Junji Ito - The Japanese horror genius

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In this article, we will get to know one of the biggest and best-known horror / horror manga of all time: Junji Ito [伊藤潤二].

Classic author Uzumaki [渦巻き] and several short stories of horror and horror, Junji Ito became famous worldwide for the quality of his stroke and the impressive ability to create a frightening and tense atmosphere in his manga. 

Below, we will discuss a little about his works and also give some reading suggestions.

Peculiarities of Japanese horror / horror

First, the difference in style between a Japanese terror and an American terror is noticeable. The first of these concerns the fact that Japanese terror tends to be more visual and more related to a psychological atmosphere and to the tension that builds up over time. In Junji Ito's works this is no different.

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While American terror / horror is more related to deaths, apparitions, murders, ghosts, dolls and the like, Japanese horror focuses on the psychology of situations, the bizarre and the tension of the environment (something that makes this gender, in Japan, mix a little bit with suspense and sci-fi).

In this sense, it is easier to feel uncomfortable seeing a manga of this genre in Japan than to suffer scares (although they also occur) seeing ordinary Western films, as in the case of Hollywood horror films.

Junji ito: o gênio do horror japonês

Uzumaki and worldwide success

Uzumaki is undoubtedly Junji Ito's most popular work in the West. The manga has already been published twice in Brazil. The first batch was published by Conrad in three volumes. Subsequently, the publisher Devir launched a complete deluxe edition of the series in a single volume, with approximately 656 pages.

Uzumaki, literally, means “Spiral” or “Redemoinho” and illustrates exactly the main theme of the manga. For those who enjoy the horror or horror genre, it is an indispensable read. So I prefer not to provide spoilers here.

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Horror Fragments

Another very interesting manga by Junji Ito was published in Brazil with the title "Fragments of Horror (2014)" in hardcover and good quality edition. The author, in turn, spent a long time without publishing manga of the genre until the publication of this new compilation of horror stories.

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It is highly recommended for anyone who wants to introduce themselves in the author's works, considering that Uzumaki can become a work not very palatable for novice or unsuspecting readers. If you want to get used to the climate of Ito's tales, I recommend starting here.

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The enigma of Amigara's failure

Here we have a bizarre tale involving human-shaped faults. For no apparent reason, people start to identify their own silhouettes in these flaws and have a sick desire to enter them. The manga is carried by an atmosphere of mystery, nonsense and terror.

Reading is also recommended for those who are already familiar with some other manga by the author or related to the horror genre. Other works by the author include Remina HC and other small compilations of illustrations and short stories.

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Junji ito: o gênio do horror japonês

Junji Ito and Hideo Kojima

One of the proofs of Ito's success in Japan is the fact that mangaka having been invited by none other than Hideo Kojima (Creator of Metal Gear and Death Stranding) to help him in the production of a new game.

In Ito's words: "I know director Kojima and we were talking about the fact that he should be working on a horror game, and then he invited me to work on this project that still doesn't have a lot of details" - He finished. 

Is that you? Have you read any work by this incredible mangaka? Comment, like and share.

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