Junji Ito: Japan’s Famous Abstract Horror Manga Master


Fans consider mangaka Junji Ito as the master of horror mangas as he makes sure that every storyline and illustrations are spookier than his previous works. Since 1984, Ito has made a name for himself as a master mangaka particularly in the horror genre. Recently he came out with his latest anthology “Venus in the Blind Spot,” which includes 10 short manga comics.

How Ito’s Career As a Mangaka Started

Junji Ito has been working as a mangaka for more than 30 years and up to this day, still keeps on making haunting stories. His career began when he was twenty four years old, after he submitted a one-shot venture in1987, to vie for an Umezu Award. Ito has been reading Kazuo Umezu’s works since childhood, which gave him the confidence to submit an entry.

Although there was no official winner for the award, Junji Ito was considered the default victor as his manga work was the only one published among all other entries.

After accepting a permanent job in a magazine, which assigned him the task of serializing his Umezu Award entry. This continued for thirteen years which came to feature “Tomie,”one of his most notorious characters in his manga series.

According to Ito himself, aside from Kazuo Umezu, other literary artists who influenced his works are H.P. Lovecraft, Yasutaka Tsutui, Hideshi Hino, and Shinichi Koga.

The measure of Ito’s success was the various adaptations of his horror mangas into numerous horror films, which often included Tomie as a film feature. (1998-2011), Some examples of Ito’s popular manga horrors are “The Hanging Balloons” (2000), “Uzumaki (2000) and Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack (2012).


Additionally, there is even a video game created by Bandai” entitled “Uzumaki: Noroi Simulation” for the WonderSwan game console.

Critically Acclaimed Works of Junji Ito

If you’re interested in finding out what makes Junji Ito’s works a favorite among horror lovers, the best Ito works include “Human Chair,” “Tomie,” “Uzumaki,” “Layers of Fear” and “Hanging Blimps.”

Those who prefer to view Ito’s work in animation, can watch them through Junji Ito Collection (伊藤潤二『コレクション), Studio Deen’s animated adaptation.It’s a horror anime anthology consisting of 12 episodes and two original animation videos (OVAs).

However, some Western manga fans gave the animated series bad reviews; saying it did not do justice to Ito’s manga and it was not as disturbing as how horror mangas should be. Other reviews blamed the low production value of the animation series, of not being effective enough in giving viewers the feeling of unease that Ito’s fans find appealing in his horror mangas.

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