We continue making our way through Uzumaki, with the volume’s second installment. 

Title: Uzumaki – Volume 2
Written & Illustrated by Junji Ito
Translation by Yuji Oniki
Published by Shogakukan (Japan) and Viz Media (USA)
Publication Date: July 2002

Available from Amazon.com & RightStuf

The Premise

The spiral weirdness Kurozu-cho continues to spiral out of control (no pun intended).

High Points

The book is still amazingly intense, creepy, and atmospheric, things I’m definitely looking for in horror.

Low Points

One of the speed bumps writers of horror have to contend with is the question of “why don’t they leave?”

If the only answer to this question is “because then there’s no story,” you’ve failed as a writer – because then the characters can leave and thus escape, at any time, and thus the characters aren’t in this situation because they’re trapped and need to find a way to escape – they’re in this situation because they’re stupid. The writer needs to give a physical, psychological, or supernatural method to keep the main character from leaving – since the characters have every possible incentive to leave (they’re scared, their life is in danger, etc.). This volume doesn’t give that – which is made worse by the fact that the volume ends with a typhoon approaching Kurozu-cho.

Content Notes

Contains nudity, body horror, and violence.

Scores

Originality: Tehe concept is still fairly novel. However, the cause of the horror is much more telegraphed then the last volume. It’s less like “Oh, there’s something messed up about X, I don’t want to see it,” and more like “Oh, the root of the problem is X.” While this hurts the Emotional Response as well, it hurts the originality. 4/6

Story: In spite of the problems in the Low Point and Originality, these are intensely written horror stories, just not as good as the last volume. 4/6

Artwork: Just as good as last volume. 5/6

Characterization: Honesty, the characterization is about as one note as it was last volume. 3/6

Emotional Response: While this story is still creepy and unnerving, the shock is lessened by how telegraphed some of the reveals are. 4/6

Flow: 6/6

Overall: This is an unfortunate step down from last volume, in terms of intensity and tone. 4/6

In total, Uzumaki – Volume 2 gets 30/42.

October Horror Manga Reviews

October 1st – Domu: A Child’s Dream by Katsuhiro Otomo
October 8th – Berserk: Volume 2 by Kentaro Miura
October 15th – Berserk: Volume 3 by Kentaro Miura
October 22nd – Uzumaki: Volume 1 by Junji Ito
October 29th – Uzumaki: Volume 2 by Junji Ito
Halloween – Uzumaki: Volume 3 by Junji Ito