A master of plot twists, Junji Ito Collection proves the unexpected can happen even when the viewer thinks they have the story figured out.
“Window Next Door” and “Gentle Goodbye” are the halfway point through the season, and the surface has barely been scratched of all the possible stories created by Junji Ito. The show introduced viewers to both new and old stories, as well as a slew of characters and questions about humans and their nature. Junji Ito Collection has questioned everything from alternate dimensions, to death, dreams, and an Ito personal favorite, bugs.
Both of the stories in Episode 6, “Window Next Door” and “Gentle Goodbye”, are relatively weaker stories of Ito, but still explore several common themes.
“Window Next Door” is a typical strange house with strange people story, something Ito loves to write about. Hiroshi and his family move into a new house. Upon moving in Hiroshi notices that the neighbor’s house only has one window and it’s directly across from his.
The old lady who lives next door is horrific in appearance, but seeing her animated with her arms reaching towards Hiroshi’s window, is even more impactful. This story is short and direct, but benefits heavily from several panels being animated.
“Gentle Goodbye” explores death, memory, loss, and the process of grieving. Riko is terrified of her father dying. She marries into a prominent family with a death tradition: when someone passes, at the funeral they focus their thoughts and create an after-image of that person. It is essentially a ghostly projection that slowly fades over time.
This story is directly connected to the idea that time heals all wounds. Over time as these projections fade, the family no longer needs them to cope with the loss of their loved one. However, this process takes up to twenty years to complete. The family eventually comes to ignore the afterimage after some time and they simply exist in the house.
The story of “Gentle Goodbye” is a slow burn, building up to the twist at the end. Even with the story, plot, and original twist laid out there is still an additional twist that changes the story entirely. This is less of a horror story and more a bittersweet story that is meant to make a person think. Junji Ito’s work encompasses a wide range of emotions and ideas and “Gentle Goodbye” is an excellent example of this.
Despite being halfway through the first season of Junji Ito Collection, there is potential for a second with the amount of stories still yet to be covered. Hopefully there will be an announcement soon.
Author: Lucian Clark
Lucian is the owner/creator of queer horror website, GenderTerror. They also hold a BA in Psychology from Post University. Favorites video games, rats, and cosplaying. They can be found most of the time writing fanfiction or yelling excitedly on Twitter.
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