Japanese horror master Junji Ito made an unexpected appearance yesterday on Netflix‘s Geeked Week to announce a surprise collaboration in the form of an anime anthology series based on his works, “Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre.”

The upcoming series, scheduled to arrive on the streaming service next year, will compile and adapt twenty of Ito’s most horrific works. 

Ito confirmed in the announcement video below that three of the stories in “Maniac” will be SouichiTomie, and The Hanging Balloons.

With the series still in its early stages, Ito stated that he’s unsure which particular stories from Tomie and Souichi will get adapted but did share artwork in celebration of the announcement. 

The mangaka legend detailed Tomie‘s significance as his debut work and its horror inspirations. The character, who has a knack for refusing to stay dead, was first introduced in 1987. The manga has been adapted into a live-action series and, at one point, was set to appear on Quibi. The artist also explained some of his designs behind another popular character, Souichi, a troubled and mischievous child with a penchant for inflicting curses and dabbling in dark arts. The Hanging Balloons deals with suicide, another indicator of Ito’s dark and nightmarish horror brand.

Junji Ito’s distinct, terrifying art style evokes a visceral response in his works, and it has thus far been tricky to translate the nightmare fuel to other mediums. It’ll be interesting to see how his Netflix collaboration unfolds. “Maniac” isn’t the only upcoming Ito adaption in the works either, with the previously announced Adult Swim adaptation of Uzumaki slated to arrive this October.

You can also check out the animated anthology series “Junji Ito Collection” on Crunchyroll to get a feel for the Japanese horror legend’s mind-bending horror style.

“Junji Ito’s Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre” will arrive sometime in 2023.





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