Tomie 1-2 (1997)

I find Junji Ito’s Tomie fascinating. Not the work itself, but for the fact that it’s a prime example where an author can’t let go of an idea. Tomie is a girl whose beauty is beyond normal, driving men into madness, even murdering her to avoid sharing. But Tomie is much more strange. Even after being cut to pieces, each of the pieces regrows in a matter of days into another living version of Tomie. That said, despite the intriguing concept, Ito’s Tomie stories all read like variations of the same basic pattern (Tomie appears, men get mad over her, female character try to stop it and figure out who/what Tomie is, all ends in blood and death). This is fun two or three times, but when the same thing happens again and again with only minor modifications, it becomes tired (which is the case with the two Tomie volumes).

What I can’t get my head around is why Ito wrote so many stories with her. Was it because he really found the subject so intriguing, was it because it sold so well or his editors wanted more of the same. I have no idea, but I do wonder.