In my quest to read the entire Ito Junji Collection, I figured I would write a review for those that did not already have one. For this review series, I will include my favorite and least favorite from the volume at the end.This is my first review ever, so please bear with me.
Story, 7: In the fourth volume, we have six stories, all more or less focused on unexplainable phenomena that occur to a different cast of characters in each story. I thought that each one had its merits, and they were definitely original premises, but I only truly enjoyed "The Hanging Balloons" (which I
felt established a sense of dread while also explaining the premise at an appropriate pace). A lot of stories seemed to suddenly have a reveal, which is acceptable for a short story, but some seemed like they came out of nowhere (namely "Falling").
Art, 8: This is classic Ito. There are a lot of body disfigurements and horror-stricken characters, so it might be a bit rough if you are unfamiliar with his other work, but I enjoyed it.
Characters, 5: This might be too harsh a rating; given that each story is a one-shot, there isn't much time for the characters to develop/feel distinct, and most of the protagonists and side characters are essentially stock characters. Everyone at least physically appeared more differentiated than the previous one-shot collection ("Flesh-Coloured Horror"), so that was appreciated.
Enjoyment, 6: I was entertained by each story to an extent, but I wasn't particularly blown away by any either. This is essentially by standard rating for anything I enjoyed but didn't have any strong feelings one way or another.
Overall, 6: I would highly recommend this title if you find yourself looking for some solid horror art or simply want to find some interesting stories.
Personal Favorite: "The Hanging Balloons", Least Favorite: "Falling"