Horror is a genre that is down the list for me of what I wish to see in anime. I want something psychological that doesn’t involve severed limbs and blunt instruments and buckets of gore stored around the house, as it’s the maid’s day off and there is just so much to clean up. However, when I was presented with an anthology of tales derived from the disturbed pen of manga horror artist Junji Ito, since it was going to me more like “Night Gallery” or “Tales from the Crypt”, I decided to take in the “Junji Ito Collection” (“Itō Junji Korekushon”).
More or less, the stories are stand-alone tales. We do have a recurring character in Souichi, a very anti-social high school student who tries to ingratiate himself into the student body, but merely grates against them, but the tales are, more or less, one-and-done. Each episode consists of two short tales, where the mundane and common turns vicious and dangerous. Even “Night Gallery” knew to fling in something humorous once in a while, or look at things in a political view, but these are tales of doom. Yes, everyone, to some degree, is doomed.
Sometimes, the hand is so tipped, you watch just to see how stupid everyone else is going to be (“Fashion Model”); other times, it plays out honestly tragically (“Gentle Goodbye”). It’s just that you know something is off. I assume if we did some kind of animated approach to Stephen King short stories, you would already know something unpleasant is going to happen (like “Creepshow”) and just let things unfold to see how they present it.
But how well does it work? The point of horror is to make things uncomfortable, but not fully unpleasant. Some of the tales appear to be there just to see how much you can tolerate before you cave in and run away. Others are unsettling but tolerable. They will certainly keep your interest, but you may get grossed out.
Again, as I said, I don’t actively seek out horror and the tales here cover a wide field of them. They are more than just a tale you tell around the campfire, but less than full-out slaughter. I suggest you watch the first two episodes to see if you wish to continue. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea…..or bucket of blood.
Oh, yeah, binge this. If you have an appetite for horror, these are episodic to begin with, so you are not really investing that much in a series, just a series of shorts.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Simultaneously bland and threatening)
Plot 8 (Odd, bizarre tales)
Pacing 8 (Adapts to the tale being told)
Effectiveness 7 (Some reveal too much too early)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 0 (A similar show would be “Honey and Clover”)
Bingeability 10 (Its episodic nature helps)
Overall 7 (Not all stories work)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. I’ll fix them all!