Manga artist Junji Ito is the premiere voice of horror in Japan. His works depict all the things from psychological terror to sentient microbes that management zombie fish. He’s proper at house alongside American masters like Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Clive Barker.
Junji Ito additionally … attracts cats. For the illustrator, being a feline dad or mum has its ups and downs. They’re cute, however possibly additionally terrifying? They’re cuddly, however completely able to ripping you to shreds. In his celebrated comedian Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu, he captures kitten care in his swirling, black-and-white fashion, evoking a cuddly wuddly spin on his horror.
With quite a lot of tasks within the work — together with a brand new anime based mostly on Uzumaki — the grasp not too long ago appeared at Virtual Crunchyroll Expo to speak about cats and his work in Cat Diary (clearly). The streaming look gave Polygon the prospect to ask Junji Ito a number of cat- and non-cat-related questions. His replies have been despatched through e mail.
What is the toughest half about precisely portraying a cat’s feelings? Which artists have greatest mirrored true cat personalities, both in manga, anime, or different types of artwork?
Junji Ito: Cats aren’t significantly expressive, which makes them exhausting to attract, I believe. There’s loads of instances when it’s exhausting to inform what they’re pondering. Sometimes you catch them you suspiciously, and their eyes virtually take a triangular form (I is perhaps imagining this.) It actually makes me surprise what they’re pondering.
I assumed the depiction of cats within the animated film April and the Extraordinary World was life like, and effectively carried out.
Cat Diary finds stretching past style limitations with out shedding your illustrative voice. Considering that robust act, what’s been the best problem in your profession to date, an occasion the place you actually needed to stretch? And did all of it work out as deliberate?
Rasputin the Patriot was based mostly off The Trap of the State, written by the diplomat-turned-author Masaru Satō. My editor proposed the venture, and I had by no means labored on a socio-political manga earlier than.
Despite it being an adaptation, I’d say it was the toughest venture I’ve labored on. I began out drawing it on my own, however issues just like the streets of Moscow and the Tokyo Detention House required loads of effort, ensuing within the first time I employed knowledgeable assistant. Doing a manga based mostly on the writing of Satō-sensei, who’s an mental monster, required loads of analysis, and accumulating reference materials for that was additionally a significant ordeal. The manga model was scripted by Takashi Nagasaki-sensei, who’s incessantly labored with Naoki Urasawa-sensei, so I believe it turned out to be an entertaining learn.
Do you have got something within the works that’s extra aligned with Cat Diary or are you embarking on one other story steeped in horror?
I’m presently engaged on quick tales which are serialized for a digital comics platform. I believe a bodily collected version ought to be popping out quickly, too. I’d be glad if that got here out for American audiences at some point. I’m presently not engaged on something like Yon & Mu. It’d be good if I might do one thing like that once more, some day.
What do you make of the present development of American film and TV studios translating manga and anime into live-action movie? Is there a venture of yours that you simply’d wish to see tailored?
This goes with out saying, however America is the foremost nation on the subject of producing TV and films, and the manga and anime variations which have come out of have been of the top quality you’d count on. I’d adore it if there was a dwell motion model of The Enigma of Amigara Fault [a brief story included in Gyo].
Do you have got something you wish to share about your earlier time working with Hideo Kojima and different tasks you is perhaps engaged on collectively?
Hideo Kojima-san contacted me a few Silent Hill sequel that he was to start with levels of engaged on, however the venture was cancelled earlier than earlier than I acquired too concerned. Apparently the primary particular person he spoke to was the director Guillermo Del Toro, and because the two of them mentioned the venture, my identify got here up. I’m not too conversant in video video games and was a bit not sure of myself, however I headed to Kojima Productions the place the three of us had our first assembly. Del Toro talked concerning the concepts he had, however having personally by no means performed Silent Hill earlier than, I simply sat there feeling anxious the whole time. At the top of the assembly I took some illustrations of monsters I had drawn earlier than that I had printed out and handed them over to the 2 administrators for reference. And that was the one time the three of us met up.
If Kojima-san contacts me once more, I’d like to contribute as a lot as I’m capable of.