Tombs: Junji Ito Story Collection Review – Perfect Scares

    Title: Tombs: Junji Ito Story Collection
    Author: Junji Ito
    Release Date: March 28, 2023
    Publisher: VIZ Media

Author Junji Ito, writer of several classics such as Tomie, Uzumaki, and Mimi’s Ghost Stories, once again re-releases a collection of several of his short stories. The most prominent story in this collection is the titular Tombs.

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The story of Tombs follows two siblings that visit an old friend in a new town that she had moved to, where they discover a strange occurrence that happens to the residents that die in the city. But before they arrive, the siblings are caught up in a tragic incident that brings more tragedy the more they try to keep the situation a secret from their friend and the town’s residents, which soon ties into the strange occurrence. As always in most of Junji Ito’s work, the artwork is beautiful and lures you into a sense of amazement before it builds up to show the reader its true, horrific, yet strangely beautiful face.

One of the most incredible things about Junji Ito’s artwork is the characters, some of the monsters themselves. This collection is no different in showing them all in their creepy glory. Examples include the creature in the story, the thing that drifted ashore, or the villagers in the bloody story of Shirosuma.

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Junji Ito tends to give some of his designs more of a mix between cartoonish and realism and manages to cross them over to create horrifying panels that could sometimes disgust or scare the viewer into turning to the next page, with another example being the window next door, another story in the collection and one of Ito’s well-known stories. The artwork helps make some of his stories stick out to readers long after they finish reading.

Sometimes each story can become unintentionally hilarious whenever a character says something that comes across as funny or makes an expression that comes across as laughable rather than serious, such as when they’re horrified by something they discover during a story.

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However, this adds to the charm that Junji Ito’s stories tend to have as they become a mixture of horror, heartwarming, and even hilarious at times. This collection is no different in delivering these kinds of emotions to the reader.

Those worried that all of the stories in this collection are horror would be happy to know that some of them, such as Floaters or Bronze Statue, don’t contain many scares and are relatively slow drama stories that build up to significant conclusions.

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Besides Tombs and the four stories that have already been mentioned, the collection includes another classic tale that Ito has written called Slug Girl, in which a high schooler gains a strange, or in this case, a slimy illness that slowly begins to take hold of her life.

Tombs also contains some other stories that some Junji Ito fans may have wanted to read for a long time but were unable to, or stories considered underrated in Ito’s works. Such as the aforementioned Bloody Story of Shirosuma, in which a doctor investigates a strange case happening to the residents of the titular village, Clubhouses, in which a group of girls explore an abandoned student building and soon get caught up with its past and the Strange Tale of a Tunnel in which a boy and his sister must deal with a strange tunnel in their town that has claimed the lives of numerous residents, including their mother.

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For fans of Junji Ito looking to find more of his stories to add to their collection or horror fans who wish to get into reading short horror stories or manga, then Tombs would make for a great start. Junji Ito, once again, is a master when it comes to bending multiple genres to create Lovecraftian-like stories of the weird and terror, with some of them coming out as heartwarming or sad in the end.

Tombs is no different from his previous collections that have been released that contain these sorts of genres, with each story in this collection being enjoyable from start to finish.


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