In the ninth episode of Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre, the antagonist, Tomie, is a beautiful girl, but it is soon revealed that she is not what she appears to be. The anime is now streaming on Netflix.
Tomie Kawakami is one of the most popular characters created by Junji Ito. Tomie’s character has made an appearance in many of his works. Since Ito is known for creating bizarre characters and scenarios, Tomie is also nothing like an ordinary person.
In Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre, Tomie is seen in Tsukiko’s story. They are both high school students with secrets of their own. However, Tomie’s secret is of a much more sinister kind than Tsukiko’s secret.
The girl on the Disciplinary Committee
Tsukiko is a member of the Photo Club at her school, but she uses her skills to take photographs of popular boys and sells them to girls for money.
Her thriving business at school comes to an abrupt end when Tomie Kawakami, a member of the Disciplinary Committee, catches her selling the photographs. In just a minute, Tsukiko loses all her hard work and is left with nothing.
Tomie confiscates all of her photographs but tells her she will let her off the hook this time. Tsukiko’s friends warn her that Tomie snitches on students all the time, so she should not believe her when she promises to keep this incident to herself.
Later, Yamazaki, a boy Tsukiko likes, requests her to take a picture of Tomie for him, and Tsukiko cannot refuse. When Tsukiko covertly snaps her pictures, Tomie catches her in the act. Instead of yelling at her, she encourages her to take more pictures.
Tsukiko soon realizes that it was a trap, as she finds a teacher was called there by Tomie. Tsukiko willingly resigns from the club and boldly asks her teacher to suspend or expel her if it is required.
Despite getting what she wanted, Tomie seems disappointed when Tsukiko announces her own punishment; she wanted to see her suffer in some way, but Tsukiko did not give her that satisfaction.
The girl who bewitches men
Tomie always has her two henchmen, Taichi and Kimata, with her in order to stifle any and all opposition. She also compliments her teacher on his good work as if he is her student, indicating she also has him under her control.
Tomie is a beautiful girl, but her face is a mask that she wears. Tsukiko, after looking at the prints of Tomie’s photographs, figures out that she has another terrifying face and that it is not visible to anyone. Tsukiko scatters the photographs around the school to expose her secret.
Tomie then sends her henchmen to find and kill Tsukiko. Yamazaki takes Tsukiko to a secluded room to save her from them, only to try to kill her there because Tomie had asked him to do so.
Yamazaki tells Tsukiko that he would do anything for Tomie, and Tsukiko realizes that Yamazaki has also been bewitched by her beauty. Tomie’s biggest weapon is controlling men and making them do her dirty work while keeping her own hands clean.
The monster that lies within
After escaping from school, Tsukiko gets suspended and is visited by Tomie at her home when she is alone. Tomie claims to have come in peace, but Tsukiko is not fooled.
She calls Tomie a monster, a pathological liar, and mentally ill when Tomie says that her family knew famous personalities. This triggers Tomie and brings out her other face.
Her screams attract the attention of her henchmen. They see another face protruding out of her head, but they are still under her control. She orders them to cut the protrusion and get rid of it. They accidentally behead her, and somehow, even that does not kill her.
They carry her screaming head out of the house to cut the protrusion, leaving her body behind. Her body, which has a new head growing on it, rushes out of the house later.
Tomie’s other face, which makes an appearance later, is her real face; it depicts what she truly is as a person. The other beautiful face is just a mask and a weapon. The moment anyone sees through her mask, she gets enraged, and that brings out her real face.
Tomie is constantly seen through the lens of the camera, which usually captures what lies outside, but in Tomie’s case, the lens captures what lies on the inside and is not visible to anyone else. She fails to hide what she is from the camera, which acts like a mirror of reality.
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