Junji Ito has been on hiatus for far too long and I am personally glad to see him back, because there's something about the weird and/or macabre tales he crafts coupled with his unique art style that appeases some inner horror need in a way only those black-and-white love letters can. I had recently watched Tokyo Fish Attack! (again) and read Gyo not too long before (again) and was thinking how some Ito would be great, then I stumbled across Fragments of Horror. It seemed like providence, or some 224 page horror equivalent anyhow.
One of the issues we have always had in the US is getting Ito translated and especially for random shorts, so I personally love these types of collections and think that a lot of Ito's work would benefit from the same treatment. Here, you have some work that reminds me of a few of his older entries collected in things like the Museum of Terrors, or like some of the shorts such as Blood Bubble Bushes. (FYI, you can find the uncollected works translated by some caring fans online if you are so inclined, plus you can purchase several collections.) For those unfamiliar with his works, you can check out more Uzumaki (this can be purchased in 3 books, or in a 3-in-1 volume), Gyo (this was also made into the anime film, Tokyo Fish Attack!, and has two parts), Museum of Terror 1 - 3, Tomie (which is located in several shorts and has spawned numerous movies), Hellstar Remina, Voices in the Dark, and much more.
Why Ito? Because he explores horror in sometimes terrible, oftentimes bizarre, and sometimes unnerving ways. Things like Uzumaki have a Lovecraftian feel to them, which Ito credits as the inspiration for some of his work. There are times when I think, "that is an amazing twist," and others when I think, "how did you think of that?" I always come back and I always buy what I can procure, and that is because of the unique way everything is presented. Honestly, I never thought black-and-white would be unnerving, but he sometimes takes the opportunity to prove me wrong.
For fans, this is a good addition and something waited for. For those considering Ito for the first time, this woudl not be the thing I would initially reocmmend. Try out some Uzumaki or one of the Museum of Terror collections, take your time and set the mood, actually injesting the imagery along the wording and moments, and enjoy.
Very worth it.
- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: VIZ Media LLC (16 June 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1421580799
- ISBN-13: 978-1421580791
- Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2 x 21 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 454 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
21,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #134 in Horror Manga (Books)