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Junji Ito announces new series ‘Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre’

Japanese horror manga author Junji Ito has announced a new horror anthology titled Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre, an anime series adaptation that will feature 20 of his famous horror stories.

Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre is the latest attempt at adapting the famous horror manga author’s works. The Junji Ito Collection, a previous horror anthology series adaptation of Ito’s works, was broadcasted on Crunchyroll in 2018.

Ito himself handpicked the 20 stories that will be adapted into the anime series. Tomie, Hanging Balloons, and the Souichi series will be among the 20 works included in the show. Ito didn’t specify which of the Tomie and Souichi stories will be included in the anthology, but the author assured fans and said to “wait for further announcements.” Tomie is Ito’s first published work, which debuted in 1987. The manga has had a live-action series adaptation and has also appeared in the 2018 Junji Ito Collection in the series’ two OVAs. Souichi, on the other hand, is one of the author’s most famous characters.

In the announcement video, the author also shared some background on Tomie and Hanging Balloons, as well as some concept art and character designs that the upcoming horror anthology will use.

According to Ito, Tomie was inspired by the “concept of a lizard’s tail growing back after getting [it] cut off,” linking the idea to the feeling of disbelief that comes after someone close to you suddenly dies. “It’s that feeling when you think that perhaps that person could still show up at any moment,” Ito said.

For Hanging Balloons, Ito shared that the story was inspired by the idea of a corpse hanging by the neck from a large floating balloon. He added that he had thought of a story about a town wherein “strange events took place” whenever a balloon appeared. “But as I was thinking it through I decided to make the balloon itself like a severed head that would attack people,” he said.

The upcoming horror anthology isn’t the only adaptation lined up for Ito’s works though. Uzumaki, Ito’s most popular horror manga, is also set for an anime adaptation this year. The series will be produced by Toonami and Production I.G. and will be released in October 2022.

The anime adaptation will premiere on a global streaming platform in 2023. There is still no final release date, and other essential information about the upcoming series has yet to be announced. /TV


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