Friday, July 11, 2008


Uzumaki: Spiral into Horror 1 is an account of the gruesome events that take place in a Japanese town that is cursed by horrific manifestations of spirals. If you’re asking yourself: “What the heck is so horrific about a shape?!”…Trust me when I tell you that after reading this book, you’ll never look at spirals in the same way again. The story is told from the point of view of Kirie Goshima, an inhabitant of the town who watches in dismay as spirals wreak havoc on the lives of those around her including her boyfriend (Shuichi) and his family.

In the first chapter, Shuichi becomes concerned when his father suddenly develops an odd fascination with spiral-shaped objects (i.e., snails, pottery, water spirals, etc.). This obsession gradually blossoms into an uncontrollable mania that expresses itself physically in some pretty disturbing ways. For instance, when Kirie visits Shuichi’s home to deliver a spiral bowl, Shuichi’s father shows her how he is able to stick out his tongue and roll it into an obscenely large and juicy spiral. Shuichi’s father eventually meets a ghastly demise that would make him the envy of carnival contortionists everywhere.

Each subsequent chapter features yet another tale of an unfortunate soul haunted by spirals…A mentally disturbed woman who tries to rid herself of the spiral in her inner ear (her cochlea) with a pair of scissors…A potter whose work suddenly begins to take on strange spiral patterns and the faces of dead people…and so on.

Author Junji Ito is a masterful horror storyteller with a knack for creating creepy atmosphere and bizarre plotlines. Other popular works by Ito include: Tomie…the story of an eternally youthful and beautiful high school girl whose admirers are obsessed to the point of murdering her; and GYO…fish and other sea creatures with mechanical legs attack Japan.

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