Junji Ito Collection Episode 1: Sit Back And Listen To A Twisted Tale

Overview:

Apparently a collection of horror stories based on the works of Junji Ito.

Review:

There wasn’t a lot of information to go on with this one though it has had a bit of discussion prior to release (I’ve mostly been trying to ignore it though). Still, an episodic horror based anime seems kind of perfect for me so I dove right in. I wasn’t disappointed though I suspect this is more going to be strange than horrific by the time it is done unless it has a bit more oomph in later stories.

Junji1c

While the main story for episode 1 was interesting enough visually it isn’t amazing and the characters don’t do all that much outside of their assigned role. It all works and the story is kind of fascinating yet ultimately no explanation as to how our egotistical and slightly self-deluded protagonist is actually managing to curse people. All this could have been pretty amazing with a great resolution but while this story is resolved, it is somewhat less than satisfying and the impact of the ending is muted by a poor attempt at off-beat humour.

Junji1d

There is a very short second story at the end of this episode and it was really quite interesting but obviously wasn’t overly developed given the short nature. Despite the some of the negatives I’ve identified here, this was pretty relaxing viewing and definitely appealed to me. My only worry with it being episodic is that the stories may end up feeling repetitive so I’ll give this a couple more episodes before deciding but it is very likely I’m going to watch this one through.


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23 thoughts on “Junji Ito Collection Episode 1: Sit Back And Listen To A Twisted Tale

  1. I did mention a bit back I like transformations and that includes body horror, so the doll segment in the last few minutes definitely got my attention. The rest of the episode was fine (if it was comedy it didn’t really succeed, but if it was to lower expectations for the doll segment, it did its job perfectly) but hopefully Souichi isn’t scheduled to appear again too much.

    (Then again, my experience with Junji Ito is exactly two of his horror stories, one of which was an adaption of Ranpo Edogawa’s Human Chair, so I can’t really be the Ito expert here…)

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  2. Glad to read your thoughts! I was pretty curious about this one. I only recently learned about Junji Ito, but what I’ve seen/read by him so far is simply astounding. My main concern for the show though was the animation. Ito’s illustrations are so detailed and horrific, and I wasn’t sure how they would translate that into an anime. I’m bummed that it sounds like the visuals aren’t exceptional, but I’ll definitely give it a fair shot.

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    1. There’s definitely an over-reliance on just making things dark rather than actually atmospheric in this first episode. Maybe this will improve over time or with different stories.

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  3. I watched the first episode and I didn’t like it at all. But I suppose that, for me personally, it has more to do with a certain insect that was used in this episode more than anything else. I have the worse fucking phobia for those. But like you said, it was very strange and not at all scary. The humour felt like a really bad C-grade horror, black comedy stuff. I usually love it, but for me it just didn’t resonate in the confines of the underdeveloped stories. I also believe that that will be the biggest issue with most of the stories.

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    1. That humour really didn’t hit its mark and particularly during the climax it kind of hurt my enjoyment of the story. I still didn’t mind this, but I would have preferred the story without the attempt at humour and would have liked them to just play it straight.

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  4. I really wasn’t sure where I stood at the end of episode 1: Studio Deen’s decision to adapt one of Junji Itou’s comedy/gag chapters is a really strange one for the first episode of a horror anime meant to hook people in o.o

    Souichi is a recurring comedy character (and a hugely divisive one) and it’s odd that they didn’t start with a hard-hitting story – I’ve heard The Long Dream is coming soon which is a really freaking cool story he wrote! Hopefully that’s in the next few episodes c:

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  5. Hmmm…out of all the shows that I have read about this week, this is the only one that is a little bit appealing. But I still haven’t decided if I’m going to check it out. Most of the series for this season all see, a bit meh to me so far.

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    1. I must admit, other than Cardcaptor nothing else has really got me dancing yet. Though, I didn’t mind the first episode of Grancrest. It could become hopelessly mediocre but I’m kind of thinking it might be fun. My review of that will be out tonight.

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    1. It’s probably going to be “true horror” in the next episodes. The first episode covers one of the Souichi chapters, which are indeed dark comedies, but its last minutes are dedicated to another short (6 pages long) story. By now, it seems the anime is going to adapt at least Slug Girl, Fashion Model, the “Painter” story from Tomie and some chapters (if not all) of the Oshikiri and Lovesick Dead series… All of which are “regular” Junji Ito and don’t have the silliness of the Souichi stories.

      I’m not sure about Slug Girl and Fashion Model for an anime adaptation, though. At least to me, they are some of Ito’s weakest chapters, despite their iconic status… :p

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  6. I read Uzumaki and one of his short stories. Junji Ito’s endings are a little unsatisfying. I haven’t watched it yet. I’m saving it for next week! But after reading this, at least I know what I’m in for.

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    1. This one probably isn’t actually going to get to horror but it was strange enough and while it isn’t exactly amazing I’ll probably end up watching it through though forgetting it just as quickly. Unless, as I said, later stories have a bit more meat in them.

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