The perfect thing to raise spirits… literally.

We first saw great renditions of Amabie, the Japanese spirit who is believed to help prevent the spread of epidemics, two months ago when the coronavirus started to really escalate in Japan. With long, flowing hair, a mermaid body, and the face of a bird, most artwork of Amabie depicts her as a beautiful spirit, one that represents hope during this difficult time.

But then there’s Junji Ito’s recent take on Amabie. He’s one of Japan’s most well-known horror manga artists, having created an incredible amount of terrifying stories and images to go along with them.

Not exactly the person you’d expect to draw the protective yokai. And yet, here we are:

“Hoping that everything returns to normal soon.”
(Text: “Protection charm”)



Uhh…! The first thing that needs to return to normal is that Amambie!

▼ The drawing is classic Junji Ito, very reminiscent of his horrifying style.

It’s fascinating how the terror of this Amabie picture is subtle. The yokai herself isn’t fanged or murdering anyone, and Junji Ito recreated her faithfully with the long hair, mermaid body, and bird face.

Instead, it’s the zombie eyes, the long and sharp tendrils, and the lighting that makes it send a shock through your heart. As we’ve seen before, the same scene can convey a very different tone with just a few changes, and the same thing goes for yokai too apparently.

Here’s how Japanese netizens reacted to the Amabie abomination:

“Oh no! The corona got to Amabie too!”
“That thing would definitely suck out all my bodily fluids.”
“It looks like it’d cause a pandemic rather than stop one.”
“I feel like she’d ‘cure’ your corona by killing you.”
“This actually looks the closest to what a real Amabie would be like.”

If you’re in need of some consoling after that image, then be sure to enjoy some Cthulhu-inspired takoyaki. Nothing like tentacles writihing out of octopus balls to really get the heart soaring!

Source: Twitter/@junjiitofficial via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
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