- Series: Fragments of Horror (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: VIZ Media LLC (June 16, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1421580799
- ISBN-13: 978-1421580791
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 105 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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.
Top customer reviews
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One of the issues we have always had in the US is getting Ito translated and especially for random shorts, so I personally love these types of collections and think that a lot of Ito's work would benefit from the same treatment. Here, you have some work that reminds me of a few of his older entries collected in things like the Museum of Terrors, or like some of the shorts such as Blood Bubble Bushes. (FYI, you can find the uncollected works translated by some caring fans online if you are so inclined, plus you can purchase several collections.) For those unfamiliar with his works, you can check out more Uzumaki (this can be purchased in 3 books, or in a 3-in-1 volume), Gyo (this was also made into the anime film, Tokyo Fish Attack!, and has two parts), Museum of Terror 1 - 3, Tomie (which is located in several shorts and has spawned numerous movies), Hellstar Remina, Voices in the Dark, and much more.
Why Ito? Because he explores horror in sometimes terrible, oftentimes bizarre, and sometimes unnerving ways. Things like Uzumaki have a Lovecraftian feel to them, which Ito credits as the inspiration for some of his work. There are times when I think, "that is an amazing twist," and others when I think, "how did you think of that?" I always come back and I always buy what I can procure, and that is because of the unique way everything is presented. Honestly, I never thought black-and-white would be unnerving, but he sometimes takes the opportunity to prove me wrong.
For fans, this is a good addition and something waited for. For those considering Ito for the first time, this woudl not be the thing I would initially reocmmend. Try out some Uzumaki or one of the Museum of Terror collections, take your time and set the mood, actually injesting the imagery along the wording and moments, and enjoy.
Very worth it.
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!
If for some reason you're still reading: he delicately weaves the absurd against the mundane, often abruptly flipping expectations to craft stories that horrify. What makes these tales special is that they aren't cliche bogeymen or slasher tropes. They're the reality of life through a different lens.
One is about a cheating man and his regret. Another is a woman who fears the death of her father. While a third is about loving a home too much. There are so many unique tales with very human fears.
What makes the journey so engaging is the picture of a world that is inches away from the unseen. A bump along the road could lead to its discovery, and inform us of things we never wanted to see. And there are never answers. This is the way the world is.
At the end of the book Mr Ito shares he took an 8 year hiatus from horror. This is his return, and he feels a bit rusty. But as a reader, I was amazed at the skill of the pacing, the line work, the editing, and the passion to try new ideas. I've read all of his horror manga, and this rightly sits alongside his very best.