An Obsession with Itou Junji’s Works…

Ever heard of a guy called Suehiro Maruo? Maybe I’ll get round to reviewing it sometime, but he’s the guy responsible for Mr. Arashi’s Amazing Freak Show/ Midori. Both are excellent and disturbing works…

Disturbing…

Probably the best word to describe the works of Itou Junji, a famous manga-ka renowned for his intensely disturbing yet somehow beautiful imagery. He was the one who brought us Uzumaki (Spiral) and also the manga Tomie, both of which were adapted into film franchises.

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Tomie junji ito

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What pretty pictures…

I can handle disturbing content in most things fairly well, particularly in anime and manga. However, when I began reading “Itou Junji Kyoufu Manga Collection”, it would be a rare day when I didn’t come away from reading a few chapters feeling mildly sick and bothered. That being said, though, it was also a rare day I didn’t come away inspired and intrigued.

Tomie is incorporated partly into the manga collection, and Itou goes on to write many more short horrific vignettes about various different characters, some having several arcs to themselves. I’m going to talk about some specific stories here, basically my favourites/ ones I think are good examples.

Speaking of a character with several arcs, possibly the most popular character in the mini-franchise is Souichi.

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This normal looking child is Souichi, pictured performing one of his ‘voodoo experiments’. As you can probably tell-mostly by his sense of dress-he’s a rather eccentric one.

Creepy little boy Souichi takes up several parts in the manga, mainly:

Both of which are comprised of shorts detailing with Souichi’s escapades into mostly being a pain in the ass to people.

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He likes to keep nails in his teeth and spit them at people. Like you do. It’s also questionable what sort of supernatural abilities he has…

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“Hey, that’s my nail!”

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Credits to Titania Scanlations for this one. I couldn’t resist…

Of course, it’s not all about “Everybody Loves Souichi” in this manga. There are a lot of other interesting stories to be told. One in particular which I enjoyed was “Ice Cream Bus”.

It tells the story of a strange ice cream van that comes around a neighbourhood and gives the children free rides around the street too. Generous right? Troubled father Sonohara-san doesn’t think so, but being a divorcee he eventually lets his pleading little kid go for a few rides. It all seems okay, and damn that ice cream man is fine…

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That’s another thing, the males and females are often very attractive in Itou’s works. Even Souichi is busukawaii (ugly cute). But alas, a horrifying truth is soon realised when Mr. Sonohara spies the inside of the van…

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Ew.

In short, the whole town turns sticky and children start licking each-other (really not as dodgy as it sounds?). Eventually, we get the conclusion:

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Mmm…delicious…

There are various other stories of note, so here’s some samples:

Slug Girl

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Hanging Balloons

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Tomie

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If you like the look of this stuff (and think you can stomach it) then you can read most of it here:

http://mangafox.me/manga/itou_junji_kyoufu_manga_collection/

 Also, check out Mr. Arashi’s Amazing freak Show:

http://manga.animea.net/mr-arashi-s-amazing-freak-show.html

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About vanille

An avid fan of movies, anime, manga, video games, and Tim and Eric. Has an unhealthy obsession with The Karate Kid: Part III.

Posted on May 22, 2013, in Itou Junji, Manga and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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