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EP. REVIEW: Junji Ito Collection




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Coup d'État



Joined: 29 Dec 2017
Posts: 133
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:16 pm Reply with quote
I can't help having "Gyo" flashbacks.
I love Ito's manga, but damn, they don't translate well to anime. I don't really understand the reasoning behind choosing those stories for the episodes. The low budget is not helping it, either.
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classicalzawa
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Joined: 19 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:03 pm Reply with quote
Seems a shame that his adaptations seemed doomed to fail. Guess just having a static, highly detailed and creepy image is just the way to go for his stuff.
Maybe things would be better if we just let David Cronenberg himself have a stab at it? Presumably with some creepy stick made out of human flesh and teeth, covered with some unsettling mystery slime?

As for the "Long Dreams" ep, I remember reading that in the recent Shiver collection (seems a lot of the stories are from that so far) and yeah, that one was awesome, the sort that really sticks with you.
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Terrible90sDub



Joined: 14 Jul 2017
Posts: 102
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:33 pm Reply with quote
I haven't seen the 3rd episode yet, but for those familiar with the source material, are some of the stories meant to have another meaning behind them? The one about the creepy model who ate the younger model I was wondering about as an almost heavy-handed telling of how often fashion and appearance-in-media based industries "eat up" young people, especially when so many are normally discarded when they're still only young adults. The way the characters behind the casting were acting more or less fits with that mentality as well.

... or I may be reading things into it that aren't there at all, lol. Or maybe the creator was just inspired by something they read about the industry, wanted to make it into a horror story for fun, and then didn't mean anything by it.

That aside, I agree the production values aren't the best and it's not scary (though absurd horror never really is for me.. unless the manga offers an entirely different perspective, a lot of this feels detached from reality and/or more for shock value), but I liked the second story from episode 2 in particular from a pure conceptual stance. Overall, perhaps because I'm not familiar with the source, the anime hasn't really bothered me. The first episode was also amusing, which is at least better than boring! The toilet paper spider web monster was a nice touch.
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AJ (LordNikon)



Joined: 14 Apr 2009
Posts: 291
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:21 pm Reply with quote
Well, they are as last I heard slated to do two full episode adaptation of Tomie. If there is one saving grace for the show this season, I can see that being it.
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junkozero



Joined: 12 Nov 2017
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:49 am Reply with quote
Contender for worst anime of the season

Haven't seen overhype fall so flat so fast Anime hyper
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Cab329



Joined: 01 Apr 2017
Posts: 69
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:52 am Reply with quote
Terrible90sDub wrote:
I haven't seen the 3rd episode yet, but for those familiar with the source material, are some of the stories meant to have another meaning behind them? The one about the creepy model who ate the younger model I was wondering about as an almost heavy-handed telling of how often fashion and appearance-in-media based industries "eat up" young people, especially when so many are normally discarded when they're still only young adults. The way the characters behind the casting were acting more or less fits with that mentality as well.


I'm not good at picking up on themes but I don't think the stories so far shown were supposed to have a deeper meaning. The Ms. Fuchi character (I think) is supposed to be sort of a punchline character. In her first story (which also had Souichi in it, so Im surprised they didn't have that one first) she attacks and eats a character because they took her picture without her and her agent's permission and didn't compensate her. So I think its really supposed to just be funny that a caniballistic giant is a fashion model and instead of destroying the competition or dealing with people sh doesn't like by using connections or throwing a diva fit, she eats them. I don't find her really funny or scary though, so I'm just guessing.

Compare that to "Dissolving Classroom" which is obviously about the public's fascination with public apologies or "Hell Star Remina" which has mob mentality and group think as topics it discusses.

One big pet peeve I have is that the episode preview just gives you the story number, not what the story title is. If you know Ito's biography, you can probably figure it out but it's hard to get excited when all I have is the release number to go off of.

The Tomie adaptation will be hopefully be interesting, though I'm also hoping we see one of his shorter apocalyptic stories like "The hanging balloons" or "Army of One" as even with low production values those stories would still be good to see animated.
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valoon



Joined: 01 Apr 2015
Posts: 146
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:41 am Reply with quote
The puppet episode sure was good. Seems like the show gets darker with every episode
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octopodpie
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Joined: 02 May 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:06 pm Reply with quote
I felt like both of these stories were just overall better in the manga. The first one always had a kind of hokey premise (a magic artifact that kills you), it was the disease itself that was supposed to be unsettling. I felt like the animated version could have played up holes to a much, much better effect. The second half was also kinda silly, but in the manga it seemed to have more to say about wanting to live your life without making any difficult decisions. They also don't really address that the reason none of the puppet people can move is due to muscle deterioration from lack of use.

I think this anime suffers from a really poor musical score and would benefit from someone interested in interpreting Junji Ito's stories to hone in on the anxiety at the root of each one instead of just recreating each part verbatim.
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Usagi-kun



Joined: 03 Jul 2013
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Location: Nashville, TN
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:09 pm Reply with quote
octopodpie wrote:

I think this anime suffers from a really poor musical score and would benefit from someone interested in interpreting Junji Ito's stories to hone in on the anxiety at the root of each one instead of just recreating each part verbatim.


I agree. I think this is the root of the problem. It is not just the visuals, but the overall attitude of the combination of elements. A mangaka of this infamy does not need this kind of cross-promotion. It is indeed a steep hill to climb already, but where the anime fails is not just in translation, but the building of elements that add to the anime as a unique experience. It is not inherently a mistake to adapt from one media to another, but with the diversification of additional tools: dynamic movement, color, music, voice work--all of these are far too critical to presenting these stories in a new light, and I don't believe the show has any success in this regard.

'A labor of love' does not fit this series at all. Mistakes are always expected, but where it matters is that someone in the creative process does not seem to understand the source, or how to use these new tools to create an experience that does not overshadow, but build upon Junji Ito's existing world. I think this disappoints old fans, and does not distinguish it for new ones.

Episode 4 has the creep factor, and 1 definitely the comedy, but so far I think this is going to turn into another Another.
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Woody__alien



Joined: 01 Aug 2017
Posts: 18
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:42 pm Reply with quote
Terrible90sDub wrote:
I haven't seen the 3rd episode yet, but for those familiar with the source material, are some of the stories meant to have another meaning behind them? The one about the creepy model who ate the younger model I was wondering about as an almost heavy-handed telling of how often fashion and appearance-in-media based industries "eat up" young people, especially when so many are normally discarded when they're still only young adults. The way the characters behind the casting were acting more or less fits with that mentality as well.


They could very well have one, while Ito is a horror master he isn't much one for subtlety. I'm not an expert on his work, having read just a few stories, but I remember being incredibly disappointed by Hellstar Remina: it was a super heavy-handed parable on mob mentality, the price of fame and the absurdity of the Japanese idol factory, which, coupled with his usual bizarre monsters, over-the-top dangers faced by the characters and nonsensical plot twists, ensured that it was impossible to be taken seriously.

I have only one other thing to say: even if this adaptation too fails to do justice to Ito's unique style, we'll always have Mamakiteru.
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Jayhosh



Joined: 24 May 2013
Posts: 924
Location: Millmont, Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:59 pm Reply with quote
Blasphemy. Hellstar Remina is freaking amazing and I will not hear otherwise.

This has been the best adaption of Ito's work yet. Now of course that's not saying too much, but the fact that this is turning out decent-to-watchable is quite a feat in its own right. Ito's style has been documented more than enough for how "un-adaptable" it is, and sure, with better production values and potentially clearer directorial vision it could be a lot better. But I think they've done a decent job of capturing the feel of his works, at least way more than previous adaptions have. Some stories work better than others obviously, the puppet house in particular was a lot creepier in manga form. Though I enjoyed the adaptions interpretation of it nonetheless as it got some good laughs from me. The production values are pretty unimpressive as well, but that tends to be the case with horror anime unfortunately. It kind of helps that most of the haunting images from the original stories are just translated as still paintings, but at the same time it also feels like a discounted, toothless version of the real thing. Like, why experience the story in a "good enough" form wen you could just read the original and get even more enjoyment out of it. I guess it just doesn't take advantage of the medium enough, the adaptions often feel like just moving comics and manga panels colored in with less detail. I know I'm rambling and this probably sounds very contradictory and all, but that's just because I'm such a huge fan of Junji Ito's work so I want to see them get respectable adaptions. I dont doubt that the director here is a huge fan like she said she was, I just wish she and the rest of the team wouldn't be afraid to take more creative risks and changes to fully live up to the potential of the animated medium. As an established fan, I enjoy watching it week to week. But I would not recommend it as people's first exposure to the guys work. Just read Uzumaki and Amigara Fault like everyone else first.

All that being said, my favorite adaptions so far have been Long Dream, Hell o Dollies, Slug Girl and Shiver. It's funny, Fashion Model is one of my favorite ito stories but I guess it's adaption really did make me realize just how much of that love is credited to the terrifyingly detailed artwork. Also I'm most excited for the two Tomie OVA's, not just because I love her character but also because her stories are some of Ito's least reliant on really horrifying and complex designs. I mean, there's certainly plenty of gore and all that, but that's a lot easier to translate than something like Fashion Model. I'm almost positive they're gonna adapt Painting, since that's one of her most popular stories. Though I'm not sure the adaption, given its track record with adapting character designs so far, will be able to adequately capture her iconic trademark of beauty though.
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BlueAlf



Joined: 02 Jan 2017
Posts: 661
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:10 pm Reply with quote
I'm not that familiar with Ito's mangas, but I actually like these adaptations. There's always something weird and fresh to look forward to every week.

I don't think the director is lacking though. I think the production team is merely aiming to introduce Ito's work to a new, younger generation of audiences; rather than wanting to make us shit our pants. To do that, they need to rein themselves in, especially considering this is a TV broadcast.

I dunno. I think I get that impression because of the number of elementary school characters they've shown so far.

Anyway, it's a cost-effective project, and it shows. But the fact doesn't ruin the original aesthetic of the manga either.
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Jayhosh



Joined: 24 May 2013
Posts: 924
Location: Millmont, Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:55 pm Reply with quote
Man, this reviewer sure is beating the "mediocre adaption" talking point to death, aren't they? Like, I get that it has not and will not reach the levels of the manga, but you don't need to reiterate it every other sentence. Personally I've quite enjoyed both of the previous episodes.
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Zeino



Joined: 19 May 2017
Posts: 444
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:42 pm Reply with quote
Here is a very good diagnosis of The Junji Ito Collection's chief crippling flaws: Excessive fealty to the surface details of Ito's work but next to no real understating of how his horror craft truly works or how to use animation as a medium to put it's own unique spin on it : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAYFi6bLSfs Watch it if you have the time.
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