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"Lovesickness: Junji Ito Story Collection" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by VIZ Media


Written and illustrated by Junji Ito
Translated and adapted by Jocelyne Allen
2021, 408 Pages
Graphic novel released on April 20th, 2021


Going back home can be hard. In Ryusuke's case, it's even tougher with the trauma he left behind there. Years ago, when he was just a little kid, he gave a woman a bad fortune during a night of anger. She went on to kill herself in grief. Now corner fortunes are popular in this town once more and people are killing themselves in a similar fashion. Is Ryusuke connected to these deaths? Can he stop them?

At this point, I'm experienced enough in manga to know that anything with Junji Ito's name on it is a must buy. Lovesickness is another solid entry in the creator's library. Ito plunges the knife in with a shocking moment and then continues to twist it with each chapter, sending the story into unparalleled levels of terror.

Ito is in complete control of the scares in Lovesickness. It starts out strong and only gets more frightening as it goes on. I'd compare it to a roller coaster, but there's rarely a down moment. You're uneasy from page one all the way through to the end of this 400+ page collection.

Click images to enlarge

No punches are pulled either. Ito turns steers right into the most uncomfortable and unsettling concepts of the story. He forces you to witness them and take them all in. You want to look away, but you just can't because you have to see where this disturbing journey goes next.

Lovesickness features some absolutely horrifying imagery as we witness countless young people kill themselves in gruesome ways. That would have been enough blood and gore for anyone, but that's really just the beginning. Their reanimated corpses are still looking for love and answers. They haunt the streets at night, becoming an army of lost spirits spreading anguish and madness wherever they go.

Fog plays a big part in Lovesickness and Ito handles this beautifully. It creates a hazy atmosphere where anything could be lurking nearby. Is that figure the haunting boy in black that's been sending people to their doom? Or is it a friend ready to lend a hand? You won't know until it's too late.

Click image to enlarge

This collection also includes The Strange Hikizuri Siblings and The Rib Woman, two additional tales that are just as creepy as the main story. The former is a bit stranger than most of what I've encountered. It's downright weird, but Ito makes it work within the context of this world. It follows a dysfunctional family playing with the supernatural. The Rib Woman is something else entirely. It's shocking and a great way to end the book. Although it's a short story, it leaves a very lasting impression.

Just in case you needed another example of how brilliant Junji Ito is, Lovesickness is here to showcase the creator's impressive talents. Ito's work is uniquely terrifying, delivering scares that will stay with you for some time.


Story: fourandahalfstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
Buy from Amazon UK.
Art: fourandahalfstars
Overall: 4.5 Star Rating

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About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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