Otaku USA Magazine
Spiral Madness: Why We Can’t Wait for Adult Swim’s Uzumaki

The stars of Uzumaki

Adult Swim announced its adaptation of Junji Ito’s Uzumaki a bit ago, and — understandably — it’s taking a bit of time to cook. New footage shows that it will absolutely be worth the wait, though — so we’re just as hyped as ever.

We’re more than happy to wait ’til the show’s new 2022 release date, and there are lots of reasons for that. And yes, that’s aside from Junji Ito being awesome and us wanting to see more of his stuff get adapted.


The Animation Looks Gorgeous

The upcoming Uzumaki anime

We’ve only gotten brief looks at Uzumaki in motion, but what we’ve seen is absolutely stunning. It really does look like the manga has come to life right there on the page. For an artist like Ito, that’s a big positive.

A lot of what makes Junji Ito’s work appealing is the art itself — in particular how sudden hyperrealism creates a printed “jump scare,” in a way. While live-action and animated adaptations of his manga have had their own merits, nothing yet has quite replicated that aspect of his stories. Uzumaki might be the one to do it… and even if it isn’t, it’s an inventive adaptation.


The First Complete Adaptation

Uzumaki, live action

A live-action Uzumaki film came out in 2000, the year following the manga’s creepy finale. But as it was in production while the manga was running, it has a different (and much more sudden) ending. We won’t wreck the manga’s actual ending for you, but suffice to say you do find out why Kurouzu-cho is afflicted with this twisted curse.

Assuming the animated adaptation sticks to the manga, this will be the first time we see the actual ending play out onscreen. And if you’ve read the manga, you know that’s going to be a heck of a thing to see realized.


It’ll Help Us Forget About Quibi’s Tomie

Tomie in anime form

Uzumaki isn’t the only Junji Ito manga to get film adaptations. His OG series, Tomie, got several live-action movies. And for a hot second, it looked like we were going to get a series, as well. Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi platform announced that a new adaptation would be part of the service’s short-form lineup. But, with Quibi now a part of Roku, we have no idea where the bite-sized horror series stands.

Shows like the anthology anime Junji Ito Collection have given us something to watch in the meantime. But knowing that there’s more Ito on the horizon takes the sting away a little. Even if we don’t get new Tomie, we still get to look at the twisted beauty of Uzumaki.

Adult Swim’s Uzumaki adaptation starts sometime in 2022.

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.