Netflix has released a new trailer showcasing the opening and a montage of clips from the upcoming series Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre. The series is expected to premiere next year.
Junji Ito is a well-known author and artist whose horror manga works have been sold internationally for decades. Many readers might be familiar with his long form stories like Uzumaki (Spiral) and Gyo; both of which are either receiving or have already received an anime adaptation respectively.
Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre is an anthology series, standing in contrast to his more internationally popular works. The series will feature animated shorts based on his shorter horror stories, telling self-contained tales of fear, death, and monsters.
You can check out the opening trailer for Junji Ito Maniac here:
Thanks to a list from ANN, we know the series is expected to feature approximately 20 Junji Ito stories including:
- Headless Statues
- Ice Cream Bus
- Library of Illusions
- The Hanging Balloons
- The Long Hair in the Attic
- The Room With 4 Walls
- The Strange Hikizuri Siblings: The Séance
- Tomie: Photo
- Undendurable Labyrinth
- Where the Sandman Lives
The series is being worked on by Studio DEEN. Studio DEEN is a decades old studio, famous for their work on classics like the original Urusei Yatsura and You’re Under Arrest. The studio is more recently known for their work on Sasaki and Miyano and KonoSuba.
A noteworthy inclusion among these titles is Tomie, one of Junji Ito’s first works which began in 1987. Though the Tomie stories appear in Junji Ito’s anthologies, it’s actually one of the author’s long-running tales. The young girl Tomie is a succubus-like entity who drives men to violence and women to jealousy. She’s seemingly ageless and impossible to stop, able to clone herself, regenerate herself, and more. While Tomie has been the subject of movies in Japan, this will be the first exposure to the character for many international viewers.
Many of Ito’s stories were originally published in Monthly Halloween, a Japanese magazine featuring horror stories and aesthetic. These stories have been compiled in The Junji Ito Horror Comic Collection anthology books; the books have been published in English by VIZ Media.
It’s impossible to understand the impact Junji Ito has had on the horror genre among manga readers; an impact which has bled into other fields like video games. Ito had reportedly once met with game developer Hideo Kojima and filmmaker Guillermo del Toro for the now cancelled Silent Hills game of PT fame. Ito’s works were also part of the inspiration for the adventure game World of Horror.
Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre is expected to premiere on January 19, 2023 through the Netflix streaming service.