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I haven’t been a fan of horror anthologies. I do not like the inconsistency, nor have I found one that can tell a decent horror story within its short format. Since watching Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre, this opinion has shifted. If you like creepy narratives and don’t mind it being in anime, you should give this series a try.

Each episode focuses on a single story or theme. Some of the stories do connect, but they exist pretty independently. If you return to this series after a break, you won’t be lost or need to rewatch episodes to understand what is happening. Some episodes are better than others, but they never got so bad that I was ready to skip them. You will want to finish this series at least once for the experience, then rewatch your favorites afterward. Although there are some inconsistencies in the quality of the narrative, they are small enough that they don’t matter. 

There is a lot to like about this series. The voice acting is great, the animation fits the tone, and the stories are creepy. The animation may not be for everyone, but the stories are creepy enough that it won’t matter. A few of the episodes had my heart racing from how genuinely creepy they got. I doubt it will give you nightmares, but I can appreciate a good story when I see one. This series is a great collection of ghost stories, and I love how contained they are within this format. 

If you are a fan of horror, anime, or both, add this series to your watchlist. There aren’t cheap jumpscares or overdone gore for a cheap fright, just well-told stories that you can stream on Netflix. 

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