In the spirit of Spooky Season, I had to give my two cents on my favorite horror genre manga series of all-time.
I first noticed this title in a Waldenbooks book store when I was in middle school. I didn't think I would like this series because the artwork threw me off. The art style alone was creepy enough.
During a Secret Santa swap in my high school's Japan Club, this title crossed paths with me once again. My friend, whose nickname was Kurama, loved spooky stuff too and was going to be the recipient of the gift I was getting. During my high school years during our free time, my friends and I would get together and marathon Asian horror movies over the weekends. I knew once I pulled her name out of the Santa hat that I had to get her something worth reading or watching. I picked up the first volume of Uzumaki without thinking about it too much. Before I gave the manga to her at the swap, I decided to read it (as horrible of a confession as that sounds).
I'm so glad I did. I was hooked on the amazing storytelling. I don't know what my middle school self was thinking before. My inner goth was heavily pleased. Since I didn't have all of the mangas on me, I searched and finished this series online without stopping.
This series deals with a town named Kurouzu-cho. People in this town deal with supernatural things in shape of a spiral. Spirals physically appear everywhere, some in more macabre forms than others. Uzumaki literally translates into the word spiral. From the beginning, everything seems to go downhill, like a downward spiral. It's quite beautiful when you think about it that way.
The main character Kirie, is heavily affected by this spiral curse, and it shows in all of the mini stories. She is placed in the wrong place at the wrong time.
My favorite mini story arc has to be Twisted Souls. This part of Uzumaki is probably one of the lightest parts of the whole series. I'm quite a sucker for a good romantic angle, and this one delivers in the darkest sense possible. This story deals with two teens that are lovers, but their families have a huge feud between one another. It's like Romeo and Juliet. Kirie tries her best to find these two kids, as they are in hiding from their crazy families, and help them out when she does find them. Mix the story up with snakes, and it's just sensual in the creepiest possible way.
If you want to piss yourself in terror, the scariest part of the series starts from Mosquitoes and ends at The Umbilical Cord. After reading this arc, I could not sleep for weeks. This story arc made me heavily afraid to get pregnant EVER, especially if I had birth at an Asian hospital. As a story, it works as a form of birth control (you may think that a funny way of putting it, but it's literal in this case. I don't say that about a lot of things). In this arc, Kirie is recovering at the hospital after what happened to her earlier on in the series. She notices these mosquitoes everywhere while in her hospital bed and as she's roaming around the hospital grounds. These obviously aren't ordinary mosquitoes, as they have weird effects on people...especially the pregnant women. The pregnant women aren't acting all that right, and become crazed once nightfall hits. It gets creepier and creepier from then on. I don't want to give away the ending, as it's that good.
Being pregnant again (hello, little kid number two!), I still have the irrational fear that a cursed mosquito will infect me, even though I'm miles away from Japan.
One of my bucket list goals is to work up the guts to finally be able to watch the movie. The movie cover that was made for the live action Uzumaki film is terrifying and reflects the manga series quite well... almost too well. When my friend, Katrina, brought up that she would give the movie a chance due to her ex, I spit out the cider I was consuming at the time. She hates horror movies. XD
Have you ever heard of Uzumaki before? If so, what do you think of this series? Do you think this series has caught your eye? If so, you can read Uzumaki in it's full form here. ^w^
Warning: This series is just like eating Pringles-once you start, it's really difficult to stop.