by Junji Ito
Third and final book in the Uzumaki series; I have previously reviewed Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 .
The storm at the end of the second volume of Uzumaki was only the beginning of a series of hurricanes to strike the Japanese town of Kurozu-cho. With each storm, the town grows more isolated, and it is now completely cut off from the rest of the world. Rescue workers and reporters come to the town to find out what has happened, only to become trapped and unable to leave as all the exits 'spiral' back into the city center. Kirie and her family are forced to move into the ramshackle rowhouses that dot the town because only these dilapidated structures survive the onslaught of the storms. As the buildings grow increasingly crowded by the remaining survivors, the ugliest aspects of humanity begin to take over...
The ghastly conclusion of Uzumaki is a chilling, disturbing set of stories. Cannibalism, murder and mayhem reign supreme. Some of the scariest new characters are a trio of children who are found gagged and tied to wooden stakes. A reporter named Chie, newly arrived from outside, frees them – only to have the children immediately try to kill her. The murderous brats run wild, terrorizing the town for no reason other than that they can! Very Children of the Corn.
The stories here are as random and episodic, as they have been throughout the series. The novelty of the spiral has worn off, though, so the action seems to be winding down when it ought to be spiking up toward a dramatic conclusion. When the final chapter arrives, it's disappointing. At least, I found it lacking, although I can't really discuss it without venturing into spoiler territory. Suffice to say, given how the previous chapters had been narrated I expected a very different sort of ending. The whole spiraling effect – what triggered it and why it happens – doesn't get much of an explanation, which is also a little frustrating. It's a weak ending for what has otherwise been a very entertaining horror series.
3.5 out of 5 stars
To read more about Uzumaki Vol. 3, buy it from an independent bookstore or add it to your wishlist click here.