That’s all: Junji Ito: Netflix is streaming Japanese Tales of the Macabre right now. Can I watch it all at once?
The acclaimed manga artist Junji Ito is well-known for producing bone-chilling horror stories in manga. The Japanese are famous for their scary mythology and horror stories. Junji Ito has had some of his works adapted into live-action films and anime.
Now, some of those works are coming back to life in the new animated anthology series with Netflix, which has been investing a lot in original content and has some cool anime on its sleeves. Junji Ito Maniac, the result of their collaboration, brought twenty of his most terrifyingly twisted tales to the big screen: Japanese horror anthology series called Tales of the Macabre.
Junji Ito, the influential horror mangaka who won several Eisner Awards, including Best Writer/Artist, spoke in a three-minute video when the Netflix adaptation was first announced in June 2022. He also showed glimpses of the design drawings that can be expected to appear in this Netflix adaptation of his iconic works.
One of Ito’s most well-known characters, Tomie, was shown briefly in the initial teasers, confirming five of the twenty stories now included in the anime anthology series. The works of Junji Ito provide a lot of nightmare fuel, both with psychological and body horror, which is the mangaka’s trademark.
They are full of darkness and nightmarish horror. It is interesting to see Tomie come back to life again on screen because of the film’s heavy themes of suicide, curses, and tampering with dark arts. It is also interesting because the character herself refuses to die, which is a very welcome pun.
Manic Junji Ito: The first season of Japanese Tales of the Macabre, directed by Shinobu Tagashira and written by Kaoru Sawada, has 12 episodes and is currently streaming on Netflix. It aims to immerse viewers in Junji Ito’s maniacal charm with a selection of 20 nightmare-inducing tales fueled by his initially creepy and fascinating worldview and style.
Despite this, fans had been skeptical about this adaptation. Even though the opening sounds very promising, would a decent translation of Junji Ito’s body horror and other terrifying themes ever be made?
And the conclusion is —
Sadly, it was not this time, and as a result, many people are now placing their hopes on the 2023 adaptation of Uzumaki, one of the author’s most well-known works, which is being produced by Adult Swim and Production IG.
To put it mildly, Netflix’s most recent adaptation of Junji Ito’s truly terrifying manga stories is subpar. Those who are and those who are not familiar with Uzumaki’s works may finally be pleased if the adaptation proves to be successful. The anime anthology lacks the author’s previously mentioned maniacal charm, and some of the segments are actually dull. This is a double sin, especially considering the great originality of the work.
The adaptation fails in a number of ways at various points. Even though this has happened to iconic works like the Addams Family over the years, it is not only distracting but also very annoying in the very first episode of this anthology. Sometimes the comic factor takes the scary parts out of the spotlight. When the first episode is so long, it’s hard to watch the entire series in one sitting.
This anthology’s artwork is also a problem. We are shaken just by looking at some of Ito’s drawings because of the abject terror, body and cosmic horror, and everything else that his words and images evoke. Its disturbing works may not be as bad for the uninitiated, but at least the goal of disturbing is partially accomplished. The anime anthology adaptation of these works is more to blame for the possible nightmare-inducing segments than the original author.
Manic Junji Ito: Another iteration, Japanese Tales of the Macabre, fails to capture and reproduce the same harrowing experiences as Ito’s earlier works in its approach to his work. Yes, in the middle of a messy adaptation, there is the source of his excellent work. The dark and disturbing topics chosen to make “Whispering Woman” more chilling. In the literal sense of animation and storytelling, the new version of “Tomie” appears to be disjointed, no pun intended. In both instances, poor choices.
Even if you manage to watch all of the episodes, binge-watching will only provide you with brief moments in which the stories are connected. Even though it lacks the appeal of the original, it leaves us wanting more at the very end—or even at the very beginning—of the story.
It’s just a taste of an ice cream that doesn’t last very long and the scary ice cream truck from one of the games. If you are new to Ito’s gut-wrenching horror stories and are experiencing this unpleasant aftertaste in your mouth, the recommended solution is to read his manga stories.
You won’t be sorry—or maybe you will, because the experiences you get from reading his manga stories will stick with you longer than this unexceptional collection, which is full of stories but only has a few that are decent and even memorable.
Manic Junji Ito: Japanese Tales of the Macabre premiered in its entirety on January 19, 2023, and it was only available on Netflix.
Always be updated with GeeksULTD for real-time updates