An Early Look at Uzumaki Vol 2 by Junji Ito Manga Review

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Title:  Uzumaki: Spiral Into Horror Vol 2

Author:  Junji Ito

Publisher:  VIZ

ISBN:  9781421513904

May Contain Spoilers

The creepy spirals and their behavior altering abilities are back!  Kirie and Shuichi dodge death at every corner, fighting off a jack-in-the-box, a swarm of mosquitoes, and even a hurricane!  Why doesn’t anybody else seem to notice that things aren’t quite right in KurĂ´zu-cho?

Poor Shuichi is looking ever more gaunt, as he saves his girlfriend, Kirie, time and again from rampaging spirals.  This selection of stories was creepy, and all of them gave me frightened little goosebumps.  I felt that ‘Mosquitoes’ and ‘The Umbilical Cord’ were the weakest entries, not because they weren’t scary, but because they were the least plausible.  Kirie’s off-hand comment that she didn’t know what happened at the hospital after she fled the horrifying acts that took place there may have emphasized how tightly the townspeople are held in the grip of whatever evil is stalking the town, but I would think that the murder of that many people would have at least made the newspapers.  The hurricane made the national news broadcasts!

Casting that little gripe aside, Junji Ito manages to once again turn simple, every day things into objects of terror.  A lighthouse that sends out a bright, swirling light, that slow classmate who makes you lose in gym, even annoying mosquitoes are elevated to ghastly, menacing threats.  The atmosphere, as Kirie is presented with yet another set of mysterious circumstances, and as she waits with nervous anticipation for the next horror to play out, is chilling and offers lots of scary thrills.  The illustrations are frightening, a mix of creepy expressions and gruesome gore. 

I never would have thought that I’d recommend a horror series about malevolent spirals, but I hadn’t read any of Junji Ito’s works before.  Now I’m starting to think a book about terrible smells (Gyo) might be worth checking out, too, and that’s pretty surprising, because I didn’t think anything could ever smell scarier than a rottweiler with a bad case of gas.

Uzumaki Vol 2 will be in bookstores in December.  Add it to your Christmas list!

Grade: B+

Rated for Older Teen

Review copy provided by Viz

2 thoughts on “An Early Look at Uzumaki Vol 2 by Junji Ito Manga Review

  • November 4, 2007 at 8:08 am

    uzumaki is good, since (i think) it focuses on both the psychological and visual aspect. gyo is just really plain sick and gross :/

  • November 4, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    That’s a bummer to hear.  I was hoping it was more of the same.  I will probably wait to pick it up at a TRSI studio sale, if that’s the case.

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