As of writing this Junji Ito has 24 books published internationally. New manga and collections are released regularly so I’ll do my best to keep this list updated as more are added.
Who is Junji Ito?
Ito is considered the master of Japanese horror manga. He’s been consistently publishing scary stories with uniquely disturbing illustrations since 1987. Best known for his earlier works Tomie and Uzumaki but has also seen great acclaim for his short stories.
He’s won multiple Eisner Awards including Best Adaptation from Another Medium, Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Asia, and Best Writer/Artist. His award winning books are available through Viz Media.
Full Length Manga
Ito is perhaps best known for two of his longest books. Tomie and Uzumaki remain to be some of his best works even after decades of publishing. His long form storytelling is sometimes segmented into a series of connected shorts that can be read individually but come together into a cohesive horror tale.
Tomie was my introduction to Junji Ito. I’ve since read most of his other books and I think it’s still my favorite. The title character is a beautiful young woman who can seduce any man. Her succubus powers can even drive these men to murder. In a twist on this supernatural tale the victim of their murders is often Tomie herself. How many times can she die without ever being eliminated?
When people think of Junji Ito they are likely to think of the Uzumaki spiral. His distinct style is showcased in this collection of related stories that all revolve around the spiral shape. This can take the form of physical spirals like springs or more abstract ones like the movement of a tornado. No matter how they appear those who are witness to them are in grave danger.
One of Ito’s most disgusting works is Gyo, inspired by a simple thought: sharks are scary but they’d probably be even scarier if they could attack on land too. Killer fish are equipped with legs and are violent but also very stinky in this kaiju-esque horror tale.
The Gyo hardcover book also contains two bonus short stories: The Sad Tale of the Principal Post and The Enigma of Amigara Fault. The Enigma is the story with the human shaped holes that you may have seen or heard of. One of his best shorts of all time and it was hidden here before being collected in Venus in the Blindspot.
Veering away from the body horror, Remina is a classic apocalypse story about a runaway planet hurtling towards Earth. This manga is more grounded than most of his other works. It deals with family conflicts and the societal drama that comes with catastrophe. It can be read as a commentary on any of our recent world shattering scenarios such as the COVID pandemic.
One of the more recent publications, Black Paradox, is about a dark web suicide website where people go in search of their ideal deaths. Four individuals with completely different reasons for wanting to die come together through this mysterious site to find a whole new outlook on life.
Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon and Mu
Junji Ito’s most personal book is his Cat Diary about his wife’s two cats and how he grew to love them in his own way. In his traditional horror art style he demonstrates the secret evil of cats but also how they can be loveable in small doses. This humorous manga combines horror imagery and silliness with a charm that could win over any reluctant reader.
Sensor is probably one of my least favorite Ito mangas. Just a personal opinion but it seems like this longer form story may have been better as a short. It’s about a cursed town that has been covered in mystical hair. Gross hair problems are a weirdly common trope in Japanese horror and it’s on full display in this story of cults and obsession. It’s not really a bad book, just didn’t do it for me compared to many of his others.
Junji Ito Short Story Collections
The bulk of Junji Ito’s bibliography is made up of short story collections. As with any short story collection there are some winners and some losers but each one of these books has something worth reading. Some stories are duplicated and may appear in multiple collections.
Flesh Colored Horror
Originally published in 1997 this is a collection of stories that originally appeared in the magazine Monthly Halloween. Ito has been publishing through newspapers and magazines for decades and we can expect many of these stories to eventually make it to the international market through these collections.
- The Long Hair in the Attic (Seen also in Deserter)
- Dying Young
- Headless Sculptures
- Flesh Colored Horror
This collection includes three related stories about various dissolving places and figures. All of the stories feature a pair of absolutely horrible siblings who cause misfortune everywhere they go. Titles may have variations and appear in different orders depending on different versions of the book released over the years in different countries.
- Dissolving Classroom
- Meet Again
- Children of the Earth
- Worshipping Beauty (Dissolving Beauty)
- Dissolving Apartment
- Chizumi’s Dissolving Love
- The Demon’s Conference
Deserter collects many of his earliest works. These were either published in newspapers or magazines initially and this is their first time in a hardcover collection. Others may appear in other collections as well.
- Bio House
- Face Thief
- Where the Sandman Lives
- The Devil’s Logic
- The Long Hair in the Attic (seen also in Flesh Colored Horror)
- Scripted Love
- The Reanimator’s Sword
- A Father’s Love
- Unendurable Labyrinth
- Village of the Siren
Another collection of earlier works now available internationally. The title story is the longest, spanning about half the length of the book, it deals with common Ito themes of seduction, betrayal, and supernatural locations.
- Lovesickness: The Beautiful Boy at the Crossroads
- A Woman in Distress
- Screams in the Night
- The Boy in White
- Narumi’s Boyfriend
- The Seance
- The Mansion of Phantom Pain
- The Rib Woman
- Memories of Real Poop (god I hate this title)
Smashed is a collection of new stories and is one of Ito’s best received.
- Bloodsucking Darkness
- Ghosts of Prime Time
- Death Row Doorbell
- The Mystery of the Haunted House
- The Mystery of the Haunted House: Soichi’s Version
- Soichi’s Beloved Pet
- In Mirror Valley
- I Don’t Want to Be a Ghost
- Library Vision
- Splendid Shadow Song
Fragments of Horror
Many of the stories in this collection were used in the anime adaptation Junji Ito Collection produced by Crunchyroll.
- Wooden Spirit
- Tomio/Red Turtleneck
- Gentle Goodbye
- Magami Nanakuse
- Whispering Woman
Stories from this collection were also used for the aforementioned anime series. This collection was curated by Ito to compile what he considers some of his best. It contains one of my favorites as well as the story Greased which is on par with Gyo for most vomit inducing.
- Used Record
- Fashion Model
- Hanging Blimp
- Marionette Mansion
- The Long Dream (one of my personal favorites)
- Honored Ancestors
- Fashion Model: Cursed Frame
Venus in the Blindspot
This collection contains both new and old stories. It contains two stories that were previously only found as a bonus feature in Gyo.
- 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 (seen also in Gyo)
- The Sad Tale of the Principal Post (seen also in Gyo)
The Liminal Zone
The Liminal Zone is a little different than the other collections as it only features 4 longer stories instead of many very short stories. Published in 2022 it shows how even after decades of creation he can still mix up his patterns.
- The Weeping Woman Way
- The Spirit Flow of Aokigahara
Another recent addition is Tombs from March of 2023. It contains many brand new stories to make fans happy.
- Slug Girl
- The Window Next Door
- Thing That Drifted Ashore
- The Story of the Mysterious Tunnel
- Bronze Statue
- Drifting Spores
- Blood Sickness of the White Sands Village
Attesting to Ito’s speed of production is the second book to come out of 2023 just months after Tombs. Soichi is a collection of shorts but could also be considered a long form manga similar to Uzumaki in that all of the stories are within the same subject. Soichi is a frequent character that appears in stories like Soichi’s Beloved Pet in Smashed. He’s quite the rascal.
Junji Ito Adaptations
Occasionally Junji Ito takes the works of other authors and uses the stories as a base for his illustrations. In the same way that old movies are remade with a different style, Ito enhances these stories with new and exciting visuals.
No Longer Human
No Longer Human was originally written by Osamu Dazai. Here, Ito adheres to the story of Yobo Oba as he goes through life as a suicidal alcoholic who started as a silly class clown. This book is far more serious than his usual content but his typical illustrative style works well with depicting one man’s decline and depression.
We are all very familiar with the story of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and have likely seen several adaptations of it already. If you know Ito’s style you’ll quickly understand how easily it can work with the story of a monster who just wants to be accepted.
This book also contains several more short stories unrelated to the title story.
- Neck Specter
- Bog of Living Spirits
- Pen Pal
- The Strange Tale of Oshikiri
- The Strange Tale of Oshikiri: The Walls
- The Hell of the Doll Funeral
- Face Firmly in Place
- Boss No-non
- Hide-and-Seek with Boss Non-non
Mimi’s Tales of Terror
The 3rd Ito collection of 2023 adapts true stories and urban legends from authors Hirokatsu Kihara and Ichiro Nakayama. The original collection Shin Mimibukuro (New Earmuffs) is now the manga Mimi’s Tales of Terror with horrifying illustrations. This book contains 9 stories.
Since Junji Ito is most known for his illustrations it makes sense to capitalize on his art portfolio. Two story free books focus on this aspect alone.
This art collection contains some of the best pages from his numerous books and collections as well as some original works created just for this hardcover collector’s item. If you’re the kind of person to have a coffee table book, this would be a great one. It would also make a great gift!
Uzumaki Coloring Book
Finishing the list with the most whimsical entry we have the Uzumaki coloring book. Color your own spirals with this fun take on one of his most famous works. This is especially entertaining since so few of his stories are published in color.