The Junji Ito Collection anime series adapted the horror artist’s “Fashion Model,” and here’s the story’s ending and titular creature explained.
The anime horror anthology Junji Ito Collection adapted his story “Fashion Model,” and here’s the short’s monster and ending explained. Junji Ito has been crafting nightmare fuel for manga readers for decades. His tales can be both terrifying and gross, and often involve a healthy dose of body horror. His most famous stories include Tomie and Uzumaki, with the latter being a perfect example of how he takes an unusual premise – in this case, a town that becomes unnaturally obsessed with spiral patterns – and then quite literally twists them to horrific degrees.
Ito’s unique art style has made it somewhat difficult to translate his stories to live-action though. The movies based on Uzumaki and the Tomie series have met with mixed reviews, as did Ito’s own adaptation of Tomio in 2011. Sadly, anime based on Junji Ito’s work has also met with largely lukewarm reviews, including 2012’s Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack or the more recent Junji Ito Collection.
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On paper, the latter sounds like a perfect way to bring Ito’s work to the screen, as each episode combines two of his stories in an anthology format. Unfornaturely, at least for many of his readers, Junji Ito Collection just doesn’t elicit the same kind of dread or atmosphere as his original mangas. Still, it’s worth a watch for devotees of his work, with the second episode adapting his story “Fashion Model.” This sees a screenwriter haunted by the image of a model with an unnerving appearance, and he later meets her on a film shoot.
Junji Ito Collection’s “Fashion Model” opens with main character Iwasaki having a feeling something bad is about to happen. Soon after he sees a picture of the model, which leaves him seriously unnerved. He and his filmmaking buddies later audition actresses for their new film, with the model – who calls herself Fuchi – turning up, who unnerves everyone involved with her height and eerie stillness; she also has a mouth of razor-sharp fangs. During the film shoot, Fuchi becomes obsessed with the petrified Iwasaki and jealous of his scenes with the other lead actress.
Junji Ito Collection’s “Fashion Model” ends with the title monster eating the other actress and a crew member, but instead of eating Iwasaki after a chase, she just says she’s happy they’re finally alone. That’s how “Fashion Model” ends, though Fuchi later does play a major role in Junji Ito Collection’s finale “Rumors.” Her image freaks out a class of high school students, who later encounters her swimming in a swamp that is said to enhance beauty. She’s enormous when she emerges, and there’s evidence she’s eaten other trespassers to the swamp.
Since a lot of the writer’s work operates on pure nightmare logic, Junji Ito Collection never explains what exactly Funhi is. Despite appearances, she’s clearly not human, and can seemingly change size at will. She seems to take an almost childish delight in scaring victims but is also shown to somewhat vain because in addition to eating the other actress who was working with Iwasaki she also hates getting her picture taken without permission. She’s presumably some kind of demon, and the fact she holds a successful modeling career despite appearing to terrify everyone who sees her picture speaks to some kind of unnatural power.
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