Uzumaki

Book 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…)

Book 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…)

Book 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…)