Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre is a collection of bizarre stories by Junji Ito that bring out the horror in the supernatural as well as the human world. The anime is now streaming on Netflix.
Episode 1 takes the viewers to the mansion of the weird Hikizuri siblings, who have plans to summon the spirits of their parents.
Episode 2 explores the mystery of a tunnel where Goro lost his mother as well as the mystery of the driver who takes children around the town on his ice cream bus every Saturday.
In episode 3, people see the ghost of a celebrity that looks like a giant hot-air balloon floating around after her death.
Episode 4 sees a strange carpenter building a room with four walls for Koichi, while Yuji fears his dream-world self might come out of his body as soon as he falls asleep.
In episode 5, Oshikiri brings his new friends to his house to learn more about the alternate dimensions, while Chiemi wants to cut her long hair after her boyfriend breaks up with her.
In episode 6, Akasaka returns to his house to find every nook and corner covered in mold, and Goro is visited by the ghosts of his books.
Episode 7 follows two siblings who accidentally kill a young girl and visit a town full of tombstones.
Episode 8 sees a pair of cursed sisters who are made up of layers of skin and the appearance of a giant fish that attracts the attention of scientists and the general public alike.
In episode 9, Tsukiko’s business of selling pictures of popular boys to girls in her school is brought to an end by Tomie, who has secrets of her own.
Episode 10 follows two friends who get lost on a mountain and discover the existence of a new religion. It also depicts the story of Kuriko, who bullies a younger boy, Nao.
Episode 11 sees Ishida moving into a boarding house that has an odd alley right next to it and the mysterious death of an art teacher who sculpts headless statues.
In episode 12, Mitsu starts taking care of Mayumi, who needs to be given detailed orders for the smallest of tasks. A family adopts a cat and names it Coron, but the curse of the youngest son changes the cat.
The colors used in the anime make it seem like the stories are being viewed from a tainted lens, giving the illusion of being in a different world altogether.
The series does not entirely depend on supernatural beings to terrify the viewers. Instead, it brings out the horror that lies in the everyday lives of humans and proves that humans should be feared just as much as ghosts. It brings together psychological and supernatural terror.
The series takes the viewers on an exploration of the most bizarre scenarios. It almost feels like the viewers are being made to experience these scenarios in a way that gives them a chance to contemplate human nature.
The stories rarely ever rely on jump scares, as the writing and the animation are good enough to not need those.
At times, it feels like two stories have been forcefully lumped together in a single episode. As a result, some stories do not get enough attention. Some of the endings are abrupt and leave too much to the imagination of the viewers.
Additionally, some stories have been adapted in a way that the viewers can see the gaping holes left in them; the anime has left out important information, which makes the plots of some of the stories confusing.
At times, the plot takes a backseat to keep the focus on the visuals. While visuals are important in an anime like this, the plot is, if not more, just as important.
The show brings to the viewers some of the most bizarre and horrifying stories. Ito’s stories combine the fear of the supernatural and the reality of the everyday lives of human beings. Those who enjoy witnessing unthinkable scenarios should definitely give this anime a chance.
Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre
Director: Shinobu Tagashira
Date Created: 2023-01-20 01:40
Also Read: Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre summary and endings explained