Okay… before I dive into this post, I would like to say off the bat that my opinion here is going to be an unpopular one.
Junji Ito: Collection is one of the most-anticipated shows of the season. I have read quite a few posts across many ani-blogs that discussed how they were looking forward to this. While I am not the biggest fan of the horror genre, specifically within the anime medium, I felt myself getting excited too. I have read a few stories by Ito-san, which helped fuel my enthusiasm. Nonetheless, after watching the first episode, I can say confidentially that this is a title that simply is not my cup of chai.
The series is a compilation of episodes that draws inspiration from mangaka, Junji Ito’s, short stories. For anyone who is unfamiliar, Junji Ito is a renown mangaka for the seinen, horror genre specifically. It is produced by Studio Deen, with direction from Shinobu Tagashira.
The very first thought that came to mind was, “Wow, this animation quality is terrible.” There is absolutely nothing that impressed me about it. It was the first disappointing aspect, more so when you consider how many people have been waiting for it since it was announced early last year. It also fails to capture the essence of Ito’s artistic style, which is a huge contributor to the work that he does. You do catch glimpses of it in specific scenes, yet nothing consistent was offered.
The story used in the first episode was creepy and strange, but far from being “scary,” or “horrific.” It was also grossly underdeveloped. I felt like the episode already expected you to be familiar with the narrative, and worked only to animate the main plot points to give us a basic story. In addition, there were some comedic elements, however, nothing was truly funny. In general, I felt as if I were watching a C-grade horror show with bad attempts at morbid humour.
When you combine the two qualities, you are left with a definitively unimpressive and boring introduction to what was supposed to be a season highlight.
Now, I will be honest. There were spiders in this episode. I fucking hate spiders and I am hugely arachnophobic. That being said, I have learned to accept them in horror media because, let’s face it, spiders can be terrifying little (or humongous) bastards. This may have been the only thing in the entire twenty-some-odd-minutes, where I cringed enough to look away. But aside from my own personal aversion to it, it did not really contribute to the overall quality of what was being shown.
In conclusion, I did not like Junji Ito: Collection’s first episode. The “light-hearted” and less frightening introduction may have been just that: an introduction. Hopefully the scary shit will start popping up with next week’s episode, yet as it stands, I am afraid that the story will be as weak and visually disappointing as this one was. With any luck, I will be wrong, and things will improve.
You can catch Junji Ito: Collection on CrunchyRoll on Friday mornings.
**All graphics were made by me, unless otherwise stated.**