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Jason Thompson's House of 1000 Manga - Uzumaki


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phoenixphire24



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 259

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:17 pm Reply with quote
I absolutely love Uzumaki. I picked it up as soon as it came out and it's become one of my favorite horror manga. I'll definitely check out the movie sometime. Thanks for recommending it!
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Fronzel



Joined: 11 Sep 2003
Posts: 1321

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:03 am Reply with quote
I like a lot of things about Uzumaki (the ending is amazing spoiler[although Ito had already used that "lovers' bodies entangle in a spiral" idea], but there are also plenty of annoying things about it, like how silly the jack-in-the-box zombie is or how the whole series of hospital stories doesn't really fit with the spiral theme at all (it's more a story of witches or something) and simply cuts off with Kirie saying "and then I ran away".

The movie was pretty good, but I didn't like the implication that the "spiral force" was deliberately offing people who investigated it. The manga does a good job of creating that Lovercraftian atmosphere where humans are ignorant, irrelevant creatures and the spiral putting hits out on people doesn't work with that at all.
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Unholy_Nny



Joined: 22 Jun 2005
Posts: 622

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:09 am Reply with quote
That, uh, eyeball screw thing was... quite gross. (Yet totally awesome)

Uzumaki is near the top of my "to read" list for horror manga, but I don't read much horror manga...
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Maigraith



Joined: 25 May 2010
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:57 am Reply with quote
man, after I read this manga, I kept noticing spirals all the timeXD
Seen the movie as well...I got a kick out of it, seemed more funny than the manga though not sure how much of that was intentional.
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tuxedocat
He started itHe started it


Joined: 14 Dec 2009
Posts: 2133

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:25 am Reply with quote
The featured manga page with the (startlingly Van Gogh-ish) spiral sky and the ominous black tower instantly reminded me of Lovecraft's Haunter in the Dark, which dealt with a spiral staircase in a tower.

Oddly enough, and fitting with your initial statemants about the thin line between horror and humor; The Haunter in the Dark was part of a series of stories written by Lovecraft and Science Fiction author Robert Bloch, where each author would set the other author as the main character (who invariably dies a gruesome death at the end). Both authors considered this extremely amusing, and even complimentary! -well, I thought it was funny... Very Happy
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classicalzawa
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 19 Jan 2008
Posts: 5021

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:27 am Reply with quote
Uzumaki is a great manga, I have the second unflipped editions personally. I've gotta say, the artwork is just perfect, every spiral on every panel is clear to see and only adds to the creepiness, if Ito hadn't gone the extra mile to make his artwork so good, I don't think the manga would have been as genuinely creepy as it is.

However, I found GYO to be more funny than creepy. Tomie was pretty damn creepy too though, it's a shame that DarkHorse stopped publishing Museum of Terror after only 3 volumes (way to get a license from someone else then not publish any more than they did). But between Uzumaki and Tomie, I see a sort of bizarre creativity I don't think I find with American horror (like in Tomie spoiler[drinking her once she fell into the sake vat? WEIRRRD!]).

And reading the thing about not calling them zombies reminded me of an short exchange from Shaun of the Dead, greatest zombie comedy ever! (though Tokyo Zombie is quite good too):
"Are there any zombies out there?"
"Don't say that!"
"What?"
"That..."zed"-word"
"Alright alright. Are there any though?"
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taster of pork



Joined: 11 Nov 2008
Posts: 399
Location: American Empire

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:34 am Reply with quote
I've been looking for some good horror mangas. I'll give Uzumaki a try.
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RDespair



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 228
Location: California

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:54 am Reply with quote
One of my favorite manga series of all time. It's a shame that more of his work hasn't been translated - I was able to pick up a couple other books of his while I lived in Asia and they were quite good (Hellstar Remina & Lovesick Dead).
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Tokjos



Joined: 13 May 2006
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:20 am Reply with quote
Uzumaki is Ito's best work, in my opinion. Many of his other stories seem gross for grossness sake, while Uzumaki manages to keep an interesting story going.

It was translated into swedish last year, in an two-book collection.
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malvarez1



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
Posts: 720

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:00 am Reply with quote
I read volume 1 of this series. I liked it, but I never got around to reading the other volumes.
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Sewingrose



Joined: 11 Jan 2011
Posts: 518

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:14 am Reply with quote
I read this when a friend loaned me his volumes. I dug it, especially since I read it on a night where my Insomnia kicked in. Though we then had an argument about the ending. I liked it more then he.
(Mild spoilers, but really not at all)
spoiler[It's a different tone then the first two books, and reads like a distinct separation then the first two collection of events.
The disaster survival storyline makes sense poetically and in story for the increase in the spiral's power, but it's a very different emotional feeling it has. Less the dread of being in a town where no one can react to the bizarreness around them, and the heroes are the only ones who notice to a full on apocalyptic movie feel. ]
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ladyvoid



Joined: 21 Sep 2008
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:01 pm Reply with quote
Uzumaki could just be a more horror-stricken take on Gurren Lagaan - with how it ends, it can definitely link up in that nature. Hear that, fanfic writers?
I kid, I kid. Very Happy
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jojothepunisher



Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 460

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:20 pm Reply with quote
Wow, that opening chapter was like.......what that old man did to himself was absolutely creepy. It has being a while since I was last creeped the F out of me.

But I found myself laughing more than I think I normally would have if I hadn't read Jason's thoughts on this. But definitely original to use "spirals" as the theme of horror.
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RDespair



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 228
Location: California

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:58 pm Reply with quote
malvarez1 wrote:
I read volume 1 of this series. I liked it, but I never got around to reading the other volumes.


IMO...

Volume 1 is great
Volume 2 is okay
Volume 3 is the best
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driverstart



Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 214
Location: America

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:03 pm Reply with quote
Oh boy, this will be a long post.

I have a very mixed reaction to Uzumaki as a whole, but let's start first with that plug for the movie itself. The movie was bad. The acting is terrible (Shuichi was a robot, can't get that emotionless without being a robot); the movie had no clear ending, it just stops without giving some sort of possible answer (that's what you get for making a movie before the entire series finishes); it's not really scary and it was more funny if anything; the movie glosses over many events that happened in the manga and doesn't provide really substance for why should be there; and movie really moves slowly. I think Uzumaki could work more as a TV series than a movie.

For the series itself, I really feel indifferent about it. It's sort of a collection of short stories that all take places in this one town and just so happens that Kirie happens to wander in to them. All of them should have some sort of a relationship with spirals, but not all of them do. The hospital story, while freaky, barely has anything to do at all with spirals. Same with Jack-in-a-box kid, the weird romance story, and a few others. It feels like the author had a bunch of great little one-shots, but decided to squeeze them into this story just for the heck of it. While they may be good and all, they just seem out of place and don't really real consistent with the spiral theme going on. Shoehorned is right.

Also, a bunch of these stories don’t feel scary at all or even really add anything on. For a horror series that’s structure the way it is, it’s not really good. Back to the hospital story with the babies and all, it is scary I will grant it, but it doesn’t add anything on. It happens and goes on for two chapters; it’s promptly over then with no real impact on the story. Sure, some chapters are like that, like The Scar, but they felt like were connected to the story at least since they related to the theme of spirals, obsession, and such. In fact, with a little bit of tweaking, the hospital and babies storyline could be a completely separate story by itself and you would have never known it connected to Uzumaki at all!

Finally, let’s get to some nitpicking and personal feelings. I really don’t understand why no one left this town, at least Kirie, when s**t was going down. I sort of get why they couldn’t leave towards the ending, but I don’t stand why she couldn’t have left earlier. Hell, the Scar or hair chapter alone should have sent her packing. Sure, “But then there wouldn’t be a story then” would be a response I expect, but I don’t really accept that in this case. Just present me an explanation of why Kirie doesn’t leave town for good in the story. I don’t care how bad it is, just give a reason why she is still there. Also, I hate the ending. I was so not satisfied by what I saw, but more baffled and confused. I won’t say anything so I end up spoiling anything, but the way it ended makes the narration utterly nonsensical to me. Who the hell is the narrator talking to considering the ending?! Last, I can’t connect to these characters at all. Their actions and how they handle things that go on in the story don’t really make much sense to me (Then again, characters in horror stories have been known to make idiotic decisions) and I don’t think they ever really developed enough to fully get their characters down. Sad really.

However, I do say that the artwork looks good and there are some decent stories in there that really add to the experience and atmosphere that was built up. Still, I think I’m going have to stick with The Enigma of Amigara Fault. It’s the only Ito story to really scare me on a deep level. To wrap up, Uzumaki is okay, but it wouldn’t be in my top 5 horror mangas.
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