Iconic horror manga artist Junji Ito recently sat down with Silent Hill creator Keiichiro Toyama, where they spoke about horror and the manga medium as a whole.
Ito is a bit of a funny guy. He's the man behind several critically acclaimed horror works like Tomie and Uzumaki, but he's also someone that finds a goofy cat in a slice-of-life anime scary, so he's certainly someone with multitudes. In a new interview featured on Bokeh Game Studio's YouTube channel, he continues to live up to his slightly odd nature, telling studio co-founder Toyama that he'd "like to make a rom-com," though did note that if he does, "it might end up becoming a horror story."
While that bit about making a rom-com is only a small snippet at the beginning of the interview, and not something he goes into that much, Toyama asked Ito about his plans for the future as a manga creator. "Honestly speaking, I usually end up being cornered," Ito responded. "There's a lot of things I need to draw. I don’t really have a long-term objective. I tend to remain conservative and keep writing short stories. I just take them one by one, hoping to draw something good… I'm willing to try new things, but I’ll do that once I get a better idea of what to do." Maybe those "new things" will be a rom-com (I've honestly got my fingers crossed there."
The pair of horror icons also spoke about the differences between horror manga, and horror games, Toyama expressing a bit of jealousy at the kind of stories manga gets to tell. "Games can’t win in the horror field. The player needs to be able to win in order for it to become a game," Toyama said. In response, Ito noted how his main characters tended to die in his stories, asking if that would mean game over. "I’m jealous of this type of loose ends you can create," Toyama responded. "A game is a medium based on hospitality. You look for the player to end up on a positive feeling."
One of Toyama's other, more underrated, horror works, Siren, also came up, with Ito once again offering a funny remark on it: "Still, it can get scary mid-game to have these enemies attacking you. I remember playing Forbidden Siren back in the day. I couldn’t do much progress. I was so scared I was screaming as I played."
As he demonstrates himself here, Ito is no stranger to the world of video games. We almost actually got to see his take on the monsters of Silent Hill in Hideo Kojima's famously cancelled Silent Hills, but alas fate was not on our side. Still, at the very least Toyama is returning to the world of horror soon with the upcoming Slitterhead, which we got to see a very small amount of earlier this year.