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Junji Ito Maniac Season 1 Episode 10 Recap – “Unendurable Labyrinth” / “The Bully”

January 19, 2023

Junji Ito Maniac Season 1 Episode 10 Episode 10 Recap – “Unendurable Labyrinth” / “The Bully” appeared first on Ready Steady Cut.

This summary of the The Netflix anime anthology Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre Season 1 Episode 10, “Unendurable Labyrinth” / “The Bully”, contains spoilers.

This double-edged episode brings together, I think, the weirdest pair of stories in Junji Ito Crazy, not in terms of their actual content, but insofar as they are different from others. Neither is even explicitly supernatural, really, instead it deals with more human horrors, especially the second story, “The Bully,” which is precisely a horrible little thing. because it’s so ingrained in real human behavior.

Junji Ito Maniac Season 1 Episode 10 Recap

Again, this is also “Unendurable Labyrinth”, adapted from Unbearable Mazethe second story of Blood bubble bushes. It’s about two friends, Noriko and Sayoko, who go hiking in the mountains and encounter an isolated community of ascetic monks.

Needless to say, the monks are into some weird stuff, more specifically starving themselves to death in preparation for self-mummification, the final rite of their self-suppressing worldview. This is combined with a missing person plot, as the girls encounter Kuramoto, who was looking for his lost brother.

Novelty aside, it’s a pretty weekly story, and I didn’t find the monks, even in their mummified form, to be all that scary or memorable. I did, however, appreciate how the concept tied into the girls’ personal anxieties and fears, such as how Sayoko imagines everyone staring at her, and how that equates to a scary final image as a form of reward .

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“The Bully”, however, really touched me. This is a story in the twelfth volume of the same title from Junji Ito’s Horror World, and has no supernatural element, not even vague or implied. It’s about a woman, Kuriko, reminiscing with her boyfriend about the time she spent in a park bullying a young boy named Nao. Sadistically, she tortures him miserably until he and his family leave town.

The real-world quality of this story is what makes it disturbing, but it also gets worse. Kuriko meets Nao again as an adult and ends up getting married and having a child with him. When the child is born, however, it disappears and, in her anger at its absence, Kuriko begins to take out her frustrations on the child, whom she begins to call Nao. Realizing this is Nao’s revenge on her, she snaps, disguises herself as the little girl she once was, and takes Nao to the same park, presumably to make her life a misery.

It may not be the most striking in terms of visual horror, but “The Bully” is the story I found the most actively unpleasant.

You can stream the Netflix anime anthology Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre Season 1 Episode 10, “Unendurable Labyrinth” / “The Bully” exclusively on Netflix.

Further reading:

  • Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre Season Recap.
  • Junji Ito Maniac Season 1 Episode 9 Recap.
  • Junji Ito Maniac Season 1 Episode 11 Recap.
  • Will there be a Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of Macabre Season 2?
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Junji Ito Maniac Season 1 Episode 10 Episode 10 Recap – “Unendurable Labyrinth” / “The Bully” appeared first on Ready Steady Cut.