Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Junji Itou

One day, I browsed on manga reader on my phone because I was so bored reading the series I'd been following, and the new chapter of the other series had not come out yet. I particularly searched for a horror manga. I intended to read some really creepy stories. I used to be a fan of horror manga when I was in primary school. I was a coward kid but horror story was so tempting to me back then. Maybe one of you, 90s kids, still remember Chie Watari's works. That's one of my favorites.

But I never know about Junji Itou. Only that day I read several horror manga, but nothing was as creepy as what I think horror manga must be. Perhaps because I'm too old to be scared by such stories like those. However, I found one manga that tells about a boy named Souichi Tsujii. It's not spooky like other horror manga, but it's creepy, and most importantly, witty.

The manga have different stories in each chapter, and every chapter always ends with a smart twist. It made me grin all the time. Souichi is a young boy who obsessed with black magic. He always has nails in his mouth because he needs to suck the iron due to his being anemic. He's such a freak! But he's the star of the story, so I can't help loving him.

If not about Souichi, Junji Itou wrote some really creepy stories, focusing on surrealism as the main theme. For example, the most famous one is about the hanging balloons that have shape like humans head. The balloon will move by itself and find their human, trying to strangle them with the noose. The illustration is really creepy.

The manga also talked about human insanity, that never fails to make me grin like a psycho. The most unforgettable story is from Uzumaki, where the whole town was obsessed with spiral. It was beyond insane. There's a man who died forcing his body to become spiral, and there's a woman who died from her effort to eliminate all spirals in her body, including her fingertips and her cochlea!!!

But when I first read the manga I didn't pay attention to the mangaka, Junji Itou. I didn't know who wrote those stories. Only few weeks ago, some people I followed on instagram took picture with the life-size freak boy statue. I, then, realized it was Souichi from the horror manga I've read and liked. I found out that there's an exhibition in Taiwan. So cool! And it seems there's a hype of Junji Itou in Japan as well.

Currently, I'm still reading the Manga Collection and Uzumaki, and will try reading Tomie too. I won't post much pictures because it may look disturbing for some people. Besides, Google Images provides sufficient sneak peeks of Junji Itou's works. Just take a look.

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