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Uzumaki Volume 1 by Junji Ito

The 1st book in Junji Ito's "Uzumaki" Graphic Novel series

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Will you be dining on the Escargot appetizer this evening?

  • Nov 20, 2008
  • by
I certainly won't. I will never look at anything with a spiral the same way ever again.
Ito has created a great story, even for someone like myself who is not a fan of Japanese animation, and also a beginner in the wide world of graphic novels and chapter books. (or grown up comic books if you prefer that term)

The stories are told from the prospective of a young girl named Kirie Goshima who lives in the town of Kurozu, along with her boyfriend Shuichi Saito. The first two chapters deal with the tragic deaths of Shuichi's parents, his father dying from turning himself into a spiral, and his mother from trying to rid her body of spirals. (Think fingerprints and the cochlea in the inner ear for starters)

Shuichi is convinced that their town is infected with spirals, which is seemingly proven by the odd patterns in the river and the fact that every time a body is cremated, the smoke belches out from the smokestack in a spiral pattern that covers the town before falling into mysterious Dragonfly Pond. After the deaths of his parents, he quits school and becomes a recluse, popping out only in time to save Kirie from one spiral or another.

In the remaining chapters, we meet Azami Kurotani, a beautiful girl who has never been turned away by a boy since she received a crescent shaped scar upon her forehead. But when Shuichi turns her away, Azami becomes fixated on him, and falls victim to the spiral.

Then Kirie's father, a potter, begins to notice changes in the way his clay behaves when fired in the kiln. His everyday plates and bowls begin to twist and warp into unusable shapes, and he becomes transfixed by his work until Shuichi realizes what is happening and steps in to help Kirie.

Next is a love story of two youths whose poverty stricken parents have declared war on each other, and refuse to allow the young lovers to see each other. Just as the spiral seems to twist in upon itself forever, so does unrequited love writhe about the hearts of Yoriko and Kazunori.

In the last chapter, the spiral steps it up a notch and enters the realm of the truly bizarre, when Kirie discovers that her own hair has been infected, and begins a life of its own. Surprisingly, this causes her friend Sekino to become jealous of the attention Kirie is getting from being led around by her hair. Some people will do anything for attention, and Sekino finds a way to compete with Kirie while Shuichi tries to find a way to save her.

I found this volume to be extrodinaryly entertaining, and am already buried deep within Volume Two. With the subtle horror and fast paced storyline, these books are a great read for young adults and old adults alike.

A simply fascinating study of how a mundane pattern can awaken from non-existence and possess an entire town, this is definately an entertaining "Food For Thought" piece that will cause you to wake up and take notice of all the patterns within your own life. Quite enjoyable, all in all.

Uzumaki Volume 1 by Junji Ito

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review by . June 22, 2010
The graphic novel 'Uzumaki' is alright if you'd like a mildly scary read, but for readers who expect something more than mild, or something well-executed, I wouldn't recommend this graphic novel.      It is passable in terms of its core idea- an everyday pattern one sees in day-to-day life becoming evil and possessing others. However, the execution style lacks the 'creepiness factor' needed to really make a horror story out of a mundane concept.   …
review by . June 25, 2010
   Horror mangas released in the US are not popular at all. Shuji Ito's Uzumaki is only one of the few that has been translated and released commonly at book stores. This manga not only has a creative story but contains some very detailed artwork on every page. Alhtough it is more disgusting then scary, like other reviewers mention, I don't hink it could possibly be made any more creepy. I was pleased with the story and reread the book over nine thousand times.
Quick Tip by . June 22, 2010
I have nothing but good to say about Junji Ito's skill as an artist and an author. His nightmarish images haunt me to this day (and definitely in a good way.)
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I want to thank Everyone for welcoming me back! :) I'm here to stay folks, my sabbatical on writing reviews is over and I'll continue to review for Lunch. It's great to be back, too! Thanks again for … more
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Product Description
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...
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ISBN-10: 1569317143
ISBN-13: 978-1569317143
Author: Junji Ito
Genre: Japanese Horror , Graphic Novel
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC; 1 edition (October 2001)
Date Published: (October 2001)
Format: Paperback: 208 pages, Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
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