Junji Ito's Anime Series Maniac Is Coming To Netflix

Just when it seems like I can finally give up on Netflix, they announce an absolute dream project and suck me right back in. Guess they'll continue getting my $19.99 a month! 

Announced as part of the animation day for Geeked Week, Netflix has announced that they're currently working on a brand new anime series called "Junji Ito's Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre," created by Japanese horror mangaka legend, Junji Ito. The series will compile a multitude of some of Ito's most horrific works — 20 to be exact — and adapt them into anime. Ito confirmed that three of the stories in "Maniac" would be "Souichi," "Tomie," and one of my personal favorites, "The Hanging Balloons." 

Yes, I am in therapy, why do you ask? 

Ito has yet to determine which of the "Souichi" and "Tomie" stories will be adapted, but there's plenty of nightmare fuel to choose from.

Don't be fooled by his kind and pleasant demeanor, or the cheerful background noise — the work of Junji Ito is legitimately terrifying. Ito goes on to explain the idea behind "Tomie," his debut work, citing influences like the fact that a lizard's tail can grow back after having been cut off, and the disbelief that occurs after someone suddenly dies, when the feeling takes over that "perhaps that person could still show up at any moment." Spoiler alert: he's talking about Tomie, who does die and then suddenly pops back up. "Souichi" is perhaps one of Ito's most prominent characters, known for his expressive eyes and, uh, the whole "constantly chewing on nails" thing. 

Ito, this is why you gave me nightmares as a pre-teen.

Junji Ito is a master of horror

Junji Ito's specific brand of horror elicits visceral responses, as his grotesque and stunning illustrations infiltrate the psyche and linger for as long as they damn well please, not unlike the work of Stephen Gammell's illustrations in "Scary Stories to Tell In The Dark." Ito's visuals thrive somewhere between the land of nightmares and the uncanny valley, able to take the most unassuming scenario or item — like a balloon, perhaps — and twist it into something downright maniacal. I guess the "Maniac" title for this new series is more than appropriate. 

Ito's work has been adapted many times, the most recent being "Junji Ito Collection" which is currently available to stream on Crunchyroll. Ito's surrealistic art style isn't the easiest thing to recreate, but if he's doing hype packages for Netflix, there's a good chance the animation team has found a way to effectively bring his work to life.

"Junji Ito's Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre" is due to arrive sometime in 2023.