Wait…. What? Minty’s covering the Junji Ito Collection anime? Has there been some kind of mistake? Nope. Horror is one of my specialties~ You see, I love cute things. However, I am also a horror fan. You all didn’t expect that did you?~ I’m a big fan of watching Asian horror films and reading horror manga/webtoons. I’m also awesome at scaring the shit out of people~ Despite how I look, I don’t get scared easily and so scary stuff is one of my things. Again, I attribute that to my Thai people being so damn good with horror stuff. And that’s why I’m here~ I’ll be doing this first impression post mostly on the first 2-3 episodes. BAYOG previously touched on it a bit in Podcast #51, and in Kenny’s post on Winter 2018 First Impressions.
Junji Ito is known as a master of horror in the manga world. I’ve read many of his works. The dude’s stories and art style are just creepy, disturbing, and get into your head. He does a good job at making you feel uncomfortable and really freaked out. Many of his works have been adapted into films over past few decades. His most well known work is probably Tomie. That one has had several movie adaptations and sequels. Another well known series and movie adaptation was Uzumaki, or “Spiral”. You might also recognize the Gyo, or “Fish”, OVA.
[Some Spoilers (and Hella Disturbing Images) Ahead – I advise against eating while reading this]
The Junji Ito Collection anime is an omnibus of his works. So it’s not one story or plot. It’s a collection of many different stories. A great thing that the anime does is actually name which chapter each story is from. So you can definitely go and read it if you wish.
Whatever Souchichi (￢_￢)
The first episode of the anime does start of pretty tame though. Most of the first episode is on the “Souichi’s Convenient Curse” story. Rather than horror, the first story is more of a comedy. I suppose it was to ease people into the series. It basically starts off with this socially awkward and creepy kid named Souichi. He’s the black sheep of his family, and he’s obsessed with curses. The kid lacks iron and so he keeps a bunch of nails in his mouth. It’s funny because despite how weird and creepy he is, his family is completely normal. The story is definitely more comedy, but I wouldn’t say it felt like much of a horror story.
Fuck. That. NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE. ∑(OロO;)!
Now the second story freaked me out. Why you ask? First off, the story is called, “Hellish Doll Funeral”. Oh yes, a creepy doll. Also known as one of my greatest fears and things I hate the most. This story is incredibly short though. I think it’s only like 2-3 minutes long. Despite being so incredibly short, it was straight up freaky. You’d think it couldn’t get creepier and then it’s like “Nope.”
Bitch be staring into your soul. “SENPAI NOTICE -ME-!” (ʘ‿ʘ)
NOPE. NOPE. NOPE. ε=ε=ε=ε=┌(;￣▽￣)┘
I think the third story, “Fashion Model”, in the second episode is where all of BAYOG agreed it was a big freaky NOPE. The premise of the third story was around a group of students making a film. One of the actresses was this hella tall, freaky, monstrous looking model. Just looking at her would make you feel anxious and uncomfortable. All in all, the second episode is where it did start delving more into the horror genre.
Look at that scary bitch run… ∑(°ロ°) !
Kenny watching that bitch run.
(RIP Minty cuz Kenny will kill me for using this gif)
Burn it. Salt that shit, and BURN IT WITH FIRE! (ಠ o ಠ)
Personally, I don’t find Junji Ito’s works to be scary per se. Rather than “scary”, I view it more as being creepy, gross, and overall, just plain disturbing. A huge factor is the art style. The freaky stuff are portrayed in a way to look especially gross and creepy. The imagery just makes you uncomfortable and feel freaked out.
Boooooy….you hellaaaaaa ugly and creepy…
They can often be burned into your mind. It’s in a way that’s just leaves you feeling really unsettled and anxious. To see it animated, moving in front of you, really adds to the whole getting under your skin and into your mind thing. This may sound strange and contradictory, but I still find the manga to be more disturbing. Yes, to see creepy shit get animated and come to life is creepy. However, I feel like the anime version is sort of like a cleaner and “prettified” version of the art. Compared to the black and white manga pages, the colors of the anime brighten it up (even if it isn’t bright colors). At times, I found the manga to be much creepier in that aspect. Especially when you have to really create the scenes and atmosphere with your own imagination. Your mind basically can be your own hell. Especially if you’re reading or watching it in the dark, and in the middle of the night. But whether it’s the manga or anime, the imagery is disturbing nonetheless.
Manga version of the freaky model chick.
The opening song is “The Writhing in Agony Blues” (七転八倒のブルース/Shichitenbatto no Buruusu) and is performed by Japanese rock band, The Pinballs. It’s a heavier rock song. I can dig the song~ Imagery wise, the opening seems to display distorted and disturbing kind of images. Again this is alluding to the horror and creepiness that awaits. I suppose it also alludes to that disturbed and uncomfortable feeling one gets from Junji Ito’s works as well. The ending song is “Mutual Universe” ( 互いの宇宙 /Tagai no Uchuu) and performed by rockband JYOCHO. The ending song is much softer and easy going than the opening. I didn’t find the ending to be anything special visually.
Have you watched the Junji Ito Collection anime, read his works, or seen the movie adaptations? What did you think? Which story did you find the most disturbing?
EW. GROSS AF. WHY??!! Σლ(°ロ°ლ)!!!