Junji Ito Collection
Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans
Genre: Mystery, Horror, Demons, Psychological, Supernatural, Drama, Thriller, School, Every Scary Thing Ever
First Aired: Winter 2018, 12 episodes
Summary: The Junji Ito Collection is a horror anthology of manga artist Junji Ito. Each episode features two stories from the collected works of Ito. One episode will focus on a fashion model going on a photo shoot while another follows a family that is way into marionettes.
I realize it doesn’t sound scary from the description, but it’s precisely what makes Ito such an effective horror writer. He uses normal situations that don’t appear scary and distorts them to make an eerie and uncomfortable story. If you see a Dracula on screen, you have an idea of what it is going to do. You know to fear its behavior because you have been trained on Dracula behavior. Ito goes for the opposite by using situations and individuals that appear normal, people you are not typically afraid of. You get lulled into a sense of security and then the creepiness hits you, making it even more effective when you get scared. You think nothing is unusual about a next-door neighbor that you don’t see often, then Ito gets you again. The other thing Ito does that is different than the horror I am used to is the ending of most stories. In western horror the ending usually wraps up the story nicely with the bad guy either being killed or caught. The supernatural entity is figured out after learning pieces throughout the film. Ito’s stories almost never wrap up nicely. The supernatural entity is not figured out, so it’s still on the loose. The bad guy is not caught and is also on the loose. It makes the stories even more disturbing because there is not a solution to the problem.
The last bit of Ito I will mention is how the evil is never shown too much. If you are familiar with horror you know what I mean. When the evil is shown too much it makes it less scary. If you hardly ever see the evil, it leaves your brain to come up with what the evil is, and your brain always comes up with something scarier than the writer could come up with. Ito will show the evil just the right amount, either in little snippets or by having the evil be an everyday situation that you don’t see coming. Super scary.
You might enjoy this if: You are way into horror and want to take a dive into what freaks out Japan. If you enjoy this anime, you can check out Ito’s other work. He has countless manga collections of different stories. His story “Tomie”, about a beautiful woman that drives people insane, has been adapted into several films.
You might not like it if: You do not want to see the dark and terrifying side of anime.
Note to the Viewer: Be warned the Junji Ito Collection is not for the faint of heart. It is a full-on horror anime with disturbing episodes. There is a lot of violence and overall gruesome content.
Junji Ito Collection Opening – Shichiten Battou no Blues by The Pinballs