Where to read and get started with horror manga

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Junji Ito is one of the most famous and successful horror manga artists today, and new fans can dive straight into his collection of terrifying works.

The world of manga offers a wealth of amazing stories that even anime can’t match. While many series receive anime adaptations, the source manga is still the best way to experience these stories. The works of famous mangaka Junji Ito make up some of the greatest horror reading in the world.

Junji Ito has been drawing manga since the 1980s, when he was inspired by classic horror manga The Dclassroom. He has a considerable body of work to his credit, from bound anthologies to longer, more cohesive tales. There’s no better entry point into Ito’s works, but luckily for manga fans, there doesn’t have to be one. Newcomers can try Junji Ito’s manga volumes in any order they want.


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Autonomous works by Junji Ito: Tomie, Uzumaki and more


Junji Ito is best known for his many short stories, but he’s also drawn a handful of longer series closer to long graphic novels, allowing him to tell a fuller story with even better pacing and character development. For Western manga consumers, these series are conveniently collected in bound omnibus volumes, each telling a unique and complete story. It’s a great way to start any horror manga collection.

The first series that Ito wrote, Tomie, is also its longest. It is a tragic and graphic story of the wicked young woman Tomie, who defies death again and again with supernatural powers as she befriends, seduces and abuses many of the people she meets in her travels. aimless journeys. Tomie often tricks her (usually male) admirers into bloodily killing her only to reappear later. She’s also not afraid of a little body horror, like when a copy of her body grows from a kidney.


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Ito’s second long series is perhaps his most famous, the story of Uzumaki. It tells the story of a remote Japanese coastal town and its battle against an infestation of spiral shapes, which appear on everything from streams of water and smoke to pottery, people’s bodies and more. The heroine, Kirie, can do nothing but watch in horror as the spiral shapes mutate and torture everyone around her; eventually, the city itself could become a giant spiral of madness.

Later stories are shorter than Tomie and Uzumaki, but are still longer than any of his short stories. This includes the story of Gyōwhere rotten fish and sharks invade the Japanese coast while walking on sickly mechanical legs and infecting people with poisonous gases, or Remina, where a terrifying living planet approaches Earth and drives hysterical crowds to crucify an innocent girl to appease their new celestial overlord. So there is SensorIto’s most recent work to date, as well as Disbanding of the class and more human.


All of these stories can be found in deluxe bound editions at local bookstores or online retailers, such as Barnes & Noble, which offers them in paperback or digitally with Nook. Right Stuf Anime also offers hardback editions of many of Ito’s works, and Amazon’s online catalog also offers hardback editions and digital versions via Kindle.

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Junji Ito’s famous horror anthologies, from Smashed to Frankenstein


junji ito venus in the blind spt

Junji Ito’s longer works are all separate and can be read in any order, and the same goes for his multiple manga anthology collections. In addition to longer works such as Tomie and Gyō, new Ito fans can also check out his anthologies, and in some eyes, this is where the mangaka’s creativity really shines. His many short stories explore a wide variety of subjects, themes, settings and monsters, from human-shaped holes in a mountain to a valley of mirrors and a long-tongued woman who licks her victims to death. These collections are all available in deluxe hardback editions for Western fans, and each contains a handful of short stories.


crushed and Thrill are two of Junji Ito’s most essential short story collections, with crushed containing 13 stories and Thrill with 10 – all with different settings and ideas, like a person covered in holes or giant floating heads capturing their human victims with nooses hanging from their necks. These can be found at retailers similar to Ito’s longer works, such as Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

Fans can also try out other collections, from Venus in the blind spot at Love sickness and Frankenstein. The latter two mostly feature a single long story each, but also contain a few bonus stories for the sake of variety. More recently, another anthology titled Deserter was published, which includes 12 of Ito’s early works. The possibilities for horror are almost endless with the stories of Junji Ito.


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