Otaku USA Magazine
Who Could Junji Ito Be Playing in the Uzumaki Anime?

Uzumaki welcomes Junji Ito to its cast... but as whom?

The Uzumaki anime creeps ever closer, like an eldritch curse waiting to turn your loved ones into literal cinnamon rolls. And we’ve had big news — Junji Ito himself stepped into the booth to record some lines! But who as? That’s being kept very quiet. But we’re definitely looking forward to his dramatic turn.

Considering the majority of the cast has already been announced, we can at least narrow it pretty far down. Here are our wild guesses for the horror manga master’s big role:



We can’t know for sure exactly what the Uzumaki anime will cover — but there’s at least a small chance it could dip into “Galaxies.” This “lost chapter” introduces the astronomer Torino, a friend of one of main girl Kirie’s teachers. Initially, Torino is super jazzed to hear that main boy Shuichi has discovered a spiral galaxy. But then he gets a bad case of the spirals and wants the discovery for himself — a task that gets easier as more such galaxies spring up.

The canonicity of “Galaxies” is dubious at best. That said, Ito only appears to have a couple of lines, and mentions the role is good for him as (he claims) he has problems with enunciation. It’s probably not a spoiler to say Torino gets pretty messed up by the curse. If the story gets a quick nod — in particular surrounding Torino’s demise — that could fit.


Junji Ito

Well before the Uzumaki anime was a glint in TOM the Toonami bot’s eye, there was a live-action adaptation of the manga. And according to it, a certain manga artist is one of Kurouzu-cho’s most wanted criminals. What did he do? We don’t know. But maybe we’ll find out.

It wasn’t a cameo so much as an Easter egg. You can catch Ito-sensei’s mug shot, next to a self-portrait from one of the Uzumaki omake, on a bulletin board. Maybe his obsession with spiral foods awoke the Entity making everyone spin out of control. Actually, come to think of it…

The Entity

The malevolent spiral

Who or what “the Spiral” actually is, is never made clear. But since the Uzumaki anime will be covering more ground than the live-action film did, we may get a hint. And it would really be something if this otherworldly force was voiced by Ito himself.

Throughout the manga, characters feel the compulsion of whatever this entity or force or curse is. In the aforementioned “Galaxies,” Torino hears a voice telling him to fight Shuichi for ownership of his discovery. And it spends a lot of time putting ideas in the locals’ heads, leading them to terrible (and deadly) decisions. Could it be that the “infection” manifests as Good Horror Dad Junji Ito’s voice in your head? Because that sounds rad.

We’ve got almost a year to wait — October 2022 is the new release date for the Uzumaki anime — but we can’t wait to hear how its creator joins in.

Kara Dennison

Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and presenter with bylines at Crunchyroll, Sci-Fi Magazine, Sartorial Geek, and many others. She is a contributor to the celebrated Black Archive line, with many other books, short stories, and critical works to her name.