Junji Ito Maniac – Episode Five: Intruder/Long Hair in the Attic

It seems to be a trend with this series, at least so far, that the episodes of Junji Ito Maniac that are two short stories are much weaker than the episodes with only one story. They always feel rushed, and so far each one doesn’t have any reason to be paired with the other one. Overall they always seem to be missing something or just end abruptly and that’s exactly the same with episode five, that has two stories, Intruder and Long Hair in the Attic.

The first story is just straight up weird and while it has an interesting premise it doesn’t come close to living up to its potential. Oshikiri lives in a big house by himself and has an interest in the supernatural. Other students at school think he’s weird, but he still manages to make some friends when he speaks about hearing footsteps when he’s home alone. They come round his house and they find another Oshikiri from another dimension who has murdered and is burying another version of one of his friends. It’s a creepy idea, that another version of yourself is out there that’s capable of horrible acts, but that’s pretty much how far the story goes with the idea. The story doesn’t know what to do with itself and just becomes a muddled mess.

To follow that up, Long Hair in the Attic, is a more complete story that has some genuinely freaky ideas, but doesn’t live up to them either. Chiemi’s boyfriend breaks up with her in quite a mean way and she goes back home to deal with the anguish of the break-up. She decides to cut her hair, which she’d grown out for her boyfriend, asking her sister, Eri, to cut it for her. While Eri is downstairs getting scissors Chiemi screams out and Eri rushes to find that her sister has been killed and beheaded. The story lingers on that gruesome image, and then skips forward in time and we don’t get to see the immediate aftermath. I would want to know what the police found out about it, who they thought did it, what they think happened to her head. Maybe more emotional moments with the family as they mourn the loss of Chiemi, but it’s so rushed to get to the final sequence, just to fit it into the episode’s strict length. The ending is pretty brutal, but it doesn’t pack the punch it could if the story had better pacing.

For me, this is the weakest episode of the series so far. Both stories feel too constrained by the short time given to them, and both would have been better suited to a full episode to themselves. The animation is fine, the voice acting is fine, but the stories are just wasted potential.

Thanks for reading! If you liked my review, please subscribe to never miss a post:

About ashleymanningwriter

Young Adult Fiction writer. Horror and fantasy blended together.
This entry was posted in film reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s