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Anime Review: Junji Ito Collection (2018)

Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing video games.

Junji Ito Collection Blu-ray cover.

Junji Ito Collection Blu-ray cover.

Quick Info:

Director: Shinobu Tagashira
Distributor: Funimation Entertainment
Runtime: 300 minutes
Released: May 28th, 2019
Availability: on Blu-Ray, streaming on Crunchyroll and FunimationNow

Story Summary:

The Junji Ito Collection is a horror anthology based on works of manga horror author Junji Ito. It’s a collection of stories that aren’t necessarily connected, but they tell suspenseful horror stories.

I’m Not One For Horror but I Found The Stories Interesting!

I’m not a person who likes horror stories, I don’t like scary things and I don’t like disturbing imagery. I started watching the Junji Ito Collection out of curiosity because it’s very hard for anime to be scary because animation just isn’t as scary compared to live action films and TV shows.

Still, I found the stories themselves to be very entertaining. The characters were interesting, but they don’t have development, because these are short stories, not an ongoing series.

What makes this anime anthology series stand out to me is how varied the stories are, not one story is similar to any of the others and I think that’s really interesting and kept me entertained.

You've never met anyone like Tomie.

You've never met anyone like Tomie.

The Stories Get Pretty Crazy:

The stories are so unique and weird that they really stood out to me, like the girl who turned into a slug for absolutely no reason. It was so weird. I can’t really explain what happened.

Another story that was weird, about a gem that made holes appear all over a person’s body.

There’s also the disturbing story about Tomie, the woman so beautiful, she literally drives her love interest to kill her, and then something crazy happens.

Junji Ito Collection - OFFICIAL TRAILER |

The Animation is All Over The Place:

Studio DEEN is an interesting studio, they do a lot of projects and some of them turn out better than others. Some of the episodes look okay, others look really bad.

The art style and design are decent, but they look bad on others. It seems that Studio DEEN put more effort into some episodes than others. It looks decent but when you compare it to other Studio DEEN shows, and that’s not including comparing it to other studios, it looks mediocre. Even compared to Fate/Stay Night (2006), which is 11 years old, it looks mediocre, and Fate/Stay Night looks better than this anime.

While it is a very accurate panel-for-panel adaptation, it’s not very fluid at all. If I wanted to look at the amazing artwork of Junji Ito, I would buy the manga or look up those videos that narrate the manga and use the artwork in the video. Animation needs to move, it’s not supposed to be a slideshow!

Unfortunately, it’s not very fluid, and that’s a shame because the stories are very interesting!

While some of the monsters can be scary, it immediately becomes hilarious when it goes running across the screen in the end credits for episode 2.

They will probably touch up the animation on DVD and blu-ray release, but it’s too bad the animation couldn’t enhance the interesting stories told in the Junji Ito Collection.

Audio and Subtitles:

Audio:Subtitles:

Japanese (Crunchryoll, VRV)

English (also on VRV), Spanish, Portuguese, French, and more (Crunchyroll)

English ()Reviewed) (FunimatonNow, VRV)

The English Dub is Decent:

The English dub is just all right. Funimation has either decent dubs or amazing, mind-blowing and stellar. This dub is just decent. It has a lot of newcomers and people I’ve not really heard so I enjoyed hearing the, but it didn’t blow my mind or anything.

There are some appearances from Funimation veterans like Monica Rial and Stephanie Young but they usually appeared in only one story.

It’s a decent dub, but it didn’t make me say, “Wow this is fantastic!”

I didn’t watch the Japanese dub on Crunchryoll so I don’t really know how much better or worse the dubbing was.

Junji Ito Collection – Opening Theme

The Music is Forgettable:

The music isn’t very memorable at all. Yuki Hayashid’s soundtrack is just there, but it’s not outstanding or amazing that it makes me remember the music.

It’s a shame because the music is something that can make the atmosphere of a horror anime, but this anime doesn’t have scary music to creep me out.

The opening is "Shichitenbattō no Blues" (The Writhing in Agony Blues) by The Pinballs and it’s a loud rock song that doesn’t seem to fit with the anime.

The ending is "Tagai no Uchū" (Mutual Universe) by JYOCHO. The ending just there and it’s not really memorable.

It’s too bad that the music isn’t as good because the music enhances the atmosphere and the music really didn’t do that for me.

Junji Ito Enjoyed The Anime:

Junji Ito has commented on the Junji Ito Collection. He enjoyed the use of music and felt that sometimes the anime transcends the manga because of the use of music. You can read about it here.

Some people feel that Junji Ito is only saying that because he was being paid to promote the anime. That’s seriously ridiculous if he didn’t like the anime he would have said he didn’t like it.

It Was Decent But Could Have Been Much Better:

Considering how famous Junji Ito’s horror stories are, I can see why fans of his work were disappointed by this anime but I know they were hoping for an amazing anime adaptation.

If the production values were just a little better it might be accepted by fans of Junji Ito’s work. I know that fans were hoping for an amazing adaptation but it didn’t come out the way they wanted.

I understand why fans are disappointed but I did enjoy the anime, but it’s not one I’m going to rewatch the anime any time soon.

Reader Poll:

Junji Ito Enjoyed The Anime:

Junji Ito has commented on the Junji Ito Collection. He enjoyed the use of music and felt that sometimes the anime transcends the manga because of the use of music. You can read about it here.

Some people feel that Junji Ito is only saying that because he was being paid to promote the anime. That’s seriously ridiculous if he didn’t like the anime he would have said he didn’t like it.

In the immortal words of Edward Elric, "Well that's freakish."

In the immortal words of Edward Elric, "Well that's freakish."

It Was Decent But Could Have Been Much Better:

Considering how famous Junji Ito’s horror stories are, I can see why fans of his work were disappointed by this anime but I know they were hoping for an amazing anime adaptation.

If the production values were just a little better it might be accepted by fans of Junji Ito’s work. I know that fans were hoping for an amazing adaptation but it didn’t come out the way they wanted.

I understand why fans are disappointed but I did enjoy the anime, but it’s not one I’m going to rewatch the anime any time soon.

There Are Some Horror Clichés In Some Of The Stories:

Because Junji Ito has been around for a long time, he’s written a lot of horror stories so he ended up using some cliché horror tropes that appear in the genre.

What Works:What Doesn't Work:

Excellent horror stories

Animation is mediocre

Decent English dub

forgettable soundtrack

Final Grade: D+:

The Junji Ito Collection is an odd thing, it’s something that fans have mixed feelings about, but Junji Ito enjoyed it. It’s one of the anime that was disliked by the fans, but it’s still a decent watch that didn’t waste my time, but it’s not one that I can highly recommend as a must-buy or a must-stream anime.

It’s one that you should watch if you’re curious or if you already like Junji Ito's work, but it’s not amazing or something that you’ll want in your anime collection on a whim, it’s something that you should watch if you like horror, just don’t expect to be amazed by it.

It’s unfortunate that it wasn’t as good as it could have been. If you’re into Junji Ito, you’ll probably enjoy the collection. If you’re expecting an amazing adaptation, you’re probably not going to get it.

I would recommend picking up the manga over just watching the anime because from the pictures I’ve seen of the manga on Google, the manga is very detailed and the writing is good. The manga is the best version of these stories because it’s not held back by production values or rushed deadlines.

It might be worth your time, depending on how much you enjoy Junji Ito’s work and how much you can put up with Studio DEEN’s wonky and all over the place animation.

It’s not quite worth your money, if you’re going to spend money, then spend it on the original manga by Junji Ito. The anime was decent but had too many things that dragged it down from being a truly great anime adaptation of Junji Ito’s work.

If you want to stream it subbed or dubbed use Crunchyroll for the subtitled version, or FunimationNow for the English dubbed version and if you want both then you should subscribe to VRV.

My Rating:

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