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Three-time Eisner Award winner Junji Ito presents brand-new nightmares! What destiny awaits them after the screaming? After abruptly departing from a train in a small town, a couple encounters a “weeping woman”—a professional mourner—sobbing inconsolably at a funeral. Mako changes afterward—she can’t stop crying! In another tale, having decided to die together, a couple ente Three-time Eisner Award winner Junji Ito presents brand-new nightmares! What destiny awaits them after the screaming? After abruptly departing from a train in a small town, a couple encounters a “weeping woman”—a professional mourner—sobbing inconsolably at a funeral. Mako changes afterward—she can’t stop crying! In another tale, having decided to die together, a couple enters Aokigahara, the infamous suicide forest. What is the shocking otherworldly torrent that they discover there? One of horror’s greatest talents, Junji Ito beckons readers to join him in an experience of ultimate terror with four transcendently terrifying tales.


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Three-time Eisner Award winner Junji Ito presents brand-new nightmares! What destiny awaits them after the screaming? After abruptly departing from a train in a small town, a couple encounters a “weeping woman”—a professional mourner—sobbing inconsolably at a funeral. Mako changes afterward—she can’t stop crying! In another tale, having decided to die together, a couple ente Three-time Eisner Award winner Junji Ito presents brand-new nightmares! What destiny awaits them after the screaming? After abruptly departing from a train in a small town, a couple encounters a “weeping woman”—a professional mourner—sobbing inconsolably at a funeral. Mako changes afterward—she can’t stop crying! In another tale, having decided to die together, a couple enters Aokigahara, the infamous suicide forest. What is the shocking otherworldly torrent that they discover there? One of horror’s greatest talents, Junji Ito beckons readers to join him in an experience of ultimate terror with four transcendently terrifying tales.

30 review for The Liminal Zone

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    (Duh duh duh duh, duh duh duh duh) You're travelling through another Junji Ito horror manga, a manga not only of panels and word balloons but of lunacy. A demented journey into an hysterical land whose boundaries are that of imagination and page counts. That's the creepy signpost up ahead - your next stop, the Liminal Zone! Junji Ito’s back with a new collection of longish short horror manga, The Liminal Zone, and, while never boring, all four stories are kinda… stupid. I mention some details of (Duh duh duh duh, duh duh duh duh) You're travelling through another Junji Ito horror manga, a manga not only of panels and word balloons but of lunacy. A demented journey into an hysterical land whose boundaries are that of imagination and page counts. That's the creepy signpost up ahead - your next stop, the Liminal Zone! Junji Ito’s back with a new collection of longish short horror manga, The Liminal Zone, and, while never boring, all four stories are kinda… stupid. I mention some details of the stories below so I’ll say SPOILERS at the top - this is one for fans of Ito only, who’ll perhaps be more forgiving of his bonkers plotting and might even have developed a taste for it over the years. Weeping Woman Way is about a town of women who can’t stop crying and take the main character’s girlfriend as their weeping leader… for reasons? Madonna is about a corrupt Catholic school where the (of course, because it’s Catholic) pervy principal keeps taking wives to be his Mary Madonna. Again, y’know, for reasons. The Spirit Flow of Aokigahara is about a suicidal couple who bathe in a river of souls (as you do) in the famous “Suicide Forest” at the base of Mount Fuji - which changes them in weird ways. And finally Slumber is about a guy who thinks he might be a SECRET SERIAL KILLER. I know, I’m laughing too. And, no, there is no story here called “The Liminal Zone” or any mention of what that is. Brilliant. The stories are all unpredictable but only because Ito doesn’t let things like explanations get in the way of telling his stories. So the people at the Catholic school are turning into salt because something like that happened in the Bible, and one of the women has superpowers, because why not? Who cares what the “spirit flow” is, it’s just there and doing stuff! How does the serial killer manage to transplant his memories to the innocent guy? Ahhh, come on, it’s just fun! Etc., etc. Ito is surprisingly honest about how weakly his stories are constructed too. From his afterword: “Perhaps I’m tired after drawing manga for years on end. I’m out of good ideas. The stories in this book were created drawing on ideas that I’d left unused in an old notebook of possible topics.” He then goes on to describe “Madonna” as a “silly idea” and “The Spirit Flow of Aokigahara” as “too absurdly science fiction” and “deeply bizarre.” I concur. Still, the stories are undeniably original and I was interested enough to see where they were headed - none of it made sense but it was imaginative and intermittently entertaining nonsense at least. And Ito’s art is the best it’s ever been - he’s a much better artist than he is a writer, and the serial killer’s face in Slumber is genuinely unsettling. The Liminal Zone isn’t among Junji Ito’s better collections but I doubt that’ll stop his many fans from picking it up anyway. If you’re interested in this creator’s horror manga, I recommend checking out his better books like Shiver, Frankenstein, Gyo, and Uzumaki instead.

  2. 5 out of 5

    destiny ♡ howling libraries

    This was absolutely incredible and probably my favorite Junji Ito book thus far. The Liminal Zone is a collection of a few different stories, as many of Junji's works are, and these stories share in the bizarre, messed up, outlandish nature that his stories typically do, but something about these really shone for me. 'Weeping Woman Way' features a couple who come across a town that seems to still utilize the old, mostly forgotten tradition of "weeping women" (professional mourners) at funerals, b This was absolutely incredible and probably my favorite Junji Ito book thus far. The Liminal Zone is a collection of a few different stories, as many of Junji's works are, and these stories share in the bizarre, messed up, outlandish nature that his stories typically do, but something about these really shone for me. 'Weeping Woman Way' features a couple who come across a town that seems to still utilize the old, mostly forgotten tradition of "weeping women" (professional mourners) at funerals, but after coming in contact with one of the weeping women, Mako finds herself inconsolably sad. The depictions of the weeping women were so chilling and fascinating, and I really loved the idea of this corpse that continues to weep long past her death. 'Madonna' is a religious horror story featuring some incredibly messed up zealots who believe they are on a personal mission to find the reincarnation of the virgin Mary, and I loved the way the ending played out and the twists in this one. Junji Ito has toyed with religious themes in some of his previous works, but this was definitely my favorite example of that theme in his writing so far. 'The Spirit Flow of Aokigahara' follows a couple's trip to Aokigahara's infamous "Suicide Forest" after one member of the couple has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Once arriving in the forest, the two find an unexplainable source of spiritual activity that draws Norio in and begins to create bizarre changes in him. This felt like the most classically familiar style of story from the collection, as it deals with some really bizarre elements and artwork later in the story that were highly unnerving! 'Slumber' is about a young man who has memories of murder every morning when he wakes, but otherwise has no recollection of planning the murders, nor does he have a motive. This was my least favorite in the collection, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it — I only wish there had been a little more explanation regarding the twist, but I've long since learned that sometimes, with Junji's work, you just have to go with the flow! I highly recommend The Liminal Zone to any horror manga lovers, whether you're brand new to Junji Ito books or have read all of his previous works. Again, I'd say this was my favorite of his books yet, and it made me extremely excited to see what he writes next! ✨ Content warnings for: (view spoiler)[violence, death, murder, implied pedophilia, mention of terminal illness, brief mentions of suicide/suicidal thoughts (hide spoiler)] Thank you to the publisher for the review copy! All thoughts are honest and my own. ——— twitter | booktok | bookstagram | blog

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Lawson

    As always, Junji Ito does manga body horror that is enthralling, unsettling and utterly bonkers. I'm not sure I would recommend it as a first read if you're new to him but if you know what you're getting into it will scratch that fucked-up itch in your head that wants to know that there are people out there that are stranger than you are. Also, you're supposed to say, "Wait. What?" at least 5 times in every one of his books, right? Because if not, I'm reading them wrong. As always, Junji Ito does manga body horror that is enthralling, unsettling and utterly bonkers. I'm not sure I would recommend it as a first read if you're new to him but if you know what you're getting into it will scratch that fucked-up itch in your head that wants to know that there are people out there that are stranger than you are. Also, you're supposed to say, "Wait. What?" at least 5 times in every one of his books, right? Because if not, I'm reading them wrong.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stay Fetters

    "People know true sadness when they die. You understand that sadness. The tears that pour from your eyes are those of the dead." The master of horror manga is back with a four short story blood-curdling release. We expect wide-eyed terror when we read his books but this is something more than that. This hits deep down to your core as you reread some parts because of how f**ked up it all was. This was a phenomenal release and now one of my favorites. The more I think about this, the more I love it "People know true sadness when they die. You understand that sadness. The tears that pour from your eyes are those of the dead." The master of horror manga is back with a four short story blood-curdling release. We expect wide-eyed terror when we read his books but this is something more than that. This hits deep down to your core as you reread some parts because of how f**ked up it all was. This was a phenomenal release and now one of my favorites. The more I think about this, the more I love it. It was weird and dark in the best blood drenching ways. A must read for all horror manga fans. We all know that Ito never disappoints.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Blair

    The Liminal Zone is a collection of new stories, written during the Covid-19 pandemic and originally serialised on a manga app in 2020. It should be the polar opposite of the last Junji Ito book I read, Deserter, which collected stories from earlier in his career – but in fact they feel like two sides of the same coin, in the sense that neither represent the artist/author’s strongest work. The Liminal Zone also feels comparatively slight, with just four stories. ‘Weeping Woman Way’ follows a cou The Liminal Zone is a collection of new stories, written during the Covid-19 pandemic and originally serialised on a manga app in 2020. It should be the polar opposite of the last Junji Ito book I read, Deserter, which collected stories from earlier in his career – but in fact they feel like two sides of the same coin, in the sense that neither represent the artist/author’s strongest work. The Liminal Zone also feels comparatively slight, with just four stories. ‘Weeping Woman Way’ follows a couple whose lives are transformed after they visit a village which continues the tradition of employing professional mourners at funerals. ‘Madonna’ is set at a religious boarding school for girls, where the principal’s wife takes a disturbing interest in a new student. In ‘Slumber’, aspiring lawyer Takuya becomes convinced he’s murdering people in his sleep. My favourite of the four was ‘The Spirit Flow of Aokigahara’, which features a terminally ill young man and his girlfriend visiting Aokigahara – the famous ‘suicide forest’ – with the intention of dying together. But instead they find a mysterious ‘spirit flow’. The changes wrought by this power are genuinely creepy, epitomising the body horror and general sense of squeamishness Junji Ito’s work is famous for. It’s difficult to fault the art – there are some striking illustrations in here, most notably in ‘Slumber’, where the simplicity of the plot fits well with stark black-and-white imagery. But I wasn’t thrilled or disturbed by anything except the effects of the spirits in ‘The Spirit Flow of Aokigahara’, and that detail was the only thing I remembered clearly after finishing the book. I revisited the 2019 collection Smashed just after reading this, and it really reminded me just how superior the earlier VIZ Media collections were to the more recent output. I received an advance review copy of The Liminal Zone from the publisher through Edelweiss. TinyLetter | Linktree

  6. 4 out of 5

    Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)

    Thank you to the publishers for the gifted review copy! This was my first by Junji Ito and definitely not my last! This was so creepy and spine tingling.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Although he doesn't mention it in his afterword, the theme of this Junji Ito collection really feels like "folklore." The first story, "Weeping Woman Way," draws on the idea of professional mourners and myths of the Banshee (and other creepy weepers from folklore around the world) to create a story that feels at once unique and very familiar. Ito says that the idea of tear tracks was behind this, and I know I won't be referring to the dark lines beside my cats' noses as those ever again. "Weeping Although he doesn't mention it in his afterword, the theme of this Junji Ito collection really feels like "folklore." The first story, "Weeping Woman Way," draws on the idea of professional mourners and myths of the Banshee (and other creepy weepers from folklore around the world) to create a story that feels at once unique and very familiar. Ito says that the idea of tear tracks was behind this, and I know I won't be referring to the dark lines beside my cats' noses as those ever again. "Weeping Woman Way" is the strongest of the four tales included, though all are interesting in their own rights. "The Spirit Flow of Aokigahara" is a very different take on the so-called Suicide Forest, turning it into a strange purgatory of people addicted to the strange powers that come from a mysterious cave within. "Slumber" is probably the weakest, although it's plot of a deranged therapist who links with others to share his crimes is an interesting one. "Madonna" takes the mythology of both Lot's wife and the Virgin Mary as its base, and while I enjoyed the way Ito plays with both, I'm also not Christian, and I suspect that devout followers of that religion may find the story uncomfortable. All in all another solid piece of horror despite Ito's concerns. I can't wait to see what he does with the pandemic once he feels he can write about it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    jasmin

    weeping woman way: 4/5 madonna: 5/5 the spirit flow of aokigahara 4.5/5 slumber: 3.5/5

  9. 4 out of 5

    C.M. Sturdy

    The past few Junji Ito collections had kind of been a case of diminishing returns; most of his really big, famous stories were published in the first couple of collections and what was left for the more recent ones wasn't as good. While this still isn't as good as his earlier material, it is at least much better than the previous couple.. He's still the master of the turn-page-reveal. The past few Junji Ito collections had kind of been a case of diminishing returns; most of his really big, famous stories were published in the first couple of collections and what was left for the more recent ones wasn't as good. While this still isn't as good as his earlier material, it is at least much better than the previous couple.. He's still the master of the turn-page-reveal.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of The Liminal Zone. Junji Ito fans, buckle up because another wild horror anthology is coming your way. I was extremely intrigued and delighted (as always) by Ito's completely off-the-wall stories and the body horror we get along the way. His signature disconcerting art style is on full display in these stories. I got a little lost during some of the entries (why were the events happening? How?) But the twists along the way kept the suspense and the interest ro Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of The Liminal Zone. Junji Ito fans, buckle up because another wild horror anthology is coming your way. I was extremely intrigued and delighted (as always) by Ito's completely off-the-wall stories and the body horror we get along the way. His signature disconcerting art style is on full display in these stories. I got a little lost during some of the entries (why were the events happening? How?) But the twists along the way kept the suspense and the interest rolling. If you've liked Ito's horror anthologies and one-offs in the past, you'll definitely enjoy this new installment.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    This is possibly the most beautiful looking Ito book I own. Just look at that cover! It's gorgeous. As for the stories inside? There are less than are usually in one of his collections, just four stories, but they are all exceptional. Madonna, in particular, is a new favorite. In this story, Ito examines religious obsession. A new girl at a strict boarding school captures the headmaster's attention to the anger of his zealot wife who is convinced that she herself is the actual Virgin Mary. It's o This is possibly the most beautiful looking Ito book I own. Just look at that cover! It's gorgeous. As for the stories inside? There are less than are usually in one of his collections, just four stories, but they are all exceptional. Madonna, in particular, is a new favorite. In this story, Ito examines religious obsession. A new girl at a strict boarding school captures the headmaster's attention to the anger of his zealot wife who is convinced that she herself is the actual Virgin Mary. It's one of the most detailed Ito stories I've ever read and contains some truly disturbing images. The other three stories concern a colony of weeping women, a terminally ill man discovering a ghostly phenomenon in the woods, and a man who believes he is killing in his sleep. They are all also prime examples of Ito's wonderful weirdness, even if Madonna stands out the most. The Liminal Zone is a truly beautiful edition of the work of a master of horror manga and a must for any fans of the genre.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Kim

    from devils to paradise....just like Wall-E and Eve.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Beatriz

    Thank you NetGalley for this arc. Honestly I don’t know if I prefer it when Junji Ito’s stories correlate or if they’re random. Maybe I like them both equally? Liminal Zone is comprised of random stories each creeper than the next and as always super enjoyable. I think my favorite story is Madonna. A creepy self proclaiming reborn Virgin Mary starts chasing you, no thanks I’ll see myself out!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Adam Stone

    I never know where a Junji Ito story is going. They're all bonkers. They have a logic to them, but that logic never seems to include explaining how or why things happen, you just have to go along with the journey. And while they're all filled with horror, I find most of them more funny than frightening. If you enjoy psychological horror at its most basic, and you're not put off by horror that's more silly than scary, Junji Ito is THE writer I recommend. I've tried some other manga horror writers, I never know where a Junji Ito story is going. They're all bonkers. They have a logic to them, but that logic never seems to include explaining how or why things happen, you just have to go along with the journey. And while they're all filled with horror, I find most of them more funny than frightening. If you enjoy psychological horror at its most basic, and you're not put off by horror that's more silly than scary, Junji Ito is THE writer I recommend. I've tried some other manga horror writers, and will continue to do so, but so far none of them have even approached the quality of Ito's work.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Etienne

    4,5/5. Yet again I find myself totally engage in the weird mind of Junji Ito. This book is a collection of short stories, manga of course, with all themes and aspects this author always goes for. I like most of the story, the second one left me on my appetite, but the others are all good. Definitely worth reading if you love horror and manga.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    Another excellent collection without any throw always. I loved the artwork throughout specifically “Weeping Woman” and “Madonna” and the storylines were great throughout with my favorite being slumber. I am definitely going to recommend this collection upon release! Thank you to the publisher for providing me with this drc available through netgalley.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gabby Louise

    Disclaimer: I work for a bookstore, all thoughts and opinions are my own and not affiliated with the store or company. Thank you to NetGalley and Viz Media for providing me with a digital version of this manga. With this story please check content warnings before going into it as it had some graphic depictions, mentions of suicide, religious themes, comments linked to pedophilia, murder, and more. This was my first time reading Junji Ito and it lived up to my expectations. Although I was not scared Disclaimer: I work for a bookstore, all thoughts and opinions are my own and not affiliated with the store or company. Thank you to NetGalley and Viz Media for providing me with a digital version of this manga. With this story please check content warnings before going into it as it had some graphic depictions, mentions of suicide, religious themes, comments linked to pedophilia, murder, and more. This was my first time reading Junji Ito and it lived up to my expectations. Although I was not scared throughout, it definitely had disturbing imagery that left me on the edge of my seat. My favourite of the collection is Slumber as the story itself creeped me out and wondered about if this could happen in real life, and the ending was truly a classic but great twist. Followed by the story, Madonna. This one was set in a religious school with many religious elements. Some elements were particularly disturbing as many of the themes are reflected in our current religions, relating to priests and some of the corrupt acts that can occur behind closed doors. The other two short stories, Weeping Woman Way, and The Spirit flow of Aokigahara were also interesting and compelled me to keep reading. While there isn’t much explanation or reasons for why these stories happen, I didn’t mind. It added another layer of mystery and added to the element of it being creepy. My one complaint overall is within Slumber and the mention of dissociative identity disorder. Although the author confirms the main character doesn't have this disorder I still wish it was left completely out as it still connects the idea of mental illness and violence/danger. I will be continuing to read Junji Ito’s works as I enjoyed this one immensely and would recommend this to those that enjoy or think they will enjoy more disturbing elements but as always check warnings. If needed I can attempt to compile a list.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Coconut Summer

    Wow, just wow. After Remina I was afraid that Ito might not be able to come up with something better (Remina was everything I love in a horror manga). But the last story in The Liminal Zone? It’s a masterpiece. Horror, crime and mental illness are mixed together to create a creepy story that I craved for a long time. I wish someone would create a movie based on that, it will be interesting to see it on the screen. Like always, great work, and can’t wait now for another new art from Ito.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Chuck Knudsen

    They were entertaining and fairly spooky, I just don't feel like he's ever really captured the horror of his early works. They were entertaining and fairly spooky, I just don't feel like he's ever really captured the horror of his early works.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Joyce

    Sometimes Junji Ito’s stories take a weird left turn into science fiction or other strange avenues and only sometimes does it work well. His short story collections are mostly hits, but are still littered with a handful of C+ stories sorted through the mix. A great example of this is Uzumaki and Gyo. Uzumaki is balls-to-the-walls bizarre but has an incredible sense of atmosphere, direction, and nails the ending. Gyo, another longform manga of his, has a weird and intriguing concept but does not Sometimes Junji Ito’s stories take a weird left turn into science fiction or other strange avenues and only sometimes does it work well. His short story collections are mostly hits, but are still littered with a handful of C+ stories sorted through the mix. A great example of this is Uzumaki and Gyo. Uzumaki is balls-to-the-walls bizarre but has an incredible sense of atmosphere, direction, and nails the ending. Gyo, another longform manga of his, has a weird and intriguing concept but does not stick the landing. Both books are very odd horror, but only one of them harnesses that weirdness to its benefit (in my opinion. I did like Gyo, but you have to forgive a lot more than with Uzumaki). I’m happy to say that I found The Liminal Zone to be closer to the former. The collection features 4 stories, all of which are equally engaging. The first, “Weeping Woman Way” gives a supernatural power to the professional mourner. These wailing women have the ability to bring peace to the dead with their mourning, holding off the spirit realm. The vibe of this one was weird, but Uzumaki (good)weird. The story is predictable, but eerie enough to keep you engaged. Some of the visuals in this story are among Junji Ito’s best. “Madonna”, the second story, was my favorite of the four. Maria is the new girl at a private Catholic school where the principal seems to be grooming women to become the next Virgin Mary. While still be wildly fantastical, this story also conveyed a lot of real human emotion and wove a narrative about exploitation into it with a lot of nuance and empathy. It also kind of reminded me of Suspiria a lot, which is always a good thing. Really, really good story. “The Spirit Flow of Aokigahara” is probably the oddest of the bunch, but a bit of a fun palette cleanser after “Madonna” which you will probably need. A couple plan to commit suicide in the infamous Suicide Forest, but instead encounter a speeding current of ghosts that powers through the woods each night. Oddity ensues, along with that signature Junji Ito body horror we all know and love. Lastly, we have “Slumber”. Maybe the weakest of the bunch, but still a fun story. A young man has vivid and gory dreams of murdering people in his town before learning that these people have actually been killed while he was sleeping. He begins to worry that he is the killer and tries to find answers. It’s not groundbreaking, but definitely a fun ride. The art is great and the killer’s design is very unsettling. Not a bad way to end the collection. The Liminal Zone is definitely one of the better Junji Ito collections, which should say a lot given his massive catalogue of works. If you’re a longtime fan then you already are reading this, and if you’re new, this isn’t a bad collection to start off with. But for the love of god, please read Uzumaki first, if you haven’t yet.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Collin Henderson

    A brand spanking new, short collection of stories that released in Japan last year. Ito states in the afterward that he perhaps is running out of ideas for manga since he’s been drawing it for so long but it’s tough to tell that from this collection. Weeping woman way is one of Ito’s ghost stories and anyone who has read him knows to expect that unexpected. It concerns a young couple who stumble into a small town funeral where a weeping woman has been hired- a woman who knows pain intimately and A brand spanking new, short collection of stories that released in Japan last year. Ito states in the afterward that he perhaps is running out of ideas for manga since he’s been drawing it for so long but it’s tough to tell that from this collection. Weeping woman way is one of Ito’s ghost stories and anyone who has read him knows to expect that unexpected. It concerns a young couple who stumble into a small town funeral where a weeping woman has been hired- a woman who knows pain intimately and helps the spirits of the dead move on by expressing that pain. Eventually the protagonists fiancé starts crying and it leads to some jarring revelations that aren’t quite like anything I’ve ever seen. Madonna is one I was unsure about but wound up loving. It’s about a girl named Maria who enrolls in a strict Christian school whose headmaster claims to be married to the reincarnation of Mary, mother of Jesus. There’s a lot of buildup here, and there are some disturbing revelations about the head master and secrets the school hides. This grew on me and wound up being my second favorite in the collection. The spirit flow of Aokigahara started off intriguing, with the premise of a young couple wandering into the notorious woods to end their lives following one of them being diagnosed with a terminal illness. This was easily the weakest in the collection, though. It’s suitably weird, (a literal flow of spirits belches forth from a hole in the ground every night to Abe the dead up the mountain, and people bathing in it is pretty fucking strange) but it lacked the punch of the other stories endings and as such feels weirdly derivative of other tales such as the enigma of amarigari fault. Thankfully liminal zone ends on an extremely high note with Slumber, which is very much a giallo by way of junji ito, and it’s just as intense as that comparison would imply. It’s about a young wannabe lawyer who is convinced he goes out in the night and is responsible for the recent string of brutal stabbings that are plaguing Japan. I really don’t want to spoilt this too much, but there’s an excellent paranoid atmosphere here, and this is further proof that even when he’s simply drawing basic horrific stuff (opposed to his usual more bizarre body horror) ito excels at making violence impactful and terrifying. The explanation behind what’s going on is great, too, and the ending is a killer. So while this collection is definitely on the short side, three out of the four stories are excellent, with Slumber in particular shooting it’s way into my top ten favorite ito stories. Even though he doubts himself in the afterward, this collection is proof that he’s still a master of nightmarish, strange horror.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Anne Nelson

    There are only four stories here and while they're by no means the best, the most frightening, or even the strangest Junji Ito stories I've read, there's really something for everyone and I did enjoy the collection overall. If you are a fan, there's going to be a story in here for you. The collection begins and ends with rather standard horror stuff: the opening story (Weeping Woman Way) is arguably the best-developed piece in the collection and had a classic Japanese horror folktale/ghost story There are only four stories here and while they're by no means the best, the most frightening, or even the strangest Junji Ito stories I've read, there's really something for everyone and I did enjoy the collection overall. If you are a fan, there's going to be a story in here for you. The collection begins and ends with rather standard horror stuff: the opening story (Weeping Woman Way) is arguably the best-developed piece in the collection and had a classic Japanese horror folktale/ghost story vibe. I do think the tale is Ito's original concept, but it reads like it came right out of Kwaidan and if you like Japanese folk horror it's well worth picking up the collection for this story alone. The last story (Slumber) is a pretty standard-formula take on a contemporary urban legend (with an also-typical scary twist at the end). I enjoyed it but apart from a throwaway joke about an apparently popular thriller movie called Joker the Ripper, I found nothing particularly memorable in it. The two stories in the middle were much more interesting: both were a lot more unpredictable and while neither was particularly long, they took plenty of the strange detours that really set Ito's work apart from imitators. The Spirit Flow of Aokigahara--while not the best story in the book--was my favorite of the four and was absolutely full of creepy concepts, people making inexplicable decisions, and bizarre twists. If you like weird horror, these are the ones for you.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Margo

    This book caught my eye immediately due to the character on the covers ressemblance to the well known image of Tomie with two heads. And what do you know, I look at the author’s name and it’s none other than Junji Ito. Overall I enjoyed this collection of stories. Some definitely better than others, but all fairly good. My favourite was definitely the last one, Slumber, since I enjoy stories that are less fantastical. While not plausible, it seemed more realistic. And my least favourite has to b This book caught my eye immediately due to the character on the covers ressemblance to the well known image of Tomie with two heads. And what do you know, I look at the author’s name and it’s none other than Junji Ito. Overall I enjoyed this collection of stories. Some definitely better than others, but all fairly good. My favourite was definitely the last one, Slumber, since I enjoy stories that are less fantastical. While not plausible, it seemed more realistic. And my least favourite has to be the first, Weeping Woman Way. It read to me as a very standard short horror story. Nothing that interesting and extremely predictable. There have been a few of Ito’s works that were also pretty predictable, but they managed to still be more enjoyable than this one. I have to also mention the third,The Spirit Flow of Aokigahara, simply for it being so odd. I admire Ito’s capacity to come up with such strange ideas. And as always, I have to mention something about the art, this time about the cover. It’s simply wonderful. The drawing of the two faced woman on the front of the cover sleeve is so intricately drawn and definitely manages to catch your attention quickly. The book itself is also well done. It features different sceneries from all four stories in a burgundy and black. I am always impressed by his covers.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    I always appreciate the way Ito can make any story unpredictable. He can come up with a completely original idea and send shivers down your spine with artwork or plot or ridiculous characters. Reading this book felt like asking a question on Google, being redirected to redit for an answer you’d expect only to be met with the complete opposite and falling down a rabbit hole from which there’s no return. I read this book in one sitting, I quite literally couldn’t tear my eyes away from the pages. I always appreciate the way Ito can make any story unpredictable. He can come up with a completely original idea and send shivers down your spine with artwork or plot or ridiculous characters. Reading this book felt like asking a question on Google, being redirected to redit for an answer you’d expect only to be met with the complete opposite and falling down a rabbit hole from which there’s no return. I read this book in one sitting, I quite literally couldn’t tear my eyes away from the pages. This collection did not disappoint. The artwork of ‘Weeping Woman’ was incredible. The conclusion to the last story, ‘Slumber’, left me speechless. ‘Madonna’ particularly stood out to me, I didn’t realise how scared I am of being chased by the Virgin Mary. I’ll probably come back to this story when I can get my hands on a physical copy, and will definitely be recommending it to others. Thank you to Netgalley and VIZ Media for sending me an ARC.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Vic

    anyone who knows me knows that i love junji ito, so i was absolutely stoked to read this. these stories were bonkers! i know that’s not everyone’s cup of tea but i loved it. the stories in this collection don’t correlate to each other, but i think that’s what makes it more fun. as always, the art in these stories is gorgeous and frightening at the same time. a very short collection for a quick, entertaining read! thank you to viz media for gifting me a copy through netgalley in exchange for an h anyone who knows me knows that i love junji ito, so i was absolutely stoked to read this. these stories were bonkers! i know that’s not everyone’s cup of tea but i loved it. the stories in this collection don’t correlate to each other, but i think that’s what makes it more fun. as always, the art in these stories is gorgeous and frightening at the same time. a very short collection for a quick, entertaining read! thank you to viz media for gifting me a copy through netgalley in exchange for an honest review!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kai Van

    CW: blood, violence, suicide mentioned (not really on page), body horror the last one was my fave, slumber. this collection features 4 works that Ito made during the first year of C19 lockdown in 2020. the afterward about his experience writing them and having a bit more freedom with length due to their originally being released though the Line Manga App was neat! I learned a new thing about serialized manga, always fun. not my all-time fave, but still a good addition to his collection of work.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Stacey

    Was incredibly excited to get to read this ARC, and was not disappointed. While I felt the book seemed a bit different than previous ones, I can not for the life of me place my finger on why or how. I enjoyed the 4 longer stories lay-out, and of course loved the art. I don't want to include spoilers since it's already a short read and I feel it doesn't need them, but will say of you are looking for bizarre, looking for body horror, and looking to see beautiful girls at the center of each story, Was incredibly excited to get to read this ARC, and was not disappointed. While I felt the book seemed a bit different than previous ones, I can not for the life of me place my finger on why or how. I enjoyed the 4 longer stories lay-out, and of course loved the art. I don't want to include spoilers since it's already a short read and I feel it doesn't need them, but will say of you are looking for bizarre, looking for body horror, and looking to see beautiful girls at the center of each story, you've come to the right place.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    I love Junji Ito and will defend his work to death. But this one was uncomfortable in a different way than usual. The art is as horrifically wonderful as always, but the storytelling was a miss. Unfortunately the stories just didn’t do it for me in this release. My favorite feeling when reading Ito is being scared sh*tless to turn the next page and see whatever godforsaken splash panel is about to be seared into my memory. No lasting emotional trauma this time around…

  29. 4 out of 5

    Adamsfall

    One of the better collections to be released lately. We’ve been getting multiple Junji Ito books a year for a bit now and some of them have been pretty weak on the story side. His art is always breathtaking and horrifying, but it’s nice when it doesn’t just feel like I’m going through enjoying it for the images. The final story, Slumber, was probably my favorite.

  30. 4 out of 5

    rob

    Great to have new stories and not reissues (but I still want everything, Viz) 4 longer stories from the LINE messaging app? ito can do what he wants, frenz. Weeping woman was my favorite I think. The title is weird and likely refers to story "Slumber" and is (unknowingly?) referring to the mauve zone that I can find in hypnopompic states. Great to have new stories and not reissues (but I still want everything, Viz) 4 longer stories from the LINE messaging app? ito can do what he wants, frenz. Weeping woman was my favorite I think. The title is weird and likely refers to story "Slumber" and is (unknowingly?) referring to the mauve zone that I can find in hypnopompic states.

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