This 3-in-1 omnibus is the first time Junji Ito’s late-’90s horror series “Uzumaki” has appeared bound together in English.
The story centers on Kirie and her boyfriend, Shuichi, who live in small Japanese town where the residents are slowly being driven mad by their obsession with spiral shapes and eventually die in strange and gruesome ways — leaving the young couple, to attempt to make sense of the odd occurrences.
“Uzumaki” begins with chapters focusing on new characters and interrelated short stories explore the town’s mysterious connection with spirals. From swirls in the sky to the the patterns in fingerprints, the characters all become entranced with this mysterious shape as they begin to notice its occurrence in the natural world. As the plot progresses, the story becomes more interconnected, with Kirie and Shuichi being what ties each character arc to a cohesive whole.
Although author Ito is deeply rooted in the horror genre, most adult readers will find the horrific elements somewhat tame compared to other modern media within the genre — though some of the gruesome deaths are rather inventive. The work is not so much spine-tingly horrific as it is psychological, and it’s mysterious intrigue will surely captivate readers.
Bound in a hardcover and featuring 12 color pages in the front and back, the artwork is superb and highly detailed with Ito’s distinctly gloomy aesthetic. Most readers will find “Uzumaki” an enjoyable page turner, but it may not possess enough serious scares for diehard horror enthusiasts.