Nightmare fuel maker and really nice cat owner Junji Ito has created some of the most evocative visuals in manga history. Dozens and dozens of distorted Tomies. Grisly murder by puppet, hair, balloon, and sleeping too long. And, of course, the deformed victim of Amigara Fault.
Much of the appeal of Ito’s work comes from the detailed, in-your-face visuals of his characters’ doom. And call us weird, but we’re kind of looking forward to seeing that play out. There’s one big question, though: can it?
When a manga’s style is especially unique, it’s understandable to hope that the anime will bring it to life as-is. And one of the biggest allures of Junji Ito “Collection” right now is the hype around just that.
But… it’s not necessarily all that simple.
When a manga artist sits down to draw or design, they don’t have to take into account how a character will move. Their main focus is on how each character looks in the moment, not how they get from one moment to the next. And when those moments come to the screen, the “getting there” aspect comes in. Which is a bit difficult when, say, your characters aren’t designed to move in three dimensions.
Sadly, Sailor Moon Crystal comes to mind for this. Even Naoko Takeuchi herself rarely thought ahead to the realism of her characters — she admitted shock the first time she saw some characters’ hairstyles reproduced on dolls! As much as we love the style, they may not always work in motion. It either takes extra care or an extreme redesign.
The Woman for the Job
Fortunately for fans, the director has been thinking about this for quite some time.
Director and character designer Shinobu Tagashira has been a fan of Ito’s work since she was a teenager, and Junji Ito “Collection” is a dream project for her. In interviews leading up to the project, she reveals that she spent a great deal of time figuring out how to adapt the manga-ka’s evocative artwork into an anime format. The clips and images we’ve seen so far are promising, featuring many of his most famous characters brought to life.
How will it fare? We’ll have to watch and see.
Are you excited about Junji Ito “Collection,” or is it too spooky to brave? Let us know in the comments!