Horror mangaka Junji Ito has stepped into an ADR booth for the first time to voice a character in the upcoming Uzumaki anime.
The official Twitter account for the anime published a video of Ito's acting feats, which regrettably censors both his performances and any reference of the particular character Ito will be voicing. Even while the series hasn't revealed a premiere date or kept crucial information, like Ito's part, under wraps, some facts can be inferred from Ito's amusing interactions with Uzumaki director Hiroshi Nagahama during the video. Nagahama expresses genuine surprise when Ito completes the recording by asking, "That's it for him?", indicating that his part is probably a supporting one. As the two chat about Ito’s performance, Ito mentions that his naturally poor enunciation felt well suited to this role, while Nagahama appeared bemused by Ito "putting in more emotion" than expected, hinting that his character may be a notably flat or deadpan one.
Hotly Awaited Anime Adaptation of Uzumaki
There has been no word on the Uzumaki anime’s release since the production team issued a statement in July 2022 apologizing for delays, but Ito has been busy adapting other works from his catalog. Netflix has animated some of Ito’s notable stories, like Hanging Balloons and portions of his series Tomie, in the new anthology anime Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre. Netflix’s series has received mixed reviews from fans and critics, once again demonstrating the difficulty studios have faced in trying to adapt Ito’s work to the screen over the years. Fans hope that with the considerable amount of time put into the Uzumaki anime, and with Ito being invested enough in the project to offer his own voice for the first time, the upcoming series will be the first to do its source material justice.
Ito first published Uzumaki in 1998 with magazine Big Comic Spirits. The series is notable not only for its multiple Eisner Award nominations, but for being Ito’s first work distributed in the English language, bringing his unique art style and nightmare-inducing body horror to the international stage. Many consider Uzumaki to be Ito’s seminal work, with the artist shifting his focus to shorter stories and anthology series later in his career. The series centers on the fictional city of Kurouzu-cho as the citizens face a curse that refuses to let them leave.
The Uzumaki manga is available in English from VIZ Media. Although no release date has been announced, when it does debut, the anime adaptation is set to air on Adult Swim’s Toonami block.