So, in order to celebrate Halloween this year and in commemoration of me having seen the gallery of the man himself at this year’s Crunchyroll Expo, I decided it would be super fun for me to put together a good ‘ol list of my favorite stories from my favorite horror writer. I love a majority of his works, so it was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be to only pick ten. I almost caved and did more, but I should probably stick to my own rules. And, before any of you asks, yes; I recommend everything by him.
10.) Souichi’s Diary of Delights (and its sequels)
These stories follow a young boy named Souichi, who is extremely obsessed with curses, voodoo dolls, and the occult in general. Much to his great disappointment, though, he’s stuck living with his normal, and very traditional, family who constantly get annoyed with his spontaneous antics that get him, and everybody involved, in trouble.
~Note: This is not so much a scary story as it is just plain entertaining and comical at times.
Residents of a small, secluded town begin to become utterly obsessed with spirals. With no explanation as to what is occurring, the residents are thrown into a spiral of odd, unfathomable events that threaten their very lives. What is the meaning of the spiral curse?
~Note: I’m not sure if anyone noticed, but this is a recycled synopsis from my Top 10 Manga to Read in October post. Don’t like it? Fight me.
8.) My Dear Ancestors
A young man brings his female friend over to his house to see his sick father. That’s when she finds out that the man has promised his father that he would marry her. He seems desperately attached to the idea, but before she could leave the house, his father asks to speak to her.
7.) Human Chair
Junji Ito’s adaption of Edogawa Rampo’s 1925 short story The Human Chair.
6.) Further Tales of Oshikiri
This is a continuation of Hallucinations. One day, Oshikiri finds a mummified body inside the walls of his house. He begins researching his family’s history to try and figure out who that is and why that person had been buried there. At the same time, he discovers that his alternate universe version has killed three of his friends. This is the story of Oshikiri trying to figure out what the heck is going on with his house.
5.) Layers of Fear
This is kind of like a messed up Cinderella story. One sibling is favored by the widowed mother while the other is awfully neglected. One day, the “ugly” one gets into a horrible accident and loses half of her face. But, they soon find out that she has a new layer of skin underneath. According to the doctor, this woman grows a new layer of skin every year, containing her younger selves within.
4.) The Enigma of Amigara Fault
A huge earthquake occurs that reveals an exponential amount of human-sized holes on the side of a mountain. As soon as a person finds a hole that has ‘their shape’, they can’t help but think only of entering that hole. But, once they do, how far in do they go? And can they ever get out again? Do they keep going until they reach the other side?
3.) Long Dream
A man has terrible nightmares that, in our world, last only an hour, but in his mind they last years. The more times he falls asleep, the longer his dreams end up being. The doctors don’t believe him when he says he lives an entire lifetime while he’s asleep, but his body eventually begins to reflect how long he states he’s been living in his mind.
2.) Army of One
A bonus story included in Hellstar Remina. It shows a series of murders where people are found sewn together. These “stitch murders” are being done by a terrorist group calling themselves the Army of One. This group is constantly looking for new members via fliers and through radio broadcasts, but no details are ever provided.
1.) Lovesick Dead (also known as Undying Love and Intersection Fortune Telling)
The story revolves around a game that’s popular with girls in the town, Intersection Fortune Telling. A girl stands at the corner of one of the intersections, covers her face, and then asks a passerby to read her fortune. Most of the time, they’re simple fortunes that are told by neighbors and strangers alike: your love will bear fruit, you’ll pass the exam, etc. But, word has spread that there is a beautiful boy who frequents the intersections and answers those questions negatively, ultimately leading to these women committing suicide. Who is this beautiful man, and why does he manage to convince them to kill themselves?
I have to add one more story to this post, but not as a “favorite”, per say. I’m adding it because it is the f*cking grossest story he has and it makes me feel unbelievably disgusting every single time I read it (why do I keep re-reading it, anyway?!). It’s Glyceride. I hate it, yet I keep going back to it. This is what Ito Junji does to me. I mean, it’s a great concept for that biological horror type of story, but Jesus Christ is it abhorrent. Just read it. Or just look at this picture instead.
So, writing this post made me really want to re-visit all of these stories again. Maybe I should and write mini-reviews for each one? That would be extremely fun, I think, because then I would write my thoughts and opinions on each one instead of just the synopsis.
Well, see y’all in the next post. Oh, and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!