Let's Talk About Horror

The Best of Itou Junji

For those of you that don’t know, Itou Junji writes some of the best and most visual horror manga. By most visual I mean that he is an expert at using manga as a medium to enhance the horror in a way that is unique and terrifying! Ever hear of Uzumaki or Gyo? If so, those are Itou’s work. If not… then clearly you are in need of a proper introduction. I’ve talked about Itou Junji before on Reign of Blood, but here I’m going to focus on my favorite of his short stories. Junji is the master of scary shorts… ah! So freaky!
I really love his work, he’s one of the few manga authors that I follow regularly. His work often feels like a modern fairy tale, not today’s kid friendly fairy tales, but the Grimm’s dark cautionary tales of old. He also manages to tap into my imagination and write the stories in a suspenseful way and show me the horrors in a way that’s somehow unexpected and disturbing, and I love him for it!

So here are my favorite, and what I think to be some of the scariest, of Itou Junji’s short horror manga!
Arg! It was sooooo hard to just choose 5!!!

5. Ice Cream Bus
When I was a kid, getting ice cream from an ice cream truck was the ultimate treat since my mom was always wary of them, and if I had read this as a kid I probably would have never ate ice cream again! This short feels very much the cautionary fairy tale I mentioned above. The story follows a man who has recently been divorced and is now taking care of his 8-10 year kid. After begging and begging to get to ride the ice cream truck with the other kids the father gives in, just wanting his son to be happy living with him. Needless to say some baaaad sh*t goes down! Gah! Just thinking about it! Needless to say I won’t ruin it for you, but (pun definitely intended) you’re in for a treat!

4. The Hanging Balloons
Ever thought that Stephen King’s It was weird for trying to make balloons scary? Well after reading this you’ll find yourself readily agreeing with him! The story begins with a sudden increase in suicides and well… it’s all down hill from there… Or er… up… in the sky… as people soon begin seeing what appears to be giant floating heads in the sky… Yikes! read it to learn all the freaky details! Oh man! Don’t pop any balloons!!!

3. House of Puppets
Why is this author trying to destroy all my happy childhood memories?! Lol Anyways House of Puppets is scary in a different way than the other two as it questions your personal freedom in a way that’s just… freaky! A poor family of puppeteers travels from place to place until the father becomes sick, the oldest son runs away, the father dies and all that’s left is the two youngest. Skip ahead several years and the oldest brother tracks down his siblings and invites them over and what do they find? Their brother is a crazy rich guy who’s made himself into a human puppet controlled by people living in his ceiling. Yeah talk about odd, this manga makes you think about who are the real puppets..?

2. Flesh colored Horror
No more ruined childhood! Woot! Ok this one is one of my favorites (and one of the scariest) The story begins with a Kindergarten teacher who has a problem child in her class. After the kid acts violently in school she decides to intervene with the parents and make sure everything is ok at home. Sadly her intervention doesn’t work and the boy has to be expelled after he injures another student. Even expelled he still sits outside the school every day. The teacher asks him why and he says he doesn’t want to go home. Being a good teacher and person, she begins to expect abuse and decides to visit his house again. Freaky stuff from there on… seriously every time I read it… it still gets me! Lets just say skin is important for many reasons including, protecting you from disease, keeping you hydrated, and protecting your muscles.

1. Glyceride
Ewwwwwww…. This one… This one! Anyways, the story of a girl who lives above a restaurant her father runs, where the oil and grease from cooking coats the air and the walls. One day her brother begins going a bit strange and starts drinking grease… well yeah… its gets gross and extremely disturbing from there! A great one shot that will give you a great horror fix!

Hope you enjoy reading! I know I always do!
You should definitely read this if horror is your genre, heck if horror is your genre you’ve probably at least heard of this guy and should definitely check out his shorts!
You should probably skip these if you don’t like horror… if you want a softer horror series by the same author check out his Tomie stories. They’re a bunch of loosely connected shorts that are a bit less disturbing but still very good!


ps. Do you have an awesome review world of your own? Share it with me and I’ll plug you here! ^-^

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