UZUMAKI, Junji Ito’s Horror Manga, Is Becoming A Beautiful Series
Japanese culture seems to always be gaining more and more mainstream traction. But regardless of how many Japanese horror films we remake, or how many Dragon Ball episodes we binge, manga is a medium which hasn’t always proved popular with Western audiences. Anime, however, is another matter. Perhaps Adult Swim recognizes this. Maybe, that’s why they’re making an anime series based on Junji Ito’s seminal horror manga series Uzumaki. And it looks glorious.
Haven’t got a clue about Uzumaki? Worry not. Let me pull up its Wikipedia page for you:
The series tells the story of the citizens of Kurouzu-cho, a fictional city which is plagued by a supernatural curse involving spirals. The story for Uzumaki originated when Ito attempted to write a story about people living in a very long terraced house, and he was inspired to use a spiral shape to achieve the desired length. Ito believes the horror of Uzumaki is effective due to its subversion of symbols which are positively portrayed in Japanese media, and its theme of protagonists struggling against a mysterious force stronger than themselves.
Does that sound like a story based around both Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Edvard Munch’s The Scream? I say yes, and I absolutely love that. But I’m not the only one who loves Uzumaki.
In fact, since it was first released in 1998, the manga has been adapted into games for the WonderSwan (Gumpei Yokoi was proud, I’m sure) and also a live action movie. Licensed by Warner Bros. TV Studios and developed by Adult Swim’s Toonami, the new series will be anime rather than live action. It’s scheduled to run 4 episodes. When? That’s when it gets a bit sad.
Hiroshi Nagahama, the series director, has announced Uzumaki has been delayed until October 2022, despite being originally slated for 2021. I’m sad. But I’ll recover, I’m sure, when I see it. It looks amazing.
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