Review: ‘Japanese Tales of the Macabre’ is a sad watch for anime fans

Junji Ito is a popular Japanese horror manga artist and is known for his black-and-white art style. So I was very excited to see some of his stories brought to life in this series, but overall I was disappointed with the overall quality of the show.

Synopsis

This Netflix original series brings forward a selection of 20 macabre masterpieces from the mind of Junji Ito, an award-winning manga horror artist.

What I loved

The stories of each episode. I love Ito’s work so these stories were super exciting and made me do a lot of double-takes. If you’ve never seen Ito’s work before, I’m truly not sure if that’d make you like the anime more or less, but I did enjoy the plots. For example, this show is equivalent to ‘the scary stories you’d tell in dark’ books, so if you enjoy those you’ll like this.

What I didn’t love

The color and quality of the anime. It feels like it’s hard to encapsulate Ito’s style in color, and you can really see that in this show. Instead of looking like something made this year, it seems very dated and not in a good way. I think it could’ve been better in black and white, but the color aspect just brings the art style and quality down.

The production of the show. Netflix is nitrous for making anime original series terrible, and this is no exception. Junji Ito’s work is phenomenal so I know it’s not him, but the production of this show from a watcher’s point of view is bad. I feel like the time and effort weren’t correctly put into this show, and I simply don’t think Netflix can make great anime (so maybe they should stop trying).

Verdict

I will die on the I love Junji Ito hill,  but the production and quality of this anime really makes me really sad. I really wanted to like it but I simply can’t. If you listen to it like an audiobook I feel like it’d be way better than watching the show which is really sad from an anime lover’s perspective. 

I give ‘Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre’ a 1 out of 10.


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