While Stephen King is usually revered as the master of horror, there is a particularly lauded Japanese writer and artist who can inject spine-chilling horror into readers’ minds in a far more potent manner. A master of existential anxieties, phobias, terrors and fear of the unknown, Junji Ito is a brilliant mangaka whose works have been genre-defining and phenomenal.
During the ‘Netflix Geeked Week’ in the first month of June 2022, the streamer has released a lot of teaser content for upcoming exciting releases. For the animation day on Geeked Week, the streaming giant announced their current collaboration with the master of terror, Ito, on the brand new anime series titled Junji Ito’s Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre.
This series will contain 20 of Ito’s brilliant and most magnificently horrific works, adapting them into anime. Some of the stories from the collection will be Souichi, Tomie, The Hanging Balloons, and more.
While Ito has not yet decided which stories will be adapted from Tomie or Souichi, the Tomie series is Ito’s debut collection of short stories revolving around a young woman who transcends ageing and mortality, luring men into her mad world.
In the video, Ito explained his inspiration for creating Tomie, citing instances of how a lizard’s tail grows back after being cut off. This refers to Tomie reappearing after her death only to wreak havoc. The teaser released by Netflix shows Ito’s pleasant and kind demeanour, which hides the chaotic creativity that results in such gruesome and dark works.
Ito’s specific brand of grotesque horror and the uncanny is surreal and has been adapted many times. Netflix has a lot to do to live up to the legend’s stature. According to Ito: “All the talented animators working on this series are putting in their best effort to animate my stories, so I cannot wait to see how they will take my characters and reimagine them in an eerie, new world.”
The series is scheduled to arrive sometime in 2023.