Now, we all know that Junji Ito is the king of horror manga but how much can we trust his source material being adapted? These short stories that he has created are crafted and perfected to be delivered in manga form. So again, how much can we trust an adaption of these tales? Well, I can say from what I have seen so far, It is doing the source justice. You will obviously notice some drops in quality but that is usually what you get with studios that try to cut cost when possible. Also helps when the episode after is so well done that it made you forget how shitty the last one was. Today I thought I should go over why I think this was a successful Anime Adaption, why I love this series and why I would love to see a second season… as much as it probably won’t happen… Let’s be real.
Before we jump right into what makes this show so great, I do want to talk about what could’ve been done to make it just a bit better. I feel that this needs to be said because the way this series started really pushed people away from the series. It sucks. The first episode of Junji Ito is a dark comedy and just not a great intro to the series. The episode isn’t terrible but just bad timing. As we know, the 3 episode test isn’t for everyone. You may just watch the first episode, shut it off and say, “This just isn’t for me.” So, if you are one of those people, give it another shot. I promise it’s worth it.
Attention to detail when it matters
One thing I was very concerned about for this series was, would this studio and director make an effort to translate this manga to anime properly? I’ve seen plenty GREAT manga become very shitty anime. I feel that anyone can relate to this when it comes to adaptions no matter what. Whether it’s a live-action adaption of a manga/anime or your favorite novel like Harry Potter.
I must say that this series does go the extra mile by adding small details like the sketchy lined shadows and trying very hard to take what’s displayed page for page and bring it to life. The series isn’t perfect but, as a reader of some of these stories before watching, they do deliver. A prime example of this would be the story “Greased.” As much as I want to do a side by side comparison of a specific frame, I do recommend looking into this yourself since it’s pretty fucking gross and not for the faint of heart. I just want to say that whether it was the anime or the manga, I still wanted to puke my brains out after seeing it. It’s plain disgusting.
The series just knows how to make you uncomfortable. Not with the subject matter but the overall atmosphere they build around it. Because these are short stories, you don’t get a bunch of world-building or character development. Instead, you are constantly on your toes waiting for things to happen. Junji Ito’s art style together with the ominous background music makes this an immersive experience.
This doesn’t deal too much with the Atmosphere but I really love the ED. The ED really wraps up the show nicely. It has a chill vibe that is oddly creepy. Obviously planned but what is nice about it is, every episode’s ED features characters or themes of the shorts.
Replay Value/Scary Movie Nights with Friends!
I don’t know about you guys but I love horror movies. Always have. @loheezy and I used to go the movies everytime a new horror movie would drop and it was always a good time. Either the movie was great and you got spooked a bit or the movie was bad but it was so bad that it was kind of funny. Well, Junji Ito gives us that. It gives me another medium to watch scary shit with friends. I actually watch this series weekly with friends and I think the experience of watching it together does increase my enjoyment of this anime.
To be honest, the series does have a few bad scary movie funny moments that make me okay with the dips in quality. If I was watching it alone I would probably be more judgemental but at the end of the day, we watch anime for enjoyment and that is also how we should rate it. Not purely on animation quality and character development.
I know some people have their opinions on the show and I can totally see where they are coming from but I personally love this series. I said this earlier but I would love a season 2 or maybe even let this studio animate a full story like Uzumaki. That would be nuts! I also appreciate that this anime happened because it made me more aware of horror manga. I always knew of Junji Ito but when this series was announced I couldn’t help but check out some of his works. BOY, was I missing out!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! Have you read any of Junji Ito’s work or watched this anime? I want to know what is your favorite story! I would love to hear your opinions on this series. Let me know in the comments below. Have a great weekend!