Venus in the Blind Spot
A "best of" collection of creepy tales from Eisner award winner and legendary horror master Junji Ito.This ultimate collection presents the most remarkable short works of Junji Ito’s career, featuring an adaptation of Rampo Edogawa’s classic horror story "Human Chair" and fan favorite "The Enigma of Amigara Fault." In a deluxe presentation with special color pages and color illustrations from his most recent long-form manga No Longer Human, every page invites readers to revel in a world of terror.

Venus in the Blind Spot Details

TitleVenus in the Blind Spot
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 18th, 2020
PublisherVIZ Media LLC
ISBN-139781974715473
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Manga, Horror, Graphic Novels, Comics, Fiction, Short Stories, Comics Manga, Adult, Anthologies, Cultural, Japan

Venus in the Blind Spot Review

  • Sam Quixote
    January 1, 1970
    Viz Media’s blurb for Venus in the Blind Spot is really weird: it claims this is a “best of” collection of Junji Ito’s stories but, as far as I can tell, only one - maybe two - stories have previously appeared in print before: The Enigma of Amigara Fault and The Sad Tale of the Principal Post possibly both appeared in Dissolving Classroom. So this is a “best of” collection that features almost all-new stories!? The blurb also mentions special colour pages and illustrations from Ito’s latest book Viz Media’s blurb for Venus in the Blind Spot is really weird: it claims this is a “best of” collection of Junji Ito’s stories but, as far as I can tell, only one - maybe two - stories have previously appeared in print before: The Enigma of Amigara Fault and The Sad Tale of the Principal Post possibly both appeared in Dissolving Classroom. So this is a “best of” collection that features almost all-new stories!? The blurb also mentions special colour pages and illustrations from Ito’s latest book, No Longer Human, and it doesn’t. Also, it would’ve been good if the contents page listed in which collections the stories previously appeared, like most “best of” collections do, but seeing as this appears to be nearly all-new material then I can see why it didn’t! Of the stories collected here - Billions Alone, The Human Chair, An Unearthly Love, Venus in the Blind Spot, The Licking Woman, Master Umezz and Me, How Love Came to Professor Kirida, The Enigma of Amigara Fault, The Sad Tale of the Principal Post, and Keepsake - none were very good. So here’s the thing with Ito: like HP Lovecraft, Ito is great at producing haunting images of primal horror but, also like Lovecraft, he’s very clumsy, almost amateurish, in incorporating these images into traditional stories. What you’re left with is some genuinely disturbing visions of horror scattered amidst numerous quite dull, predictable and almost laughably goofy stories. Take The Human Chair, one of two Ito adaptations of the Japanese writer Edogawa Ranpo (real name Taro Hirai - Edogawa Ranpo is the Japanification of “Edgar Allan Poe”): it’s creepy that a guy would sew himself into a chair to be sat on by a female writer for hours a day, but the design of the chair, when the back of it was peeled away, showed tiny shelves for cans of food and waste! It’s too silly. And it’s like that throughout: like the hundreds of naked corpses sewn together in Billions Alone, the giant phallic-like tongue bouncing around the street in The Licking Woman, the man who just happens to find himself trapped under a supporting beam in The Sad Tale of the Principal Post - they’re just too daffy to take seriously. Ito’s stories seem to operate in their own kind of dream/nightmare logic that defies convincing storytelling. These things just are - don’t question them! Which sounds like hack storytelling, and you could argue that too, but that’s what I like best about Ito: the visions/scenarios themselves are the point - everything else is window-dressing. Also, regardless of his plodding, predictable and absurd storytelling, you’ll never read any horror stories like Junji Ito’s - the stuff in them are unique and the man himself is a true original. And the accompanying art is always fantastic. Though his character designs are constantly recycled, and repetitive for that, the moments when the terror is revealed are almost always chilling to look at, which is great because that’s when they count the most. If you’ve read Junji Ito’s previous short horror collections, Venus in the Blind Spot is more of the same - no worse, no better. So if you’re a fan, you’ll love this, and if you’re not, this one won’t convince you otherwise. Even though I didn’t think much of this one, I remain into Ito for the art and the quirky, fresh ideas behind the horror stories. Just ignore the bizarre blurb - this is basically a new Ito collection.
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  • Lauren Lanz
    January 1, 1970
    It's no secret that Junji Ito is a master of horror. This collection of short stories was marvellous, as to be expected. There's no doubt I'm going to be bingeing his content in the near future. There was a great amount of variety in the type of horror Venus in the Blind Spot delivered. I found myself more closely glued to the pages than I've been in a long time. Ito's art is both lovely and haunting depending on circumstance; I could hardly turn away from his drawings, either.While I thoroughly It's no secret that Junji Ito is a master of horror. This collection of short stories was marvellous, as to be expected. There's no doubt I'm going to be bingeing his content in the near future. There was a great amount of variety in the type of horror Venus in the Blind Spot delivered. I found myself more closely glued to the pages than I've been in a long time. Ito's art is both lovely and haunting depending on circumstance; I could hardly turn away from his drawings, either.While I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of this collection, The Enigma of Amigara Fault blew my mind. It's amazing to me how over the span of a few pages, Junji Ito was able to develop and deliver a chilling tale containing no supernatural forces, monsters or murderers. He puts the unaltered human mind on display, and demonstrates the horrors that can occur from urges phycologists call the "death drive". This was a stunning collection of horror. Ito is on his way to become my favourite manga author, without a doubt.
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  • destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
    January 1, 1970
    I've read a lot of Junji Ito's work at this point, and it's generally a bit hit or miss for me, but thankfully, this was a huge hit. I absolutely loved this collection and can easily say it's one of my favorites of his works. It spans a grouping of short stories, some written by other authors, and altogether, while they certainly don't fit a theme or anything, they work well together and were almost all extremely well-done. There was one story I wasn't a big fan of near the end, and then I think I've read a lot of Junji Ito's work at this point, and it's generally a bit hit or miss for me, but thankfully, this was a huge hit. I absolutely loved this collection and can easily say it's one of my favorites of his works. It spans a grouping of short stories, some written by other authors, and altogether, while they certainly don't fit a theme or anything, they work well together and were almost all extremely well-done. There was one story I wasn't a big fan of near the end, and then I think it's worth mentioning that the collection involves 'The Enigma of Amigara Fault', which may disappoint some long-time lovers of his work as it's featured in at least one of his other collections (thankfully, it happens to be one of my all-time faves, so I was delighted to read it again). Altogether, a really solid collection I think any Junji Ito fan will be pleased with. It may even be a good introduction to his work for anyone who's hesitant to pick up his stranger titles (like 'Uzumaki'), as this one felt rather tame comparatively. I enjoyed it a lot and would definitely be interested in purchasing a finished copy when it releases to keep on my shelf!✨ Content warnings for: (view spoiler)[murder, torture, violence, body horror, corpse desecration, necrophilia, animal deaths, stalking, scenes of terror (hide spoiler)]Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this review copy in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
    January 1, 1970
    4.0 StarsThis was another solid collection from the brilliant and talented horror manga author, Junji Ito. Like all his previous work, the artwork was stunning, disturbing and disgusting… often at the same time. As with any short story collections, there were standouts and forgettable ones.Personal Favourites:Billions Alone… This was my favourite of the "new-to-me" stories in the collection.  It one felt so timely, warning against the dangers of social gatherings and rewarding those who choose t 4.0 StarsThis was another solid collection from the brilliant and talented horror manga author, Junji Ito. Like all his previous work, the artwork was stunning, disturbing and disgusting… often at the same time. As with any short story collections, there were standouts and forgettable ones.Personal Favourites:Billions Alone… This was my favourite of the "new-to-me" stories in the collection.  It one felt so timely, warning against the dangers of social gatherings and rewarding those who choose to self isolate.The Enigma of Amigara Fault… This was technically a re-read because it was in a previous book. However, it is one of my all time favourites because it creates such an intense feeling of claustrophobia.The Sad Tale of Principal Post… Another re-read from a different book. Short and depressingly dark.Other Enjoyable Stories:An Unearthly Love… I am always a sucker for creepy doll stories.The Licking Woman… Very gross, so naturally I enjoyed it. Keepsake… Another disturbing tale. I am also a sucker for creepy kid stories.The collection also included a personal piece where Junji Ito explained how he got into horror manga as a child, which was interesting although not particularly relatable as a North American reader (since I didn't understand a lot of the books, celebrities & tv shows he was talking about).Overall, this was a solid collection with several standout stories. This is well worth adding to anyone's collection.Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley.
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  • The Artisan Geek
    January 1, 1970
    22/8/20A thank you to VIZ for the ARC. Honestly, Junji Ito never fails to deliver! As usual a great and weird selection of shorts that I really enjoyed :)You can find me onYoutube | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Website | The Storygraph 22/8/20A thank you to VIZ for the ARC. Honestly, Junji Ito never fails to deliver! As usual a great and weird selection of shorts that I really enjoyed :)You can find me onYoutube | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Website | The Storygraph
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  • Shannon
    January 1, 1970
    2.25Not the best collection, honestly, though there are some interesting back stories that aren't something Ito usually supplies, including him reminiscing over his love of horror manga as a kid. It's understandable to me why he holds Kazuo Umezu in such high regard, but (usually) I think Ito is way better himself. Umezu might just be too campy for me.I like it when these collections feature the same characters in different stories - Ito does this often - but I wanted more with the female author 2.25Not the best collection, honestly, though there are some interesting back stories that aren't something Ito usually supplies, including him reminiscing over his love of horror manga as a kid. It's understandable to me why he holds Kazuo Umezu in such high regard, but (usually) I think Ito is way better himself. Umezu might just be too campy for me.I like it when these collections feature the same characters in different stories - Ito does this often - but I wanted more with the female author and felt like her story just ... ended. The other stories are mostly ok but either not long enough or not particularly memorable. The titular story for me was one of the weakest ones, but The Sad Tale of the Principal Post was especially dumb and pointless.The Enigma of Amigara Fault is still one of the most unsettling stories I've ever read but it's also included at the end of Gyo as a bonus story so I'd already read it, though not with the color pages.I think this collection just fell short. It wasn't terrible but if I wasn't a huge fan who reads everything he writes I don't think I would bother with this one at all. ARC provided by NetGalley
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  • Gerardine Betancourt
    January 1, 1970
    I've been trying for months to get Junji Ito books but whenever I find them they are very expensive. When Viz media accepted my request on Netgalley for this book I felt it was Christmas day. I read the entire book on the same day.Venus in the Blind Spot includes a collection of 10 creepy horror stories.The illustrations are terrifying, and some are a bit disturbing. I admit that after finishing reading the book I even had nightmares butOverall I loved it because the stories leave you thinking e I've been trying for months to get Junji Ito books but whenever I find them they are very expensive. When Viz media accepted my request on Netgalley for this book I felt it was Christmas day. I read the entire book on the same day.Venus in the Blind Spot includes a collection of 10 creepy horror stories.The illustrations are terrifying, and some are a bit disturbing. I admit that after finishing reading the book I even had nightmares butOverall I loved it because the stories leave you thinking even when you finish them. If you are a fan of Junji Ito or you love to read or see horror things, you are going to love this collection.Trigger warnings: necrophilia, animal death, torture, murder, sexual assault violenceThanks to Netgalley and Viz Media for this amazing arc copy.
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  • Blair
    January 1, 1970
    (3.5) Venus in the Blind Spot is described as a 'best of' collection, featuring 'the most remarkable short works of Junji Ito's career'. Standouts from the book are 'An Unearthly Love' (unpredictable and tense), 'How Love Came to Professor Kirida' (incredibly entertaining) and the classic 'The Enigma of Amigara Fault' (disturbing as hell). However, I found the selection here less compelling than the previous collection Shiver (which incidentally is also described as a best of!) and the compl (3.5) Venus in the Blind Spot is described as a 'best of' collection, featuring 'the most remarkable short works of Junji Ito's career'. Standouts from the book are 'An Unearthly Love' (unpredictable and tense), 'How Love Came to Professor Kirida' (incredibly entertaining) and the classic 'The Enigma of Amigara Fault' (disturbing as hell). However, I found the selection here less compelling than the previous collection Shiver (which incidentally is also described as a best of!) and the complete Tomie.Unfortunately, the format didn't help: I'm not a book-as-physical-object fetishist at all, but a heavily watermarked PDF is simply not the best way to read such beautifully drawn and atmospheric comics. Also, there are completely random full-colour pages throughout; sometimes the first few pages of a story, sometimes just one page, while the rest are in standard black and white. I initially thought the colouring hadn't been finished in time for the review copy to be sent out, but the blurb actually mentions 'special colour pages', so it may be intentional. It seems pointless in a digital version; again, I assume the presentation will be more impressive in a physical copy.---At the beginning of 'Billions Alone', the bodies of a missing couple are found, with a gruesome twist: their corpses have been stitched together with fishing wire. In true Junji Ito style, the murders soon escalate, and ever-larger groups of bodies are discovered stitched together. Meanwhile, Michio, who has not left his home in seven years, is tempted out after being visited by his old crush Natsuko. Gatherings are banned, but a mysterious group called Billions Alone seems intent on encouraging people to meet one another... The story can be read as an ironic critique of the hikikomori phenomenon, but of course it takes on a rather different meaning in the age of coronavirus.'The Human Chair', based on a famous story by Edogawa Ranpo, opens with a young writer (who rather resembles Tomie, and is not the last female character in the book to do so) hearing the story of Yoshiko Togawa, a well-known author in the early 20th century. Yoshiko receives a peculiar manuscript in which a man claims to have concealed himself inside a chair and fallen in love with the woman who uses it. She then grows increasingly paranoid about the chair in her study. It's a great combination of creepiness and melodrama.'An Unearthly Love' is also adapted from an Edogawa Ranpo story. Kyoko marries the enigmatic Kadono, who 'was rumoured to be quite moody and a hater of women'. At first, she finds him to be quite the opposite: he is so affectionate that it verges on suffocating. Yet – of course – Kadono has a secret, one that seems to be draining the life from him as well as torturing Kyoko. This story builds tension very effectively; I really didn't know where it was going (which, brilliant as they are, is very often not the case with these manga) and the ending is great.In 'Venus in the Blind Spot', a girl called Mariko disappears into thin air when she gets too close to Iwata or a few of his friends, all of whom are members of a UFO research society. One of the men claims to have been abducted by aliens; could this strange phenomenon be their work, or is Mariko herself an extraterrestrial? This is another story that reminded me of the Tomie series (especially 'Gathering'). It's drawn in a slightly different style from the others, very clean and stark, and the climax is truly horrifying and haunting.'The Licking Woman' has a similar structure to 'Billions Alone' as well as a similarly (weirdly timely) message about the dangers of human contact. It begins with Tsuyoshi being followed by a woman who licks his face and hand. The effects prove damaging, and when the attacks continue, the 'licking woman' is chased down by a mob. That's not the end of the story, however. The typically odd premise veers between disturbing and silly. The ending was too outlandishly gory for me, though I did laugh at the final caption.'Master Umezz and Me' is something completely different: an autobiographical story about the young Junji Ito's adoration of horror manga, and particularly his lifelong admiration for the artist Kazuo Umezz. It feels a bit out of place in the middle of the book and would perhaps have worked better at the end. Due to the ways in which expressions are drawn, it's not without its unnerving moments.'How Love Came to Professor Kirida' is the third and final adaptation in the book, based on a story by Robert Hichens. Like 'The Human Chair', it has a framing device in which a young woman comes across a historical account. This concerns the dour, misanthropic Engai Kirida and a priest, Father Murchison, who visits him. Given that the original is a Victorian ghost story written by a British author, it's unsurprising that the plot turns out to be a rather traditional tale of haunting, but it's portrayed in bombastic/hilarious/terrifying style that I'm sure has to be a vast improvement on the original.'The Enigma of Amigara Fault' was the first thing I ever read by Junji Ito, and is a classic of horror manga for good reason. An earthquake reveals that the side of Amigara Mountain is covered in thousands of holes in the shape of human figures. People start to believe that the holes are made for them specifically – and they go into them, and don't come back out. The whole thing is a claustrophobe's nightmare. I think I like this more now than when I first read it; I'm used to how inscrutable these manga often are, and the premise hasn't lost its power to shock.'The Sad Tale of the Principal Post' is... an odd inclusion to say the least, considering that this collection is billed as a 'greatest hits'. There's no point in describing what happens as I'd give the whole thing away. Its whole reason for existing seems to be that it's a horrifying visual pun on the phrase 'man of the house'.The opening scene of 'Keepsake' depicts a macabre discovery: a baby found in a tomb, seemingly born to a dead woman. The birth is declared legitimate, but the father, Toyoji, has already remarried and had another child with his former mistress. Honestly, I was a bit underwhelmed by this. Sure, it's macabre, but it's also a bit messy with all the different elements: baby born to corpse, people rising from the dead, very creepy kid, conspiracy to murder... For me, it made a weak closing story.I received an advance review copy of Venus in the Blind Spot from the publisher through NetGalley.TinyLetter | Linktree
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  • Sarah Marie
    January 1, 1970
    Venus in the Blind Spot by Junji Ito3.75 stars for the overall collectionHi, this is my first time reading Junji Ito and experiencing his horror manga and I am a fan. Like why did I think his stuff would be so disgusting and traumatizing that I couldn’t read it. Well, I won’t lie the opening story in the horror manga collection will leave some readers traumatized. Think Sally from the Hotel season of American Horror Story when she sews her two lovers to her body because she loves them so much an Venus in the Blind Spot by Junji Ito3.75 stars for the overall collectionHi, this is my first time reading Junji Ito and experiencing his horror manga and I am a fan. Like why did I think his stuff would be so disgusting and traumatizing that I couldn’t read it. Well, I won’t lie the opening story in the horror manga collection will leave some readers traumatized. Think Sally from the Hotel season of American Horror Story when she sews her two lovers to her body because she loves them so much and they die. Yea, the first story is like that but more intense, so if you think that will make you throw up then maybe skip this collection or Junji Ito altogether. I, however, totally am hyped by this new discovery and I’m obsessed. I loved it. The experience was visceral and now I will break down my thoughts on all of the stories.Billions Alone- 4.5 stars Like I said above this story is like Sally from that season. We follow a guy who has agoraphobia and an old friend reaches out to him and encourages him to come back outside. While this is going on people meeting in organized settings are being kidnapped, murdered, and sewn together in giant intricate spiral patterns all over the city. The main reason I’m not giving this a full five stars is because 40 pages was not long enough and this deserves an entire novel to flesh out the beauty, frustration, and spiraling of a city as well as the main character who is becoming more comfortable going outside amidst the end of the world (at least for this town).The Human Chair- 3.5 stars This is a chilling story about a story being told to a woman in a shop as she views a chair that once belonged to a famous writer who was being stalked by someone who had sewn themselves into a chair in her home. Horrifying. No, thanks. I liked the concept, but this story was missing a certain something really that makes my horror heart skip some beats.An Unearthly Love- 3 stars Doll obsessions are not my thing and this one follows a woman married to a man who she thinks is cheating on her. It turns out to be a doll which leads to some complications in their marriage as one would expect. I felt bad for the woman, but like I said, not my kind of story.Venus in the Blind Spot- 5 stars This story was perfect. It has the allure of being a creepy a UFO story, but it is much more sinister than a simple UFO. This is a story that I barely want to explain because even talking too much about it would give away its brilliance.The Licking Woman- 4 stars I should’ve disliked this, but it was so weird and tragic. It follows a woman with a giant tongue licking people in the face and causing them to die and the effects this woman has on one woman after her boyfriend and dog die from the encounter. The level of weirdness and that horrifying tongue worked so well for the story.Master Umezz and Me- 2 stars I didn’t care for the art in this one and I wasn’t a fan of the story. It was a biographical reflection on Juji Ito’s love for the writer Umezz and I appreciated the story, but the art was not good.How Love Came to Professor Kirida- 3 stars This story follows a writer who is being haunted by a girl who loved and respected his feedback. His constant rejection leads to tragedy and her spirit teaches him love. It’s not as uplifting as it sounds lol. I didn’t care for this one, but I liked the plot.The Enigma of Amigara Fault- 5 stars This story was so horrifying. I can still see the outline of the bodies being stretched in the fault lines for miles. It follows the story of fault shaped bodies being found in a mountain that are the exact shape of people. Horrifying and creepy.The Sad Tale of the Principal Post- 3 stars This is the most forgettable story in the collection. The concept is there, but the execution isn’t fleshed out for it to be memorable or groundbreaking in the horror genre.Keepsake- 4.5 stars This story is so gross because it’s about a child who is born from a dead woman and if you get grossed out by SPOILER necrophilia SPOILER then skip this one. I loved the story and how it unfolded. It felt dramatic in the most twisted way.Overall, this collection is super strong and full of intense and gripping stories. There were a couple that stood out and really stole the show. I think many readers will enjoy this horror short story collection.Cover Thoughts: OBSESSED. Love it and every time I see it pop up on my Goodreads for an add, I get excited.Thank you, Netgalley and Viz Media, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    While this isn't my favorite Ito collection, the adaptations of Edogawa Ranpo's work are fascinating. I especially like (and respect) his take on "The Human Chair" - it serves as both a retelling and a sequel to the original 1925 short story, and it's tonally faithful. I'm definitely going to have to find a way to use it when I teach the original short story in class.Beyond that, this is strong in the usual ways - creepy, emphasis on the fear of things just shy of ordinary - and otherwise a perf While this isn't my favorite Ito collection, the adaptations of Edogawa Ranpo's work are fascinating. I especially like (and respect) his take on "The Human Chair" - it serves as both a retelling and a sequel to the original 1925 short story, and it's tonally faithful. I'm definitely going to have to find a way to use it when I teach the original short story in class.Beyond that, this is strong in the usual ways - creepy, emphasis on the fear of things just shy of ordinary - and otherwise a perfectly good collection. If you're already a Junji Ito fan, there's no reason you won't enjoy this book.
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  • Kirk
    January 1, 1970
    There were a few repeats in here. A few duds. Overall it was really good, however, and even the duds are a cut above other manga I read.For repeats, I really enjoy the one about the man-shaped holes in the rock. I still think that is one of his best.For new work, the licking woman was creepy. He does great work with creepy imagery, as always. The color in some of the areas really adds to the atmosphere.
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  • Orrin Grey
    January 1, 1970
    Look, when they release a new Junji Ito hardcover, I buy it. I don't make the rules. This latest one, though, is kind of an odd fit for just about anyone except Ito completists. For those coming in cold, it's got several emblematic stories, including "Billions Alone," which is particularly haunting at this precise moment in history, and "The Licking Woman." And Ito's adaptation of Edogawa Rampo's "The Human Chair" is worth the price of admission all by itself.But it also boasts this weirdo autob Look, when they release a new Junji Ito hardcover, I buy it. I don't make the rules. This latest one, though, is kind of an odd fit for just about anyone except Ito completists. For those coming in cold, it's got several emblematic stories, including "Billions Alone," which is particularly haunting at this precise moment in history, and "The Licking Woman." And Ito's adaptation of Edogawa Rampo's "The Human Chair" is worth the price of admission all by itself.But it also boasts this weirdo autobio tale about Ito's relationship with the works of Kazuo Umezu, which may mystify anyone largely unfamiliar with both. Strangest of all, it reprints a couple of stories that have already been collected in Viz's hardcover Ito series. These feature new color pages that help to change the experience, but I'd much rather have gotten more previously-uncollected tales than retreads of familiar ones.
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  • Ruthsic
    January 1, 1970
    Warnings: extreme body horror, corpse mutilation, stalking and gendered violence, sexual assault, necrophilia, animal deathReading this anthology is like discovering new fears that you didn't know you had. As an anthology, not much connects the stories with each other, but they are all like way out there, in terms of what the horrific element is. The first story itself in which groups of people are found dead with their corpses stitched together in bizarre ways, thus having everyone isolating th Warnings: extreme body horror, corpse mutilation, stalking and gendered violence, sexual assault, necrophilia, animal deathReading this anthology is like discovering new fears that you didn't know you had. As an anthology, not much connects the stories with each other, but they are all like way out there, in terms of what the horrific element is. The first story itself in which groups of people are found dead with their corpses stitched together in bizarre ways, thus having everyone isolating themselves will hit particularly because *looks around at COVID* and that story is only the start of how insane it gets. There's people living secretly in chairs, a father who has hit upon a new innovative method to keep the boys away from his beautiful daughter, the weird creepy kid born in a very, uh, disturbing method of procreation, and more. The stories deliver on the horror, put it is like inexplicable horror - more on the supernatural, than having some human reasoning or logic behind it, which can also make it frustrating, because in terms of conclusion they don't deliver much. It is disturbing, of course, and the artwork doesn't shy away from putting it all right into our faces (Junji Ito sure has some talent in giving us quite terrifying expressions) - perhaps the most disturbing one was the one with the tongue (yes, I am saying this in an anthology that has had corpses sewn together like some bizarre modern art pieces). I am not sure if I really want to read more of his work - I'm intrigued by the elements, but the lack of satisfying conclusions to most of the stories kind of put me off. Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Viz Media LLC, via Edelweiss.
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  • Ben Long
    January 1, 1970
    “𝘐 𝘸𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘪𝘵 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘦𝘥. 𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘥𝘪𝘥 𝘔𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘬𝘰 𝘚𝘩𝘰𝘯𝘰 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸?”𝕍𝕖𝕟𝕦𝕤 𝕚𝕟 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝔹𝕝𝕚𝕟𝕕 𝕊𝕡𝕠𝕥 is a "best of" collection of creepy tales, presenting the most remarkable short works of Junji Ito’s career, and featuring an adaptation of Rampo Edogawa’s classic horror story "Human Chair" and fan favorite "The Enigma of Amigara Fault." In a deluxe presentation with special color pages and color illustrations from his most recent long-form manga No Longer Human, every page invites readers to “𝘐 𝘸𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘪𝘵 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘦𝘥. 𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘥𝘪𝘥 𝘔𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘬𝘰 𝘚𝘩𝘰𝘯𝘰 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸?”𝕍𝕖𝕟𝕦𝕤 𝕚𝕟 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝔹𝕝𝕚𝕟𝕕 𝕊𝕡𝕠𝕥 is a "best of" collection of creepy tales, presenting the most remarkable short works of Junji Ito’s career, and featuring an adaptation of Rampo Edogawa’s classic horror story "Human Chair" and fan favorite "The Enigma of Amigara Fault." In a deluxe presentation with special color pages and color illustrations from his most recent long-form manga No Longer Human, every page invites readers to revel in a world of terrorI’m definitely an auto-read with everything Junji Ito. His ability to craft uniquely imaginative tales mixed with shocking imagery is unparalleled, and this particular collection is no different. Literally every single story has a concept or a series of images that are burned into my brain (in a good way) and I’ll never forgetWhat if someone started capturing groups of people and sewing their bodies together (hence my pic)? What if a woman every young man lusted after started disappearing from view? What if there was a person living inside your favorite chair? What if human-shaped holes suddenly appeared in the mountain, and you could go inside of them? All these horrifying questions and more are answered inside!
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  • Reg Mars
    January 1, 1970
    I recently read The Shiver Collection and really enjoyed it a lot. So the moment I saw the new Junji Ito was on Netgalley, I jumped at the chance to read it early. I decided since this is a bunch of short stories I will review them one by one and then give my overall view.Billions Alone - So this was such a great way to start off the short story collection. It's super eerie. It kinda made me think of today's situation in certain ways. Obviously it's completely different situations but had some s I recently read The Shiver Collection and really enjoyed it a lot. So the moment I saw the new Junji Ito was on Netgalley, I jumped at the chance to read it early. I decided since this is a bunch of short stories I will review them one by one and then give my overall view.Billions Alone - So this was such a great way to start off the short story collection. It's super eerie. It kinda made me think of today's situation in certain ways. Obviously it's completely different situations but had some similarities like not leaving the house and not going out in groups.Human Chair - So I definitely liked this story more than the last one. I feel it's because chairs are such a big staple in people's lives so it just adds to the situation. I know this couldn't happen but I can see people having nightmares about this. I also couldn't help but think of a scene from the Always Sunny Christmas special.An Unearthly Love - So this one I didn't feel was as creepy as the other two stories so far. I feel this is something you could see on the show my strange addiction except the ending. However I did like the lines on the last page of the story.*This story is by Edogawa Ranpo. I just realized that the last story, Human Chair was also by him as well*Venus In The Blind Spot - Damn this story was super interesting. This one had a sci-fi feel to it which I ended up really enjoying. I have only read one Junji Ito collection but I am curious if more stories involving sci-fi appear. I would say this one also isn't very creepy but is different from the others.The Licking Woman - This story was a bit disturbing. Imagine a random person coming up and licking you only to cause a horrible disease that could kill you. That is seriously just freaky to think about. Especially with how everything is going on today. Thankfully this isn't real.Master Umezz and Me - Wow so this was Junji Ito talking about Kauzo Umezu. I had never heard of him before this. I did enjoy that this was a real story drawn out. I thought it was very funny and entertaining. I am very curious about Kauzo Umezu. There was a mention that he made a movie and I'm interested in watching that. I do hope I can find it in America.How Love Came to Professor Kirida -Well wow that was definitely an interesting story. It has to do with obsession and has a paranormal aspect to it. It's on the creepy but still not as creepy as some of the other stories that are included in this book. I do want to check out the story that this is based off of.*Based on the story "How Love Come To Professor Guildea" By Robert Hichens*The Enigma of Amigara Fault - I am actually familiar with this story. I've never read the comic but I think my boyfriend might have watched something reading this or talking about it. Boy is this one creepy. I just want to know where he comes up with these things. He takes something so beautiful, mountains, and makes them extremely terrifying.The Sad Tale of The Principal Post - Well that was a super quick story. I honestly wasn't excepting it to be so quick but I guess it makes sense rather than have the story drag on. I do wish we got to find out how things actually happened but that's not the case. I feel like this was a little underwhelming and wanted a bit more out of it.Keepsake - So I enjoyed this story. I felt like it has a very creepy premise. I mean just the thought of something like this happening is crazy and I know couldn't happened but still damn. Junji Ito always thinking up these wild stories. However I just didn't really like any of the characters in the story. There was only one real character I ended up liking.Overall I enjoyed this collection. I thought it was such an interesting mix of stories. There were stories from another writer that he did the art for. There also was a story that was based off another author's work. He also did a personal story where he was asked to create the manga for a movie another manga artist. He even had a sci-fi story which I ended up enjoying a lot. I just didn't feel as creeped out which I excepting. However I still enjoyed the collection and can't wait to check it out when it officially comes out. I am excited to get a better look at the artwork in person.*I would just like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a free e-arc of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.*
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  • Rory Wilding
    January 1, 1970
    This review is based on a digital copy from NetGalley.Before Junji Ito, the closest I got to reading horror manga was Kentaro Miura’s Berserk, which is more in the realm of dark fantasy, but it’s not without horrific imagery, from the graphic violence to the incredibly designed monsters. My introduction to Ito’s bibliography was reading Uzumaki, which literally spirals a small Japanese town into a horrific fate, resulting in a work that is both great and silly. In his latest book, Venus in the B This review is based on a digital copy from NetGalley.Before Junji Ito, the closest I got to reading horror manga was Kentaro Miura’s Berserk, which is more in the realm of dark fantasy, but it’s not without horrific imagery, from the graphic violence to the incredibly designed monsters. My introduction to Ito’s bibliography was reading Uzumaki, which literally spirals a small Japanese town into a horrific fate, resulting in a work that is both great and silly. In his latest book, Venus in the Blind Spot, it is a compilation of short stories that predominately focused on Ito’s dark and twisted view on humanity.This idea of humanity at its worst is shown in the first story “Billions Alone”, in which a young boy who has isolated himself from the outside world for seven years, struggles to connect, whilst people suddenly vanish and reappearing, only to be stitched together as “group corpses”. Considering where we are when it comes to social distancing and self-isolation, this story does seem current as the horror is one of unknown origins and which there is no escape.As if a human connection couldn’t get any creepier, the next two shorts (both based on original stories by Edogawa Ranpo) show how dangerously close we can be with each other. In “The Human Chair”, when a young writer stops by a furniture store, where the owner tells her the story of another writer from years ago and how she was haunted by someone who was secretly living in a chair in her house. In the other short story “An Unearthly Love”, a marriage starts to slowly fall apart when the wife suspects the husband of being unfaithful.Over a hundred pages in, Ito presents the best of the bunch, which is the eponymous short, where a group of young men who are members of the Nanzan UFO Research Society, become infatuated with the leader of the discussion, the beautiful Mariko. However, any time any of the males approach her, she vanishes in front of them, but can only her voice. With the ongoing discussion of UFOs, which may have something to do with the member’s shared predicament, there may be an air of silliness, but how Ito unravels the mystery throughout, which leads to a clever and tragic climax.Some of the stories don’t land as well as they lean into the silliness that I’ve often struggled with Uzumaki, such as “Master Umezz and Me”, about a fanboy obsessing over the books of horror mangaka Kazuo Umezz. Essentially a love letter to the real-life Kazuo Umezu, who was a big influence on Ito, there isn’t anything here that is really scary and more of an excuse for the author to draw a young protagonist looking sickly obsessive over comic books, which I’m sure some readers can relate to.As a writer, no matter what ideas of horror he can throw at the reader, there can be some repetition in his narratives, which is usually a young protagonist on a search for the truth, only to consumed by a mental or physical demise. What usually saves these stories is Ito’s detailed artwork, which is mostly presented in black-and-white. Whether it is characters looking like they’re going through a psychological breakdown, or the numerous corpses that are morphed that presents genuine body horror, Ito presents images that stay with you and challenging you not to receive nightmares when you’re next sleeping.Despite Uzumaki being Ito’s most celebrated work, it has this fractured structure that doesn’t work when telling an ongoing narrative, whereas with a short story collection like Venus in the Blind Spot, he’s better at getting his darkly weird ideas in small chunks.
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  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    Junji Ito never fails to horrify and sicken me with the stories he produces and, most importantly, his grotesque art style.Even though I gave this five stars and loved the majority of this, I didn't fully enjoy every single element of this book. I found "The Sad Tale of the Principal Post" to be a bit too short for my liking yet it did not lack in strangeness.I also felt that "Master Umezz and Me" didn't fit in with the collection, but it was nice to see the childhood of Junji Ito and how he bec Junji Ito never fails to horrify and sicken me with the stories he produces and, most importantly, his grotesque art style.Even though I gave this five stars and loved the majority of this, I didn't fully enjoy every single element of this book. I found "The Sad Tale of the Principal Post" to be a bit too short for my liking yet it did not lack in strangeness.I also felt that "Master Umezz and Me" didn't fit in with the collection, but it was nice to see the childhood of Junji Ito and how he became interested in becoming a horror manga artist. The very first story "Billions Alone" made me feel physically sick which is what you'd expect from the best horror manga artist. Regardless of making me nauseous, it was definitely one of my favourites, as well as "The Enigma of Amigara Fault", "The Human Chair" and "Keepsake".I cannot wait to own a physical copy of this beautiful yet haunting manga. Thank you to Net Galley for providing me with an e-copy in exchange for a review.
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  • Taylor Caitlyn
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley for an E-arc of this collection!My personal favorites in this collection were The Enigma of Amigara Fault (supernatural story that invokes intense feelings of claustrophobia) and The Human Chair (a pretty campy premise that reminded me of a campfire tale or a short from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark). Other honorable mentions are An Unearthly Love and Billions Alone!!As with any short story collection there were some misses for me, but the majority of this collection was Thanks to NetGalley for an E-arc of this collection!My personal favorites in this collection were The Enigma of Amigara Fault (supernatural story that invokes intense feelings of claustrophobia) and The Human Chair (a pretty campy premise that reminded me of a campfire tale or a short from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark). Other honorable mentions are An Unearthly Love and Billions Alone!!As with any short story collection there were some misses for me, but the majority of this collection was strong enough to compensate for the weaker stories. One of the things that I love about Junji Ito’s short form work is that they’re so bizarre and operate on such a flawed dream logic that you’re forced to sit back and enjoy the ride. If you’re looking for anything more than a bizarre conclusion, look elsewhere. You won’t find logic here, or even a satisfying explanation. Illustrations were delightfully horrifying, per usual!
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  • Matt Midlock
    January 1, 1970
    Another fantastic collection of bizarre horror tales from Ito. There's ten stories and two I had read in other collections. Not a bad ratio! I really like the color prints added to the front of this collection along with the colored pages in some of the stories. It added a nice little touch rather than just the book being totally in black and white. I recommend this book if you are familiar with Ito and even if you are a newcomer to his works. All the stories are great and it's well worth owning Another fantastic collection of bizarre horror tales from Ito. There's ten stories and two I had read in other collections. Not a bad ratio! I really like the color prints added to the front of this collection along with the colored pages in some of the stories. It added a nice little touch rather than just the book being totally in black and white. I recommend this book if you are familiar with Ito and even if you are a newcomer to his works. All the stories are great and it's well worth owning the physical hardcover. It's a beautiful edition.
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  • Mark Schiffer
    January 1, 1970
    Easily the best US release of Ito’s work. A must-read for horror and comic fans alike.
  • Jess
    January 1, 1970
    Another good Junji Ito story collection. Loved the colored work in this one.
  • Jess Smiley
    January 1, 1970
    A chilling, unsettling collection of horror stories told by a master writer and illustrator of the comics medium.
  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advance copy from NetGalley and Viz Media to review.This book is an adult collection of horror short stories in manga form. I admit I found it kind of jarring that there was a non-fiction inclusion about a job the author almost had. I had just read some of the most unique and disturbing selections I've seen in a graphic novel, then I reached this excerpt about a little boy and his sisters and his hobbies...and it never did get scary. It took me a while to figure out what it was. An I received an advance copy from NetGalley and Viz Media to review.This book is an adult collection of horror short stories in manga form. I admit I found it kind of jarring that there was a non-fiction inclusion about a job the author almost had. I had just read some of the most unique and disturbing selections I've seen in a graphic novel, then I reached this excerpt about a little boy and his sisters and his hobbies...and it never did get scary. It took me a while to figure out what it was. And it was just kind of a strange piece to put in the middle of this collection because it was so long, the art wasn't as nice as the other pieces, and the story didn't seem to have much of a purpose other than for perhaps the author to humble himself because he decided the person that took on the manga work in his place did a better job than he thought he could have.Other than that, I loved the manga. The stories were all unlike anything I've read or seen before. They were nothing I could have ever imagine. I loved the art, especially the colored pages, so much that when the stories would switch back to black and white I felt disappointed.Here's a description of the story selections in this anthology:Billions Alone is about large groups of people going missing, only to be found as naked corpses, all sewn together into one mass. This was honestly my favorite selection in the book, though it was gory. There was a bit of a romantic subplot in this story.The Human Chair is about a person literally living inside a chair. The back is carved out and they sit there inside the chair. Their arms slide down the arms of the chairs, and they...live like that. It was bizarre but pretty interesting. Probably the most disturbing story in the book to me.An Unearthly Love... Actually, THIS one is my favorite. lol After I read this one, I preordered my own copy of the book. It's about a man who tries to make himself love his wife, but he's really in love with a doll he keeps hidden in a storage building. (Like a pretty porcelain doll in a kimono, not a...blow-up doll.)Venus in the Blind Spot is about a group of UFO fanatics who are all in love with their leader's beautiful daughter. But suddenly she appears invisible to all the group members. They can see her, but not hear her, so begin to suspect she is an alien from Venus.The Licking Woman was pretty gross. It's about a woman who goes around licking people with her toxic saliva and it kills them. (The toxin also gets on a dog through transfer from his owner, so I shelved this as animal abuse because I don't like when things like this happen to innocent animals.)Next is a selection called Master Umezz and Me. I don't know a Master Umezz but apparently he's a very famous manga-ka in Japan. This is really a non-fiction story about the author having the chance to work on a Master Umezz piece and then getting too busy so someone else takes the job, and he decides they were the better choice. It's not scary at all. It was very long and I found it dull and out of place. This was also sort of a bookmark for the manga going downhill for me, because all the best stories came before it.How Love Came to Professor Kirida is about a man who doesn't want to be loved, being sexually harassed by a ghost. I really didn't care for this story at all. The interesting thing was a character from The Human Chair appeared in this story as well.The Enigma of Amigara Fault is about a fault line opening up and countless ancient human shapes are found in the rock. The shapes belong to people who are alive today, who are reincarnated from people who committed grave crimes in their lifetimes. As punishment, they are compelled to climb into their shapes and suffer inside the ground. It was weird and gross and I really liked it. There was a bit of a romantic subplot in this story as well.The Sad Tale of the Principle Post is about a man whose body is trapped under a post, holding the house up. That's really the whole story; it's just three pages long and in full color.Keepsake is a story about necrophilia and a corpse giving birth.
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  • Kimberley
    January 1, 1970
    My first ever manga?! I'd heard a lot about Junji Ito but never picked anything up (mainly because they're so expensive) but this was available on Netgalley so thank you so much to the publisher for approving me! However all views are my own!In this book we have a collection of Junji Ito's best short stories. There are 10 in all and some are way creepier than others.Since this is a short story collection I'll give my ratings for each story and a brief sentence or two on why I liked them/didn't l My first ever manga?! I'd heard a lot about Junji Ito but never picked anything up (mainly because they're so expensive) but this was available on Netgalley so thank you so much to the publisher for approving me! However all views are my own!In this book we have a collection of Junji Ito's best short stories. There are 10 in all and some are way creepier than others.Since this is a short story collection I'll give my ratings for each story and a brief sentence or two on why I liked them/didn't like them just in case you wanted my views on a particular story:Billions alone - 2* - This was going so well, it was creepy and definitely had shock factor but the ending just fell a little flat to me. I just wanted a little bit more explanation.Human chair - 5* - this was CREEPY. Definitely one of those stories that will stay with you for a while, deeply unsettling and I am now wary of all comfy armchairsUnearthly love - 2* - Meh, not sold on this oneVenus in the blind spot - 3* - This was ok, nothing particularly bad but again just like an ok storyThe licking woman - 4* - Again super creepy! Imagine a woman wondering round licking people randomly in the street and it causes you to break out so you can never kiss anyone again. Ugh, I don't like it. But an excellent story which was hella creepyMaster Umezz and me - 3* - Errr didn't really get this one, just ok, nothing good or badHow love came to Professor Kirida - 3* - same as above really, nothing special for me, just okEnigma of Amigara Fault - 5* - Noticing a theme here - the creepy ones I find REALLY creepy. Again this one will make you really suspicious - be wary of random cracks in walls after thisSad tale of principal post - 1* - Didn't get this one at all, seemed like it was going somewhere but then it just ended. Seemed like a really pointless storyKeepsake - 3* - Again this was ok, seemed like it was going somewhere but it didn't. Definitely could have been filled out a bit more and it would have increased the rating but instead I was left wanting moreThis averages to around 3* however I am going to bump it up to a 4 just because of the overall art style and how everything was really creepy and unsettling in such few words.As I said this was my first manga (which showed as I tried to understand how to read backwards and turn the pages backwards), there were a few stories that I didn't really understand or would have liked more closure at the end. However I think this is just a personal preference. I can definitely see why Junji Ito is so well known, the stories are incredibly creepy, the art style is amazing and some of the stories are just deeply unsettling. I would definitely recommend this book for both fans and newbies alike. If you like Junji Ito's work you'll probably love these stories, if you're new then this is a good way to dip into the style and see if the stories are for you.I will say that if you are new to these works be warned they definitely have adult content, its creepy, unsettling, a bit gory and some parts outright weird. However this is what makes the stories so intriguing because they're all so different. Just be warned that if you don't like creepy stories then you probably might want to give this one a miss - it's definitely an adult book.
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  • Lindsey Lewis
    January 1, 1970
    NOTE: I received an ARC copy of this book on Edelweiss. I received no incentive to read or review this book other than said copy of work. The review below contains my own thoughts and opinions. Special thanks to the author, publisher, and Edelweiss for the free copy. I am in the running for a free copy of the book from Goodreads Giveaways...keep your fingers crossed for me, folks! I am a huge Junji Ito fan, and eagerly read anything he puts out, so I was super excited to see he had a new collect NOTE: I received an ARC copy of this book on Edelweiss. I received no incentive to read or review this book other than said copy of work. The review below contains my own thoughts and opinions. Special thanks to the author, publisher, and Edelweiss for the free copy. I am in the running for a free copy of the book from Goodreads Giveaways...keep your fingers crossed for me, folks! I am a huge Junji Ito fan, and eagerly read anything he puts out, so I was super excited to see he had a new collection being released. The collection releases tomorrow, August 18, and I was only approved for an ARC on Friday, so I had to read it quickly in order to get a review in before the release date. This collection contains 9 short stories and 1 non-fiction story about Junji Ito's fellow horror writer and idol, Kazuo Umezu. Three of the stories are written by other authors, Edogawa Ranpo and Robert Hichens.I, of course, felt this collection was not nearly long enough, but that is par for the course with any Junji Ito work. Of course, by far the best work in this collection has been published before, "The Enigma of Amigara Fault," but the others I really enjoyed in this collection were "Billions Alone," "The Human Chair," and "The Licking Woman." Obviously, these are the clear winners for the disturbing imagery and unsettling twists. I am a simple fan, easily pleased so long as Junji Ito gives me the gross-out factor I came for. Many of the stories in this collection touch on themes of love and loneliness in the classic weird twist of a Junji Ito story. A baby born to a corpse, a spirit sexually harassing a professor, a newlywed having a very disturbing affair, and a (cult?) of loneliness that will stop at nothing to bind people together - quite literally. My least favorite story in this collection was "The Sad Tale of the Principal Post" - it was super short, offered no explanation, wasn't frightening or shocking...but hey, they can't all be hits, right?Some of the stories have colorized art work in the beginning as a special feature, but it goes back to the traditional black and white manga within a few pages. I much prefer the black and white, not that there was anything wrong with the coloring, I just have my personal preferences. Honestly, you can't go wrong with Junji Ito. Even stories that I don't absolutely love, I still enjoy. While this may not be my favorite "collection" of his work, I still think it's pretty solid. I do think it was missing the commentary that really pulled the Shiver and Smashed collections together (but I also had things I didn't like about those, like changing the names of the stories - "Glyceride" is such a better title than "Greased"). I wouldn't make this your FIRST Junji Ito read, but I definitely wouldn't skip it either. I am most disappointed I have to wait for who knows how long until another collection gets released. I might have to ship Junji Ito a very special new writing chair in order to get a sneak peek...
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  • Ab
    January 1, 1970
    I have never read Junju Ito before and was drawn to this collection by the promise of Japanese horror told through illustration. I was not disappointed. This collection was a mixed bag, as with most short story collections, but most of them are wonderfully creepy, dark, and twisted. My favorite of them all was "The Enigma of Amigara Fault," which gave such a visceral sense of claustrophobic dread alongside perfect illustrations to heighten the horror. "Billions Alone" was also incredibly eerie a I have never read Junju Ito before and was drawn to this collection by the promise of Japanese horror told through illustration. I was not disappointed. This collection was a mixed bag, as with most short story collections, but most of them are wonderfully creepy, dark, and twisted. My favorite of them all was "The Enigma of Amigara Fault," which gave such a visceral sense of claustrophobic dread alongside perfect illustrations to heighten the horror. "Billions Alone" was also incredibly eerie and creepy, and the story idea also felt like something I've never read before. Only one of the ten stories felt out of place, "Master Umezz and Me," because it was a bit like a nonfiction biography popped in. I think this story would have worked better as an introductory prologue of some kind, set apart from the other tales so as not to interrupt the creepy flow of moving story to story.This collection shows me what I have been missing by not discovering Junjo Ito sooner, and I look forward to discovering more of his creatively terrify tales."Billions Alone" -- A timely story, given the Covid-19 pandemic, warning of the perils of gathering in large groups with an inexplicable murderer on the rampage. Fishing line and bodies ... such a creepy tale."The Human Chair" -- Interesting story. Creepy and the kind of story that makes you look at your living space with a new sense of foreboding. Is anyone hiding there, just watching?"An Unearthly Love" -- Creepy and very twisted. The illustrations of the husband's expression through his eyes was so unsettling and perfect."Venus in the Blind Spot" -- An incredibly disturbing story ultimately about a woman's beauty *causing* men to go crazy for her, and the lengths her father goes to to keep men away. She is strangely invisible up close."The Licking Woman" -- Yuck! The tongue was so expertly, grossly drawn, and the pure strangeness of someone lurking in dark alleys to lick people on humid nights!"Master Umezz and Me" -- This was more of a biographical story about a horror manga author's inspiration."How Love Came to Professor Kirida" -- This was a fascinating kind of creepy story about a writer seeking approval from a misanthropic professor. There's a well-meaning priest with a lusty ghost attached somehow to his soul. All this is told with a book that a young author picks up in her family's library, a diary of the parrot woman."The Enigma of Amigara Fault" -- This is by far the best story so far and gives such horrifying feelings. The illustrations of these mysterious human sized holes, drawing people inexplicably into them, were perfect. I felt pure terror and claustrophobia at the idea, which is exactly what a reader of an horror tale seek out."The Sad Tale of the Principal Post" -- A strangely vague story with the feeling that it was written for a micro-story contest. A bit too short to leave much of an impression."Keepsake" -- A fine horror story about revenge for infidelity and murder and a creepy corpse-born child.
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  • Ria Bridges
    January 1, 1970
    If you’re into the weirder side of Japanese media, you’ve probably heard of Ito’s work before. His is the mind and art behind Tomie, Uzumaki, and dozens of other titles that are distinct in style, notable for the merging of beauty and grotesque. It’s not a stretch to put his work firmly in the Weird genre; I mean, Uzumaki is a horror story about a town slowly being overrun by a deadly obsession with spirals. It sounds almost silly, but it’s actually rather horrific, and Ito’s art doesn’t dip toe If you’re into the weirder side of Japanese media, you’ve probably heard of Ito’s work before. His is the mind and art behind Tomie, Uzumaki, and dozens of other titles that are distinct in style, notable for the merging of beauty and grotesque. It’s not a stretch to put his work firmly in the Weird genre; I mean, Uzumaki is a horror story about a town slowly being overrun by a deadly obsession with spirals. It sounds almost silly, but it’s actually rather horrific, and Ito’s art doesn’t dip toes into the uncomfortable so much as it jumps in and splashes around for a while.Venus in the Blind Spot is a collection of shorts, most of which are rather horrific, and even the one that’s a little more amusing and autobiographical (Master Umezz and Me) still comes off as a bit creepy due to the level of obsession displayed. Some, such as The Human Chair are based on short stories written by others, and adapted to manga form by Ito. You have ones like The Licking Woman, which sound exactly like a horrible urban legend come to life, complete with a twist that sort of makes sense for a monster story but also lacks context… kind of like a lot of monster stories, especially ones told around the campfire.But then you get stories like An Unearthly Love, in which a woman discovers that her husband is having an affair… with a sex doll that he keeps locked in a trunk in the attic. In a fit of jealous rage she destroys the sex doll. Later, she finds her husband has killed himself so that he and his ceramic lover can be together in the afterlife. It’s a whole load of WTFery that was nevertheless entertaining to read.I did stumble a bit over How Love Came to Professor Kirida, though. The best way I can sum up that story is: a woman is in love with a misanthrope who rejects her. The woman tries to drown herself in grief, but lives. The professor is then convinced that the woman’s spirit is haunting him. Also, a parrot might be the conduit between here and the afterlife. Maybe. It’s really not clear. I feel like perhaps the story it was based on might shed more light into the confusing aspects, perhaps something just got missed in the jump to a different medium, but this one didn’t really hold together that well, and honestly, it was mostly because of the parrot. Was it an actual astral haunting? Was the parrot just really good at imitating people? Both? Something else entirely? I couldn’t say. I was kind of just left confused by this one.But overall, this collection of shorts definitely has some of the best that Ito has to offer, and is a good way to experience his work without committing to the more famous multi-volume works. If you’re a fan of Ito, or if you just want to give some Weird J-horror a try, then Venus in the Blind Spot is a good place to start.Just… be warned if body horror is a problem for you. He does that stuff a lot.(Book received in exchange for an honest review.)
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  • Shayney Hardcastle
    January 1, 1970
    *I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of this book*Venus In The Blind Spot by Junji Ito is a collection of creepy, horror stories, told in a manga format. This was my first time ever reading, not only a horror manga, but anything by the infamous Junji Ito and believe me when I say that I am seriously impressed. The tales within this collection were amazing and have had me creeped out and telling people about them. This has absolutely made me not only *I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of this book*Venus In The Blind Spot by Junji Ito is a collection of creepy, horror stories, told in a manga format. This was my first time ever reading, not only a horror manga, but anything by the infamous Junji Ito and believe me when I say that I am seriously impressed. The tales within this collection were amazing and have had me creeped out and telling people about them. This has absolutely made me not only want to read more horror manga's, but to read more manga's in general. I know that you read physical manga's back to front, but I wasn't aware that you also read them right to left. There are several tales within this collection that I know are going to stay with me for a while and are going to look at normal things differently from now on, such as shopping for a new chair and cracks in the sides of a mountain. The illustrations' within this manga just add to the overall creepy atmosphere and are perfect additions to the story!!  I received an e-Arc version thanks to NetGalley, so there were sections that were in colour and other sections that were in black and white and honestly, both of these were basically perfect. The added definition and detail in the ones I was able to see in colour just added to the realism to certain aspects, which intensified the overall felling, but the basicness with the black and white, if that's how they're staying, did not take away from the overall felling I got from this. Within this collection, there are 10 tales, which are meant to be the 'best of' Junji Ito works. This is my first time reading anything by Junji Ito, but I can tell you this, I thoroughly enjoyed each and everyone of these. The stories included in this collection are;Billions Alone The Human Chair (Original Story by Edogawa Ranpo)An Unearthly Love (Original Story by Edogawa Ranpo)Venus In The Blind SpotThe Licking WomanMaster Umezz And MeHow Love Came To Professor Kirida (Based on the story by Robert Hichens - How Love Come To Professor Guildea)The Enigma Of Amigara FaultThe Sad Tale Of The Principal PostKeepsakeMy favourite out of the 10 tales has got to be The Human Chair, simply because of how much that one has stuck with me. The subtle creepiness that's created within such a short story, is so perfect. The illustrations that go along with it, just add to it and round this off to make it the ultimate creep fest and I love it and slightly hate that it now makes me look at my chairs in a new way. 
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  • Sam
    January 1, 1970
    Venus in the Blind Spot is a collection of short stories, each of which takes on a new level of horror. This collection of Junji Ito’s includes ten short stories, each very unique and different from one another. The first story is about groups of people being found dead and sewn together. With this first story I enjoyed the art because of how intricate it was. As the drawings show these groups of people being sewn together, the art is very disturbing, yet complex. My only downfall with this stor Venus in the Blind Spot is a collection of short stories, each of which takes on a new level of horror. This collection of Junji Ito’s includes ten short stories, each very unique and different from one another. The first story is about groups of people being found dead and sewn together. With this first story I enjoyed the art because of how intricate it was. As the drawings show these groups of people being sewn together, the art is very disturbing, yet complex. My only downfall with this story was the plot. I felt that too much was left unsaid, even for a short story. Our second story tells the tale of a woman in search of a new chair. While looking, the store keeper tells her the story of a woman who owned a chair that supposedly had a man living in it.This story was my favorite. It is such a unique storyline and it was so fulfilling for a short story. The third short story follows a woman trying to figure out her husband's secret. This story was very short, but it still packed a punch with what it told. The fourth story is the book's namesake and was one of the best ones! It follows a group of men who are suddenly unable to see a specific lady and the madness that overtakes them. The fifth story is called "The Licking Woman" and that's all you really need to know about it. It is weird but SO good. The sixth story was probably my least favorite, but I think it was due to me being confused as to what was going on till about half way through the story. The seventh story is about a professor who is mysteriously being haunted. This was one of the best stories in this collection. It was a bit longer, but it was necessary to get the full story. The eight story is about a fault that formed after an earthquake that has multiple human shaped forms in it. This is a story I would LOVE to have a full book of. I just want more! The ninth story was only a couple pages long. It was short, sweet, and simple.The tenth and last story was exactly what I expected from this book. It was creepy in all the right ways (how can you beat a baby born from a corpse?) I've never read anything by Junji Ito and I am very happy that I started with Venus in the Blind Spot because it is a collection of short stories. I was able to see and read Junji Ito's unique writing and I cannot wait to dive into his other books.Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book!
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  • Adam
    January 1, 1970
    First off, this is the nicest Ito translation Viz has yet put out. I wonder if his increasing popularity in the West has led them to up their budgets on these because, as great as all their prior Ito releases have been, this one is noticeably a cut above. However, while I know, like all previous Viz translations, that this is a reprint of an existing Japanese collection, it IS kind of annoying to frame this as a "best of," when SHIVER, published a little while back, was ALSO framed as a best of. First off, this is the nicest Ito translation Viz has yet put out. I wonder if his increasing popularity in the West has led them to up their budgets on these because, as great as all their prior Ito releases have been, this one is noticeably a cut above. However, while I know, like all previous Viz translations, that this is a reprint of an existing Japanese collection, it IS kind of annoying to frame this as a "best of," when SHIVER, published a little while back, was ALSO framed as a best of. At least call this "best of, vol. 2" or something, because an Ito best of that doesn't include classics like "Hanging Balloons," "Greased," and "The Long Dream," all of which are in SHIVER, feels silly. Another issue related to its "best of" nature here is that like in SHIVER, this book contains some reprints of stories that exist in other collections. In this case it's the two bonus stories from GYO, the solid "The Sad Tale of the Principal Post" and maybe Ito's best story, "The Enigma of Amigara Fault." Again, I understand why they are present again here, and anything that gets more people to read Amigara Fault is a good thing, but I did find it a little annoying that a fair chunk of this slim volume was taken up by a couple of stories I had already read. As to the remaining stories? They range from good to great, filled with Ito's typical imaginative horror ideas and incredible artwork. Like a lot of his stuff, most of the stories suffer from slightly rushed or unsatisfying endings, but nothing that's bad enough to ruin the book for me. My favorite one here is possibly the first story, "Billions Alone," which is built around an incredibly disturbing idea, contains several genius panels, and also, coincidentally, is the perfect story for these days of quarantining and COVID-19. Beloved Ito stories like "The Licking Woman" (ANOTHER story with extra COVID-19 relevance) and the Ranpo adaptation "The Human Chair"are fantastic too -- so glad these are finally available in English. The weakest story was possibly the autobiographical outlier, "Master Umezz and Me," though it's still very charming and reminded me of Ito's excellent cat manga YON & MU.
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