Hi everybody! I hope everyone is having a great week. Did you get to read about Iron Man on MC Tuesday? I hope so! Back in October, I reviewed the manga Uzumaki by Junji Ito. With the exception of the ending, I really like the story. So, when I find out a Junji Ito anime is going to be on Crunchyroll, I’m full of anticipation. The first episode of the Junji Ito Collection is out, so let’s dive back into the twisted world of Junji Ito.
I had high hopes for the first episode. I really want to write that it is awesome and that everyone should watch it immediately. But, I cannot do this. This first episode contains some interesting stuff, but overall it is dull. There are a few reasons why, for me, this is a disappointing start. Let’s explore them one by one.
The main character is in this episode is a Souichi. Apparently, Souichi has a problem with people living normal lives and doing normal activities like watching TV or listening to friends have a conversation. So, he curses people. That’s about it. Souichi is crazy and he curses people. It is not established why he is crazy. He is not picked on, is home life isn’t bad, no other obvious trauma is mentioned. He’s a jerk, and that is all there is to the main character.
I have no problems with Souichi being an awful person. Usually, despicable characters make interesting stories. However, that is not the case with Souichi. I don’t like him, I don’t hate him. He is just there. If I hated him, it would at least make him more compelling.
From my understanding, the show is supposed to be an anthology of Junji Ito’s work. After reading Uzumaki and the short manga The Enigma of the Amigara Fault, I realize that Ito’s endings have a tendency to be ambiguous. Neither story felt complete. Good creepy stories have a strong ending. Watch old episodes of The Twilight Zone. You spend your time completely creeped out, and they finish strong, leaving you with something to discuss. So this is what should occur with Junji Ito collection. It should be creepy and complete.
No Established Mood
This is my biggest gripe with the first episode. One thing I love about Ito’s work is that he establishes certain moods within the story. In Uzumaki, you get a feeling of doom and misery. In The Enigma of the Amigara Fault, you get a sense of urgency and anxiety. Conversely, in this first episode, the mood is, well, nonexistent. You’re just there, in a regular village, with some crazy kid. This does not make for a compelling story.
Turn It All Around
This first episode leaves much to be desired. But, the ending of the first episode shows some promise. The ending shows the beginning of a new story. Episode two may deliver on those elements that one missed. If they can make me care about these characters, establish some sort of dark and ominous mood, and wrap it up in a satisfying way, then the show may have some hope.
What did you think of Juji Ito Collection? Did it meet all of your expectations? Let me know!
That’s it! I will see you for Sunday Drama, where we will watch episodes 4-6 of High School Entrance Exam.