Trypophobia: the fear of irregular patterns of holes. Pupaphobia: the fear of puppets and marionettes. This week’s episode is all about those irrational but very real fears that we all have to some degree or another.
This week’s episode brings us one of Junji Ito’s more infamous tales, variously translated as “Coldness” or “The Chill” or “Shiver”. A young man finally catches a glimpse of his invalid neighbor’s skin condition, which brings back memories of seeing his grandfather die. This prompts his curious friend to investigate the grandfather’s diary and the the supernatural cause of the illness.
This adaptation suffers from being somewhat edited. It is not as clear how the curse moves from person to person and leaves the motives of the doctor much more ambiguous. On the upside, given the squicky subject matter, the quick pace makes it mercifully short. I was on pins and needles. Also, the music here is top-notch nightmare noise.
As an aside, this story is often considered to be the inspiration for the much more disturbing manga short, “Holes,” by EroGuro artist, Henmaru Machino. [NSFA (Not Safe for Anyone)] Weird mashups of the two manga used to often make the rounds on 4chan.
The second story is “The House of Puppets.” Haruhiko is part of a family of traveling marionettists. His elder brother grows philosophical about his lot in life; he feels like the marionette show is controlling their lives, not letting them settle down. The puppeteer is not the one controlling the puppets, but the other way around, he thinks. He runs away, and their father grows ill and dies.
Years later, Haruhiko and his sister receive a letter from their long-lost brother, inviting them to his home to meet his family. It appears he has taken his earlier musings to heart. He and his family have decided to spend their life effortlessly hanging on strings, controlled by hired workers in the ceiling. But who is really controlling who? Their sister is immediately enchanted, but Haruhiko remains suspicious.
One of Ito’s sillier stories, this section was a delight. You can tell they upped the animation budget for this section, which really shows during the action-packed climax. Another great translation from page to screen.
Next week’s preview lists Collection No. 40 and 49, which possibly indicates stories from the same collected volume. Horror World of Junji Ito has these stories being “The Silent Room” from Vol. 6 Souichi’s Diary of Curses and “The Groaning Drain” from Vol. 7 Slug Girl. These are most likely wrong as my predictions have only been right 1/8 times so far. Thus, using what episode numbers we already have and sort of counting from there, I’m going to say next week might be “Rumors” and “Blood-Bubble Bushes,” the latter of which I’m really looking forward to seeing animated.
Now that all the stories referenced in the OP and promo poster have been adapted (Tomie will be an OVA), what stories do you all want to see?
Post your wish lists in the comments.