The first time I read Junji Ito was about a decade ago, when I encountered a manga collection of short horror stories entitled “Museum of Horror- Volume 3“. I was impressed by the stories, which were dark, weird, and carried a heavy gothic air with a sense of cosmic dread. I loved the book, and became a fan of the author ever since.
From his short works to longer, complexed stories like Uzumaki and Tomie, Junji Ito is able to capture mundane things in our every world and make them as bizarre and horrific as possible. From detailed doomsday situations to house hauntings, Junji Ito has a limitless imagination when it comes to crafting scary stories, and I’m always fascinated when I find a new work from him.
The most recent story I read from Junji Ito was a story called Gyo. Gyo revolves around a young man and his girlfriend, who find a strange fish while boating off the coast of Okinawa. After encountering one strange fish, they encounter more weird aquatic creatures, and human civilization is soon threatened. What starts as a sea creature monster tale turns into something entirely different.
With his longer works, Junji Ito is great at taking a story from one direction and going in another, or many throughout the course of a story. Nothing stays the same, and each story evolves in its progression to reveal new detail. Uzumaki sticks to the theme of spirals throughout the course of the story, but things go from scary to comical, light to dark, with different subplots within the greater tale that only makes the entire comic even more bizarre than it starts. As a weaver of mysteries, Junji Ito isn’t satisfied with just crafting a linear story; he loves to make things as crazy as possible for a more surreal reading experience.
I highly recommend Junji Ito’s work. You can get a hold of many of his stories on Amazon.