Junji Ito

Goodreads review: Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu

Junji Ito's Cat Diary: Yon & MuJunji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu by Junji Ito
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If there’s anything the manga-reading public can agree on, it’s that Junji Ito is one fucked-up dude. He’s a writer of horror manga, and is probably most famous for Uzumaki, a spiral-obsessed mind-fuck of popped eyeballs and extreme scoliosis. (I reviewed its three volumes here, here and here, if you’re still unsure about his oddity.)

His work is normally known for extreme violence and inventive ick and squick, so when I found out he’d written a series about cats – yep, cats – I figured I had to give it a go. (more…)

Goodreads review: Uzumaki (volume 3)

Uzumaki (volume 3)Uzumaki (volume 3) by Junji Ito
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This, the final volume of Junji Ito’s coiling narrative, is perhaps the most consistent, storywise. It’s just a shame it’s also the least satisfying.

The previous two collections shocked, either from the gore or the nerve-jangling weirdness. This one shocks to a certain extent, but it also rides over into silliness territory. That whole whirlwind gang thread? The bullying children? Oh, come on. (more…)

Goodreads review: Uzumaki (volume 2)

Uzumaki (volume 2).Uzumaki (volume 2) by Junji Ito
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The second volume of Ito’s spiral-obsessed work is wilder, less controlled than the first. It’s not as tightly wound or slow-burning as the first collection, relying instead on gross-outs and increasingly frenetic artwork to communicate the smalltown weirdness within.

There’s an overall story – that Kurôzu-cho is in the thrall of a spiral-natured curse – but it’s really only loosely addressed in this collection of relatively unrelated tales. We see what’s going on mostly from the viewpoint of the already-seen-some-shit Kirie, (more…)

Goodreads review: Uzumaki (volume 1)

Uzumaki (volume 1).Uzumaki (volume 1) by Junji Ito
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’d heard about Ito’s manga a long time before I saw any of it. But from what I’d read – once you bypass the “hey, Japan is crazy weird, right?” stuff, I knew it was for me. Finally reading has confirmed this: Uzumaki is a small-town world of strange fixations, a la Twin Peaks, except it’s the spirals that aren’t what they seem, not the owls. (more…)