In Chaos, Kurouzu-cho is all but completely decimated. The town lies mostly in rubble and broken shards of wood. This destruction is largely due to the gangs that have risen out of the ashes of the town. These people are a step up from the destructive children of the previous chapter, Butterflies. The gangs are much more focused and aggressive and act against others with no mercy.
Watching them ride the twisters from his sister’s side in the rubble, Mitsuo almost revers these gangs and their ability to just survive in this new world. They always seem to have lots of energy and are apparently eating well. This frustrates Mitsuo as he and the other survivors are barely getting along on scraps.
As the story moves forwards the two sides of this destruction will meet – Kirie and her family, and the gang of hurricane-riders. But just how will this destruction end?
There is also the discovery of a very old, rolled-up piece of paper in the house’s wall. It seems to contain a map of the area, but showing the town in a very different way than what it was. What can this map tell us about how things were? And what clues could it offer as to the future of Kurouzu-cho?
During the unfolding story of Chaos, we are reminded of a group of people that we saw back in chapter 8 of Uzumaki – The Snail people. Remember those?- the select group of people who had a very peculiar reaction to the Spiral curse – they were turned into giant snails.
A couple of them are discovered amongst the wreckage of the town, huddled together. They have been brought out by something.
Out of context, these giant snails may seem like even more monsters to be feared. However, if reading the entire collection, you may just get the same reaction as I did. I couldn’t help but feel for these snails, as they were still ultimately people inside. They had been someone’s son or daughter; brother or sister.
And just to twist the knife even more, Junji Ito has us witness the gang cooking these snails and eating them. They are eating a being that the Spiral has created. This is no doubt helping with their new-found powers, but ultimately they themselves will be getting claimed by that Spiral – from both the outside and the inside.
Despite opening up their home to the affected people in the town, the Goshima family are booted out of what is now a sanctuary. They are forced to go it alone as a family and attempt to find a way out of Kurouzu-cho. However, as Kirie describes in a previous attempt of hers to leave, it is apparently impossible.
The Goshimas, along with Shuichi, must fend for themselves in the dangerous waste land. But even though they are thrown out together, they still have parts of them that are separate from one another: Mitsuo still sees hope in the life of the gang of hurricane riders; Shuichi is still in a constant state of being withdrawn; and Kirie’s father has a desire to return to Dragonfly Pond.
Mention the news lady lady from before. Also the pond mention the smoke chapter 1 #################################
Kirie’s father’s desire to continue his spiral art, is perhaps what seals his fate as he is sent up in a hurricane. He may just be gone forever, but I can’t help but feel that it is exactly what he wanted. Especially as all of the hurricanes seem to end up in the aforementioned Dragonfly Pond.
Dragonfly pond is becoming an increasingly important aspect of this whole story. From the clay that Kirie’s father would use, to the storm that was pulled into it, the pond seems to be the centre of it all.
Perhaps this is why the Spiral has gravitated towards Kirie on multiple occasions. But perhaps that is somehow the reason that she is one of the only ones able to fight back.
As the closing panels of Chaos wrap up, it feels to me that the pond is pulling everything in. Not only the hurricanes and the gangs riding them, but us as the readers too. It seems that we are getting sucked into the centre of the Spiral in preparation for a final showdown; back to where it all began.
Despite Chaos having one of my favourite titles from the series, it is unfortunately not one of my favourite chapters. That’s not to say it is bad; quite the opposite. It’s just that not every chapter can be a favourite can it, and this is one of those that sadly comes towards the bottom of my list.
I did really appreciate the re-introduction of the snail people from earlier in the series, however short lived that re-introduction was. It was good to acknowledge that they were still around, as well as giving them a fitting conclusion in this violent world they all live in.
A fast-paced addition to the Uzuamki collection that pulls you through from start to finish.