What is the story behind Tomie?

What is the story behind Tomie?

Tomie is a horror manga series created by Junji Ito, a Japanese manga artist known for his surreal and disturbing art style. The series follows the titular character, Tomie, a beautiful and mysterious young woman who has the power to drive men to obsession and madness.

The story of Tomie begins with a high school student named Tomie Kawakami, who is murdered by her jealous classmates after they become obsessed with her beauty. However, Tomie inexplicably returns to life and begins to torment those who wronged her, leading to a cycle of death and rebirth that continues throughout the series.

As the series progresses, Tomie's origin and true nature are gradually revealed. It is revealed that Tomie is not a single person, but rather a supernatural entity that can duplicate herself infinitely. Her true nature and purpose are unclear, but it is suggested that she exists solely to manipulate and torment those around her.

The Tomie series is known for its disturbing imagery and themes, including body horror and psychological manipulation. It has been adapted into several films, television series, and other media, and has become a cult classic in the horror genre.


The Tomie series is one of Junji Ito's most popular and well-known works, along with Uzumaki and Gyo. It first appeared as a one-shot manga in 1987, and was later developed into a full-fledged series consisting of multiple story arcs.

One of the most notable aspects of the Tomie series is its exploration of themes related to beauty, obsession, and the nature of evil. Tomie's supernatural powers allow her to manipulate those around her, and her beauty is a major factor in her ability to inspire obsession and madness in those who encounter her. The series also explores the idea of whether evil is innate or learned, as Tomie's actions are often seen as the result of her own twisted nature, but also as a product of the way she is treated by those around her.

The Tomie series has been adapted into several films, including "Tomie" (1999), "Tomie: Another Face" (1999), and "Tomie: Rebirth" (2001). It has also been adapted into a television series, a novel, and a video game. The series has been praised for its innovative storytelling, disturbing imagery, and unique approach to the horror genre.

Overall, the story of Tomie is a dark and unsettling exploration of the human psyche and the lengths to which people will go in pursuit of beauty and desire. Its impact on the horror genre, both in Japan and worldwide, is a testament to its enduring appeal and relevance.

The character of Tomie herself is also an interesting aspect of the series. She is often portrayed as a beautiful, innocent-looking young woman, but her true nature is much more sinister. Her ability to regenerate from even the smallest fragment of her body makes her nearly impossible to kill, and her powers of manipulation and mind control make her a formidable foe.

Tomie is also known for her often cruel and sadistic nature. She enjoys causing pain and suffering to those around her, and seems to derive pleasure from their torment. This combination of beauty and cruelty is what makes her such a fascinating and memorable character in the horror genre.

One of the interesting things about the Tomie series is how it evolves over time. The original one-shot manga featured Tomie as a vengeful spirit who haunted those who had wronged her in life. But as the series progressed, Tomie became more and more complex, and her backstory and motivations were explored in greater depth.

Later stories in the series focused on Tomie's origins, and revealed that she was not just a supernatural entity, but a result of a genetic experiment gone wrong. This added a new layer of depth to the character, and made her seem more like a tragic figure than a pure embodiment of evil.

Overall, the Tomie series is a complex and multifaceted exploration of beauty, desire, and the nature of evil. Its impact on the horror genre cannot be overstated, and its popularity has only grown over the years since its initial publication.

Another interesting aspect of the Tomie series is the way it explores themes of obsession and desire. Tomie is often pursued by men who become obsessed with her beauty, and this obsession often leads to their downfall. In many ways, Tomie can be seen as a manifestation of the male desire for the ideal woman, and the destructive consequences that can come from this kind of fixation.

At the same time, Tomie herself is not just a passive victim of male desire. She is often depicted as actively manipulating those around her, using her beauty and charm to gain power over them. This subversion of traditional gender roles is another interesting element of the series.

In addition to its exploration of themes, the Tomie series is also known for its unique art style. Junji Ito's intricate and detailed illustrations bring the horrors of the Tomie stories to life, and his use of body horror and surreal imagery creates a sense of unease that lingers long after the stories are over.

Overall, the Tomie series is a landmark work of horror manga that continues to captivate and terrify readers to this day. Its exploration of themes of beauty, desire, and the nature of evil, combined with its unique and unsettling artwork, make it a must-read for fans of the horror genre.

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