Within the horror manga community Junji Ito is a King. The unique and atmosphere way in which he tells stories, paired with his surrealistic, almost confrontational art, has made him a household name regarding both the short story format, and the horror manga genre, some even going as far as saying he is the most influential, and subsequently the best. Admittedly, I am a huge fan and must agree, but the real question lies in whether the transition from panel to animation is as smooth as we all wish. So far, I can at least state that this collection is worthy of being titled after
the man himself.
Story – 8
As we get into some of Ito’s more famous works, I imagine they will span the length of entire episodes, but so far, they are half to three quarter episode length stories. I was surprisingly unfamiliar with a lot of the stories, and I’ve concluded it actually works to its benefit, rather than its detriment. The decision to choose some of Ito’s lesser known work is an interesting one - likely in order to save his more famous stories until the end, which I’d rather that then the other way around. By presenting the collection in this manner, it also gives viewers time to appreciate the oddness of each individual story and adds an interesting texture in the process.
I like that some of these stories just boil down to “daughter turns into a doll” or “I met a creepy looking model”. While these straight-forward stories don’t work as well as they do in panel form within the manga, they work to a comparable effect, and have proven to be able to draw out tension in a similar way. I can see why some may find issues with this simpler, no-twist method of story telling, but I still think there is a lot of enjoyment to be had here, and more to come! As stated earlier, the fact that most of these works aren’t even well known, make them that much more fun to watch unfold. The more elaborate and well known Ito stories are what I came for and am most looking forward to. Thus far, they've done a great job sprinkling them in here and there.
Art/Animation – 8
I've heard discussions on Studio Deen’s attempt to imitate Ito’s highly detailed and refined line work, and it’s clear they’re still experimenting with how to make it look more natural and fluid in animation - sometimes it can add to the composition, sometimes it takes away from it. Evidently, if it works, it works really well, effectively intensifying certain scenes and making imagery more unsettling in the process. I admire the decision, and the stylistic liberties taken, as they feel like the classic early 2000s Junji Ito art style from the manga, and I think fans and new viewers alike will find a nostalgic quality to the show in that sense. The animators/designers seemingly have trouble retaining this ‘older look’ throughout, and again, there are some awkward frames and angles, but the art direction and animation are continually serviceable and appealing. Some may even argue that this could enhance the ominous aspects of the experience (Fashion model chasing scene comes to mind) and I kind of would agree as Ito’s work is known not to shy away from the unpleasant.
Sound - 10
Sound direction is probably the most important thing within the horror medium as it drives atmosphere and tone. A lot of the darkest, scariest moments of the episodes so far were multiplied by the excellent sound direction and I recall thinking to myself that they did a great job with it.
OP and EN aren't what you'd expect from a dark horror anime, but the subversion of expectations is what makes it interesting and the are serviceable as well. Perhaps a little forgettable, but only time will tell.
Characters – 8
This section has been included out of necessity as short horror stories don’t tend to be as heavily character driven as other stories (not to say they can’t be, but the nature of a short story is that they don’t have be reliant on the same characters throughout). With that being said, there is a good amount of attention and time that has gone into each character, their thoughts, developments, etc. Attention to detail is important and it is things of this nature that can sometimes make or break whether you actually care about what’s going on. In that sense, Junji Ito’s Collection is doing a lot of things right as I found myself caring, and fully interested in events to transpire.
Junji Ito continues to set a great example for the horror community within, and outside of manga/anime, that keeps viewers on their toes, and in the moment. Shows currently following a similar format (Black Mirror comes to mind) could learn a thing or two from the execution of these stories (In comparison, I’ve enjoyed these 3 episodes more than 4 season of BM).
Watch this anime! If you are into horror this one is definitely a must watch.
Anime of the season to be honest.This anime is a collection of horror stories and each one is unique with different characters in each story. If you watched yamishibai before, well the art is better than that and the stories are longer in length.
Each episode are not made equal because each episode has a different horror story than the previous one. Episode 2 is really good so I recommend you start on episode 2 then watch episode 1 because episode 2 has 2 horror shorts in one episode and I feel
those stories were better than episode 1. Also there is no chronological order anyway so try out episode 2 if you want to give it a try.
The anime objective it's to give the viewers a little taste about Junji Ito's work. If you like the horror genre, you really should try watching it and, if you prefer, you could read the entire collection. The art from the anime reminds me of the manga, and that's the objective, loved it!
The sounds are well-placed too. The characters are amazing and i really enjoyed the anime. But if you really liked the anime too, you have to read the manga because the anime isn't as perfect as the manga is. They really did a great job in this adaptation!
When an anime makes such a drastic turn in quality, enjoyment and fear factor to the point where you're compelled to write a review about it is proof that you should give it at least a shot.
As you can guess from the name, The Ito Junji collection is many of his short stories turned into anime. If you're completely unfamiliar with any of Ito Junjis work, I highly recommend you read "uzumaki". It's not very long however gives you a great starting place for understanding Junjis world.
When placed into anime form, it honestly looks like his imagery and art have come to life,
the sound direction blends so well and overall it's a perfect mix.
As for episodes there is currently only three. I'll be honest, the first episode was one massive let down for me personally. I was expecting a gruesome horror filled experience but alas it felt more like I was watching a comedy or parody. Regardless, the animation style, voice acting and soundtrack convinced me to give it another go and I was absolutely amazed at both episode 2 and episode 3. Both episodes did his work justice, creating incredibly creepy scenarios as well as even supply some deep philosophical ideas (especially in episode 2)
It has boosted my love for this show, you're getting two short horror stories in one episode which will, at the very least, unnerve you to a certain degree. Even if you're one stone cold B*stard, there's still tons of enjoyment from watching this and hopefully provides you with inspiration to read Ito Junjis other work