Earlier this year, a Netflix Geeked Week announcement from the man himself revealed that an upcoming series entitled Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre would adapt twenty of the legendary mangaka’s eerie tales for the small screen. This weekend, Netflix's virtual global fan event Tudum revealed new stills from the upcoming series, as well as cast additions and a release date of January 19th, 2023.
The stills reveal a looming head of The Hanging Balloons, as well as everyone’s favorite nail-eating 11-year-old, Souichi. Although the Tomie and Souichi stories were previously unannounced, the Tudum event revealed the titles Tomie: Photo and Four x Four Walls, an entry from Souichi's Diary of Curses.
Other titles revealed include Intruder, Unendurable Labyrinth, The Long Hair in the Attic, Bullied, The Strange Hikizuri Siblings: The Séance, and Where the Sandman Lives.
The cast announcement includes many well-known voice actors including Riho Sugiyama and Daisuke Kishio for The Hanging Balloons, Rie Suegara and Yumiri Hanamori for Tomie, Yuuji Mitsuya as Souichi in Four x Four Walls and Hiro Shimono in Intruder.
Ito’s work has been adapted (with varying levels of success) into film, whether live action or animated, many times - perhaps most famously with the nine-film Tomie franchise or Higuchinsky’s Uzumaki. An Adult Swim anime adaptation of Uzumaki was announced in 2019, but as of yet still does not have a release date.
Judging by these stills (all via Netflix), Maniac looks like it might be the most terrifying and faithful adaptation of Ito’s work yet: