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John Forth (John)
Username: John

Registered: 05-2008
Posted From: 82.24.1.217
Posted on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - 09:05 pm:   

I've heard others on this board mention his name, but if you haven't seen the horror manga of Junji Ito then these scans of a couple of his shorts are well worth a look. The first one is THE THING THAT DRIFTED ASHORE, which suffers from a slightly rushed ending but has an interesting ambiguity at its heart. The second is THE ENIGMA OF AMIGARA FAULT - a nice mix of weird mystery and body horror. Great stuff.

Oh, and remember, unlike UK comics these read from the top-right panel to the bottom-left, which can be quite disorientating at first.

THE THING THAT DRIFTED ASHORE: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mutantskeleton/sets/72157625554054700/

THE ENIGMA OF AMIGARA FAULT: http://brasscockroach.com/h4ll0w33n2007/manga/Amigara-Full/Amigara-0.html
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.232.199.129
Posted on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - 10:17 pm:   

I enjoyed those, John - thanks! Good thing you told us how to read them from top-right to bottom-left though - I still didn't get it right to start with!

That was actually my first encounter with manga, so thanks for that.

I've recently read a graphic novel version of Lovecraft's At The Mountains of Madness which was rather good. I must admit, for a "quick read", I love a graphic novel.
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Simon Bestwick (Simon_b)
Username: Simon_b

Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 86.24.209.217
Posted on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - 10:23 pm:   

Brilliant! Once you get used to reading from left to right, they're both really interesting pieces. Amigara Fault, in particular, was really unsettling.
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Tom_alaerts (Tom_alaerts)
Username: Tom_alaerts

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.176.136.175
Posted on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - 10:27 pm:   

I have around 10 of Junji Ito's books. They are often amazing. Amigara fault is indeed a particularly good short story.
I specially recommend to check out the Uzumaki (Spiral) trilogy. It's quite something.
Gyo, about mutant fish, is also pretty special. I remember that I felt dirty after reading it, you really want to take a shower afterwards.
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John Forth (John)
Username: John

Registered: 05-2008
Posted From: 82.24.1.217
Posted on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - 10:40 pm:   

I'm glad people are enjoying them.

I'll second Tom's recommendations of UZUMAKI and GYO. UZUMAKI in particular is an utter classic - not particularly well-serviced by its movie adaptation, which only realy adapted the first book and a half.

The TOMIE stories are fantastic as well.
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 61.216.47.117
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 05:13 am:   

I don't know if you can get them in English translation, but if you can, the 18-volume (it may be up to 20 by now, I haven't checked lately) set of his manga is well worth picking up. It doesn't include Uzumaki, Gyo or Hellstar Remina, so there's no overlap there. The stories in Flesh-coloured Horror are included, along with much more, including his version of Frankenstein.
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Tom_alaerts (Tom_alaerts)
Username: Tom_alaerts

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.78.35.175
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 03:06 pm:   

I have most of my Ito books in French, and a few in English. Eventually his complete work will be available in French, at least that's the publisher's plan.

Yes, the Uzumaki movie isn't bad, but I think you should read the comic first, as it is more creepy than the movie.
The end of the Uzumaki trilogy has an incredible atmosphere: in a way it feels totally Lovecraftian, yet there is no Old One in sight, rather the lovecraftian feel of ancient cosmic horror that permeates everything !
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Tom_alaerts (Tom_alaerts)
Username: Tom_alaerts

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.78.35.175
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 03:08 pm:   

Now that I think of it: Huw or John, did any of you see the Long Dream movie? based on Ito, directed by the Uzumaki director (if I remember well) and it should translate that peculiar Junji Ito atmosphere well, despite a minuscule budget. Alas, I've never been able to see it.
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Tom_alaerts (Tom_alaerts)
Username: Tom_alaerts

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.78.35.175
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 03:19 pm:   

I find with a quick google command that you can read Uzumaki online:

http://read.mangashare.com/Uzumaki

Still, I recommend to first read the Amigara Fault short story.
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Jamie Rosen (Jamie)
Username: Jamie

Registered: 11-2008
Posted From: 99.241.48.210
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 05:02 pm:   

Junji Ito is brilliant. I have the full run of Uzumaki, Gyo, and the fat Museum of Terror collections, although I haven't read that last series yet.

Word of warning: If you read it on-line at a place like Mangashare, you are likely reading fan-translated scans (known in the community as scanlations) of the Japanese originals, rather than the professionally (and legally) done translations you get if you buy the manga. So caveat lector.
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 220.138.167.218
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 09:34 pm:   

Tom, I saw Higuchinsky's Nagai Yume ('Long Dream') back when it came out (about the same time as Uzumaki). I thought it was quite good, but not as strong as Uzumaki. I think it was made for TV.
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Tom_alaerts (Tom_alaerts)
Username: Tom_alaerts

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.78.35.175
Posted on Thursday, December 16, 2010 - 01:22 pm:   

Sorry about possibly posting a link to "scanslated" manga - I only did a very quick google search, and didn't properly review the page.
Consider it as an enticement to buy the graphic novels !
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.232.199.129
Posted on Thursday, December 16, 2010 - 05:30 pm:   

I'm already being enticed, Tom - I like this guy's work!
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Jamie Rosen (Jamie)
Username: Jamie

Registered: 11-2008
Posted From: 99.241.48.210
Posted on Thursday, December 16, 2010 - 06:48 pm:   

Scanlations are a tricky thing, even amongst manga fans and manga-ka (the creators). Most scanlations (and the video equivalent, fansubs) are for titles that aren't officially available in English, and so they're usually given something of a free pass because, as you said, they serve as advertising if an official version ever gets released.

I had been under the impression that most places that hosted them took them down once a licensed version was available (or even just once the license had been acquired.) That's why I put the "likely" caveat in my post.

And in this case, his books are sometimes sold shrink-wrapped, so it's good to be able to preview it before you buy.
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Jamie Rosen (Jamie)
Username: Jamie

Registered: 11-2008
Posted From: 99.241.48.210
Posted on Thursday, December 16, 2010 - 06:51 pm:   

Oh, I should also mention that my original post was meant to be as much "If you don't like something you read here, it might not be the author's fault." Scanlators and fansubbers aren't professional translators, after all, and some are... overenthusiastic, in a juvenile sense. :-)

Of course, if you *do* like it, obviously it's all because of the author. ;)
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.22.226.129
Posted on Thursday, December 16, 2010 - 10:02 pm:   

Strangely compelling . . . The settings in the comic are recognizably Japanese, but the people don't look Japanese to me. Perhaps this was done to create a more universal appeal?
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Tom_alaerts (Tom_alaerts)
Username: Tom_alaerts

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.176.18.211
Posted on Thursday, December 16, 2010 - 10:50 pm:   

Hubert, this universal approach is often done in Japanese manga.

Yes, strangely compelling is a good expression for Ito's work. His "The Enigma of Amigara Fault" is as interesting as the best written weird tales on the market.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.48.152
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2010 - 09:04 pm:   

I've just finished reading Uzumaki (the twenty chapters online, that is) and very much enjoyed the story, even if the mystery remains unexplained. In places it reminds me of an as yet unwritten Stephen King novel. I'm not sure if I'm spoiling things by saying I'll lay off the escargots for a while.
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Tom_alaerts (Tom_alaerts)
Username: Tom_alaerts

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.176.70.200
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2010 - 09:09 pm:   

Hubert, don't you feel dirty after reading his manga? I often have that feeling with Ito's stories.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.48.152
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2010 - 09:48 pm:   

I'm most impressed by some of the characters' facial expressions, especially when their faces are distorted by greed, hunger or plain madness. The main characters have that air of grave and quiet desperation about them I have seen in other manga, as well as in Japanese films. A Japanese trait, this? This manga isn't very cheerful, but there are instances of humour nonetheless. Amazingly there's not a trace of sex - the heroines are nice to look at, and that is that. Dirty? No, except I won't touch escargots for a while. Maybe you refer to that kind of revulsion?
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Tom_alaerts (Tom_alaerts)
Username: Tom_alaerts

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.176.70.200
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2010 - 10:20 pm:   

Yes, that kind of revulsion. Now I was a bit confused with Gyo, you almost smell the stench that the characters have to endure.
BTW, I shall not post a direct link, but if you google for:

Junji Ito Falling

then you'll find another great short story of his (not all links will work in the result page).
So, I expect that you'll order all these books next:

http://www.amazon.fr/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?__mk_fr_FR=%C5M%C5Z%D5%D1&url=search-alias %3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Junji+Ito&x=0&y=0
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David_lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 2.96.194.146
Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2012 - 11:35 pm:   

I've been dipping into some Junji Ito scanlations over the last week or so and thought this deserved a bit of bump.

There's quite a few of his comics on this website http://www.justmegawatt.com/comics/junjiito.html , as far as I can tell nothing that's legally available in the West.

I found The Town Without Streets incredibly dreamlike, but The Window Next Door has been stuck in my head for days now. It really is haunting me, especially that final panel. I may have to give Uzumaki a re-read once I've worked through these ones.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.185.225.55
Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 - 01:14 pm:   

That's a great link, David - thanks...
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.61.103
Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 - 08:37 pm:   

Indeed.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.61.103
Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 - 08:58 pm:   

I'm quite fond of "The Woman Next Door". However, is it complete?
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.61.103
Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012 - 11:15 pm:   

Just finished Ito's very long Hellstar Remina. Takes a while to read it all, but it's worth it.

http://view.thespectrum.net/series/hellstar-remina.html?ch=Volume+01&page=3
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John Forth (John)
Username: John

Registered: 05-2008
Posted From: 82.24.1.217
Posted on Saturday, May 19, 2012 - 12:10 am:   

Thanks for posting the link above, David. There's some fantastic stuff there that I've never seen before.
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David_lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 92.22.42.24
Posted on Saturday, May 19, 2012 - 03:55 pm:   

Hellstar Remina's one I've been dying to read for a while now, however I've just been picking at the shorter stories for now. I've not read The Woman Next Door yet, so no idea if it's complete or not I'm afraid (I was going to say yes before I realised The Window Next Door and The Woman Next Door are two different stories, though both titles could apply easily to Window...confusion!).

That site also has some stories by Nakayama Masaaki, though I've not really familiar with his work: http://www.justmegawatt.com/comics/nakayamamasaaki.html
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John Forth (John)
Username: John

Registered: 05-2008
Posted From: 82.24.1.217
Posted on Saturday, May 19, 2012 - 09:58 pm:   

The Woman Next Door appears complete. The first few stories linked on that page appear to be part of a collection of stories about the same girl who seems to stumble into horrible apparitions wherever she goes (she has to move apartment at least three times), kind of like a paranormal Jessica Fletcher. The ending seems abrupt, but makes sense in the context of the other stories.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.61.103
Posted on Saturday, May 19, 2012 - 10:22 pm:   

I see. The mystery, then, remains complete. That dark silhouette of the woman (or whatever it is) has a powerful visual impact. I think Ito may have been inspired by one of french illustrator Jean-Michel Nicolet's graphic stories, "Machine CÚlibataire", where a similar figure appears.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.62.50
Posted on Sunday, May 20, 2012 - 12:00 pm:   

Brr! Those are chilling. I wonder if they're based on nightmares.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.61.103
Posted on Sunday, May 20, 2012 - 01:34 pm:   

Yes, some of them have that 'inner logic' quality that dreams have.
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David_lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 92.22.61.240
Posted on Friday, July 27, 2012 - 02:18 pm:   

I've found another site that seems to have some different stories on it: http://scans-daily.dreamwidth.org/tag/creator:+junji+ito
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David Lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 176.27.111.235
Posted on Wednesday, July 09, 2014 - 10:56 pm:   

I've just found an incredible resource for Junji Ito translations that seem to have everything that isn't legally available in the west on it: http://openawesome.com/junjiito.html

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