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Uzumaki Manga Series Profile and Story Summary

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Cover artwork for Uzumaki Volume 1, horror manga by Junji Ito

Uzumaki Volume 1

© 1998 Junji ITO / Shogakukan Inc.

Title:

Uzumaki: Spiral Into Horror (English)
Uzumaki (Japanese)

Creator:

Author and Artist: Junji Ito

Publishers:

Volumes:

3 volumes

Manga Genres:

Content Rating:

OT – Older Teens, Age 16+ for disturbing violence and bizarre death scenes[br More about content ratings.

About the Manga:

Originally serialized in Weekly Big Comic Spirits magazine from 1998 - Uzumaki is a three-volume horror series by Junji Ito. Acclaimed by critics, Uzumaki was nominated in 2002 for an Eisner Award in the Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material category. A full-length feature film version of Uzumaki was released in Japan in 2002.

About the Author / Artist:

Junji Ito was born on July 31, 1963 in Gifu-ken, Japan. Influenced by the horror manga artistry of Kazuo Umezu (creator of The Drifting Classroom), Ito went on to create and submit his first short horror manga story to Gekkan Halloween (Monthly Halloween) Magazine. This first story won honorable mention in Gekkan Halloween's Kazuo Umezu Award competition, which was also judged by Umezu.

Ito continued on to greater success as the creator of several acclaimed horror manga stories, including Tomie and Uzumaki, both of which have been adapted into live action horror films.

Story Summary:

A small seaside town turns upside down when its occupants become mysteriously obsessed with spirals. How can something so small and insignificant become the catalyst for an entire population's descent into insanity? Only Junji Ito, Japan's master of horror manga knows, and he's not telling until you get to the last volume of Uzumaki.

Uzumaki is a series of short horror stories that have one thing in common: the spiral. Each story can stand alone, but also works cumulatively to build suspense as the spiral's grip on the villager's sanity tightens and more people, young and old, succumb to its hypnotic allure.

The spiral incidents, each more bizarre than the last, are narrated by Kirie, a teenage girl who lives and goes to school in Kurozu village. At first, she's skeptical when her childhood friend Shuichi begs her to leave town with him because he senses the evil surrounding them. Later, as the madness claims her classmates, her family members and even herself, she begins to realize to her horror that it may be too late to escape the supernatural spiral snare that is choking the sanity and life out of her hometown.

Main Characters

Kirie Goshima
Kirie is a teenage girl who lives in Kurozu-cho, a small seaside town in Japan. She's also the narrator of Uzumaki, and the stories of the villagers' descent into madness are seen through her eyes. At first, mild-mannered Kirie is skeptical about the spirals' power over her fellow villagers, but soon enough, her friends, her family, and soon even she herself gets pulled into its vortex of terror.

Shuichi Saito
Shuichi is Kirie's childhood friend and confidante. Generally intellectual and rational, Shuichi is one of the first villagers to recognize that something strange is going on in Kurozu-cho, perhaps because his parents are one of the first victims of the deadly spiral obsession.

Mr. and Mrs. Saito
Shuichi's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Saito used to enjoy a peaceful, middle-class life in Kurozu-chu. But lately, Mr. Saito has been spending all his time collecting and obsessing over anything with a spiral design or shape to the point where he's stopped going to work and stopped, well, behaving like a normal person. Mrs. Saito tries to shake her husband out of his fixation, but her attempts to restore normalcy to her home ends in tragedy.

Mr. Goshima
Mr. Goshima is a potter, and is Kirie's father. We first meet him when Mr. Saito commissions Mr. Goshima to create a spiral ceramic plate, but eventually, even this humble craftsman and his artwork becomes infected by the spiral obsession.

Azami Kurotani
Pretty and popular with the boys, Azami is Kirie's classmate. Azami's beauty attracts all the boys, but given that she has all the suitors she could ever want, she's a bit jaded by the attention. When meets Shuichi and finds that he's immune to her charms, she too is infected by an obsession that exacts a heavy toll upon all around her.

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