Uzumaki: Spiral into Horror by Junji Ito

Genre: manga/graphic novel

I read it as a(n): hardback

Length: 653 pp

Her Grace’s rating: 1 out of 5 stars

In a small town in Japan, spirals start to take over, make people go crazy, turn them into weird snail people or contort them into bizarre spiral patterns themselves. Through it all, there are a couple main characters (whose names I’ve already forgotten) that navigate the scary and frankly gross and gory world they find themselves inhabiting. 

I read this because my daughter begged me to. She loved it. But she loves manga. I do not. This didn’t change my opinion. If there was an actual point to this story, it went over my head. There was no explanation for why the spirals did what they did or where they really came from. So I was confused because all I could think was, “Whyyyyy?”

The main characters had basically zero development or growth. They just drifted from crisis to crisis and tried to survive. When new characters were introduced, which was in nearly every chapter, it seemed that they served no other purpose than to die. I mean, these were the reddest of the redshirts. They say hi, then die in some brutal, gory, awful way. 

Granted, the art was great and made me feel physically ill a few times, so I guess that means it accomplished what it set out to do? As someone who can’t draw a convincing stick figure, I’m always impressed by story told through art. I just guess I prefer my art less grotesque, or for the violence to have a purpose.