Uzumaki: A Note on Impossible First-Hand Accounts

The suspension of disbelief is important for any compelling story. The audience must be, in a sense, tricked into believing the fiction that the creator has weaved. Stories are more compelling as this is done better. It seems reasonable to conclude, then, that such an incongruity as the narration of events that could never be narrated would shatter this suspension of disbelief. If the narration is presented as a first-hand testimony of, say, the French Revolution, but then they begin by stating that they were born centuries after its occurrence, the audience would have no reason to believe or be invested in the story because of the shattering of this suspension. Despite this, the peculiar thing about what Junji Ito does in their work, Uzumaki, is compellingly present a first-hand account of the story’s events that impossible. By the way that this impossible first-hand account is employed, Junji Ito still reasonably suspends the audience’s disbelief, enhances the emotional force of the story, and creates interesting opportunities for plot exposition.

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