Welcome back to season 2 of the Imouri Anime Review, where people vote for an anime that the Imouri team will review. The anime will be reviewed using these four criteria; Story, Animation, Character Development, and World-Building. Each category will be given of score (1-10), and then an overall score will be determined.
October is here and you know that that means; scary anime. The users from the Secret Anime Club voted for their favorite anime to review that centered around scary ghosts and stories. After voting ended, the anime that got the most votes was The Junji Ito Collection for the October 2021 review.
The Junji Ito Collection has a unique story structure. Its episodes are comprised of self-contained short stories with unique themes for each episode. Have you ever read Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark? It is like that for a story structure. Unfortunately, as an anime, this doesn't work well at all.
If you're reading his collection as a manga to yourself or others, then you can capture that fear and dread because the reader can help create the atmosphere. But watching it has an anime. The fear and anxiety are not there because you have to rely on other elements such as great animation, musical scores, etc. I watched this series in the Dark, and the stories failed to give me a sense of dread and fear. Plus, with the stories, you are just thrown into an unexpected situation with sometimes no conclusion. Sometimes, the stories would be 12 to 15 minutes long, while others are much shorter.
The only saving grace of the series is somewhat continuity that does happen in a few episodes. Three characters do manage to make multiple returns; Souichi, Miss Fuchi, and Tomie. These characters make a brief return in other episodes, but that's the extent of the continuity.
Overall, if you're reading the manga, I feel the stories would have more of an impact. Otherwise, the stories in the series are poorly done and have no standing conclusion. Great has a manga, not so great as an anime, but at least there is some continuity.
Story Score: 4/10
Junji Ito is known for his unique artistic style of horror. If you have ever read any of his manga's, you would know that his creations' level of detail and creepiness are some of the best in the horror genre. However, that same level of unique detail is not as prominent in the anime. Sure, some elements of Junji Ito's creations are still in the anime, but it feels dulled down. Below is a comparison to the manga vs. the anime. This is a spoiler alert as some story elements are revealed during the short story.
The atmosphere is just not right in the anime compared to the manga. Another animation issue is the background images, random side characters, and the overall production. It feels rushed, and the backgrounds are dull and non-immersive. The production itself is not great as in some sense you can see cut animation. An example of this is when two people get into a fight. The animation is still, and one person is punching another person. Only the heads are moving, but the fists are not connecting the face.
Shichiten Battou no Blues
The show's opening is ok, but it doesn't get you in the mood for something scary. There are some pretty cool imagery and the song Shichiten Battou no Blues is pretty killer, but I still feel it lacks something more, like dread or fear. Overall the animation is not up to par with the manga, and the overall experience of the anime is dulled. If the animation quality was higher, I feel you could get pulled into the series quite easily.
Animation Score: 2/10
Earlier I mentioned that three characters are consistent in the series; Souichi, Miss Fuchi, and Tomie. However, these characters do not gain any development. They are just a mains to an end for the story itself. As for other characters, there isn't any development. It comes down to a basic formula for the characters; a mystery, an action, and a consequence.
Overall, when it comes to horror short stories, there is often no character development. At the very least, it is so small that it is not noticeable. The story itself is the driving factor, and the characters are just the victims of the story. Overall, there isn't any development to consider.
Character Development Score: 1/10
The Junji Ito Collection has a unique setting. At first, it seems like each story is in its isolated world. However, glimpses and tiny easter eggs tell us that all the stories are connected to one world. A few easter eggs are easy to see right away, while the rest are much trickier to find. Only in specific stories does the world seem to fit together, mainly anything having to do with Souichi, Miss Fuchi, and Tomie.
The world itself is built on mystery and misfortune. That's just about it. Bad, unexplained things happen to people in the world, and the characters just sort of accept it. Overall, there is no world-building to consider. Still, I do have to admire the continuity, so points for that.
World-Building Score: 2/10
*Images are from the My Anime List website the YouTube Channel, Death, and from Imgur, https://imgur.com/gallery/HLC93ZP by Illsunshine. Video is from Funimations Official YouTube Channel. We do not own any of these images. Credit to all artists of the images and credit goes to the creators of the anime series.