Uzumaki, Spiral into Horror (Vol. 1)

by Junji Ito | Graphic Novels |
ISBN: 1421513897 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 8/25/2010
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I first heard of this manga trilogy from the TV Tropes entry here; it intrigued me enough to buy the trilogy at the local bookstore AND to put the live-action film version, Spiral on my Netflix queue. [The film was definitely creepy, and up to a point was faithful to the manga, but it had to omit quite a bit of eeriness-buildup, and in the end I didn't find it as disturbing as the manga.]

The story opens with high-school girl Kirie meeting her old school friend Shuichi, a young man whose father has started behaving very oddly. Shuichi has been commuting to a high school in another town, and claims that whenever he returns home he's more and more aware of something wrong in the village - he even tries to get Kirie to run away with him. But they stick around - and soon begin to notice just how weird things are getting. Shuichi's father is obsessed with spiral patterns, from snails to whirlpools, and his obsession turns deadly; then others in town become obsessed in different ways, all having to do with spirals. More people die, in increasingly gruesome and grotesque ways, and others appear to go mad, drawn to spirals themselves and compelled to draw others into the same obsession. Kirie and Shuichi try to cope with their family members' torment while attempting to figure out what's going on and if there's a way to stop it... but it doesn't look good!

There's an extra story at the end of volume one in which the author explains - with delightfully dark humor - his investigations into spirals.

This is the first volume. The trilogy:

Uzumaki: Spiral Into Horror, Vol. 1
Uzumaki: Spiral into Horror, Vol. 2
Uzumaki: Spiral into Horror, Vol. 3

[Edited to add: if you enjoy this series, you might be interested in the funnier-and-also-much-more-horrible Gyo, a 2-volume set. But you'll need a strong stomach!]

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, September 21, 2011
I'm offering this three-volume series for a book ray. [See the forum thread here.]

The series consists of three trade paperbacks weighing about 24 ounces total, something to keep in mind when estimating postage costs. [US participants can get postage estimates at the USPS site.]

Bookray instructions:

When you receive the books, please journal them, and PM the next person in line for their address so you'll have it ready when you've finished the books.
Note: even if you've sent books to that person before, please PM them before mailing this one, to confirm that the address is correct and that they're able to take on a bookray book at this time.
Try and read the books promptly - ideally, within one month of receiving them. (If you expect to take longer, you can request to be put at the end of the list. If you find you're swamped with other books when the person before you contacts you, you can ask to be skipped, and then let me know whether you'd like to be moved down the list or dropped entirely. If you receive the books and find it's taking longer than you'd planned to get through them, I'd appreciate an update in the journal entries, just to let me and the other participants know you haven't forgotten it.)

When you're ready to pass the books along, please add your comments about each book and indicate where you're sending them, either through a journal entry or through the controlled-release-note option using your country/state/city as the location. If you find that you're having problems contacting the next person in line, or don't think you can manage to mail the books as originally agreed, please let me know; I'll be glad to try to work something out.

Participants, in mailing order:

hyphen8 [HI - USA]
k00kaburra [CA - USA]
AKSarah [AK - USA]

Journal Entry 3 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, September 29, 2011

Released 11 yrs ago (9/29/2011 UTC) at Nashua, New Hampshire USA


The Uzumaki trilogy is on its way to BCer hyphen8 in Hawaii, to kick off the ray; hope you all enjoy it!

Journal Entry 4 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Saturday, October 15, 2011
Received today - took a quick look and maybe you should have done this as a book spiral! ;)

I'll get to these as quickly as I can but at the moment they're ganging up on me: I just got another ring book yesterday (for a ring I signed up for more than a year ago) and I'm still finishing the ring book that arrived the previous Thursday (signed up last month).

I might cheat & read these in-between reading the others. :p

Journal Entry 5 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Monday, October 24, 2011

Released 11 yrs ago (10/24/2011 UTC) at Honolulu, Hawaii USA


Sure enough, I opened the first one to look at it, and got sucked into the spiral: even though I hadn't read the ring book that arrived before these, I ended up reading all three, one after the other in one afternoon!

Fascinating, beautifully drawn, gruesome and sometimes downright disgusting: the horrors just keep piling one on top of the other as things get worse and worse in the isolated and spooky little town of Kurōzu-cho. There's a reason why Kirie has such a perfect thousand-yard-stare in the color plate at the beginning of book 1. If the movie was half as creepy, I'm not sure I'd want to watch it alone..

I confirmed k00kaburra's address, so this will be headed to California on Monday, probably by boat. Hope it doesn't get sucked into a whirlpool! :P

(Oh, and yes, *that* would induce me to cut my hair: I always did want it to curl a *little* but there's such a thing as too much of a good thing.)

11/16/11: the vagaries of media mail: a box mailed on 10/31 to Hesperia, CA arrived on 11/15...but this book and its companions were mailed to San Jose, CA a week earlier (10/24) and haven't arrived yet. :(

Update 11/24/11: k00kaburra says this finally arrived.

Journal Entry 6 by k00kaburra at San Jose, California USA on Saturday, December 10, 2011
Oh, I forgot to update these books when they arrived! I'm so sorry!


I read this in October 2011 and wrote the following:

The small Japanese town of Kurozu-cho has become infected with spirals. At first, it was mostly harmless, like whirlpools in the water and dust devils in the breeze. But then the spirals began infecting people. Kirie, the pretty teenage narrator, and her boyfriend Shuichi are the first ones to notice the spiral effect when Shuichi's father becomes obsessed with the shape. He begins collecting anything with a spiral pattern on it – snail shells, kimonos, ceramics, rolls of tape, and spiral-shaped incense – and stares at his collection for hours, ignoring his family and work. When his family tries to intervene, Shuichi's father becomes 'one with the spiral' through a grotesque, horrible death. Sadly, his death is only the first of many, as the influence of the spirals spread throughout Kurozu-cho.

Why spirals? Who the heck knows! In this first volume, there's absolutely no explanation given for why the spiral shape suddenly becomes an evil force destroying the residents of the town. It's very episodic: Kirie introduces us to a character, Shuichi identifies them as a spiral victim, and then the new character(s) die in a gruesome, spiral-themed manner. Kirie's narration is oddly distant for someone at the heart of every event, but then, she doesn't understand what's going on any better than her readers. Her detachment contributes to the surreal, unbalanced atmosphere of Uzumaki.

Junji Ito's art really makes the stories work. Images that would look simply absurd when drawn by other artists become chilling and disturbing here. They aren't quite gory – very little blood is spilled in this book – but it's very creepy and strange. The simplicity of black and white allows to create detailed, intensely intricate panels.

Horror isn't for everyone, especially stories this bizarre and violent, but for fans of the genre Uzumaki is definitely worth checking out. If you are a fan of movies like the The Ring or the stories of H.P. Lovecraft, I think you'll enjoy Junji Ito's nightmarish little spirals.

Journal Entry 7 by k00kaburra at -- BookRing, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA on Saturday, January 7, 2012

Released 10 yrs ago (1/6/2012 UTC) at -- BookRing, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA


sent on to AKSARAH!

Journal Entry 8 by AKSarah at Fairbanks, Alaska USA on Thursday, January 26, 2012

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