What we know about the release date for Junji Ito’s Uzumaki anime

Kirie Goshima and Shuichi Saito in Adult Swim's Uzumaki

Adult Swim’s adaptation of Junji Ito’s Uzumaki is one of the most anticipated horror anime in recent years, but release date info remains unfortunately scarce.

Uzumaki is likely the most popular title from iconic horror mangaka Junji Ito. Known for visceral body horror and surreal storytelling, Ito’s work remains a cult classic amongst horror manga fans. However, the adaptations of Ito’s work have been a rather mixed bag.

A live-action adaptation of Uzumaki was released in 2000 and received mixed reviews, with many praising the film’s visuals but criticizing the diversions from the source material and general campiness. Other adaptations, like the anime anthology Junji Ito Collection and the more recent Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre, suffered from harsher reviews, with many criticizing the rushed animation and inferior style to the source material. Adult Swim’s Uzumaki may buck that trend…whenever it comes out.

When is the release date of Adult Swim’s Uzumaki?

Adult Swim has not confirmed a release date for Adult Swim’s Uzumaki.

Initially announced in Crunchyroll Expo 2019 as a 4-episode adaptation, the series has been repeatedly delayed since. Although Toonami co-creator Jason DeMarco claimed the series would premiere in 2023, that ultimately did not happen. 

However, the first look did reinvigorate fan interest. Many fans proclaimed Uzumaki to be the best-looking adaptation of Junji Ito’s work to date. Unlike other adaptations, Adult Swim’s Uzumaki opted for the black-and-white color palette of the manga. The stylistic choice certainly helped retain much of Ito’s terrifying art. 

Is the Uzumaki anime canceled?

The Uzumaki anime has not been canceled by Adult Swim.

Though the anime’s release has been delayed repeatedly and its estimated release date has come and gone, there’s no news of Uzumaki being axed. While the official premiere may be unknown, it’s clear a lot of passion and talent has gone into the adaptation.

Hiroshi Nagahama is a veteran anime film director with credits in the critical darling Mushishi series. The composer Colin Stetson scored for beloved modern horror films like Color Out of Space and The Menu. Ari Aster, a notable horror director known for films like Hereditary and Midsommar, also lent the support of his production company Square Peg.

Overall, while the series may take some time to cook, fans are willing to wait if the final product looks as spectacular as the short glimpse they teased in 2023.

Junji Ito fans still awaiting Uzumaki anime after other adaptations fizzle

There have been two anime series based on Junji Ito’s work and neither of them is particularly popular. 2018’s Junji Ito Collection and 2023’s Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre both received middling reviews from fans and critics. They were panned for having underwhelming visuals, despite adapting some of Ito’s most striking work.

Junji Ito Maniac
Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre

The most successful adaptations of Ito’s work have been live-action films and TV series. Even then, these have garnered mixed reviews from the few outside Japan that have seen them.

That has anime fans eagerly awaiting release date info for Uzumaki. Adult Swim has been coy about details and remains far removed from its anime-centric heyday, even seeing other broadcasters pick up the series that built it. Fans are still clinging to hope that it can follow through on Uzumaki, however.

Author image

Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

Hecate holding weapons in Hades 2

Hades 2: Every Nocturnal Arm & Weapon Aspect, and best boons for each

New Deadlock gameplay leak shows Valve’s new title in action