Franchise: Tomie

Tomie is a horror manga by Junji Ito that predates the well-known Uzumaki and The Enigma of Amigara Fault.

Tomie is an unusually beautiful girl with wavy hair and a distinctive mole below her left eye. Structured as an anthology, the manga revolves around Tomie as she starts a new life in one city after another, influencing new people, making new friends... and new enemies...

It becomes evident that she's up to something, but there's no way to stop her. Not even death can bring her down. And it's been tried. Several times.

Films:

  • Tomie (1999) — The original film opens with the police investigating the murder of high school girl Tomie Kawakami (Miho Kanno). They learn that in the months following the crime, nine students and one teacher have either committed suicide or gone insane. The detective assigned to the case (Tomoro Taguchi) learns that three years prior another Tomie Kawakami was murdered in rural Gifu prefecture. Other slain Tomie Kawakami's are discovered stretching all the way back to the 1860s, right when Japan began to modernize. The detective tracks down one of Tomie's classmates called Tsukiko (Mami Nakamura), an art student who is being treated for amnesia. She has absolutely no memory of the three-month period around Tomie's death. Meanwhile, Tsukiko's neighbor (Kota Kusano) is rearing a peculiar baby-like creature. Over the span of a couple weeks, it grows into a beautiful teenaged girl with orange eyes responding to the name of Tomie Kawakami.
  • Tomie: Replay (2000) — Tomie: Replay contains elements of the manga chapter Basement. The film begins with a six-year-old girl being rushed into a hospital ER with an unusually distended stomach. Doctors begin to operate and find a disembodied head, Tomie's head, alive and growing inside the girl's belly. The head is placed in a tank of alkaline solution in the basement of the hospital for further observation. Soon after, all five of the hospital workers present during the operation mysteriously leave the hospital or disappear entirely.
  • Tomie: Re-birth (2001) — An artist named Hideo is painting his girlfriend Tomie (Miki Sakai), but she dismisses it as a poor painting and he kills her in a jealous rage with an art knife and his two friends Shunsuke and Takumi help him bury her. When the three friends are at a party Tomie shows up and the artist kills himself in the bathroom. Tomie latches onto Shunsuke and his mother kills Tomie and they cut her up together in an unnatural ecstasy. They then burn her head, which has already started to regenerate and has some crude limbs for locomotion. The portrait of Tomie allows for her regeneration, as her supernatural blood mixed with the pigments. Takumi's girlfriend Hitomi gets possessed by Tomie, in a rather viral fashion. In a fit of jealousy, the two Tomies try to eliminate the other. Hitomi doesn't want to become a monster, and so they decide to commit suicide. However, when at a waterfall, about to commit suicide, Tomie's head grows on the side of Hitomi's neck next to her head. They all die and then Takumi's sister comes and throws flowers into the water. A small facial mole can be seen directly beneath the sister's left eye, suggesting that, because Takumi gave her the portrait of Tomie, she was also possessed by her. Thus, the sister is the newest Tomie.
  • Tomie: Forbidden Fruit (2002) — In this Series Fauxnale, Tomie Hashimoto (Aoi Miyazaki) is a dreamy teen who writes homo-erotic horror fiction in which she imagines herself as Ann Bathory, vampire. Introspective and lonely, she is picked on and bullied by her classmates at school, and lives alone with her loving, but distant widower father, Kazuhiko Hashimoto. One day, while admiring an ornate, jewel encrusted cross necklace in an antiquities shop, Tomie meets a strange, beautiful girl (Nozomi Ando) with a mole under her left eye. The mysterious stranger says her name is Tomie Kawakami. The girls become fast friends (with heavy lesbian undertones), but it soon becomes clear that theirs was not a chance meeting. Tomie Kawakami has an agenda, and it involves Kazuhiko.
  • Tomie: Beginning (2005) — This straight-to-video movie is a prequel to the rest of the series, shot on HD, and based on the first Tomie manga by Junji Ito. It deals with the chain of events that occurred right before the first film takes place. Tomie (Rio Matsumoto) shows up as a transfer student at a high school, quickly enchanting all the males, and raising the ire of the females. As is often the case in the Tomie films, she fixates on one solitary girl whom she befriends, with overt lesbian overtones. She displays all of her typical powers, and it isn't long before the murders and madness begin. In this movie we are introduced to the teacher who promises to kill her no matter how many times he has to do the "favor" as well as the eye-patch-wearing boy of the first movie in the series.
  • Tomie: Revenge (2005) — As you can tell, Another home-video release shot on HD, this one partly based on the Tomie manga "Revenge" by Junji Ito. This time round, Tomie is played by Anri Ban. The story revolves around a young, female doctor (Hisako Shirata), and an unidentified naked woman she runs down on the road one night. In her search for the wounded girl (who has a mole under her left eye) the doctor ends up in an abandoned house filled with bodies, madmen and an unconscious girl. Surely Tomie is not too far away...
  • Tomie vs Tomie (2007) — Partially based on the manga "The Gathering." A young man with a past begins work in a factory, where he attracts the amorous attention of a mysterious woman who lurks behind the scenes. He is a relatively unique young man, perhaps a genetic one-off, in that he feels no particular attraction to Tomie. This of course intrigues Tomie, and she begins to become obsessed with him. Soon, he is caught in a vicious struggle between two rival Tomies. And neither Tomie will die.
  • Tomie: Unlimited (2011) — Tsukiko (Moe Arai) is a member of the photography club in high school. On her way home with friend Yoshie (Aika Ota), Tsukiko runs into older sister Tomie (Miu Nakamura) who goes to the same high school. Tomie is also with Toshio (Kensuke Owada) - a guy Tsukiko has a secret crush on. Tsukiko is consumed with fierce jealousy over her sister, but at the same time is intoxicated with Tomie's beauty. Tsukiko keeps pressing the trigger on her camera. At that time Tomie tells her sister that she knows what she is feeling. When Tsukiko stops taking pictures, Tomie is crushed by a steel cross that falls from a building under construction. One year later, Tsukiko still suffers nightmares over her sister's death. Slowly, her daily life returns to some sense of normalcy. On Tomie's 18th birthday, her parents and Tsukiko stand around a birthday cake in her honor. At that time someone knocks on their door. Tomie stands in the doorway with her beauty shining even more brightly.

The franchise encompasses a 3-volume manga, eight feature films, a short lived TV drama, and some additional media and merchandise.


Tomie provides examples of:

  • Alpha Bitch: Tomie is most certainly this. She taunts and belittles her enraptured victims which usually end in them snapping and killing her. Ditto to girls immune to her charms, calling them nothing, nobody, stupid, etc.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Tomie is apparently the living embodiment of lust and all the negative emotions that go along with it.
  • Art Evolution: The Tomie series starts out looking a bit rough around the edges, but smooths out into Junji Ito's familiar style as it progresses.
  • Asteroids Monster: Trying to cut up Tomie will only end up with more Tomies.
  • Beauty Mark: Tomie's distinctive mole.
  • Berserk Button: It's not a good idea to call Tomie a monster.
  • Bi the Way: Only in the movies. The original version from the manga is extremely contemptuous of other females, but Movie!Tomie has a few Schoolgirl Lesbian romances under her belt as well. Interestingly, she's a lot more gentle with her female lovers and less outwardly bitchy and demanding, at least at first, than with the boys.
  • Black Widow: An incredibly strange example, where the title character does, indeed, go after the money like a typical Black Widow... Except she gives men an odd feeling of wanting to kill her.
  • Body Horror
  • Break the Cutie: Is there no male (and occasional female) Tomie HASN'T broken?
  • Charm Person: Oh boy, Tomie is the prime example of this trope. She can make anybody fall in love with her and uses this to her advantage to spread destruction and chaos.
  • Cloning Blues: There is no hive mentality binding one Tomie to another - they will even manipulate some poor schmucks into offing each other on their behalf.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: In one story Tomie corrupts a young boy to do her bidding, eventually turning him into a killer.
    • There's also the story where, after receiving a kidney transplant from Tomie, a girl slowly becomes more beautiful (and more vain) until she eventually becomes Tomie herself.
  • Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: Basically, one can tell if someone's under Tomie's influence by this.
  • Demonic Possession: All it takes is Tomie's HAIR to take over another person's body and turn it into another Tomie
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: In some Spooky Photographs, Tomie has eyes on her neck or in her hair. Also when upset at being called a monster.
  • Fan Disservice: Turning an entire group of extremely beautiful nude girls into Nightmare Fuel should earn you a badge.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: The poor girl who is turned into a monster who is half earthworm and pretty much all Tomie heads, which have been grafted all over her body (including one HUGE one).
    • The male model who comes across Tomie, whose face is irreversibly, inoperably scarred for the sin of standing up for himself.
      • Or the poor folks who either receive a hair or organ transplant from Tomie, who will eventually turn into Tomie.
  • Fingore: Tomie's fingers once regenerated into five of her and ganged up on "Pinky".
  • French Cuisine Is Haughty: Once Tomie is well enough to have a say about what she's eating she'll start demanding foie gras and other fancy food.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Considering that Tomie always regenerates without clothes, unavoidable really.
  • From a Single Cell
  • Glamour Failure: Photographs reveal that Tomie isn't a normal human. She strongly dislikes having her picture taken.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Subverted with Tomie. Prolonged exposure causes the victims to go crazy, and Tomie's repeated taunting is the berserk button that leads to her ending up a gory mess, yet her constant regenerative abilities means that such circumstances are only a minor setback.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Tomie definitely qualifies. As beautiful as she is, there's still something incredibly off about her...
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Possibly subverted as Tomie, who's only borderline human, sometimes resorts to this to speed up regeneration.
  • Implacable Woman: Tomie always comes back. ALWAYS.
  • Kill It with Fire: Burning Tomie's remains is the only sure-fire way to dispose of her for good. Otherwise, as little as a drop of her blood can regenerate into a new Tomie.
  • Lack of Empathy: The root of pretty much all of Tomie's Alpha Bitch-ness and assorted villainous acts. As explained in "Mansion", she doesn't see other people as people. This also explains why she has plenty of thralls but never an actual boyfriend: she enjoys the affection, but after a while she gets bored and it's time to find a new toy.
    • Having no empathy for the other characters does make a bit of sense, considering she's not actually human. From her perspective they're just another type of animal. However, the fact that the various different Tomies rarely get along could be due to this, though it may just be that her species is inherently territorial.
  • Live-Action Adaptation: A total of nine films. It's worth noting that Tomie's repeated 'returns' allow for the casting of a different actress each time.
  • Mad Love: Tomie's admirers eventually succumb to this; most notably Daichi and her teacher, both of which become her slaves.
  • Manipulative Bitch
  • Mugging the Monster
  • Nigh Invulnerable: Tomie is the regeneration type taken to its logical extreme. Even when submerged in acid, it only partially stops the regeneration process and prevents her decapitated head from dissolving.
    • Burning her remains does seem to destroy them, though. However, if you miss even a single piece of tissue...
  • Not Quite Dead
  • Off with His Head!: During a freak out a second face sprouts out of Tomie's head. She orders her two thralls to cut the tumor off, but they cut off her head instead. And then the tumor orders them to cut the "original" face off and a few hours later the body starts sprouting a new face.
  • Shapeshifter Baggage: They do give an explanation of sorts for this. During the hospital arc, the doctors attempt to kill her with a radiotherapy machine, but it only accelerates her growth. This implies that Tomie is an extreme radiotroph, capable of converting radiation into mass, and presumably under normal circumstances her regeneration is partially fuelled by background radiation.
  • The Sociopath: If such a description can apply to something that merely looks human.
  • Spooky Photographs: Introduced in the Photograph chapter, and becomes a recurring plot device. One chapter even has an oil painting variant.
  • Technology Marches On: In "Photograph" it takes one accidental photo from the only girl in school who owns a camera to make Tomie lose her cool. How on earth would Tomie cope with everyone owning a camera that can instantly send film and video to everyone else?
    • Then again, it might only work with actual film.
  • The Tell: Every Tomie has the same mole that allows you to tell if someone is a Tomie.
  • There Can Be Only One: If multiple Tomies turn up, they often start trying to kill each other.
  • Villain Protagonist: Well, technically she's the title character.
  • Viral Transformation: One story involves a girl who gets a kidney transplant from a recently killed Tomie. The kidney starts regenerating into a new Tomie and is removed, but Tomie cells are still floating around, and multiplying inside the kidney recipient's body. No points for guessing what happens next.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Whenever someone seduced by her spell tries to kill her, some poor schmuck comes along and saves her, unaware of the endless cycle she has wrought upon her countless victims.

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