If you haven’t read horror in a while, Junji Ito can rekindle your romance with the genre.

‘Fragments of Horror’ is the first Ito book I read and also the first horror manga ever. If I had known as a child that there is a whole genre called ‘horror manga’, I would have devoured at least 500 of them by now.

This book is a collection of short stories and marks Ito’s comeback after he took a break from the genre for almost eight long years. I will be honest and say that the first story in the collection was mediocre and unimpressive. It’s very short, abrupt and doesn’t evoke any sense of terror in the reader. But the very next story titled “The Wooden Spirit” brings in a strong shock factor and elicits a sense of unease as you flip the pages. “Wow, who would have ever thought that,” was my reaction.

The rest of the stories too are gripping and the book demands that it be read in one go. Or if you don’t have a strong heart, you probably would not want to read it in one go. Fragments of Horror is bizarre, sometimes shocking and the inks are perfect. Most of his panels are hypnotic and some of them can probably haunt you.

Also, pro-tip – do not judge this book by its first chapter.