Where do our nightmares come from? When we dream of a killer in the shadows or a monster in the closet, where do those sinister thoughts begin? These are questions that are asked of horror master Junji Ito on a regular basis as his numerous stories and creations go a long way to giving readers entirely new things to fear that they had never seen before. While we were attending the most recent Crunchyroll Expo (2019), we managed to have the opportunity to present this question once again the creator of such favorites as Uzumaki, Tomie, Gyo, and a multitude of other horrific tales!
When we asked Ito about his inspirations from the world, and from specific horror writers such as H.P. Lovecraft, we inquired if he still finds himself revisiting these older sources or if he finds himself diving into entirely new mediums and creators in order to create all new brands of horror. He responded by saying,
"As I previously mentioned, the method I’m most used to using works best for me, so I always go back to that. But lately, I haven’t been able to get ideas as easily, so I’ve had to try other methods. Writing stories around a character... I’m not very good with this method. Reading Lovecraft’s essays, he states that he also got ideas first and then worked those into stories as well. That’s how I’ve always done things and I think that now more than ever I need to return to that method. However, it’d also be nice if I got some new ideas..."
If you had to qualify Junji's stories, they definitely fit closest to the works of H.P. Lovecraft, with the many horror tales examining the idea of extraterrestrial, mysterious horror that cannot be stopped and has the ability to drive both the stars of the stories, and the readers themselves, mad with fear.
Junji Ito has been a horror writer and manga artist since 1987, starting to create terrifying worlds early in his life and continuing to do so to this day. This year specifically has been a banner year for the master of horror with a live action adaptation of Tomie being produced in Hollywood and Toonami optioning to create an entirely new anime based on the amazing story that sees a small, isolated town being overrun by an obsession with spirals in Uzumaki.
With the month of Halloween inching ever closer, give some Junji Ito stories a read to create some brand new nightmares while you sleep!
What do you think of Junji Ito's inspirations for creating horror? What is your favorite terrifying tale from the master of all scary things? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and Junji Ito!