As far as first episodes go, the first episode of the Junji Ito Collection is among the worst ever.
Exclusively horror anime is a somewhat rare commodity. God knows why, in Japan of all places, horror anime isn’t thriving and/or receiving funding. The Junji Ito Collection broke that mold because it’s Junji freaking Ito, the master of horror manga.
In terms of setting a tone, being scary, and meeting expectations, it is an absolute failure. Once the Souichi episode aired, the Junji Ito Collection plummeted to a 6.26 on MAL—a death sentence for a new anime. Whoever made that decision at Studio Deen should be sacked. It is an inexplicable gaff. Maybe some of you saw that dreaded first episode and/or MAL rating and decided to stay away. I can’t blame you. But please, I’m asking you to give the show a second chance. Because the most egregious sin of that first episode is how successful the others have been.
Each of the episodes that aired thereafter has been more mind-warping and unsettling than the last. What I didn’t expect from these episodes is actually what I like the most about them (even with episode one). Each episode is split into two stories, each one encapsulating a different horror genre. For instance, episode two is split into gore-filled, monster horror for story one and psychological, mind-bending horror for story two. Hell, the best part about episode one is the two-minute story “Hell Doll Funeral” that’s at the end of the episode.
What is abundantly clear to me is that this show deserves a second chance from everyone. Episode one is an outlier. Hiccups happen.