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Fragments of Horror Hardcover – June 16, 2015
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About the Author
Junji Ito debuted as a horror manga artist in 1987 with the first story in his successful Tomie series. Uzumaki, drawn from 1998 to 1999, was adapted into a live-action movie, which has been released in America by Viz Films and Tidepoint Pictures. It's influences include the classic manga artists Kazuo Umezu and Hideshi Hino, as well as authors Yasutaka Tsutsui and H.P. Lovecraft.
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Top Customer Reviews
As usual, Junji Ito's stories blend bizarre, unnerving scenarios with dark images and occasional eroticism. Even the cover is impressive and beautiful. Be sure to peek under the colorful dusk jacket for a different, yet equally cool image.
I felt that the first two stories, "Futon" and "Wooden Spirit" were a tad weaker than the rest plot-wise. They're more weird than scary, but they do contain some pretty crazy visuals.
"Magami Nanakuse" was more like a dark comedy than a horror tale. It really makes you wonder how in the heck Ito can come up with something so completely... insane.
"Gentle Goodbye" isn't a horror story at all, though it does contain supernatural elements. I found it to be sad and sweet.
The rest of the tales are Junji Ito's work at its finest again. Creepy, violent, gruesome and captivating. "Red Turtleneck", "Dissection-chan" and "Whispering Woman" were all terrifying and contained unexpected twists and turns to surprise the reader.
My personal favorite is "Blackbird", which actually left me with a sick and shaky feeling at the end. Nightmare fuel for sure.
Fans of Junji Ito or of horror manga in general will love this. Do yourself a favor and read it alone in the dark!
His stories are actually creepy and weird, and interesting. I mean, they will creep you out!
He himself cites H. P. Lovecraft as one of inspirations and it shows, but not at all in a pandering or derivative way (as some fans of Lovecraft can sometimes be).
His stories in this collection are vignettes of terror, and while reading them I was reminded of watching episodes of Tales From The Darkside when I was a child, with the main difference being that these tales are never really corny or cheesy. Some are actually a little gory and adult or sophisticated in tone. There are certainly some 'episodes' that are scarier than others. 'Magami Nanakuse' is of a seemingly less serious tone, or is maybe simply less frightening than 'Futon' for example. 'Gentle Goodbye' is melancholy and alienating, and 'Dissection-Chan' and 'Blackbird' are outright disturbing. But I'm sure you'll have your own favorites.
I think the thing that makes Ito's works so appealing is that the artwork - the expressions - as well as the human dialogue and reactions are very realistic and believable. Through his talent, he allows the reader/viewer to actually ACCEPT situations that are insane and horrifying, which is something that is very much lacking nowadays in modern American cinema and literature. The reader is pulled in from the very beginning, from the opening line the tone and believability is set, and this is carried through at a steady and proper pace until the story reaches it's crescendo. It's never heavy-handed or excessive, though - in true horror story fashion - many of the endings are startling twists or peaks of terror. I was describing some of the stories to friends of mine (who had told me that they weren't planning on reading these - I never give away spoilers otherwise), and they all always react with a disturbed grimace or an expression of disgust. So you know this is good. :)
Junji Ito is a good artist and a wonderful storyteller, and this collection won't disappoint.
If you're looking for a collection of modern horror stories that are actually unique and different and completely unpredictable, this is the book to get.
Luckily though, Ito works out the kinks from his eight year break from writing horror and the remaining stories are much better. While not all of them are up to his old standard the best ones really do shine and the lesser ones are still at least interesting with enough build up to give the shocking images some impact. My favorite from this collection "Red Turtleneck" is a great mix of tension and humor with some imagery that had me squirming in my seat. "Blackbird" is also the most horrifying story on offer here with a sense of mystery shifting to impending doom as the story unfolds.
While this isn't the best collection Junji ito has put out, in fact I think some of the stories here may be among his weakest. This book is still a great collection of his unique brand of horror with the same graphic and delightfully twisted art that he's known for. If you're already a big fan of Ito than this book is a must buy if only for the great dust cover alone. If you've never read an Ito story before I don't think this would be a horrible introduction.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
ALSO just got TOMIE, FINALLY! Be sure to pick up both books.