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Flesh-Colored Horror: The Junji Ito Horror Comic Collection 3
E-Book/Graphic Novel
223 pages
Junji Ito
Monthly Magazine Halloween
A definite must have for any Junji Ito fan, or fan of horror manga in general.
Overall Rating:

Animefringe Reviews:
Flesh-Colored Horror: The Junji Ito Horror Comic Collection 3
By Danielle D'Ornellas

This graphic novel was the third collection of horror mangas created by Junji Ito, a horror manga icon. Other works include Uzumaki, which is featured monthly in PULP magazine and is being released as individual issues by Viz Comics. This third collection is divided into 6 separate manga stories, each of which appeared at different times in 'Monthly Magazine Halloween.' These five tales are Long Hair in the Attic, Approval, Beehive, Dying Young, Headless Sculptures, and Flesh Colored Horror.

Long Hair In The Attic - Originally appeared November 1988.
The first in the collection, this was an odd little story, It wasn't a very complicated plot at all, the characters were static and you didn't get time to become attached to them. But the plot of the story wasn't character related (technically), so that's all right. The inking in this story was very graphic and macabre, it made you want to look away, but was so good that you couldn't avert your eyes. Overall, an okay story with a nice twist at the end.

Approval - Originally appeared in May 1991.
This one wasn't as gory as the first story, but it was a lot darker, and dealt with the darkness of humans, rather than the supernatural kind. The need to fit in and be accepted is apparent from the first few panels of this story, and shows you the extremes to which one will go, and the barriers they will pass to get that approval. I enjoyed this one a lot, the ending panel definitely sticks in my mind and will for a long time. A very good story.

Beehive - Originally appeared in May 1991.
This one didn't interest me at all until the very end, basically because I was trying to finish it so I could get to the next story. Still, there were elements of the story I enjoyed, like the relationship that "Weird Boy" has with the insects. In the end, this story wasn't as dull and the ending was twisted, the way horror manga should be. Twisted, and in this case, in a justified way.

Dying Young - Originally appeared in September 1991.
The cover for this story was darkly beautiful; I just love this one to death, definitely my favorite cover of the six tales. This story followed the odd 'blooming' of ugly or normal girls who all became beautiful, as if like a blossoming flower, but at the same time, got unhealthier and unhealthier. The artistry in this story is also impressive, with all the panels of beautiful girls, faces and flowers, but the ending of this story left me grasping at straws. The story plot rotates around vanity and looks, and how it is judged in society by the beautiful and by the ugly. This story definitely made you think more about world issues, teen issues and moral issues than any of the other six.

Headless Sculptures - Originally appeared in July 1995.
Ok, this one succeeded in creeping the beejeezus out of me. This is a truly scary story and begins, and ends, like a proper horror manga. I didn't understand a lot of the hints given during the middle of the story, and still don't really know exactly what happened, but this one really did creep me out. Definitely the goriest in the collection, I suggest NOT eating or drinking while you are reading this story.

Flesh Colored Horror - Originally appeared in May 1994.
Ah, the collection's namesake, and the final story in the collection of six. This definitely deserved its spot, this story also deals with human's obsession with beauty and the distance they'll go to attain a beauty that they desire. This story isn't as gory as Headless Sculptures but has more of a shock value. As for the characters, you'll go from hating the disruptive Chikara to loving him within mere panels. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and even though the ending teases you, it does tie up most loose ends. I loved this one.

So there we go, 6 different stories, 6 tales of flesh colored horror.

For the format itself, I rather liked Adobe E-Book. On my Win 98/P3 computer, it ran smoothly, fast and with no problems. However, on my Win95/P1, I could barely run it at all. I gave up on that computer, actually. As for the text, the font was quite aggravating a lot of the time, it wasn't a treat to read and strained my eyes. They could find a better font to read, a serif font perhaps? This one wasn't very easily read, to me at least, and I maximized it as much as I could comfortably without it getting blurry.

Overall, this graphic novel is a definite buy for any fan of horror manga, or Junji Ito specifically. There is great variety in the type of story, but deep down, they all deal with flaws and imperfections in human beings themselves. Our deepest, darkest secrets and fears, all drawn for us to face. If you have a fast computer, with a large resolution screen, the E-Book is nice to read, but I have already warned about the font. Some people feel more comfortable reading it in a graphic novel format, and for the value it's probably your best bet.

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