Follow TV Tropes


Headscratchers / Junji Ito

Go To

  • So, apologizing for questioning the logic horror stories, after the terror sets in some things still bug me in regards to the inner logic of Junji Ito works. For example...
    • Why did the doll children turn into... whatever they do in the end? How is the creepy wooden doll stage an intermediate between human and "fucking creepy horror thing"?
      • About this story, I really doubt there is supposed to be much logic. I guess Ito simply wanted to do his own mix of Twist Ending and From Bad to Worse. Children turning into dolls is bad enough in itself, so most readers are sufficiently crept out to not consider that other horror elements may enter.
      • The point of that other transformation was to show why all the other parents burned their doll children, since as the main characters point out, having your child turn into a doll IS both heartbreaking and horrifying, but would also allow them to keep the memory of their child forever. But the transformation kept going...
      • OK, now I'm curious what would the kids turn into if the parents allow them to "grow" for whatever reason. Is there a limit of that "growth" (i.e it stops at some point) or will it go indefinitely?
    • Advertisement:
    • What is "A Shit to Remember" about, anyway? Is it some sort of Nothing Is Scarier trick story? Or just an account from Ito's childhood? Or maybe just a play with our expectations?
      • It is a story about a boy that buys shit. The shit is described in great detail, and nothing supernatural happens. A story a kid would tell.
    • And finally, "Army of One". Creepy as hell, yes. Unsettling reveal of who's the culprit as well as yanking the hope of a happy ending? Sure, that' awesome! But how, exactly, did the "Stitch Killer" do it? How could over 500 people simply disappear under heavy security and then suddenly appear in another place all stitched up. Or, worse, the gruesome Christmas decoration?
      • I had a theory about this one...the way I saw it, it wasn't just this one person doing it. It was some other group—who, I have no idea—that broadcast subliminal messages into the large groups of people—the bigger the group, the more people would get the message and feel compelled to stitch everyone together and kill them. After this, they were still under Mind Control, so after assembling their portion in some way, they'd stitch themselves in. The vanishing? Well, my thoughts was that the broadcasters weren't human, and took the 500 people away in an instant for the deed. But that's just my theory.
      • My interpretation is that Natsuko was merely driven insane and imitating the murders. However, it offers absolutely no explanation of what the hell was happening the whole time.
      • A bunch of different people went insane from loneliness and did it. It was probably different people every time. Kind of a More Than Mind Control thing, and once the murders started people started going insane just from seeing that. I totally expected that people had been stitching themselves in, and I kind of wanted to see that. It would have made it so much creepier!
      • Just to chip in with my two cents regarding all of these - I don't think Ito himself knows why and what is going on in many of his works. That's how he does things, he cripples story in favor of horror. Sure it doesn't hurt to theorize, but ultimately one shouldn't think too much about it. If you think of a satisfying explanation on your own, it's probably as correct as anything anyone else could say.
      • What about the fact that the stitcher at the end included the family dog while the off screen stitchers all just used people? Isn't that evidence that she's not a part of the original sticher strains that we see?
      • Junji Ito often keeps the 'why' of his horror hidden. In the comic characters speculate about it being terrorists, insanity, magic and even aliens, all of them could work but none of them perfectly fit and none of them get confirmed or denied. For me personally, the horror always came from the implication that the 'Stitch Murders' are actually just fits of insanity brought on by lonely people. A sort of wide spread mind virus that worms its way into lonely peoples heads and they willingly stitch themselves together. The lack of injuries and the fact that they don't have any defensive wounds, as well as the fact that the jets at the end imply the government is now part of it, I think that is just some some sort of suicidal hive mind that infects lonely people. I almost feel MORE horror at the sudden ending, because I can just imagine the next page of our defeated protagonists, slowly walking towards the girl, willing joining the 'Army of One' as she stitches them together so he no longer has to feel alone.
      • I honestly don't get why so many people seem to be confused by what's going on in 'Army of One'; it's very simple if you remember two details: The Army in question have flying vehicles dropping flyers, and the last frame of the manga shows us that the planes deployed to fight off the Army, is now also dropping the flyers; people are being brainwashed by the Army into joining it. While we don't know who or what is causing it, or why, I don't think this is necessary for the horror aspect, and could really be anything for whatever reason. All we need to know is what they're doing to people and how; the ad on the radio basically turn people into sleeper agents that, once something is triggered (I believe it is a feeling of overwhelming fear of losing or being without the people around you), the person will sow themselves, and the people around them, together. I believe this is why the amount of cases increase; the talk about the murders cause people to fear that their loved ones will be the next, and then the quarantine makes it even worse.
  • Ok, I have a bit of problem accepting one of the aspects of the series Gyo. Don't get me wrong, it's a great manga and downright disturbing. But, there's a tiny problem with the story's logic (not counting the ones that can be explained by Rule of Cool or Rule of Scary). At one point in the story, a walker-powered whale shows up before it instantly collapses under its weight. Ok, fine, Square-Cube Law and everything. But, later in the series huge towering machines are seen walking about powered by massive piles or corpses. How? It's shown that the gas-inducing bacteria bloats the victims and increases their mass. If that is the case, then this would mean the infected humans are heavier than they were before becoming zombies (as evident when Kaori collapsed after trying to hang herself when she became infected). Therefore, huge piles of infected people would way hundreds, if not thousands of pounds (even if you don't take the gas into consideration, a lot of humans is quite heavy). How is it that these walkers cannot support a whale, yet can support mountains of farting zombies?
    • With a wee bit of guesswork math, we have in one side a sperm whale weighing about 14 tons, and on the other side a pile of people that, if I recall correctly, would be at most 50 people(yes, I'm erring towards the bigger side; the walkers were the same size that were used to walk sharks), weighing about 5 tons(gas would obviously raise mass a lot more than weight; hence why bodies may float from the depths of water after a while dead). So, yes, the walker cannot support a whale, yet can support a mountain of fating zombies that weight three times less than a whale.
  • Okay, so I was a bit confused by the ending of the Intersection Fortune Telling story. So who the heck were they hinting was the Pretty Boy? Were they trying to imply that he was the son of the man who got his mistresses pregnant? Was there some motive they were hinting at that went totally over my head? Was he just doing it For the Evulz? The ending was so abrupt I didn't grasp much beyond the protagonist's death.
    • Its hinted that he might be the spirit of the child that died along with the woman that the main character accidently got to kill herself while playing the fortune telling game, but like a lot of Ito's stories, there's no real explanation for it.
  • I don't get it, in "The Bronze Statue": Ms. Shirakawa just moved in the neighborhood. Why did that "old hag" Madame Sonobe target her as well. Shirakawa is the least at fault for mocking her. In fact Shirakawa didn't even laugh and mock her.
    • Shirakawa was unfortunate enough to be associated with the women who mocked Sonobe, and I dont think Sonobe was all that choosy with her revenge.
  • This troper would like to bring up something about the Hanging Balloons. You can't conceivably fight them without killing someone or even yourself, I get it, but... why didn't it ever occur to anyone to simply find something sharp and cut off the noose from each balloon? Wouldn't that solve the issue of not damaging the balloons yet not dying?
    • I'd imagine that their head would probably be snapped off if they cut off the noose. After all, tampering with the balloon would end up in death, so I'm sure one would die if the noose was tampered with. Not to mention it would be extremely difficult to cut off a noose that's trying to strangle you.
    • The story also says the nooses are like steel cables, based on the one that ripped off the first victim's balloon. They'd probably be very difficult to cut.
  • "I Dont't Want to Be a Ghost" ends with the main character's mistress waiting by his deathbed in the hospital, eagerly awaiting his death so she can devour his ghost. So...why can't the guy just ask the hospital staff to remove his crazy ex-girlfriend from his room? And if she resists, that's what security is for.
    • Who knows, maybe he did that after the last panel, but we're meant to stop there, learning that she's now waiting for him to die, since it's the scariest way possible to end the story.
    • Maybe, at this point, contrary to the title, the guy is waiting to die out of guilt and torment. Maybe he doesn't want to keep her away now.
  • Right, so, "Smashed" is a very good plant-based horror story. Not going to deny that. However, there is one aspect about the tree that confounds me (Lovecraftian Superpower teleportation skills aside). We know the "honey" is actually the tree's sap. We know it cannot stand humans attempting to eat said sap, and will smush anything that it catches doing so. That being said, other animals feed on sap. There's birds, insects, other mammals, etc. Yet, this tree seems focused on crushing only humans who attempt to steal its sap and feed on it. Does it not notice other animals? Or, do other animals just not like the taste of the sap?
  • About Miss Fuchi being a model: Who, on their right minds, would want that hideous, man-eating, Humanoid Abomination with More Teeth than the Osmond Family to promote, represent, and/or be associated with the brand of their products?
    • There's a niche market for everything.
    • Or possibly she said "Make me a model or I'll eat you alive."
    • Ito himself was inspired by seeing a normal model in a magazine that gave him a slightly weird vibe, so he exaggerated the idea to a model who has no conceivable reason for being accepted as a model, a model who is a monster. In-universe, as well, she's wanted for being so unique, and perhaps some people thought they were being good people by promoting someone they thought had a physical condition.
  • Why, in the official translation of Fragments of Horror, is novelist Nanakuse's name given as "Magami" when the fan translation has it as "Kyokumi" (which the Japanese seems to say)? Are both valid translations? Why would they be different?
  • In "Fashion Model", why does Fuchi start laughing with the group when one remarks that the remote location, plus the implication of her presence, will make their project a horror movie? Fuchi thinks she is the most beautiful woman in the world, so she wouldn't recognize the veiled insult in the joke, and she's in the film earnestly because she thinks it's going to glorify her "beauty", and thus isn't planning to kill them and laughing about that. Sure, Ito wanted a good fangy reveal, but why, according to her vain, impuslive character, would she be laughing uproariously at a joke she doesn't understand and sees no irony in?
    • As human as she might look, Fuchi is still some kind of monster. We don't know how her intellect actually works, or how versed she is in acting human or in following societal cues. She spends a big portion of the beginning of Fashion Model in silence with a serious expression, which is also odd social behavior to exhibit; maybe she's also unaware that laughing uproariously at a small joke is thought of as creepy. If Fuchi is so out of touch that she believes she is thought of as very beautiful, chances are she's also out of touch enough to not know the display in question is thought of as unnatural for normal people.
    • (Same troper) On a different line of thinking that is kinder to Fuchi's supposed intellect, you could take it as: she does see the irony, only from a different perspective. She's laughing because she knows she will kill everyone in the car, and having an unsuspecting person mentioning how they might be shooting a horror movie after all must sound hilarious, like an in-joke that only Fuchi herself gets. Like, "Oh, yes. You guys have NO idea just how much of a horror movie this is going to turn out." Which admittedly must be pretty funny from her point of view.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: