Manga / Tomie

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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 in the series 

  • 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: Another Face ( 1999)
  • 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, nine feature films (one of them being a spliced-together, short lived TV drama released as a feature), and some additional media and merchandise. A hardcover omnibus version of the manga was released in late 2016.


Tomie provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: It's not what you think, though. Tomie gets the boy to refer to her as his mother and does some very questionable things, like kissing him on the lips and generally seeming to seduce him. He even has night terrors as a result.
  • Alpha Bitch: Tomie taunts and belittles her enraptured victims, which usually ends in their snapping and killing her. Ditto to girls immune to her charms; she's fond of calling them nothing, nobody, stupid, etc.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: It is impossible to find an example of a Tomie that isn't outright evil. They're all depicted as part of a Hive Mind with the same memories and personality, which justifies it.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Chie and Miki seem to be the only women being taken over by Tomie that actually enjoy her.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: One intereptation of Tomie is the living embodiment of lust and/or abuse and all the negative emotions that go along with it.
  • Arc Villain: Takagi, Tomie's teacher, in the first volume. Once the chaos starts, he studies Tomie's regeneration and then turns to facilitating her spread.
  • 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. Also, Tomie's hair goes from slightly wavy to completely straight.
  • Asteroids Monster: Trying to cut up Tomie will only leave you with more Tomies in time, as her pieces can regenerate into complete bodies.
  • Beauty Mark: Tomie's distinctive mole below her left eye.
  • Berserk Button: Tomie doesn't handle being criticized well, and will tend to act hysterically, which causes her involuntarily to start to spawn a new Tomie from her head. Another thing that angers Tomie is ignoring her.
  • Bi the Way: Only in the movies. The original version from the manga is rather 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:
    • Aside from her appearance while Tomie is regenerating from severe damage, it has been shown that Tomie spontaneously creates spawn through parthenogenesis when stressed. A lump will form in a Tomie somewhere that becomes a head and attempts to free itself from the parent Tomie.
    • Chie's face when she puts hairs all over it. And Miki's whole body being rapidly overgrown with hair, even through her eyes and mouth.
  • Break the Cutie: Almost every person Tomie latches onto is cute or attractive, and if they survive, they're almost always completely psychologically broken. It's especially evident with Satoru in the manga chapter "Boy". His father falls for Tomie and abandons Satoru and his mother, and Satoru grows up to be a multiple felon who's eventually executed. That said, Reiko (from the first chapter) and Tsukiko seem to have escaped the worst of their encounters with Tomie.
  • The Butler Did It: Well, the maid.
  • Charm Person: Tomie can make anybody fall in love with her and uses this to her advantage to spread destruction and chaos. The problem is that the people she charms are almost always driven to kill her violently...which just ends up keeping her alive.
  • Cloning Blues: The Tomies. Sometimes they get along fine, sometimes they act like a Hive Mind, while other times they seem to hate each other actively and will even manipulate people around them into offing each other on their behalf.
  • Corrupt the Cutie:
    • In "Boy" Tomie corrupts a young boy to do her bidding, eventually turning him into a killer.
    • Several chapters feature people becoming "infected" by some part of Tomie, from her blood or tissues to even her hair. These people either become physically overwritten by Tomie or are simply destroyed.
  • Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: Basically, one can tell if someone's under Tomie's influence by this.
  • Demonic Possession: People can become "infected" with Tomie and subsequently turn into clones of her, and attaching her hair to one's scalp, while ultimately fatal, allows the affected to converse with Tomie and be influenced by her.
  • Driven to Madness: The end result of exposure to Tomie for male characters in the manga, and for pretty much everyone who gets too close in the film series.
  • Driven to Suicide: More than one of Tomie's thralls has taken his own life, either at her direct command or simply through madness.
  • Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: Tomie desires jewelry and other luxury items.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: In some Spooky Photographs, Tomie has eyes on her neck or in her hair, and they've shown up when she's upset at being called a monster.
  • Fan Disservice: The times when Tomie is in the nude are always connected to circumstances that are anywhere from eerie to horrifying, as she's usually either at some point in regenerating, some sort of monstrous inhuman state (such as the Tomies in the lake), or fully regenerated and ready to move on. One chapter ends with dozens of nude Tomies, having just finished regenerating, walking through the middle of a remote town with only passing glances at the people in their homes watching them go by.
  • Fate Worse Than Death:
    • The poor girl subjected to Tomie experiments, which make her a mixture of earthworm and Tomie heads and limbs.
    • The male model who comes across Tomie, whose face is irreversibly, inoperably scarred for the sin of standing up for himself...and who eventually is badly burned trying to kill a mass of partially grown Tomies.
    • The poor folks who receive an organ transplant from Tomie- the organs will take over and eventually turn the patient into Tomie.
  • Farmer And The Viper: Helping or showing kindness to Tomie will only bring misery.
  • For the Evulz: We're shown Tomie seems to have plenty idea that what she does is wrong; she just does it for amusement.
  • Fingore: In one chapter, a Tomie's severed fingers regenerated into five of her and gang up on "Pinky" because she didn't regenerate as fast as the others.
  • French Cuisine Is Haughty: Once Tomie is well enough to have a say about what she's eating she'll start demanding fancy food, usually foie gras and caviar.
  • From a Single Cell: While fire can kill a Tomie for good, if even a small amount of tissue remains it will regenerate into a new Tomie or even worse, several new Tomies.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Considering that Tomie always regenerates without clothes, unavoidable really.
  • Glamour Failure: Photographs reveal that Tomie isn't a normal human. She strongly dislikes having her picture taken when she knows this, although in the first appearance of the photos, she seems unaware of the results until she sees them.
  • Grand Theft Me: Tomie can inflict this on anyone who has some of her cells implanted into that person's body. So far this seems to work only on women.
  • Greed: Despite being a humanoidAbomination, Tomie is a materialist who desires valuables. These include: killing and replacing a rich man's daughter, arranging for the death of a rich couple that adopted her, and marrying an older man for his money, then driving him to suicide.
  • The Grotesque: The main character of Little Finger, Hiroya, is a very ugly man with a good heart who is abused by his evil brothers. While Hiroya resists Tomie's advances, he shows sympathy to a deformed offspring of Tomie, helping her out. The Tomie, however subverts this, revealing at the end she's part of the Hive Mind and gloats over tricking Hiroya, leaving him to die.
  • Healing Factor: An extreme example reaching to From a Single Cell levels. It's virtually impossible to kill her permanently, because any part of her body can turn into an entire new version of her. Burning may work, but even it's hit or miss because of how extreme her regenerative capabilities are.
  • Hive Mind: While they do not act in unison under one intelligence, all of the Tomies share the same personality and memories, which is best shown in Little Finger. Despite this, the Tomies are known to fight among themselves either For the Evulz or not willing to share even with a Hive Mind.
  • 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, and often an advantage, as she can duplicate and spread from wounds.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Tomie may appear to be an extremely beautiful woman, but 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.
  • Informed Attractiveness: As happens so often with characters who are supposed to be incredibly beautiful, Tomie falls into this. She pretty much looks like every other woman Junji Ito draws with longer hair and a Beauty Mark.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Tomie kills and manipulates people into killing For the Evulz, and she always survives...even if she's killed.
    • Takagi is still at large based on what we know.
    • Hiroya's brothers are overjoyed at their fathers death, and imprison and starve their brother, ultimately framing him for Tomie's murder. Everything indicates they completely escape justice.
  • 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. Even then, if the burning isn't thorough enough, new Tomies can still grow from those parts, as seen in "Pinkie".
  • 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.
  • Lethal Harmless Powers: Tomie's healing powers can sometimes become outright dangerous to others, such as when a part of her body has become attached to or implanted in a normal human being. It will either kill the victim as the Tomie regenerates from that part, or it will transform the victim into another Tomie.
  • 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 whom become her slaves.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Tomie manipulates pawns to do her murders for her rather than committing violence in person. However, a Tomie who's still small and not far along in its growth process may be attacked directly, implying that Tomie is willing to get her hands dirty when there's no possibility of a threat or retaliation.
  • Mugging the Monster: Tomie is attacked many times by people who have no idea what they're up against.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: Tomie is the regeneration type taken to its logical extreme. Even when submerged in acid, it only slows the regeneration process and prevents her decapitated head from dissolving. The only way truly to kill Tomie is to burn her to the point that the tissue is completely carbonized; anything less than that and she can still regenerate.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Tomie herself usually doesn't actively kill anyone, but the mere sight of her has some effect on everyone she interacts with that incites an obsessive murderous attraction towards her, or a want to do anything she says.
  • Not Quite Dead: Even when apparently dead, Tomie's body will eventually revive itself and regrow any lost tissue unless it is thoroughly burnt.
  • 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.
  • Sadist: Tomie enjoys human suffering, finding it amusing. She also goes out of her way to ruin people's lives, often out of petty grudges such as people not being attracted to her.
  • The Scapegoat: An elderly couple have sinister rumors surrounding them due to all the children they adopted dying mysteriously. It reaches the point where orphanages simply refuse to send them any more children. It is actually due to their live-in maid poisoning all the children so she can get their inheritance. In the depths of despair they find a beautiful young lady passed out on their lawn whom they promptly adopt. This being the manga that it is, that girl is Tomie.
  • 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 fueled by background radiation.
  • The Sociopath: If such a description can apply to something that merely looks human.
  • Spooky Photographs: Introduced in the "Photograph" chapter, revealing that photos of Tomie show her face and head monstrously distorted. This becomes a recurring plot device. One chapter even has an oil painting variant as the artist, mad with desire for Tomie, paints her as she appears in photographs. Tomie doesn't take this well at all.
  • The Tell: Depending on their age, the Tomies have the same general facial features, but it's the mole that's the true giveaway.
  • Two-Faced: When Tomie's true nature is shown, it will be by showing a second developed face attached to her normal one.
  • There Can Be Only One: If multiple Tomies turn up, they often start trying to kill each other, and even regenerated Tomies urge their victims to dispose of their "original" bodies lest they heal.
  • Vanity: Tomie is very proud of her looks and a key part of her taunts and ridicule is about how much her beauty is above everyone else's.
  • Villain-Based Franchise: The various Tomie works revolve around her and the havoc she creates.
  • 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.
    • In Pinkie/Little Finger, a disfigured Tomie spawn is seemingly abused by the others when a man who spurned Tomie earlier rescues her, the disfigured Tomie-spawn immediately reverts to a regular Tomie form revealing she's part of the Tomie hive mind and gloats it was all a game to manipulate him. Tomie then leaves the man to die.


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