The 10 Scariest Shorts In The Junji Ito Collection, Ranked

Junji Ito has reigned as the king of horror manga since his debut in 1987. Some 35 years later, the terrifying images created by Junji Ito can be found on posters, clothing, and even bedding. There is a reason for his enduring popularity. Ito’s works capture fans with their haunting stories coupled with graphic and haunting imagery. Once viewers see Ito’s work, it’s hard to forget.

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Fortunately for fans, there seems to be an endless supply of content to satisfy their dark cravings. Ito has released three long-form manga and numerous short stories, which have been compiled into The Junji Ito Collection. For those curious to immerse themselves in the haunting world of Junji Ito’s works, it can be hard to know where to start. So why not with the scariest?

10 Readers will contemplate morality with Earthbound

Asano finds a strange man tied to the ground in his apartment.

This Junji Ito short story focuses on a mysterious event that takes place in a Japanese city where people are, well, tied to the earth. Readers follow a girl who works bringing food to these trapped people. As she meets the bound people and her loved ones, she begins to unravel the mysteries of this supernatural event.

Ito’s haunting drawing style adds an additional layer of terror to this already hair-raising story. Land will certainly have readers hooked; that is, if they can handle it.

9 Never sleep again, where the Sandman lives

hand coming out of mouth

Dreams can be exciting, allowing people to experience impossible events. But what if those dreams tried to escape into our reality? where does the sandman live centers on a young man named Yuji who is desperately trying to stay awake. Concerned for his well-being, his friend Mari comes to check on him.

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To her horror, she finds him gaunt and unsightly. Confronting him about the matter, Yuji explains that the dream version of him is trying to escape from his body. This story is sure to give readers nightmares, so it’s best not to read it before bed.

8 The Engima Of Amigara Fault Will Terrify Fans

The Engima of Amirgara Fault is perfect for readers who love mysterious endings. After a sudden earthquake reveals a strange fault line with human-like holes, people from all over the world start traveling to see the phenomenon.

The strangest aspect of these tunnels is their appeal to people who claim to have found “their shaped hole.” We follow a boy as he tries to understand his attraction to the tunnels. The horror continues to be vividly captured with Ito’s art style, leaving lasting images in the reader’s mind.

7 Not your usual leading lady, fashion model

By far one of the scariest character designs in the Junji Ito universe, Model follows a boy who pursues his dream career as a filmmaker. While working on the production of a new movie, his team is looking for a lead actress. Who they end up with is an unexpected woman far from what they had imagined.

Terrified of the actress, with her sharp teeth, abnormally tall, svelte figure, and coarse hair, the crew struggles to finish filming. Of course, nothing goes according to plan in the Junji Ito Universe, and things fall into chaos. This short story explores the themes of beauty in an artificial industry by turning it on its head, creating a wonderfully scary social commentary.

6 Marionette Mansion is a puzzling story

Junji Ito Puppet

For readers with a fear of dolls, puppet mansion is without a doubt the scariest. This short follows a family of traveling puppeteers. Annoyed by the poor living conditions, the eldest son runs away. Years later, the family is reunited under strange circumstances after the younger brother receives an invitation to a party.

The older brother has become rich and now he himself lives as a puppet. With its mysterious characters and unsavory imagery, this story explores the themes of freedom in a way that will leave readers cold.

5 For fans of some classic scares try Mystery Of The Haunted House Pt.1 & 2

This chilling Ito short is reminiscent of classic horror stories. After a moving haunted house exhibit comes to his small town, two young men decide to check it out. After seeing a number of people leave the show seemingly incapacitated by fear, the boys decide to sneak in after closing.

What they find is much more than they expected. A series of terrifying events takes place, leaving them horrified. The story continues from a new perspective at point 2, where the mysteries of this haunted house finally begin to unravel.

4 Don’t open the door, doorbell by Deathrow

This Junji Ito short story follows a family after a gruesome murder turns their lives upside down. Believing they are safe with the perpetrator behind bars, the family tries to move on with their lives.

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However, one night, when the doorbell rings, her tranquility seems to vanish forever. Facing the face of a murderer, two brothers begin to fall into the depths of madness. death row doorbell is particularly creepy as it uses real-world horrors to create a baffling supernatural experience any reader could imagine.

3 Shiver will leave readers frozen

Man with holes in his face

Readers with trypophobia may want to sit on the next one. Tremble explores the lives of two neighbors, one of whom cannot leave her house due to a serious illness. The young woman is covered in holes.

The neighbor boy remembers when he was younger and discovered his grandfather dead, the grandfather was also covered in these little holes that seemed to be breathing on their own. Suddenly remembering this, he seeks to understand the mysteries surrounding the death of his grandfather and the girl from the store next door. Even for veteran Junji Ito fans, Tremble it is a difficult read. The haunting art and haunting story are sure to make readers bristle.

two Glyceride is horribly gross

Without a doubt the most disgusting of Junji Ito’s works, glyceride will leave readers disgusted. This story follows a family that owns a small barbecue restaurant. Unable to afford anything better, the family must live above the restaurant in an apartment with no ventilation.

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Lack of airflow and constant cooking make for a horrible combination with disgusting results. The house is covered in grease, thick layers of grease. The struggle of this living environment takes its toll on the family and results in tragedy. This sick story is sure to make readers wary of any restaurant for a while.

1 Splendid Shadow Song will surely get stuck in your head

junji ito splendid suffering girl shadow song

Although not as visually stunning as some of Junji Ito’s other works, Splendid Shadow Song is the scariest of all. After the popularity of a new musician skyrockets, fans all over the world start listening to his music. The problem is that they can’t get their song out of their heads.

The main character struggles as he tries to go about his daily life with this dark melody playing endlessly in his brain. The real horror of this story is how true to life it feels. Readers will relate to the main character’s struggles and find themselves fearing that maybe one day that song stuck in his head will never go away.

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