First 'Uzumaki' Footage Teases Adult Swim's Adaptation Of Junji Ito's Terrifying Manga

Feast your eyes on 35 glorious seconds of Uzumaki, Adult Swim's highly anticipated adaptation of Junji Ito's classic horror manga. Originally announced in 2019 for a 2020 release, Uzumaki was one of many productions hit with delays due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and has now set a new release for October 2022. But to keep us going as we wait the long months to be terrified out of our wits, Adult Swim has released the first Uzumaki footage from the opening episode of the miniseries.

Uzumaki First Footage

In a new update on Uzumaki, director Hiroshi Nagahama explained the delays for the four-episode miniseries, which adapts Ito's acclaimed 1998 horror manga centering around the citizens of Kurouzu-cho, a fictional city which is plagued by a supernatural curse involving spirals. The series aims to bring to life Ito's distinct inky black-and-white art style, using what appears to be a combination of 2D and 3D animation, and perhaps a dash of rotoscoping. Because of their determination to capture Ito's style, the production is much more involved than they had anticipated, which is why the miniseries release has now been set for October 2022.

"COVID had a huge impact on our anime industry in Japan. Especially for our Uzumaki production, it had a huge impact," Nahahama said. "It's also true that we had to restructure our plan from the start. But it's definitely starting to come together."

To keep fans satisfied, Nagahama offered a very short tease of the series in motion, from the first episode of Uzumaki. Already that sense of creeping dread fills the screen, though the scene amounts to little more than a girl walking down a path and reminiscing over the "strange events" that would take place in her town.

Why You Should Pay Attention to Everything Junji Ito

Junji Ito has been called Japan's master of horror, and for good reason. Uzumaki has been hailed as a modern horror classic, as are many of his other famous works like Tomie and Gyo. He is inarguably one of the best horror illustrators working today, his stark black-and-white art pushing the boundaries on what we have come to expect of body horror and Lovecraftian madness.

Ito is known for taking a simple shape — commonly, the spiral — and warping it into something unsettling and deranged. Often his characters exist in a cruel and uncaring world, victims of seemingly random malevolent acts of nature that morph either their bodies or their minds in irreversible ways. Because of the specificity of his work, which are best experienced on the page right before bed so that you'll never go to sleep again for fear of horrible nightmares, Ito's comics are often deemed unadaptable. But Adult Swim is attempting to prove that wrong with Uzumaki, which may just be able to capture Ito's particular brand of eerie horror.