Junji Ito owns many famous manga series that have been adapted, but are their anime versions as good as manga?
Junji Ito is one of the most beloved horror manga authors, but his elaborate works are difficult to adapt into anime or live-action while still retaining the author’s signature horror. The biggest obstacle is probably with Japan’s laws that do not allow showing works that are too gory and scary.
Therefore, many fans believe that the anime adaptations of Ito’s work do not keep the thrill, scary, and haunting feeling like the original manga. Studio Deen tried to adapt as close to the original as possible the oneshot collection “Junji Ito Collection” and was quite successful. Here is one of the best anime episodes based on Junji Ito’s famous oneshot anthologies.
- Fragments Of Horror
“Gentle Goodbye” is one of the saddest oneshots in Junji Ito’s short manga anthology, released in the “Fragment of Horror” series. The story revolves around a young girl named Riko, the daughter-in-law of the wealthy Tokura family. She was always afraid that her biological father would one day die.
While living at her husband’s house, she realized that when someone in the Tokura family dies, there is an “afterimage” created by other members of the family. She asked her husband if his family could create an afterimage for her biological father if he died, but her request was denied.
After eight years of marriage, Riko discovered that her husband was having an affair with another woman, even planning to marry her. Confused, Riko questioned her husband and was told that she had actually died 2 years ago and that her husband had begged the family to create an afterimage of Riko.
The anime version of this volume is not too different from the manga. From the script to the images, all successfully reproduce the theme of this volume, especially the sad fate of Riko.
In the “Smashed” manga series, this is the only chapter that gets an anime adaptation. A group of Japanese friends have accidentally discovered an addictive nectar that only grows deep in the Amazon forest in the US. Those who ate their nectar could no longer eat normal food and became obsessed with this nectar, then brutally killed and left intact.
The Anime version of “Smashed” reinterprets this scary story very well with beautiful animations and great voice acting, highlighting the madness of each character.
One of the oneshots in the manga anthology “Shiver” that has been adapted is about a mysterious recording. This record, recorded by a famous artist, is rumored to be a curse recording and anyone who listens to it will be haunted to the point of madness.
The second story from “Shiver” with the same name as this manga anthology, revolves around a mysterious jade stone that curses its possessors with a deadly disease. The stone was shaped like a burrowing insect, and the disease that cursed it spread would leave people with holes in their bodies. “Shiver” has been adapted excellently, realistically in the anime version, making those who suffer from agoraphobia watch once and remember for a lifetime.
- Fashion Model
It is also one of the famous oneshots in the “Shiver” anthology; introduces a character we’ll see again and again in Junji Ito’s manga. The story begins when a film student named Iwasaki accidentally sees a famous model in a magazine with a very ugly face. While recruiting for a movie he is working on, Iwasaki accidentally meets this woman again.
She introduces herself as Fuchi. Fuchi was cast as the lead actress along with another beautiful young actress. On the first day of filming, Fuchi was revealed to be a monster, with hideous teeth, she bit through all the other members of the crew and ate them. Although the anime has adapted this volume quite well, many fans still think that Fuchi’s face in the manga version is the real horror.
- The Long Dream
“The Long Dream” is probably one of Junji Ito’s most famous and terrifying oneshots. This volume of stories revolves around a strange patient, with a unique disease, that his dream is too long, causing the patient to become more and more distant from reality.
Some of his dreams spanned decades. Once while awake, this patient met another female patient named Mami and later dreamed that they were married. When he wakes up, he thinks it’s true and frightens Mami.
In the end, he had to give in to his dreams and never wake up again. Like many other oneshot volumes, “The Long Dream” is faithful to the plot in the manga. While the visuals may not be as scary and haunting as the manga version, this is definitely one of the best anime episodes in “Junji Ito’s Collection.”