The Liminal Zone: A Book to Spook Over


Araya Saetier

The Liminal Zone spotted at Barnes and Noble on a whole table dedicated to the works of Junji Ito.

The Liminal Zone is a graphic novel by a famous Japanese illustrator Junji Ito (1963 to now). This particular book has some of the best storylines and panels drawn by Ito. The quality of the pages are terrifying yet humorous, the perfect reading for this chilly season. Other popular books by Ito include: Gyo, No Longer Human, and Remina. Ito’s newest book, Tombs, which will be on sale in March 2023. 

Sold for $19.99 at Barnes and Noble, the price is worth its quality. The pages are thick, and the illustrations have tons of details. This book is also available for free to check out at any local library by requesting it online here with a library account. Amazon also offers the same book for $17.49 plus shipping if the order is not over $25. 

Despite the price, inside the book are four new stories: The Weeping Woman, Madonna, The Spirit Flow of Aokigahara, and Slumber. Each of the stories are either inspired by Ito’s own dreams or other modernized Japanese myths and folktales. In the book the stories start off normal but things start going downhill with the plot twists. After reading the last page of the fourth story, one might think it is over but Ito had one last jump-scare of horror. How can a book jumpscare one? Ito has his ways. 

The illustrations do more than just telling a story: they also play with the reader’s thoughts. Unlike other stories, the reader does not know the main character’s thoughts and relies on the actions of others. Unbeknownst to the new reader, the panels might look like a joke, but they will suddenly become more creepy as one understands the story. There is also a moral that sticks with the reader in the end, whether it is greed or addiction, it is up for the readers to decide. 

Horror is not the only thing that shows up in the stories. Humor and knowledge about everyday life makes up to the storyline. Loneliness, power, and love also work together to play with the reader’s feelings. 

Ito is not just the greatest author, but also a magician in the field of horror manga. Even from the cover, one might already feel the spook.