Since 2019, when the anime adaptation of Uzumaki anime was first announced with a spectacular teaser visual, avid Junji Ito fans have been earnestly yearning for the release of the much-discussed horror anime.
After multiple delays, however, the anime first planned to be aired in 2020 has a new release date of late 2023. The first inkling of this news was given at the San Diego Comic-Con 2023, with a first look into the anime. The creator of the manga, Junji Ito, was also a guest and award recipient at the event.
In the latest trailer, it is revealed that the anime is to be aired in the Toonami line-up of the Adult Swim production block of the US. Production I.G USA doubles up as the production and animation house besides a few other names.
The particulars of the latest Uzumaki trailer
The Uzumaki trailer begins with an unnamed boy addressing his friend, a girl called Kirie. He is suggesting they run away from the nameless town that they live in. To the girl’s mocking ridicule, the boy is contrastingly firm. He appears to be seriously shaken up about something. He suggests foul play all around them, in the whirlpools of the streams and the wind. And then there’s his dad.
He discloses that his father has lately been morbidly fascinated, or rather, obsessed with ‘spirals’. He looks for the shape in everything and everywhere. The boy blames the strange town for this obsessive mania of his father. Besides this psychological extremity, the boy also claims he has seen some strange physiological changes in his dad. The trailer ends with the lighthouse siren giving the viewers and the characters alike a sense of ominosity.
The striking feature of the trailer is its visual appeal. It flaunts the iconic shades and textures of Junji Ito’s original manga. This method transfers the masterpiece of Ito’s panels to the television mode with minimal changes. Unlike other prior adaptations of Ito, this is the first Junji Ito anime to be in the monochrome shade of black and white palettes. According to the trailer, the anime is also supposedly carrying many visual elements from the manga so as to give the authentic feel of flipping through the magical panels of Junji Ito.
Uzumaki delays and the latest updates
Prior to this, the anime has already seen multiple delays to its probable release dates. Since its first announcement in 2019, fans worldwide have faced repeated disappointments due to the postponement of the much-awaited anime adaptation. It was in 2019 when the series was first announced to air, but saw the date changed to 2020. The COVID pandemic worked as another deterrent to the production speed and the next date was in the second half of 2021. The latest change of plans regarding the project was a shift to 2022 before the 2023 timeframe emerged.
With so many delays, the production house has to satiate the high hype about the quality of the final product among the fandom. It would be interesting to see how Adult Swim and Toonami cater to these expectations.
When will Uzumaki be finally airing?
According to Jason DeMarco, the Senior vice president of Anime and Action for Warner Bros Discovery, the project is to release on Toonami later this year. Retweeting Adult Swim's latest Uzumaki trailer, he added that the anime is to release later in 2023 only. The fans can, thus, hope to see the anime air in 2023.
Some time before Adult Swim had also released a formal announcement from the director of the project. Hiroshi Nagahama, in the updated teaser video, explained the causes behind the delay. He hinted at COVID and structural reorganizing causing the unfortunate delay. He apologized to the fans and implored them to wait a bit more. He further shared a tiny teaser as an attempt at appeasement.
"We are all doing our very best to make it happen… we are doing our best, so please wait for it to come out."- Hiroshi Nagahama, director, Uzumaki
How many episodes will Uzumaki have?
Giving insight into the various aspects of the anime adaptation, manga artist Junji Ito also shed light on its length. He said it is around four episodes long and the story would end in four episodes. However, the story was shaken up a bit to fit in the given length as well as to polish the quite familiar plot.
"It's four episodes. The story will end with the fourth episode."- Junji Ito speaking to Crunchyroll
Uzumaki latest trailer
Check out the official trailer of Uzumaki from Toonami and Adult Swim.
Prior to this, besides the video explainer and another teaser of the anime, there has been only a single teaser of the anime first released in 2019. Here is the teaser posted on the official twitter handle of the Uzumaki anime.
Junji Ito's thoughts regarding the Uzumaki anime adaptation
Junji Ito spoke to Crunchyroll in a special talk show about the anime adaptation of the worldwide favorite Uzumaki. Here is the video from Crunchyroll.
In the video about six minutes long, Junji Ito talks about various aspects of the production. Talking about the direction and the production, he shared that the production will be under Production I.G and Cartoon Network (parent company of Toonami) of the US. He said he was surprised and excited to know that his work was ferociously consumed outside Japan also, leading to the creation of the anime. He said it was like a delightful dream and he was grateful for the hugely positive reception of his works worldwide.
He then shared positive faith in the direction and screenplay crew of the anime production, as the involved professionals were fans of Junji Ito's mangas and were familiar with his vision. He said he had checked the decisions of the production team and he was content with all the choices that were made.
Lastly, he aired his expectations of the reception of his works. Rather than just giving a frightening feeling, he wants his works to come off as uncanny and mysterious too. He wants his readers to sense the interplay of mystery and horror distinctly so as to fully understand his intentions with the story.
"I'm very glad that people in America will read what I've written. But at the same time, it seems unbelievable, like I'm dreaming."- Junji Ito talking to Crunchyroll
With the hype boiling to greater degrees with each passing day, fans can't wait for the anime to finally release. Fans enjoy the works of Junji Ito and hence can't wait for Uzumaki. It will be interesting to see how the story and characters have been modified to fit into the small timeframe of the series. With only the initial notifications given about the anime, there's not much to speculate about yet. One can only hope for more news and a speedy release of the anime.
Stay tuned for more news about the Uzumaki anime! We'll be sure to keep you posted about any latest developments regarding the release of the anime.