Tomie Kawakami

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Tomie Kawakami
Tomie character
Miu Nakamura as Tomie.png
Miu Nakamura as Tomie in Unlimited
First appearance Tomie (1987)
Last appearance Tomie Unlimited (2011)
Created by Junji Ito
Portrayed by Miho Kanno
Runa Nagai
Mai Hosho
Miki Sakai
Nozomi Andô
Rio Matsumoto
Anri Ban
Yu Abiru
Emiko Matsuoka
Miu Nakamura
Rie Suegara (voice)
Monica Rial (English voice)
In-universe information
AliasMarina
Tomie Iizuka
Ayaka Nakamura
Miho Kaneshiro
Mai Oyama
GenderFemale
Nationality Japanese

Tomie Kawakami, better known mononymously as Tomie, is a character from the Japanese horror manga and film series of the same name created by Junji Ito. Tomie was introduced in Ito's 1987 manga Tomie, which was published in Monthly Halloween, a shōjo magazine. She later appeared in two subsequent manga written by Ito, nine feature films, and a novel.

Contents

Tomie is a malevolent, regenerative entity with the unexplained ability to cause anyone, particularly men, to be instantly attracted to her. These actions inevitably lead to violence, usually resulting in the murder of Tomie herself (allowing her to replicate herself), or others.

History

Tomie was written and illustrated by Junji Ito. Ito was inspired to create Tomie by the phenomenon of lizard tail regeneration. [1] Ito's initial concept for the manga was to depict the strangeness of a girl who was nonchalantly attending school, but in reality was dead. [2] He further explained that the original concept was that for some reason a dead person would come back to life and visit their former friends as if nothing had happened. [3] As he developed the story, Ito established that the titular character would be a mean-spirited girl because he believed it would be more interesting if the manga featured someone that wasn't likable. [2]

He noted that the proliferation of Tomie was created while writing a serial storyline, which helped greatly to convey the concept of regeneration.

In 1998, during the casting process of the first film adaptation, Ito picked actress Miho Kanno for the role and coached her for the audition.

Characteristics and abilities

Tomie's main ability is a form of regeneration similar to that of a sea star or a planarian  if a part of her body, such as an arm, leg or even head is severed, an entire clone of her body will grow from the severed part. This will occur even with smaller parts, such as fingers, or even blood.

The one exception to this rule seems to be Tomie's hair, which will instead attach itself to the body of another person and slowly burrow into their body and multiply, eventually killing the victim by piercing a vital organ or literally causing them to explode with cloned Tomie-hair, as seen in the chapter Hair from the second volume.

In some works, it is implied that burning the body of a Tomie clone will kill her permanently, while in others, she regenerates from the ashes, though this could be because she was not completely burned. Sometimes, when a partially regenerated Tomie spends a long period of time without food, she will resort to cannibalism   in one case, dozens of small fragments of Tomie's flesh fell into a pond below a waterfall, and formed sessile bodies, using their powers to lure men into pond, then devoured them alive, continuing this behavior until they were fully formed, at which point they nonchalantly walked out of the pond.

Tomie can also clone herself by having her cells come into contact with a victim, in one case from the skin cells when the victim used her lipstick. These cells will slowly transform the victim into a clone of Tomie, though in some cases, usually when an organ of Tomie's ends up in someone else's body, a new Tomie will grow inside them from the organ and burst out from their body, similar to a Xenomorph from the Alien films.[ original research? ]

Tomie is fully aware of her immortality, and generally uses it, along with her powers of seduction, to manipulate her victims seemingly for her own amusement. She does not actually care about any of the people she targets, being stated in the manga as viewing them as "accessories".

At times, two Tomie clones will come into conflict with each other, resulting in one attempting to kill the other, and often succeeding only in creating yet more clones of herself, while other times they burn the body and possibly succeed in eliminating their counterpart. This was the basis for the 2007 film Tomie vs Tomie .

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References

  1. "Into the Spiral - A Conversation with Japanese Horror Maestro Junji Ito". 78 Magazine. March 2006. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  2. 1 2 "Uzumaki: Spiral into Horror - Junji Ito Interview". Viz Media. Archived from the original on October 20, 2002. Retrieved 2014-05-10.
  3. "The Junji Ito Interview: A conversation with the creator of Uzumaki". Viz Media. Archived from the original on December 20, 2002. Retrieved 2014-05-10.