I had a very bad day a couple weeks ago and my wife surprised me in response by pre-ordering the latest Junji Ito. I have a very good wife.
Mimi’s Tales of Terror adapts an apparently famous Japanese collection of urban legends, Shin Mimibukuro (New Earmuffs), and gives it that trademark Ito horrifying art and pacing. In some ways it’s like watching a handful of Tales from the Crypt or Are You Afraid of the Dark episodes framed through a Japanese perspective. This is one of my favorite parts of our imperfect, modern, globalized world: the accessibility of something that even 30 years ago you could only enjoy through direct experience. Sure that need for direct experience would have made it more precious, but also more narrow and less available. Thank you for coming to my mini TED Talk.
My favorite story here is probably the first, On the Utility Pole. It’s a classic little one shot jump scare. Gruesome figures, zero explanation, just a big BOO and some great art. 11/10 no notes.
Next up would be Monster Prop, in which a couple young people try to put together a new prop for their haunted house, based on a nightmarish memory one of the young people remembers from their past. Naturally, everyone involved with the creation of this prop goes slowly crazy, the prop itself may be haunted, you see where this is going.
I’d recommend this collection to any other Junji Ito fans looking for more of what you love.