have been through protagonists shoud have survived somehow.
... Last updated on March 24th, 2013, 11:33am
From the description and the majority of the feedback, this looked like a real horror with a lasting effect... so I held it off. I finally felt like wanting to know more about the spirals, so I read it in one sitting at night.
Turned out to be less than what I thought it would be. The beginning is was pretty good, but then the spirals just began to escalate into ridiculousness that you could even laugh at.
Sure you may look at spirals in a different way afterwards, but don't expect too much.
For a few days after reading it the first time, I saw spirals everywhere and it started creeping me out (in a good way of course.) I don't mind the mild gore in this one because it focuses mostly on the psychological. The best horror and thriller pieces always play with your head rather than just showing you a lot of blood. Now that I'm older, I can appreciate more of it (though I'll never look at a spiral the same way again). Awesome horror manga! ^_^
Clever horror, but disappoints in the end
I thought this series was generally quite clever. The idea of basing the series on the notion that the spiral, a beautiful design which occurs naturally in many places, could become a "force" which steadily draws in everything and devours it, was interesting. Also, the people are drawn well, and the environment and its spirals have a lot of detail. It has a carefully crafted pervasive atmosphere that even the reader can feel, just like the spiral's pervasive presence in the world. I didn't like the gruesome stuff (it's not unbearable, but certainly not for kids), but it is a horror after all. I also thought the lead-in to ending was well done. (When this lead-in starts, the manga sort of shifts from being various short horror stories around one theme to more of an adventure story style, where the events in the chapters connect. I liked this later part better since it was more like an adventure, but those who like more of a pure horror story might like the beginning more.) But the ending was so half-hearted and incredibly unsatisfying--the mangaka didn't even bother to explain the basis of the spiral curse, why it plagued this particular town, or anything. Explaining more will involve spoilers, so read in the box if you're interested:
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
The part leading up to the ending was the best, in my opinion. Making the whole town naturally be built into a huge spiral unwittingly by its inhabitants was really clever, especially since we were made to wonder about why the old houses weren't destroyed and at the design on the old map. And then it turned out there was a path leading underground in the old lake--with a spiral staircase of course. It was exciting to finally find out what was hiding in the lake. And then it turned out there was a whole "spiral kingdom" down there, the source of the spiral curse! I think this was designed well by the mangaka, engaging the reader with the promise of finding out what was causing everything, gradually revealing ever more grand and more mysterious spiral "secrets" which were behind the events: from small individual occurrences with spirals, to the swirling lake, to the whole town's structure, to a near-endless spiral staircase leading down, to an enormous cave full of a giant spiral castle, around a a giant spiral "eye." But then it just ends: "and then Kirie and Shuichi turned into spirals too, and they stayed that way together forever. The end." What a let-down.
It was lacking both in respect to the characters and in respect to the spiral premise of the story. After coming to like Kirie and Shuichi through all the events, I was left thinking, "That's it? Come on, you're telling me after miraculously surviving all the other stuff, they just went poot? They got all the way to the cause of the spiral curse and then just died?? What was the point of them surviving as normal humans to reach the spiral eye then? And the mangaka didn't give any explanation about the spiral curse, even though that's what the manga was about.
Of course, what I wanted was for Kirie and Shuichi to somehow overcome the spiral curse (They did make it all the way to the source, after all!) and escape the town, but I think this manga still could have had a satisfying ending if, after they "died" (became spiral people who just stare at the "eye"), the mangaka had explained the crux of the spiral curse through narration. The "extra story" chapter at the end is the perfect place for that narration, too! (But instead, it's only a oneshot about a spiral event, like in the beginning of the manga.) Without bothering to tell us why the curse was there, why in that particular location, how the spiral underground eye was created, why it would "turn off" and then back "on" over time, why the spiral curse wasn't able to spread and affect other surrounding areas, etc., it just feels like the foundation of the story is missing. Especially after what I thought was a great lead-in to the ending, it's a real let-down. I can deal with the ending not being happy (well, typical "happy," anyway), but an ending lacking the most important part of the manga (an explanation of the spiral curse), really diminished the experience of reading this for me.
... Last updated on January 23rd, 2014, 12:24am
Junji Ito really knows his stuff
First of all, I didn't think there could be anything more disturbing than Gyo until I read this. It's seriously twisted (no pun intended). If you have doubts about this, or think, "Really, what could be so scary about spirals?" well think again. That's what I thought at first, until I gave this a try and wow, it gets under your skin! For example, in one chapter a guy becomes a snail and it's one of the nastiest things I have ever seen drawn. That's another thing. The art is very good and consistent. It's very Edward Gorey-esque and the strong contrast of black and white, the texturing, and the crosshatching with pen and ink is super effective.
The only thing I don't like is how each chapter is its own short story, and the next one doesn't really touch on the previous one. It's just its own separate plot with the spiral. But they do NOT disappoint! The story really does draw you in like a spiral does and I highly recommend it for horror fans!
... Last updated on June 2nd, 2012, 6:00pm
This is the first manga of the horror genre that gave me the chills,it was creepy and beautiful at the same time.I think this manga beats other horror mangas that are just gore, the atmosphere of this manga was chilling and great build up in the stores. You don't realise just how creepy this manga is until the end. When I was finished reading it I was in awe. Must read for all horror lovers.