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Episode 1 Review
Japanese Title: Junji Ito Collection (伊藤潤二「コレクション」)
Horror manga author Junji Ito celebrates his 30-year anniversary with an anime adaptation of his works.
I knew Junji Ito only by reputation. I have often gotten very close to buying the hardcover version of Uzumaki in my local bookstore as there is always a copy there waiting and I felt like the story had something to offer. Also, it reminded me of the manga versions of Ring. I never did, however, because I am not a big fan of horror. I had to see this episode to finally be convinced to go through with the purchase, not because the episode was great (far from it) but because I thought that the two stories featured would look good in manga format.
The anime, however, was not the horror I expected. The protagonist of the first story, Shouichi, proclaims before the opening sequence that ‘Now, you’ll see some real horror.’ Despite his promise, Episode 1 was more comedy than horror. The first story focused on a teenager who uses his knowledge of curses to the test by pranking his classmates. Not exactly the horror I had in mind. The second story had just a few minutes to tell the story of a girl who turned into a doll… and then into something more sinister.
You have to give this anime a chance if you are a horror and/or a Junji Ito fan. Because of the episodic nature of the title, I will certainly return for a few more episodes, but the quality of the stories will determine whether the anime will have a permanent place in my Winter 2018 list.