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Uzumaki - Junji ItoFollow

#1 Dec 10 2011 at 1:13 AM Rating: Good
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I know there are a few fans of dark and horror manga here, so I thought I'd recommend one I just finished recently. Uzumaki by Junji Ito. He's quite a prolific author, but having read many of his stories this is easily the best.

The story concerns the inhabitants of the small Japanese town of Kurôzu-cho as they become obsessed by the occurrences of natural and artificial spirals around them. The result of this obsession is a slow transformation into something other than human, leading to a gruesome, realistically-depicted death.

And it avoids my biggest pet peeve in horror: stupid characters causing easily avoidable tragedies. There are no teenagers running into the haunted woods for a **** romp. There is no old lady who opens up the door to the zombies to rescue her dog. There is no government agency trying to master a dark force they clearly can't control.

Edited, Dec 10th 2011 1:13am by Allegory
#2 Dec 10 2011 at 9:36 AM Rating: Decent
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Sounds quite interesting, thanks for the tip!
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#3 Dec 11 2011 at 4:32 PM Rating: Excellent
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Having really weird sensations of deja vu reading through the first chapter. I might have read this before. Or it reminds me of something from Lovecraft (which is weird, as I've only read a few Lovecraftian short stories). I'll have to put in a few more chapters before it'll click into place for sure.

Edit: Hmmm, the first couple of chapters seemed familiar and the one with the snails too, but if I read this before it must have been years ago. I don't remember most of it.

Edited, Dec 11th 2011 6:15pm by LockeColeMA
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#4 Dec 12 2011 at 12:38 AM Rating: Good
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I've read this before, it's pretty good.

ETA: I'm not surprised, Locke. It is kind of Lovecraftian, now that I think about it.

Edited, Dec 12th 2011 1:39am by IDrownFish
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#5 Dec 12 2011 at 8:30 AM Rating: Good
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I think I'm much too desensitized, or the standard is much too low. Either way, was an interesting read. Nice and short. Took me two or three pages to realize that it was left to right instead of right to left.
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#6 Dec 12 2011 at 9:22 AM Rating: Excellent
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Allegory wrote:

And it avoids my biggest pet peeve in horror: stupid characters causing easily avoidable tragedies. There are no teenagers running into the haunted woods for a **** romp. There is no old lady who opens up the door to the zombies to rescue her dog. There is no government agency trying to master a dark force they clearly can't control.


I've gotten to around chapter 14 or so (out of 20?). There are a lot of dumb moves here.
1. Kids in the lighthouse continuing up the stairs after seeing charred corpses.
2. Teacher crushing the snail peoples' eggs
3. Not leaving the town after several crazy things happen. Seriously, take your pick. Most obvious being "after a typhoon blew down your house and all the ones around it." Instead, the family moved into a dilapidated old row house that made them grow spiked spiral warts. G-freakin'-G. And it wasn't under 5-6 typhoons were trapped that the town was inaccessible; they could have left after that first one.

There's also a lot of bad luck though, so the outcomes seem to not be the fault of some of the characters.
1. Wormhole girl's scar turned into a spiral wormhole that sucked her up.
2. Medusa's hair killed her, but would attack if she had cut it (like it did to Kirie).
3. Crazy boy's family just kinda went nuts and couldn't be saved.
4. If a crazy typhoon becomes fixated on you, that's pretty much tough luck.
5. Original slug-kid became a slug. Never really explained.
6. Jack-in-the-box became one after death. Granted, he was an annoying git and deserved to die.
7. Pregnant women were all infected by mosquitoes and gave birth to monster babies. Likely didn't have much choice in the matter, though they did actively choose to drill people for blood and suck it out.


And lolgaxe, I'm not sure how you think it's pretty tame, unless you only read the first couple of chapters. There's a lot of blood and guts later on, and lots of creepy stuff. It's not the most disconcerting series I've read, or as f*cked up as Franken Fran, but it's definitely a good dose of horror and psychological.
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#7 Dec 12 2011 at 3:20 PM Rating: Good
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LockeColeMA wrote:

3. Not leaving the town after several crazy things happen. Seriously, take your pick. Most obvious being "after a typhoon blew down your house and all the ones around it." Instead, the family moved into a dilapidated old row house that made them grow spiked spiral warts. G-freakin'-G. And it wasn't under 5-6 typhoons were trapped that the town was inaccessible; they could have left after that first one.


They actually do try to leave at one point, later in the series. And I assume people have been trying to leave earlier offscreen. It doesn't work.

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7. Pregnant women were all infected by mosquitoes and gave birth to monster babies. Likely didn't have much choice in the matter, though they did actively choose to drill people for blood and suck it out.


I'm pretty sure they weren't in their right mind at the time, and if they were normal wouldn't think "I'm going to take a drill to a random person and suck out their blood in order to feed my monster unborn infant."

Likely not their choice.



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