MANILA, Philippines – Brace yourselves for a new twisted and terrifying experience as Netflix announced on Thursday, June 9, that Junji Ito’s Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre is in the works.
According to the renowned Japanese horror master himself, Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre will feature 20 of his famous stories which will be adapted into anime for the first time.
Ito was invited by the streaming platform to personally share the details of the coming anime series on the third day of Geeked Week 2022. The almost four-minute video shows Ito detailing the three stories to be animated: Tomie, Souichi, and The Hanging Balloons.
“It’s also that feeling when someone close to you suddenly passes away and the disbelief that comes with it. It’s that feeling when you think that perhaps that person could still show up at any moment,” said Ito while sharing the backstory of his debut work in 1987, Tomie.
Tomie centers on the titular character: a mysterious, beautiful woman named Tomie Kawakami, who acts like a succubus, possessing an undisclosed power to make any man fall in love with her. She repeatedly gets killed but somehow reappears to spread her curse to other victims.
Souichi, from the Souichi series, is about a mischievous boy who uses black magic to fulfill his black desires. Ito highlighted how Souichi’s eyes bring out the horror and emotions in the character design.
Lastly, Terumi Fujino from The Hanging Balloons came from Ito’s image of a corpse hanging by the neck from a giant balloon. The story is meant to reflect suicidal urges and mass hallucinations.
Since Tomie and Souichi appear in several other Junji Ito collections, he announced that the specific stories to be adapted have yet to be confirmed. Along with the backstories of the characters’ development, Ito also shared some of his artworks to celebrate the announcement of the new project.
Junji Ito is a Japanese horror manga artist. Some of his most notable works include Tomie, Uzumaki, and Gyo. Tomie has been adapted into a live-action film series, and an anthology television series. Uzumaki, on the other hand, is still in the works to be adapted into anime and is set to release in October 2022.
Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre is slated for a 2023 release. – with reports from Rainielle Kyle Guison/Rappler.com
Rainielle Kyle Guison is a Rappler intern.