A YouTube video posted by Adult Swim last June 16 gives us a 45 second sneak peek of the upcoming Uzumaki anime, a 4-part series which is based on the classic manga of the same name.
Directed by Hiroshi Nagahama, who also helmed other horror anime such as Mushishi and Flowers of Evil, the adaptation was created in black and white, respecting the original art of its source material by Junji Itou — the so-called “King of Japanese horror manga.”
Before revealing the short clip, the director Nagahama himself announced that the anime had been delayed once again, relegated to a new release date on October 2022. This is due to the COVID pandemic, which had impacted the whole anime industry. Additionally, he states that “the anime [requires] twice as much staff as we normally use.”
Fortunately, no one seems to be complaining in the comments under the YouTube video.
This is due to the fact that the short clip showcases incredibly smooth animation and quality. Anime is commonly filled with moving stills and frames, prioritizing high-action scenes for smoother animation.
In the Uzumaki sneak peek, our protagonist is doing a simple action – walking. Although mundane in nature, the animation flows smoothly and seems almost realistic. Now, imagine what the animation would look like based on the truly horrific drawings that Junji Itou created in the original manga?
Numerous fans are willing to wait in order to get a top-quality adaptation of one of Itou’s best work.
This realism is also due to the fact that director Nagahama makes use of rotoscoping, a technique in which animators trace real-life footage and movements. This is acknowledged by Junji Itou himself in an interview:
“Flowers of Evil is a very realistic anime. [Director Nagahama] had the actors perform so he could record them. That was traced to do the illustrations. I think he tries to make what he directs as realistic as possible. I made Uzumaki very realistic, so I believe he will use [rotoscoping] in the production.”
Junji Itou has continued to work closely with the screenwriter and the director of this series, and has read the screenplay – which he liked very much. This gives fans the hope that Uzumaki would finally get an adaptation that stays true to its source material.
The show is scored by Colin Stetson (Hereditary) and is co-produced by Toonami and Production I.G.
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