I will admit to not being very interested in this series when I first started my research into horror manga. It appeared on every “Best horror manga” list, when I read Gyo by the same author I received comments and messages asking me to read this series and when I was book shopping I kept finding various pretty editions of it. So, after months of being haunted by spirals I decided to give in and give it a read and…Wow.
This series is about a town that is haunted by spirals. It is told as a collection of short stories featuring characters who live in this town. All of the stories feature spiral shapes in some horrific way, but it starts to form a more overarching plot as the series draws to a close.
Even though I wasn’t sure about this series to begin with I can honestly say this is probably the best horror manga series I have read so far. Don’t get me wrong, it is bloody weird, but it is amazingly so. Junji Ito does strange brilliantly and even though I enjoyed Gyo by him, this series was 100 times better.
What I enjoyed the most about this series was the cleverness of it. You got a real sense of madness while you were reading it. Even though it has its gruesome moments those are not the ones that stick with you, it is the clever trippy moments.
I absolutely ploughed through this manga. I got through three volumes in one night. I was hooked.
Generally I am a big fan of horror with a theme. It reminded me a lot of Dark Water by Koji Suzuki, but where that novel was subtle with its water references in stories at times, Uzumaki was obvious every time. I really enjoyed trying to guess what the next spiral theme would be. I was usually wrong. It never once occurred to me that your fingerprints are spirals, snails are spirals and butterflies have spiral mouths.
If you are on the hunt for a brilliant horror manga to read, or even a quick horror read in general to break up you sunny summer reads, I would highly recommend you pick this one up. I know spiral shapes are an odd theme for horror but trust me on this one, you will not regret it. Just push your questioning thoughts aside and give this series a read. It will rock your world.