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Manga / Uzumaki

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"This is Kurôzu-cho, where I grew up. I would like to share with you... the strange events that took place here."

Kurôzu-cho, a small Japanese seaside town, is plagued by mysterious happenings. A man commits suicide in his own bathtub. A student's scar becomes a black hole. People start transforming into giant snails.

What do all these events have in common? The spiral. A suicidal man's body is contorted into a spiral. The student's scar becomes a spiral in its transformation into a black hole. The "snail people" are marked by their spiral-shaped birthmarks, which slowly transform into shells. To make matters worse, the small island town is completely cut off from the rest of the world. All ships coming and going are sunk by whirlpools, all air travel is disrupted by violent tornadoes, and the tunnel that leads to the outside world becomes an endless trip.

So begins the terrifying three-volume manga by Junji Ito (creator of The Enigma of Amigara Fault), centering upon a supposed curse placed upon the town.


Not to be confused, in any way, with the main character of Naruto. Or Spiral Energy. Or Spiral: Suiri no Kizuna, even though "Uzumaki" means spiral.

A live-action film adaptation exists that has a large portion of the story left out, although this is partly due to the manga still being incomplete when the movie was made. There are also two Licensed Games for the WonderSwan.

[adult swim] announced on August 30, 2019 a four episode anime mini-series adaptation animated by Studio Drive and co-produced by adult swim and Production I.G USA, and is set to premiere on Toonami in 2021. The teaser can be seen on their channel.


Tropes associated with Uzumaki:

  • Action Survivor: Shuichi and Kirie directly confront and fight off several of the spiral's manifestations, despite being average human beings with nothing that really makes them distinctive.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Shuichi. In the manga, he's scrawny and sickly pale to the point of some of his panels bordering on disturbing to look at, his clothes practically dangle off his body, the circles under his eyes are dark enough to almost look like bruises, his hair is shaggy and messy, and he's always got this bleak expression of pure hopelessness and exhaustion like he can barely keep his eyes open—but in the movie, he's tanned and athletic-looking and has well-groomed hair, his eyes have no dark circles, his cheekbones look perfectly normal, and his expression is more often than not a neutral one. This said, Shuichi wasn't exactly ugly per se in the manga, just astonishingly disheveled-looking.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In the movie, Kirie's hair (which was ginger in the manga) is black.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Kirie, who was serious and often irritable in the manga, is made far more fearful and less independent. Shuichi, who was severely mentally ill and fearful in the manga, is made perpetually emotionless and abusive.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: In the manga, Kirie was a fairly average young woman with an average social life and an upper middle class family. In the movie, she was extremely poor, bullied at school, and lived with her drunkard father, as her mother had died when she was young. To make matters worse she was also the constant victim of Shuichi's manipulative and abusive tendencies since she was a child.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: There's no proof that Shuichi is any smarter than many of the other manga characters; he's just psychic. However, in the movie, his psychic powers are nowhere to be seen, but he's a genius. Also completely inverted with Kirie, who was seemingly of average intelligence in the manga, but is shown as The Ditz in the movie.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Shuichi is a recurring antagonist of the movie, as Kirie's psychological/emotional abuser since childhood.
  • Adapted Out: Chie, Azami, Kazunori, Yoriko, Wakabayashi, Tanizaki, Okamoto, and Mitsuo do not appear in the movie at all.
  • Age Lift: Shuichi and Kirie, who were both eighteen in the manga, were made respectively twenty-something and fifteen in the movie.
  • Alien Geometries: Of a decidedly spirally sort.
  • Alpha Bitch: Azami, though she treats Kirie as a Secret Keeper.
  • And I Must Scream: Practically the entire series, but special mentions go to...
    • Kirie is telling the story as a memory, which implies she (and possibly Shuichi) is still conscious... Even though they were frozen in time.
    • The people in the row houses who become so cramped that they become tied together like knots
    • A relatively mild example, but the people affected by the Lighthouse who are unable to walk in straight lines, experience constant vertigo, and end up walking around in a circle until they die
  • Apocalyptic Log: Kirie keeps narrating even after she's frozen in time. The scroll found hidden in the wall of the row house may also have been one of these.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Given what some people witness directly, their refusal to accept the possibility of later events is stupidity. Lampshaded in chapter 7 when Kirie's jack in the box tells her that the jack in the box kid is going to come back to life and kill her, so Shuichi decides to go to the graveyard and stake the corpse before it can.
    Kirie: So you believe what that clown said?
    Shuichi: Kirie, we're here because we believe a toy clown spoke to you at all.
  • Arc Symbol: Spirals.
  • Arc Words: "It just pierces through my ears!"
  • Ascended Extra: Shiho, who only appeared for short bits of three chapters in the manga, had more screentime than Shuichi in the movie.
  • Attempted Rape: Azami to Shuichi in chapter 3.
  • Attention Whore: Sekino from the "Medusa" chapter.
    • On a larger scale, the Spiral itself seems to be one too. The fact that spirals draw a person's eye into their center seems to be a major part of the story's underlying philosophy, and Shuichi suspects that the Underground City beneath Kurozu-cho is angry at humanity for ignoring it.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Some people are turned into snails, while others turn into much worse things.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: The main antagonists of Chapter 5, "Twisted Souls", are the families of the Star-Crossed Lovers Yoriko and Kazunori, who do not want them to be together. The family members appear haggard, prematurely aged and worn-out from living in the poverty-stricken row house, while Yoriko and Kazunori themselves are fresh-faced, young and healthy, despite living in the same conditions.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished:
    • Kirie is also infected with the godawful, demonic spiral warts later in the story. They're on her feet, but are very small, and cause no problems, and then disappear completely.
    • Also played straight with Kirie's burns, which are severe enough to have her hospitalized, yet mostly miss her face and heal without leaving scars.
    • Likewise, we only hear about her eating the flesh of the snail-people in vague narration, while everyone else is depicted in full, disgusting detail.
    • Averted, however, with female characters other than Kirie (particularly, and brutally, with Azami). It's more that nothing permanently disfiguring happens to the protagonist, at least until she finally gives in to the Spiral.
  • Beneath the Earth: The final chapter.
  • Bespectacled Bastard Boyfriend: Shuichi in the movie, who is extremely manipulative and makes a hobby out of trying to convince Kirie she needs him there to protect her from everything just because he finds it amusing. He really gets what's coming to him.
  • Big Bad: The City of Spirals is the entity creating the nightmarish spirals that are causing mass death and destruction.
  • Bizarrchitecture: In the later chapters of the book, Kurozu-cho becomes a single long rowhouse. Beneath it, the protagonists find an enormous, abandoned Underground City made entirely from spirals. In the latter case, there is significant overlap with Genius Loci.
  • Blessed with Suck: Kirie's and Sekino's spiral hair has a mind of its own and very much wants to live. Also, it drains the life of the user. Shuichi's psychic abilities also warrant a mention, as while they save his life (and often others' lives), they're shown taking a massive toll on him, emotionally and mentally.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The movie—while the manga is hardly easygoing as far as Gorn goes, the movie contains gallons more actual blood.
  • Body Horror: A huge part of the story. Particularly freaky are the human hedgerows inside the houses after the town succumbs to the curse.
  • The Cassandra:
    • Shuichi. The problem is that he mostly only talks to Kirie.
    • Kirie, who frequently dismisses Shuichi's predictions and snaps at him for making them, eventually suffers the same fate when she tries to warn the people at the hospital about the blood-sucking pregnant women.
  • Canon Foreigner: Reporter Ichiro Tamura, Shuichi's colleague and rival in the movie.
  • Catchphrase: Pretty much every character will at some point utter the words "That sound! It just pierces through my ears!"
    • Also Shuichi saying "X is contaminated by the Spiral" (or some variant of that phrase).
  • The Cavalry: Horrifically subverted when a large fleet of ships gets close to Kurozu-cho, only to be swept up in a Mega Maelstrom within a matter of minutes.
  • Cellphones Are Useless: An early example, given that the story is presumably set in or around its original publication year of 1998. Once the town goes Closed Circle, cell phones are shown not to work there.
  • Central Theme: All of the episodes revolve around the idea obsession is destructive. While spirals are involved, the obsession takes many forms, such as the need to be the center of attention or the pursuit of unattainable goals or people.
  • Charm Person: Kirie's and Sekino's spiral hair has a hypnotic effect.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In the "Mosquitoes" chapter, Keiko's cloth-wrapped item. It's a hand drill. In the same chapter, Shuichi's bug spray.
  • Compressed Adaptation: In the film, chapters 3, 5, 9, and 10-19 were all cut entirely, and many chapters that were not cut were reduced to one or two short scenes.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: The town is built on top of an impossible spiral structure, which proceeds to cause increasingly horrible things to happen before absorbing the entire town. It has done so countless times before and will do so countless times again.
    • A deleted chapter hints that the curse of the spiral pattern extends to, or possibly funnels down from, a cosmic level, manifesting in the shapes galaxies take as they spin through space.
  • Creepy Child: The children who create and ride tornadoes definitely fall into this trope, although they were presumably normal prior to being orphaned and influenced by the Spiral.
  • Death by Adaptation: Mrs. Goshima, who isn't confirmed deceased in the manga until chapter 19, and Shuichi, who doesn't die in the manga, but is instead frozen in time inside the Spiral, presumably for centuries.
  • Declaration of Protection: Shuichi to Kirie in the movie. Note that this does not occur in the manga, despite popular belief that it did.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The 2021 anime adaptation is completely in black-and-white to match the manga.
  • Demoted to Extra: Chie, who is a central character in volume 3, has less than two minutes of screentime in the movie.
  • Despair Event Horizon: For the overwhelming majority of the story, Kirie seems to be willing to do whatever it takes to keep herself and her family from succumbing to the Spiral. In the end, though, it becomes too much to bear. Her brother has turned into a giant snail, her family is frozen in time staring at the Eternal Spiral, and her boyfriend is badly injured and unable to move away from the same Eldritch Abomination. By the time she reaches out and grabs Shuichi's hand, she is too weak to continue any further and succumbs.
  • Deuteragonist: Shuichi, and later Chie.
  • Doomed Moral Victor: Ultimately, there's nothing Kirie and Shuichi can do to save their town, or even themselves. All they can do is embrace each other as they petrify, to deny the Spiral the satisfaction of having them gaze upon it for eternity.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Much of the manga is about how people deal with a mysterious condition that slowly becomes a widespread pandemic.
  • Double-Meaning Title:
    • "Twisted Souls", in the sense that the families have been morally twisted to the core, and in the sense that the two lovers end up forever intertwined in a spiral.
    • The title of the overall series, Uzumaki ("spiral"), also counts. It can be read as the noun, the symbol of the curse itself; or the verb, the action which consumes the town.
  • Downer Ending: It gets worse if you remember from the beginning of the series that the narration in the first few pages, seen at the top of the page, talks about the events that occur during the series in the past tense and spends the entire series positive that no matter how bad it gets at least the main character's going to get out of Kurôzu-cho to tell her tale. She doesn't.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The giant spiral ruins underneath Dragonfly Pond that are turning the town and everyone in it into spirals.
  • Empathic Weapon: Kirie's and Sekino's spiral hair.
  • Enfant Terrible:
    • The babies born to the bloodsucking pregnant women. They have some terrible tricks of their own.
    • Also, the nasty children from the latter chapters. According to citizens, half of the structural damage is due to their pranks, exploiting the wind phenomenon.
  • Entitled to Have You: Azami believes this of Shuichi, mainly because every other male within ten years of her age with whom she interacts becomes attracted to her, and she believes that Shuichi should be the same.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Tanizaki's party.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The eventual fate of the entire town, considering Kirie is narrating the story in the past tense.
  • Forced from Their Home: Kirie and the others are kicked out of their terrace house by the people who sought shelter there, forced to brave the destroyed town with no shelter or aid. It turned out to be for the best. By the time she comes back, the people inside the houses have succumb to serious Body Horror and are trapped forever.
  • Foreshadowing: Chapter 3, "Scar", contains a manifestation of the spiral that's emblematic of the entire destruction arc, and Chapter 5, "Twisted Souls" mirrors the eventual fate of Kirie and Shuichi.
  • Freak Out: Shuichi, as of chapter 14, to the extent of which he has to be briefly replaced by a new deuteragonist.
  • From Bad to Worse: The first two chapters feature the female lead's boyfriend's parent's deaths. The father becomes obsessed with spirals, killing himself by turning into a giant spiral. The mother, by contrast, becomes deathly afraid of spirals, hallucinating her husband's body in each one, and cutting off her own fingers tips, to get rid of the spirals. Then she finds out about the spiral in the inner ear... When they're cremated, their ashes turn into spirals with an image of their screaming face. It STILL gets worse. Much worse.
  • Genius Loci: Kurozu-Cho, it would seem. Even more so with the Spiral itself - upon seeing it, Shuichi theorises that the spiral city was built by someone, but now it continues to expand without anyone to build it, and that perhaps the entire curse was a result of it not being seen from deep underground.
  • Gonk: The original snail-person. Even before his transformation.
  • Haunted Heroine: Kirie in the movie, although she comes close to it on some rare occasions in the manga.
  • Heroic BSoD: Shuichi, very gradually. He never recovers.
  • Heroic RRoD: Kirie in chapter six after her hair absorbs all of her energy. A rare example where the affected protagonist is still able to stand up despite being unconscious, because she's literally being held up like a puppet.
  • Horrible Housing: Kirie and her family have their home destroyed by a storm, and are forced to move into one of the cheapest houses in the town; one of the ancient terraced houses that have no furniture or room separation, where two other poor families were shown living earlier in the story. When the spirals start to destroy the town, everyone is forced to move into these terraced houses, as they're the only ones that haven't fallen apart. Kirie and and her family are kicked out of what used to be their house by the people who sought shelter there. By that point, things were so dire that nobody cared how crappy the houses actually were.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: It doesn't translate well, but depending on the reading, Kurozu-cho can mean either "Closed Town" or "Black Vortex Town". Justified in that the town's history and psychological effects mean that it was almost certainly named for its terrifying Spiral curse.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Jack-in-the-Box's stuntman skills. They don't work.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: After Kurozu-cho becomes a Closed Circle, almost everyone resorts to consuming the flesh of the Snail People. This eventually includes Kirie, the series' protagonist.
  • Important Haircut: Kirie is short-haired for more than half the tale after the chapter that shows the first time the spirals affect her directly, turning her from The Scully into a believer.
  • In Name Only: The movie.
  • Karmic Transformation: Tsumura in the "Snail" chapter.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Several of the human villains in the later chapters of the book are children who have figured out how to create and ride tornadoes through the ruins of Kurozu-cho.
  • Kill 'Em All: By the end of the story all of the named characters (with the possible exception of Mitsuo, who is now a snail-person, and Tanizaki, who resisted the transformation suffered by the rest of the townspeople) are almost certainly dead.
  • Killed Off for Real: Chie
  • Laser-Guided Karma: When people start turning into snails, the future victims are often those who are cruel to the preceding cases, either by bullying, destroying their eggs, or maliciously eating them.
  • Life Drinker: The spiral-affected hair does this, draining its victims' life forces to extend and sustain its growth. Sekino is killed in this way, over-extering her need for attention and pushing her hair's spirals to their limits, limits which require all of her life force to be met.
  • Lighthouse Point: A lighthouse with a spiral staircase causes problems at one point.
  • Living Statue: Given that the story is being narrated in the past tense by someone caught up in the Spiral's curse, this seems like a likely end result for all of the people it turns to stone.
  • Loud Gulp: Shuichi on multiple occasions, notably in chapter 4.
  • Ludd Was Right: By the last chapters, any semblance of modern society in the village has completely vanished.
  • Lust Object: Arguably, Shuichi is this to Azami around the end of Chapter 3.
  • Madness Mantra:
    Shuichi: Mad... Mad... the town's going mad... Mad... Mad...
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: When Jack-in-the-Box comes back as an apparent hopping zombie, it's revealed that he's actually bouncing on a spring stuck in his spine. But there is still a talking clown toy, and he moans something after the coffin is opened. Whether the former is just Kirie being a little unhinged after the events of the last chapter and the latter is just escaping gas is never explored. However, the springs in both the corpse and the toy are spiral-shaped, leaning the events toward the supernatural.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Fhi Fan and Masami Horiuchi, who played Shuichi and Ichiro respectively in the movie, are actually quite nice. Can't say the same for their characters.
  • Mega Maelstrom: Being aquatic spirals, whirlpools are ubiquitous in the waters in and around Kurozu-cho. As the story goes on, they get extremely large. One of them finally sweeps away the last shred of hope that the main characters have by consuming the rescue ships sent to Kurozu-cho.
  • Men Act, Women Are: Inverted with the two main characters, Kirie and Shuichi. While there are exceptions, Shuichi mostly passively responds to his circumstances while Kirie's actions drive the plot of the story.
  • Monster Clown: Jack-in-the-Box's gift- his namesake, which comes to life to threaten Kirie.
  • More Than Mind Control: A frequent modus operandi for the Spiral. Although it can act in such an all-consuming way that it completely overwhelms a victim's personality (as with Shuichi's father and Azami), it's much more unnerving when it takes advantage of a person's weaknesses to get them to succumb to its influence. Kirie's father is motivated by his love of pottery, the two lovers in "Twisted Souls" are motivated by their love for one another, and in the end Kirie and Shuichi are motivated by a combination of love and despair.
  • Morton's Fork: At the end. Move too fast: tornadoes. Move too slow: turn into a snail. Stay outside the rowhouses: risk the tornadoes and anarchy; stay inside to be entangled with everyone else.
  • Mythology Gag: "Medusa" has some similarities to the "Hair" chapter from Junji Ito's Tomie.
  • Nervous Wreck: Played fairly straight with Shuichi.
  • Non-Actor Vehicle: Korean model Fhi Fan, who played Shuichi in the movie, had never acted before, and never did again after the movie.
  • No Sense of Direction: You might think you can walk straight out of Kurozu-cho, but you'll end up walking right back into the town.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The neighbor's son in the row house from Chapter 13 is never seen, but it is implied that he is suffering from a very severe version of the spiral "warts" that affected everyone else on the property. Given what we see of one person heavily afflicted with the disease (but still alive), he couldn't look good.
  • Oh, Crap!: Chie, upon realizing that she's trapped inside the spiral building.
  • Only Sane Man: Shuichi, which quickly reaches the point of absurdity.
    • Then again, he along with a few other people had every single opportunity to just get out of town before things really started going to hell. By the time he actually decides to do it, it's already too late.
    • Tanizaki as well in the end. By willingly cooperating with the curse, he ultimately becomes the last reasonable human left alive in the village.
    • In the movie, Ichiro is this.
  • Our Vampires Are Different:
    • Upon getting bitten by mosquitoes, pregnant women start sucking people's blood. Drills are utilized.
    • Jack-in-the-box's corpse brings hopping vampires to mind.
  • Paranoia Fuel: invoked The spiral curse needs a starting point to manifest. Unfortunately, it's very creative and can start in incredibly abstract ways. The cochlea? Springs of a jack-in-the-box and a car suspension? A lighthouse staircase? A crescent scar? Pace of life? All of these and more are ripe opportunities for the supernatural to take hold and unleash its spiral horror, which can lead to some real-life paranoia about the symbol. This paranoia also destroys Shuichi's mother, in an opposite situation to her husband. While he dies from his obsession with the spiral, his wife is tormented by the spirals she suddenly notices, and is killed by her attempt to remove the spiral in her ear, subsequently feeling like a spiral due to her loss of balance.
  • Precocious Crush: Mitsuru, who is 12 or 13, has an insistent crush on Kirie, who is 18.
  • Prehensile Hair: Kirie's hair becomes this in the "Medusa" chapter, and her friend Sekino joins her. For the most part, it only mesmerizes, but the heads of hair eventually fight, playing it straight.
  • Prone to Tears: Kirie in the movie—and Shuichi comes pretty close to being the male version of this, sometimes, in the manga.
  • Psychological Horror: The genre of the story.
  • Punny Name: In the Snail chapter, the strange student and the bully are named Katayama and Tsumura, respectively, after the Japanese word "katatsumuri" ("snail").
  • Redshirt Army: The rescue ships that come to Kurozu-cho, only to quickly vanish beneath the sea.
  • Room Full of Crazy: The collection of spirals in the first chapter and on the cover of the film.
  • Rubber Hose Limbs: Happens to quite a few victims of the Spiral. Unlike most examples of this trope, cases in this story are played horrifically enough to involve grotesque and sometimes fatal levels of injury.
  • Rule of Scary: Needless to say, most of the insanity that goes on in this series doesn't make a lick of sense when you consider the laws of physics. But goddamn does it make for some unsettling material.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Much is made about the spiral serving as both a symbol that grows outward and draws inward, mirroring the destruction of the town- the spiral grows in influence and takes everything with it. Additionally, the center of the spiral is key to the curse- it hides the secret behind it, and the completion of the shape ends the current cycle. Even further, the spiral is a symbol of motion and perpetuity- it can't be stopped, and will always exist.
  • Sanity Slippage: Shuichi, who, ironically, is the first one to realize the terrible things about the town.
  • Scenery Gorn: Prominent especially in the later chapters of the graphic novel, when the landscape around Kurozu-cho starts to twist into distorted shapes. Taken to an extreme in the last chapters, "Labyrinth" and "Completion", where the town's spiral-longhouse shape is completed and where the main characters discover the spiral ruins under the city respectively.
  • Self-Deprecation: The afterword chapters feature Ito himself, and are comical in nature rather than scary. They depict the writer/artist bumbling through his research for the manga in a series of humiliating misadventures.
  • Sentient Cosmic Force: The Spiral seems to have some level of sapience, as it is able to target specific people in some chapters knowing full well it's doing so, such as the hurricane in Chapter 12 that's in love with Kirie.
  • Serial Escalation: Early events tend to occur on a small scale, with the Spiral affecting individuals or small groups of people. By the end typhoons are being directed toward Kurozu-cho, and an entire naval detachment is swallowed whole by a whirlpool.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: They go to all that effort of surviving through most of the Spiral, lose everything and everyone, only to end up frozen in time, while conscious, for centuries at least, in a city made entirely of spirals.
  • Shout-Out: In a late chapter, a model of Gamera can be clearly seen among the ruins of Kurozu-cho.
  • Sinister Geometry: Pretty much the underlying style of horror present throughout the story. Special mention has to go to the Spiral City underneath Kurozu-cho, though, for its sheer scale and ominous nature if nothing else.
  • Sliding Scale of Adaptation Modification: The movie is a type 2, maybe 1.5.
  • Slow Transformation: The process of turning into a snail person usually takes several days.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Jack-in-the-Box and Azami. And Wakabayashi, however briefly. Heck, there's a hurricane with a crush.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: The two kids in the "Twisted Souls" chapter.
  • A Storm Is Coming: Shuichi panics when he realizes that it's typhoon season, and nearly repeats this line verbatim. He's right to be concerned.
  • Stress Vomit: Overlapping with Vomit Discretion Shot, Shuichi in chapter 4.
  • Stubborn Hair: They try to comb Kirie's Prehensile Hair in the "Medusa" chapter but it doesn't stick.
  • Subverted Trope: The spiral itself is one for Japanese art, as it's usually a cartoon symbol for warmth/blushing on cheeks. Here, it's turned into something much less friendly.
  • Supernatural Floating Hair: One manifestation of the spiral takes over hair, lifting it up in mesmerizing spiral disks.
  • Surreal Horror: The Spiral itself.
  • Time Abyss: In the last chapter, the apparent source of the Spiral curse is revealed: an enormous, ruined Spiral City buried under Kurozu-cho. At a minimum, it's several thousand years old. The human victims of the Spiral, since they appear to remain conscious, will eventually fit this trope as well.
  • Together in Death: In Chapter 5, "Twisted Souls", when it looks like their families are about to separate them for the last time, Yoriko and Kazunori contort and stretch themselves into long, thin, snake-like forms and then wind their bodies together to form an unbreakable, two-headed creature with a rope-like body. Finally together, they dive into the sea, never to be separated. Kirie and Shuichi end up a similar way in the final chapter, frozen in time along with the rest of the town in the underground spiral city.
  • Too Desperate to Be Picky: Once the town gets ravaged by the twisters, the people become increasingly desperate in their efforts to survive. The most obvious change is that they all begin to eat the snail-people, despite that they were all once human.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Does it ever have one.
  • Underground City: An example that apparently falls into the Buried City variety. There's an enormous, spiral-shaped urban ruin under Kurozu-cho. Who or what built it is unknown, but its original designers seem to be long dead. It's become a sentient Genius Loci determined to continue building itself.
  • Unnaturally Looping Location: Once the town gets consumed by twisters, the townspeople get trapped. Any attempts to leave send them right back to where they were. The protagonists discover this for themselves when they try to go through the hills, somehow circling back around until they were face to face with people leaving the town.
  • Vicious Cycle: The events that take place in Kurozu-cho repeat every so often, in a pattern that only becomes clear once it's probably too late to do anything to stop it.
  • Villainous Crush: Azami has an innocent crush on Shuichi to begin with, however, after she becomes cursed by the Spiral, she starts trying to force herself on him in a much less innocent way and even murders someone to have her way with him.
  • Waif Prophet: Shuichi becomes a male example of this after chapter 2, though he starts predicting the future from shortly after his introduction.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: How does Kirie survive the rabid mob of drill-wielding bloodthirsty women? Bugspray. Not lit like a blowtorch, just bugspray. To be fair, they are infected by mosquitoes.
  • Wham Episode: "The House". Stories in the first two volumes are terrifying, yes, but still within a somewhat Magical Realism setup. Starting from "the House" it's post-apocalyptic Survival Horror. With twister-riding super-power delinquents.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Kirie's friend Shiho, who had been a recurring character through the series, is absent from Chapter 11 on, with no one addressing her disappearance.
    • What happened to Mitsuo? He's last seen on a sheer cliff as a snail person in hiding. Could he possibly be the sole person in the town to survive the cataclysm at the end and live out the rest of his natural life, albeit as a snail?
    • And where's Tanizaki? We last see him cleaning up twisted corpses in one of the final chapters. Once he exits, he's gone for the rest of the series.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The snail-people, milked for every bit of squick possible.
  • When Dimensions Collide: The laws of the spiral world begin to rapidly overtake those of physics throughout the story.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The Dragonfly Gang.
  • Worst News Judgement Ever: In the movie, Ichiro Tamura and Chie Maruyama are guilty of this. While an entire town is being plagued by horriffic and mysterious deaths, all Ichiro wants to do is study the Saito family—and all Chie wants to do is talk about the giant snails. It certainly doesn't help that Shuichi, the de facto "head" (of sorts) of the Saito family, does not want Ichiro doing a story on his family.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Rescue boats are sunk by sudden whirlpools.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Kirie and the others spend an unknown number of days wandering the hills trying to escape, but when they give up and go back to town, an unknown number of years have passed within it.
  • You Are Worth Hell: Through all the events of Uzumaki, not once do Kirie and Shuichi question their love for one another, or consider abandoning each other. And by the end, it's clear that they will truly be together forever.
  • Your Head A-Splode: At the end of the lost chapter "Galaxies," the astronomer Torino receives an overabundance of galactic radio waves, causing his head to grotesquely enlarge until it explodes "like an egg in a microwave," according to Kirie. It then shoots into the night sky to exist as its own galaxy.


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