Voices in the Dark

Voices in the Dark

Title: Voices in the Dark
Author: Junji Ito
Publisher: Asahi Shinbunsha
Publication Date: 2007
Volumes: 1
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed

Also titled “Yami no Koe”. A collection of one-shots.

01. Blood Slurping Darkness
A girl who decides to lose weight to win her boyfriend back encounters a boy who will not eat until she does.

02. The Ghost of Golden Time
A humorless boy is invited to a comedy show which, although not funny, leaves the audience gasping for air.

03. Roar of Ages
A couple going for a leisurely walk in the woods become baffled by a sudden flood of water carrying people trapped in the current – especially when it continues to repeat itself with the same victims.

04. Secret of the Haunted Mansion
Two curious young boys decide to explore the new haunted house that just opened up in town.

05. Glyceride
A girl growing up with a cook for a father struggles with typical greasy skin, and not so typical effects.

06. The Earthbound
People begin to mysteriously freeze in place becoming statue-like, unable to move.

07. Dead Man Calling
A young couple seeks justice on a thug who is intent on apologizing. Even from death row.

“My hell had only just begun. There was nothing left for me now but this.”

The first few stories in this collection felt like an episode of The Twilight Zone, not at all scary and more just stories about eerie alternate realities. The stories were amusing, but in terms of actual scary “horror” I found them a little lacking. One highlight though was the fourth story, Secret of the Haunted Mansion, was a great twist on the traditional haunted house story and made me chuckle at least, and had one really great panel of art. Ito really puts incredible detail into his scenes of body horror that I find myself struck with awe, even if the scene itself is grotesque.

I was glad for the second half of the collection that felt like a careful descent into the depths of human depravity. Glyceride literally made my skin crawl just thinking about all that grease. Who knew that cooking grease could be horrifying? Only Ito could take something simple and make it evil.

My favorite by far was The Earthbound, it had the type of story that I would have loved to read in a full length novel. It had such a great premise and I was surprised by the ending. The brilliance of the final three stories honestly pushed me to bump up my score because I enjoyed them that much. It was unfortunate that the first few stories were really lackluster but the last few really made up for it.

Junji Ito never ceases to amaze me, he is an absolute master of horror and any fan of the genre that hasn’t read any of his work are honestly missing out. While this collection is not his best by far, it’s still a cool collection of one-shots that I enjoyed.

Strengths: Beautifully detailed artwork, good pure horror in the second half
Weaknesses: The first three stories are a little dull
Warnings: Gore, violence, mentions of animal abuse and rape

Where to Buy

Amazon (Japanese only)

3 thoughts on “Voices in the Dark

  1. This sounds like an interesting read I would enjoy. Too bad I don’t speak Japanese! I’m not really familiar with Asian literature, and at times I feel like I’m missing out on so much! Maybe I should pick some books up that has a decent translation.

  2. I see that there are two new translations available to buy. I will put that on my wishlist for Christmas this year (aka tell my husband to get it for me- it is the only thing I want lol) But some of these stories sound really interesting so I might jump ahead and read them online. Although it looks like Greased is included in the Shiver collection, so I might skip over that one.
    Jennifer recently posted…Vegan Desserts in Jars ReviewMy Profile

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