Beginning in the early 2010s, anime studios have been restarting, or remaking, old series and adapting them into anime. One of the most notable series that this was done to was Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures back in 2012, which is still going strong today with the news of the 5th season coming out in October. Other notable series have been Devilman Crybaby in 2018 and even Ghost in the Shell getting it’s new movie starring Scarlett Johansen. While all of these are great in their own ways and deserve to be discussed about, the one that had caught my attention as soon as it was announced was none other than Junji Ito Collection, which was released onto Crunchyroll in January of 2018.
Junji Ito Collection is a series that took a large portion of famous horror manga artist Junji Ito’s stories and adapted them into an one episode story. The anthology series as a whole was a great introduction into Junji Ito’s works, as it explored the different worlds of famous titles such as a vast amount of Souichi’s stories, as well as Fashion Model and Greased. So many fans- including myself- were extremely excited to see his work finally become a full-length anime, as the only adaptions that he has are movies and an animated movie, but never a series. One of the most anticipated characters to appear was, by far, Tomie. Tomie is from one of his most popular series Tomie and seeing as she was in the trailers, everyone knew that they would finally see the villainous young woman appear onscreen. Unfortunately, it was not exactly what everyone may have had in mind.
To give a brief run down, Tomie is a series about a young woman named Tomie, who is so beautiful that everyone falls in love with her as soon as they look at her. Those that become infatuated with her become so obsessed to have her as their own that they begin to grow violent. In fact, the violence is usually towards Tomie herself! She gets murdered in many of the chapters she is in, but she cannot die. Whenever she comes back, she always wreaks havoc on the men who killed her. Tomie has multiple volumes, as well as a variety amount of movies for fans to choose from. Yet, what we all wanted was for her to be in an anime! Junji Ito Collection was supposed to be her introduction into the anime scene, but it just seemed like that they had rushed and pushed her to the side.
Junji Ito Collection only catered one episode to her, despite the fact that she is one of his most popular characters ever. Not only was she just given one episode, the episode was cut in half for her portion. While yes all of the episodes are like that, Tomie has chapters upon chapters dedicated to her, so she was much more deserving of more than just ten minutes. It is true that there are two OVAs out for her, but it is only within the Japanese DVD release, and as far to my knowledge they have not surfaced online. Besides the fact that they did her injustice by showing very little of Tomie, but the chapter they chose to animate was certainly a tad strange for them to choose.
Painter was the story that they chose to run for Tomie; and while I cannot deny the fact that it was a wonderful chapter, it was just a rather strange place to start her story from. If they wanted fans to get to know her, or even just use this series as an introduction of sorts, then they should have started with a chapter from very early on- or even just her first chapter! This way, they can become established with her character and where she came from. Throwing the audience into a later chapter, no matter how famous that chapter may be, was a tad absurd, and in my opinion definitely not the best way to go about showing Tomie at her fullest.
Despite my opinions on the matter, Junji Ito Collection is a great way for beginners to see his other short stories, as most of them were done beautifully. The art is rather close to the series, and the episodes themselves are very true to the source material. I may have my misgivings about the Tomie-centric episode, I will not deny the fact that they stayed incredibly close to how the chapter was originally done. Overall, I would not use Junji Ito Collection to be your introduction into the Tomie franchise, but rather either read the manga or watch one of her many movies, with my personal favorite being Tomie: Unlimited.
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