Fans of Japanese horror maestro Junji Ito have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting patiently for the upcoming adaptation of Uzumaki, the 1998 supernatural horror manga that first introduced Ito’s hyper-detailed brand of grotesque body horror to readers in the West. This past weekend’s Adult Swim Festival brought us no closer to a firm release date aside from later this year. But, on the bright side, we did get a new clip of the anime, and it looks fantastic.
Produced by Japanese animation studio Drive, the four-episode anime adaptation centers on the story of citizens of Kurouzu-cho, a quiet Japanese town that is suddenly stricken by a deadly supernatural curse involving spiral patterns that drive all who see them insane. The Uzumaki anime is being directed by Hiroshi Nagahama of Mushishi and The Flowers of Evil fame and being produced by animation studio Drive, with a score by Hereditary composer Colin Stetson.
The footage certainly shares a likeness to Nagahama’s distinctive cel-shaded, rotoscope animation on The Flowers of Evil, with uncanny body motions and character silhouettes that emulate Ito’s linework and shading. It’s been four long years since Uzumaki was first announced at Crunchyroll Expo 2019, and while the wait has been excruciating for some, the spare details we have seen demonstrate a care and attention that only feel fitting for Ito’s most iconic work.
Uzumaki is expected to air on Adult Swim’s Toonami programming block later this year.