A Horrific Disappointment (Junji Ito Collection Anime Review)

WARNING SPOILERS!

Genre: Horror, Psychological, Mystery, Supernatural

Rating: R

Studio: Studio Deen

Episodes: 12

Original run: January 5 – March 23 2018

Available on: Crunchyroll, Funimation

Languages Available: Japanese, English

Subtitles Available: Japanese, English, Polish, French, Italian, German

Manga: Yes

Plot:

There is no cohesive plot in the Junji Ito Collection. Instead it is a collection of short horror stories based of off Junji Ito’s work. Each episode contains two different stories with separate plots and characters.

Review:

Before the winter season of anime even began I was incredibly excited for the Junji Ito Collection and its release. As someone who has yet to read any of Ito’s work but has seen his beautifully horrific art style plastered across the internet it comes as no surprise that I would be hyped for this show. I’m a huge fan of the horror genre and I want anything and everything that can creep me out when it comes to this genre. Unfortunately this anime was a massive let down.

ito1

That’s a lie Souichi. There wasn’t an ounce of real horror, especially in your stories.

I was hoping the horrific art style would translate well into an anime and the series would give me chills. Unfortunately it did nothing of the sort and honestly most of it was more laughable than anything else. When examining the actual stories like the slug girl story then yes, some of the tales are horrendous. But the way the series executed these scenes and stories just made them seem bland and I never got the urge to cling to a pillow or squirm in my seat (with one very vile exception which i’ll touch on later). I think maybe Ito’s very clever and grotesque art style cannot be translated well into an animated form. When looking at the anime compared to the manga I feel much more disturbed by the original art work. Maybe due to the fact that the original is incredibly detailed in terms of penmanship and the black and white contrast between the ink and paper really makes the images pop.

Another area that disappointed was the stories they chose to use. I mentioned before that I have never read any of Ito’s work but having said that I am familiar with some of his characters and specific drawings which I hoped to see animated. The character I looked forward to seeing most was Tomie as she is probably one of the most well known characters of Ito’s work.

cc7

Unfortunately her character only appeared once within the 12 episodes that aired. That one episodes was probably one of my favourites as I loved her beautiful yet sinister character and was hoping to see more of her throughout the series. I did see a comment on Crunchyroll mentioning and OVA collection about Tomie but I haven’t heard anything about that. I hope it’s true because I’d love to see more of her character and what she is all about. Instead of focusing on character like Tomie they decided to do at least 3 episodes related to a charcater named Souichi. Souichi’s character is more humorous than anything else. I was all right with seeing his character in episode one as I thought it was a light introduction to this creepy horror series. But he just kept popping up and I wish they had explored characters like Tomie or other stories instead of keep going back to him and his silly curses that weren’t the least bit scary.

junji-ito-collection-001-004.png

Oh it’s you…again.

The most grizzly episode for me was the episode titled ‘Greased’. This episode like the rest of the series was not the slightest bit scary but it actually made me feel physically sick and I had to stop eating whilst watching the episode. This story was based around this family’s home and restaurant where grease kept building up until everything and everyone was covered in it. I don’t think i’ve ever felt so sick watching a TV programme before. Now, this could be interpreted as a good sign with horror as it gave me a negative reactions which is primarily what the horror genre is supposed to do. But I didn’t get this negative reaction from being scared or creeped out, it was simply down to being absolutely vile and not the kind of thing you want to see when you’re trying to enjoy delicious chocolate cookies. I wouldn’t call it horror personally as it didn’t have the right effect that horror has on me. It’s simply vile and if you can avoid that episode at all costs, please do.

Overall the Junji Ito Collection disappointed on my expectations. It wasn’t necessarily bad, it’s watchable but it’s certainly no masterpiece in terms of an anime series. This isn’t down to bad story telling but I don’t think this kind of work translates well into an animated form. Junji Ito’s work is something I plan to explore very soon as I want to read and experience his work in its original form.

 

Rating: 6/10

What did you think about the Junji Ito Collection? Love it? Hate it? Grossed out by any of it?

Thanks for reading and I hope you’re having a great day!

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