Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre - Reviews

Alt title: Ito Junji: Maniac

kyozaii's avatar
Jan 23, 2023

I've come to the conclusion that no one will ever be able to adapt Junji Ito's work as well as the source material. He's one of THE best Japanese horror manga artist and rightly so. And to this day, the adaptations we've gotten so far all lack what the source material gives us... suspense, that chill down your spine when turning to the next page, the grotesque graphics that are utterly disturbing and creepy but done in such a way, it's brilliant... 

The anime adaptations fail to deliver the feeling you get when you sit down with the manga... there's no tension, no ambiance to really relay the gut-wrenching horror that Ito provides for us in his work. His stories are mostly short and have abrupt endings, but they can be interpreted in different ways, the art itself is incredibly detailed and expressive it makes you uncomfortable (that's a good thing)... this is something the anime has failed to accomplish.

Some of the episodes were okay and just OKAY, but overall there was a lack of creativity and tension, and the animation was terrible, Studio Deen didn't even try.

Would not recommend... instead, go read the source material.

?/10 story
5/10 animation
5/10 sound
?/10 characters
4/10 overall
roef's avatar
Jan 29, 2023

As someone who read all of the stories, I HATE that they were all cut in half i literally can't understand why they would do that jusy to fit more in i would rather have "less" if it meant i got to see the whole writing animated because it just ruins most of the stories.

Also I wish they looked creepier but i get that you can't convey his art style super well in animation as it'd take longer and more money most likely.

other than that it's good, not going to complain more because im just happy his work is even animated at all becasue seeing it in motion is sick but still the lack of effort is whack.

seeing soichi and tomie is always a blessing.

8/10 story
7/10 animation
5/10 sound
9/10 characters
7/10 overall
ChineseWick's avatar
Feb 11, 2024

"Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre" embarks viewers on a journey through the dark and twisted corridors of horror, adapted from the works of the renowned manga artist Junji Ito. Known for his ability to evoke the deepest fears through his unique storytelling and unsettling imagery, expectations were high for this anthology series. It aims to bring to life a selection of Ito's chilling tales, promising a blend of psychological horror, grotesque scenes, and supernatural phenomena.

A Glimmer in the Shadows

  • Eerie Essence: At its core, the series attempts to capture the quintessential atmosphere of Ito's manga, with some moments managing to evoke a genuine sense of unease and dread, reminiscent of the original works.

Lost in the Dark

  • Faded Illustrations: One of the most significant challenges the series faces is its inability to fully translate Ito's intricate and detailed artwork into animation, resulting in visuals that often fall short of the manga's haunting beauty and intensity.
  • Whispers Without Weight: The storytelling, a crucial element in horror, tends to feel rushed and lacks the depth and pacing necessary to build suspense and terror, leaving many of the tales feeling underdeveloped and superficial.
  • A Monochrome Palette: The series struggles with its adaptation choices, including voice acting and sound design, which frequently fail to complement the horror, instead detracting from the immersion and intensity of the stories.

The Unsettled Dust

  • A Missed Mark: Attempting to bring Junji Ito's complex and nuanced horror to the screen is a commendable effort, but the series often misses the mark, struggling to capture the essence and impact of the source material.
  • An Echo of Dissonance: The show's approach to narrative structure and adaptation decisions has sparked discussion among fans and critics alike, highlighting the challenges of translating Ito's unique style and atmosphere into animation.


"Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre" endeavors to dive into the depths of horror, aiming to bring the celebrated mangaka's stories to a new medium. However, it falls significantly short of expectations, struggling with adaptation issues that dilute the potency of the original tales. While it occasionally captures glimmers of the intended horror, the series overall fails to deliver a satisfying experience for fans of Junji Ito's work or horror aficionados seeking the thrill of the macabre. This adaptation serves as a reminder of the complexities involved in bringing such intricately crafted horror tales from page to screen, underscoring the unmatched terror and beauty of Ito's manga that remains largely unmatched in this animated form.

7/10 story
3/10 animation
2/10 sound
1/10 characters
1/10 overall
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Efrem's avatar
Jul 29, 2023

Junju Ito is easily the GOAT of horror manga, and this anime adaptation of his short stories goes to show how talented he truly is. This anime is honestly horrifying, and I'm ALL FOR IT. Storywise, it's lacking since each episode is a brand new story, so there's no character development, but that's not necessary for this genre. Easily the most horrifying anime I've ever seen. Highly recommend.

6/10 story
6/10 animation
6/10 sound
7/10 characters
8/10 overall
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