Here are my top six Junji Ito stories. Junji Ito is a popular mangaka from Japan. I planned on publishing this blog post around the time the Uzumaki anime was going to premiere on Toonami. The anime keeps getting delayed because the panini is indeed being a meanie. Yes, I had to make that old and tired joke BECAUSE that’s how long I’ve been sitting on this blog post. Now, I’m tired of waiting. My object permanence will not allow this to sit in the drafts any longer babes. It’s been well over a year.
This one doesn’t get as much love even though I think it deserves much more attention. You can find this tale in Fragments of Horror. I consider Blackbird to be the standout of this collection. I love HGTV, but I’m never gonna be like that. I do enjoy Gentle Goodbye and the Whispering Woman, I do think that they embody the “fragments” in the Fragments of Horror. Like, I think that Guillermo Del Toro could make both of those stories into amazing adaptations. However, I don’t think they would be horrifying/scary. Kind of like Coraline or The Others. Those movies have fragments of horror while not being super objectively scary as a whole. I have a special place in my heart for stories like this, because I love happy (ish) endings. As a whole, I do think Blackbird’s ending is so freaking spooky and is much more than a fragment of horror.
I really think that the ~Blackbird~ in the story should be cosplayed a lot more. But you might look like a winner of the Kylie Jenner challenge. But, that’s what I think makes her look so scary. She looks almost normal, like she could possibly be a human. Then, you realize what’s really going on. Then, you realize you actually don’t know what’s going on or what’s going to happen next, or, if it’s happened before. If you like the movie Hereditary, you might like this short story because they have similar themes of inevitability.
2. Further Tales of Oshikiri
I know that Souichi is the “favorite” of the Junji Ito boys. And while that is totally deserved, (I bought two Souichi Funko Pops) I do like Oshikiri better. With Souichi, you know what kind of person he is, and he is very (hilariously) predictable. Oshikiri is a “different” person in every story. The Further Tales of Oshikiri may explain why in every Oshikiri tale his temperament is different, and there is very little continuity. Sometimes, he’s just jealous of his tall friend. Sometimes, he straight up MURDERS the friend. You never know which Oshikiri you’re going to get. The Further Tales of Oshikiri has the body horror Junji Ito is beloved for. There are an infinite amount of Oshikiris and I hope to read about as many as possible. I want the promise of “worse” Oshikiri to come to fruition.
Speaking of body horror, bruh. Every time I even think about Glyceride, I have to add an extra face mask to my everyday 12+ step skincare routine. As far as characters go, I feel bad for Yui the most out of anyone Ito has ever created. Most Junji Ito stories have bad things happening to people because it’s out of their control on an unavoidable level (Uzumaki, Hanging Balloons, Hellstar Remina). Yui’s problems are out of her control in a different way because she was born into this life, it’s a different kind of terrible because it’s her family. And that is frightening, especially if it is relatable.
This story has everything, an absent parent, and abusive parent, and abusive brother, offal, acne, cannibalism, and grease, and most of all GREASE. Yes, there is so much grease I had to mention it twice.
This story is seriously disgusting, and I love it. It’s not only physically disgusting, but the psychological dread poor Yui must have felt is very :(((( .
The ending is so ambiguous and I think about it often.
04. Hellstar Remina
Junji Ito gets compared to H.P. Lovecraft a lot. I think this story is the most Lovecraftian. A professor discovers a far away planet and names it after his daughter, which doesn’t have the best outcome. I feel like the Remina story gets forgotten, because it’s in the same book as Army of One. Like everyone else, I love Army of One, but I feel like everyone knows that story so there wasn’t a point in talking about it. Do y’all care? Should I make a seperate post on that? I have a lot of thoughts!! Okay, so back to Miss Remina. My favorite thing about this planet is that everything was fine as long as we kept her name out of her mouth. Relatable queen!
But seriously, it really reminds me of that quote Friedrich Nietzsche: “When you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you”. As I’m sure all the homies know, I am unironically terrified of space and what’s up there. I’d rather remain on Earth and watch fake ass Star Wars.I never want to actually know what’s up there. I’m sure the reality is much, much worse.
I do think that this is the most beautifully animated of all of Junji Ito’s work. It’s also really up there with being the most twisted. Like Yui in Glyceride, she couldn’t help who her dad was and the things that happened to her were because of other people’s choices.
05. Dog Diary
Yeah, I know. Y’all love the Cat Diary.
I am an unapologetic dog person. Even though I’m no really a fan of little dogs like the one in the story. I like big, dumb dogs. Here’s mine. I miss him!
I love Dog Diary anyway because I imagine that’s what it’s like having a cantankerous and spoiled dog. Or maybe it’s because, I too, am a prissy little bitch.
I don’t really like cats. I think it’s because I am very allergic to them. When I read Cat Diary, I always thought thy looked a little sinister, but I feel that way about most cats. I do think if I didn’t have that prejudice about cats I would appreciate the humor a little bit better.
Overall I think it is a cute and hilarious time capsule of a man, his mother, and Boss Non Non.
06.The Enigma of Amigara Fault
If you have trypopophobia, claustrophobia, a fear of “the call of the void”, or love body horror….This is your story. It was made for you. I feel like this story doesn’t get the acclaim it deserves.Not only is is frequently memed, but it is usually packaged with the very popular Gyo. I’m going to keep it one hundred with you. While this story is very good,I think it would have benefited from a bit of character development. I think that it would be much scarier if we knew that these people came from completely different walks of life and still felt the need to go into their hole.The dream thing was weird too, if these people were being punished, I’d like an idea as to what they did. I still like the story, maybe we can get a good live action version of this one! Then they can add some character development.
What’s your favorite short (or long!) story by Junji Ito?