Review: “Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre”

“Junji Ito Maniac” is a great Netflix watch for animated horror enthusiasts



Cover photo of “Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre” distributed by Netflix.

by Rory Manskie, Reporter, Social Media Manager

DISCLAIMER- This series may contain features and elements that may be triggering and upsetting to watch, please watch at your own discretion

On January 19, 2023, Netflix became the second company after Crunchyroll to bring one of the most popular cosmic and classic horror manga series to animated life. Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre is a Netflix original anime series featuring a selection of 20 macabre animated episodes, each with their own plot and eerie setting.

Now, the main question that everyone wants to know is, should you watch it or not?

As I watched the show, I noticed that there was a peculiar sense of dread in every episode, each one having a unique and different story. This is one of the shows that proves to you that you don’t need cliche jumpscares and cheesy screams to have a successful horror series.

Part of what makes this series and author Junji Ito’s work so terrifying is the dark and eerie atmosphere that lingers with you while watching the series. The animated series captures some of that terror. The ideas and style are still there, and the smallest detail can be so unsettling and gross. But it also breezes past the stories so quickly that they don’t have the chance to stick with you.

The amazing animation skills and top tier voice acting make this series an amazing watch, whether you’re a fan of Ito’s work or just enjoy horror. This is definitely a great show to watch as a slow burn, so I don’t recommend binge watching the whole series all at once.

Maybe watch an episode or two, then come back to it after a while. Watching the show all in one sitting is quite boring and for myself, too terrifying. I couldn’t even sit through full episodes without having to pause and reflect on whatever it was I just saw.

It’s even better to take your time since this show is an anthology, which allows you to skip around and watch random episodes when you please, despite not leveling up to the A+ quality of Ito’s original work due to the fact that being able to actually read and immerse in his books feels better than watching an adapted television version. It still does not cover the full horror of the books but this anthology captures the tone well enough.

While Ito’s work continues to still be absolutely horrifying and well-written in its original piece, Netflix continues to use their amazing teamwork, exemplary voice actors, and fine animation to make Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre a horrifying animated anthology.