Cover Image: The Liminal Zone

The Liminal Zone

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

The Liminal Zone is my first Junji Ito book and I was quite impressed. If you enjoy horror and creepy folklore stories, you'll like this manga. The illustrations are striking and may haunt your dreams. Maybe don't read this one right before bedtime.
Was this review helpful?
What: Horror manga from the revered Junji Ito
About: collection of shorts featuring Ito's signature themes of body horror, grotesque imagery, folklore run amok
Features: dread, story twists, ink that oozes from the pages
Assets: artwork that stays with readers long after finished
Obstacles: Ito has stated that he never knows where a story is going to go, and that ending stories is a challenge. Often, the artwork and feel makes up for an abrupt story finish.
Who it’s for: J-horror fans, readers who value artistic achievement over story, long-time Ito fans.
Was this review helpful?
A wonderfully bizarre collection of weird horror. The artwork is phenomenal; the stories are inventive and feel fresh. Weeping Woman Way felt especially poignant. While Ito creates imaginative new ways to creep and gross us out, his stuff is so fun to read I rip through it.
Was this review helpful?
Forever a Junji Ito fan.  I can't say he ever really disappoints.  Even though this wasn't my favourite collection of his, the art and the weirdness of his mind and where it takes you, makes it always worthwhile to read his books.
Was this review helpful?
In the afterword Ito talks about how his ideas are getting tired and to be honest, it shows.  The setups for each of these stories are interesting, but they just aren't that scary or disturbing.  Worth reading, but not a great volume.
Was this review helpful?
ARC From Netgalley.
	Another fantastic entry from Junji Ito, the master of horror manga.
Four short stories here:
1) Weeping Woman Way - A couple passes a funeral and hear the sobs of a Weeping Woman, an old tradition where a woman was hired to be an extreme mourner at a funeral. After witnessing the event, Mako continuously cries. This leads to her and Yuzuru seeking out the stories of weeping women, which takes them to a village where weeping women are said to live. They hail Mako as the next leader of their cult, which continues all the way through her death.
2) Madonna - Maria Amano transfers to a new school and becomes quickly known as the most beautiful student. This gains the ire of the Principal's wife, who sees herself as a modern day Mary reincarnate. The story spirals south quickly as only a Junji Ito story can, and the biblical comparisons are thick as the school "falls from grace".
3) The Spirit Flow of Aokigahara - Norio has a terminal disease and goes with his girlfriend Mika into the famous "Suicide Forest" near Mt Fuji. While looking for a comfortable place to die, they witness a stream of light that flows at night. The next day they discover a strange cave and watch the light become a flow of spirits all rushing to the afterlife. Norio jumps into the flow and begins a journey intitally seen as healing, but becomes something much more "streamlined"....
4) Slumber - Takuya is having nightmares and trouble sleeping. When waking in the morning, he is plagued with very specific memories of having committed a murder. As the murders continue every night, Takuya becomes paranoid and starts to believe he might actually be doing the murders. Is he?

Always love when Ito comes out with new material. Quick read, but outstanding illustrations and very deep, well thought out plots.
Strong recommend. Pick up anything by this author. But.... some can be very disturbing or gross. Consider yourself warned.
Was this review helpful?
I felt that there was a real development in Ito's illustrations in The Liminal Zone, lines even more refined and drawings detailed. Ito has an afinity for body horror in his stories and honestly, the amout of ways Ito invents to invoke utter repulsion and horror for the reader is impressive. I wouldn't say the collection is a stand out like Tomie or Soichi, but its still an enjoyable read none the less.
Was this review helpful?
This was another fantastic work by Junji Ito. Of the four stories, I think that the last was my favorite but it's hard to pick since they were all so good. I also really liked the weeping woman story from the beginning of the book. Overall, a great book that I think any horror fanatic should check out.
Was this review helpful?
Another piece of perfection of Junji Ito’s work. This is so creepy & twisted. There's a good variety that will creep under your skin and leave goosebumps on your arms. It's so bizarre and strange...perfect for spooky season.
Was this review helpful?
This was interesting, but was not able to hold my attention all the way through. I think I would've enjoyed this book more if it was in a physical form. This is not at the fault of the book itself, but I believe the formatting of the E-ARC made it more difficult to enjoy. Overall, this was an interesting story, but it did not capture my attention in the way I was hoping it would.
Was this review helpful?
I would read anything by Junji Ito and love it. The Liminal Zone has just strengthened this opinion. This is a great set of short horror stories where Ito has taken an idea from real life and twisted it into something completely out of this world. Put these brilliant stories together with the classic artwork and you get something you can read over and over.
Was this review helpful?
Liminal Zone - Junji Ito

What destiny awaits them after the screaming?

After abruptly departing from a train in a small town, a couple encounters a “weeping woman”—a professional mourner—sobbing inconsolably at a funeral. Mako changes afterward—she can’t stop crying! In another tale, having decided to die together, a couple enters Aokigahara, the infamous suicide forest. What is the shocking torrent they discover there?

The master of horror Manga is back with some new nightmares!
I was introduced to Ito’s work by daughter No1 and I really enjoyed the first book she leant to me, so, spotting a new proof available on Netgalley I knew I wanted to read it.
The stories are packed full of delicious horror and stunning artwork. These stories were all great fun to read and I recommend Ito’s works to any horror fans.

Thank you @netgalley and @vizmedia for my ecopy.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5 Stars!!

Spoilers ahead. I will not reveal anything big - most of the review vaguely alludes to plot, structure, and characters.


The Liminal Zone is excellent, and it exemplifies everything that makes Junji Ito, Junji Ito. His art style veers between deceptively simple to almost grossly detailed, and he is the king of interconnected plotlines. The panelization is excellent and the depth of the images is incredible. This is yet another beautifully illustrated piece of horror manga that will give you the creeps, with images that will stick with you (I, personally, keep thinking about that very last panel). I don't know how he keeps coming up with such strange ideas, but I'm grateful for it!


Again, thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Since the spooky season is here, I thought it would be fitting to read a Junji Ito graphic novel as he’s a notable horror mangaka. This is my second time reading Ito’s work (my first experience was reading The Drifting Classroom) and another anthology piece. The Liminal Zone is a collection of stories originally written for the LINE manga app in Japan and has now been converted into graphic novel form. Because of this, I do feel like there’s a shift in Ito’s storytelling method, but it also gives him a chance to create plots surrounding a concept by not having a page limit.

It goes without saying that there are multiple trigger warnings within this anthology (like with most horror) such as death, suicide, and mental illnesses so take caution before reading. The collection consists of four stories: The Weeping Woman, Madonna, The Spirit Flow of Aokigahara, and Slumber. Each story brings its own uniqueness to the collection while all equally being spine-tingling. For me, the collection wasn’t too scary which is saying a lot. I have always had a hard time reading horror vs watching a horror film. The stories are digestible and like with most Ito works readers the art is what sticks with you long after finishing the story.

Ito's art style as per usual is a balance of beauty and grotesqueness. Each story starts off with an eerie calmness, but you know something creepy is lurking around the corner. Even the horror figures/villains themselves become more unsettling to look at as the story progresses. My favorite aspect of Ito’s stories is how he finds horror in the most mundane things such as nightmares that lead to restless sleep, a statue with a powerful presence, or a small town in the countryside. If I had to rank the stories in the collection they would be:

1)The Weeping Woman
2) Slumber
3) Madonna
4) The Spirit Flow of Aokigahara

I really enjoyed how The Weeping Woman story played off a folktale aspect and the twist ending felt very satisfying. The Spirit Flow of Aokigahara just was okay. I felt like the story was left on a cliffhanger that really didn’t explain much of what was happening. I would go into more detail but I don’t wait to spoil the stories for those that haven’t read the book.
Was this review helpful?
The Liminal Zone by Junji Ito is a unique and intriguing horror story collection.  As far as Ito's work goes, it captures his style well.  I don't think it's his most haunting work, but the collection has some good stories, with a few wacky ones -- as I've come to expect from Ito.
Was this review helpful?
Junji Ito doesn't miss! It may not be one of my favorite anthologies, but I loved all the stories nonetheless. The Weeping Woman story was my favorite of the four, and the murder mystery of the last one was a new direction for Junji Ito, would love more stories like that. Thanks so much for the opportunity for review!
Was this review helpful?
For those who enjoy Junji Ito's work will know what they are getting into and most likely will enjoy. It is another new batch of stories of various mysteries, horrors, and phobias. The best in my opinion is that of a Catholic schoolgirl inquiring and investigating upon the suspect phenomena of classmate disappearances and witchery. In great Junji Ito fashion we see it in hauntingly detailed depictions from both the human and the mythic. 

Once again, this is another solid compilation of stories that is sure to satiate Junji Ito and horror manga fans all around.
Was this review helpful?
As always with Junji Ito, this is beautifully illustrated. The stories that go along with this amazing artwork are just as interesting as the illustrations.
Was this review helpful?
Not as good as his previous collections but still enjoyable. Will be bringing this book in to my store to promote it with the manga readers
Was this review helpful?
Another classic from the master. The subject matter of these four long stories will seem somewhat familiar to fans of Junji Ito in a general sense, but - unsurprisingly at this point - he always finds a way to make his imagery and narratives seem fresh. The "Weeping Woman" story is not merely terrifying but also deeply profound and affecting, for example, while "Madonna" tells an all too relevant tale of what happens when faith meets dogmatic will. Even the fairly straightforward serial-killer thriller "Slumber" is so well executed that you don't mind the relative predictability of the plot.
Was this review helpful?