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TV Anime "Junji Itou Collection" (2018)

Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:23 pm
by layzee

Okay, the promo trailer is only 1 minute long but I'm confident enough to bet y'all $100 (USD) that the manga will remain superior. Anyway, Junji Itou is basically a horror manga artist and writer genius with a very impressive work history and one of my favourite people ever. He's that good. It seems like this new 2018 anime will be sourced from his main "Junji Ito Horror Comic Collection" which consists of 16 books and each book having around 5 mainly unrelated stories (if I remember correctly). I doubt every single story will be adapted so I'd say a select few. Possible stories for inclusion might be:

Tomie - She is a beautiful girl and any man that meets her inevitably go crazy and end up loving her to death, literally. Consisting of a bunch of continuing stories, Itou's first work (or first major work). Storytelling-wise, a bit rough, perhaps repetitive, but nonetheless interesting.

Ma no Danpen (Fragments of Evil) - A standalone volume consisting of several unrelated stories. One of those is: why is the man holding onto his head while breathing heavily? (as shown on cover)

Souichi's Selfish Curse - More of a horror/comedy. Souichi is a mischievous boy who likes playing with nails and inflicting curses on those who cross his path.

Namekuji Shoujo (Slug Girl) - A girl wakes up to find something wrong with her tongue...

Fashion Model - One day, a university student finds a terribly unattractive model in a magazine. Shortly after, this same "model" auditions for the main role of the movie he and his colleagues are making...

Oshikiri Idan (Oshikiri's Strange Stories) - I think it's about a boy named Oshikiri and his encounters with the supernatural.

4tsu Tsuji no Bishounen (The Pretty Boy at the Crossroads) - Horror/romance. The protagonist returns to his hometown to confront his past. At the same time, there are a series of suicides. Does that ghostly figure have anything to do with either? One of my favourite stories. The title was changed from its original "死びとの恋わずらい".

I don't watch much anime these days, but I'll make an exception this time and if history is of any indication, set my expectations low. Gyo (Fish) was previously adapted to an anime but none of the atmosphere and escalating horror got translated, nor key parts of the plot. It was reduced to a typical disaster movie. Uzumaki (Spiral) was adapted into a live-action movie but considering the original material (a multi-volume epic, what I consider to be Itou's masterpiece), it was doomed to be a failure from the beginning (with even more plot taken out, basically 90%). There's been other Junji Itou anime and live-action films but I don't feel like wasting my time.

Do you like Junji Itou, and if so, which is your all time greatest story of his?

P.S. I should take a photo of my manga collection one day, it should be close to complete, if not complete.

Re: TV Anime "Junji Itou Collection" (2018)

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:31 pm
by layzee
layzee wrote:set my expectations low.

I'm happy to report that this anime exceeded my expectations: it was quite bland and average at best and kind of destroyed the source material at worst. It captured the feel of Ito's original art pretty well (e.g. facial features). The voice acting was for the most part decent. The stories themselves mostly go on the same path as the original manga. But it failed on several fronts:

1) Key visuals: Compared to any manga, Junji Ito's art is very detailed, especially in the climax scenes (e.g. jump scare parts if you will). I don't expect anime to completely replicate that (e.g. because it's more expensive to animate art that detailed compared to static manga art) but those same scenes are mainly static in the anime with little to no animation. It's basically the manga art panel on TV... except less detailed and non-animated. I might as well just read the original manga.

2) Sense of horror and dread: Depending on the story, I get that lovely slow-burn terror by reading the manga. I didn't get that same feeling in the anime. Maybe it's because I already know what's coming. Maybe it's because I'm getting old/too experienced in this genre so it doesn't affect me. Or maybe it's because the anime did a not very good job of communicating that horror. All equally valid options.

3) A lot of stories were rushed and some had key events/plots removed or changed. The biggest example is "The Pretty Boy at the Crossroads" AKA "Lovesick Dead", a horror/romance that is worth a full 1.5 hour movie/OVA. It basically skipped the second half of the story, parts of the manga ending is introduced halfway in the anime, and important plot points ignored. When the anime ended, I was like "wait what, it's over already?"

4) Miscellaneous points: Some of the faces look weirdly drawn, they look almost retarded. Some of the walking animations looks stiff or weird (the non-intended ones). Some censorship such as bare breasts as in the original manga being covered up with clothing in the anime. The anime OP and ED didn't do much for me.

I think the greatest possible failing is that the anime didn't inspire me to check out the original manga, which I assume is their goal: to promote Junji Ito's published works. The 1997 Berserk anime (which I watched first) inspired me to check out the manga for example. I guess it helps that the anime is as good if not better than the manga. Having said that, that's probably because I read the original manga already so that makes me biased. If I could, I would test my hypothesis by wiping my memory of both the manga and anime, and watching the anime again to see if it would inspire me to read the manga. So it will be those of you who watched the anime first that can decide if my point is valid or not (i.e. did the anime inspire you to read the manga).

layzee wrote:P.S. I should take a photo of my manga collection one day, it should be close to complete, if not complete.


I recommend skipping the anime and checking any of the manga above. Take your pick, you can't go wrong.