YMMV / Junji Ito

  • Awesome Art: Junji Ito's character designs might be recycled from story to story... but the man can draw the gruesome and weird like no one else.
  • Anvilicious: "The Smoking Club". Smoking is Bad, OK? Justified as Japanese culture still thinks Smoking Is Cool.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Rie from the Memory short story. One camp loves the fact that she is one of the few genuinely morally grey Ito protagonists because she did strangle her sister to death and is quite vain about her looks, but also genuinely regrets her actions. The other camp hates her for the same action, arguing that she is just a selfish, vain murderer.
  • Complete Monster: For his works without dedicated pages:
    • The Back Alley: Shinobu Uchiyama is a fourteen-year-old sociopath, and the one responsible for a series of murders that happened in the alley behind her mother's boarding house. Ever since she was a little girl, she was violently territorial towards the alley and murdered three little children who decided to play there one day. After her father fenced it off, Shinobu grew fond of using the alley as a killing ground, and as she grew older, she lured two classmates that she hated over and killed them, and eventually did the same to her own father before leaving taunting, vulgar graffiti celebrating their murders. The souls of her victims haunt the alley as vengeful ghosts who are permanently trapped due to not being able to climb out and attack Shinobu, who simply relishes in their suffering. When Ishida investigates the alley and tries to escape in order to call the police, Shinobu stabs him in the hand and causes him to fall, then smugly gloats about her crimes to a dying Ishida. Despite claiming that she has nothing against him, she giggles with glee once he succumbs to his wounds and casually tries to hide his body.
    • Tomio: Red Turtleneck: In this cautionary tale about adultery, the nameless fortune teller proves to be among Junji Ito's most terrifying antagonists yet. Introduced as a sinister beauty who has an affair with the unfaithful Tomio, the fortune teller is revealed to be a psychotic witch obsessed with decapitating people and collecting their severed heads. She has twenty-five rotting heads on display in her mansion, and she puts a curse on Tomio after setting her sights on obtaining his head for her collection. What results is Tomio being decapitated through dark magic with only the force of him rooting his head in place keeping him alive, with the witch taunting him with the knowledge that the slightest bit of relaxation will kill him. In a physically and mentally torturous ordeal, a terrified Tomio desperately tries to keep his head connected to his body while he and his girlfriend Sonoka wait for an ambulance to arrive at her apartment. But instead of an ambulance, the fortune teller shows up at Sonoka's door with the intent to collect Tomio's head, but not before having a sadistic bit of fun with him. The fortune teller then proceeds to torture Tomio by probing around under his neck with a tarot card before letting a cockroach burrow its way inside his body, and then maniacally laughs at the resulting agony Tomio is put through. When Sonoka stabs her from behind, the fortune teller's last act is to try to kill her as well before dying from her wounds. Despite the curse on Tomio being lifted after her death, the fortune teller's twisted, sadistic torture is shown to have mentally traumatized the man at the story's end.
  • Memetic Mutation: With The Enigma of Amigara Fault taking the cake.
    • DRR... DRR... DRR...
    • This hole! It was made for me!
    • It's very slowly coming this way!
    • GASHUNK: Definitely the sound a shark makes when it breaks down a door.
  • Narm:
    • In the Intersection Fortune Telling story, the main antagonist is nicknamed The Intersection's Pretty Boy. The thing is, they never refer to him by a nickname or find any other name for him. After hearing the main characters speaking with dead seriousness about the threat posed by The Intersection's Pretty Boy dozens of times it become impossible to take the name seriously anymore.
    • One story involves countless generations of a family forming a chain of heads, which is connected to the still living descendant. The concept and execution is fairly creepy...the problem being if you look at it the right way, the chain of heads looks like it was the result of windows 98 glitching up while someone was trying to drag a picture of a head.
    • The entire premise of The Will. Two teenage girl who hated each other committed suicide at the same time and went to haunt each other's family, not knowing the other have died. The sheer Contrived Coincidence to make it possible, not to mention the fact that one half of the pair's motivation can easily falls into Wangst territory for some readers, probably kills off any dramatic moment or tension the story have had to that point.
  • Narm Charm: Many of his stories are incredibly over the top, but the artwork and writing manage to make them Crazy Awesome.
  • Nausea Fuel: Glyceride...Dear god, Glyceride...
    • Flesh Colored Horror as well. Especially the ending, with skin being torn and bare muscles being ripped apart. Ugh.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Earned his own page.
  • Paranoia Fuel: You'll never look at spirals the same way again.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: A frequent criticism of his works, especially his shorter stories. The only ones that frequently avoid this trope are when the main character is a Villain Protagonist or the story focuses on more dramatic elements instead of horror. The degree of how well this trope works heavily depends on the reader. Some will argue that this allows him to focus more on the horror elements and original ideas in his work. Some will say that it decreases immersion in the story. A third camp feels that it varies from story to story whether or not the idea was worth the bland characters.

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