Whispering Woman / Soichi’s Beloved Pet
Episode 12 of Junji Ito Maniac starts this final episode with a woman unable to make any decisions. She’s torn about every individual choice in life, which ends up turning her mad. Mayumi is absolutely hysterical, making the job of new carer, Mitsu Uchida, that much harder.
However, Mitsu’s calm demeanor seems to work wonders and she manages to calm Mayumi down immediately. She handles the girl well and even manages to get her to follow orders. Mayumi functions properly for the whole day, the first time in ages, and Mitsu sticks out the job for over a month. The President (and Mayumi’s father) is impressed but also a little unnerved. In fact, he believes there’s something suspicious going on here and seeing the nonchalant reaction from Mitsu, encourages his assistant to look into Mitsu more closely to see if there’s something afoul going on.
Despite being fatigued, Mitsu caries out her job perfectly and manages to have a more positive impact on Mayumi’s life. The President likens her to a good luck charm…until he hears her background. It turns out Mitsu is down and out of luck. She’s smacked around by her abusive roommate Aga and that explains why she’s so adamant on being at this house and helping Mayumi. As a result, the President decides to leave things as they are, believing it’ll benefit him in the long-run.
That night, word reaches them that Mitsu has suffered wounds that seem to have been the direct cause of her death. Her roommate, Aga, is wanted for suspicion of assault and murder. However, he’s yet to be apprehended. With Mitsu gone though, what does it mean for Mayumi. Well… she still hangs around Mitsu and seems to gave a spiritual effect on the girl, continuing to give her tasks beyond the grave. She controls Mayumi, encouraging her to learn how to stab. Naturally, that sends her off on a murderous rampage, hitting out at Aga and stabbing him repeatedly in the middle of the night.
Mayumi eventually heads home, her father shocked, as Mitsu whispers that she’ll always be with her.
Soichi’s Beloved Pet
In the second story, Sayuri adopts a pet she’s found outside and invites it into their home. This cat, Coron, is followed around the house by Soichi, the guy we saw earlier in the series pestering Koichi while he’s studying. Koichi is convinced that Soichi needs to be looked at by a doctor as he has something wrong with his brain.
Coron ends up eating a dead snake that afternoon, with Soichi trying to enact a curse on the cat and using this reptile as a vessel. The taste of it eventually sees the cat change and become feral, eating anything it can get its mitts on, including a huge centipede and a bizarre insect from hell; a spider with eyes all over him.
Soichi calls the cat Garon too, claiming that his curse has worked wonders. In fact, it starts spewing cat hair into the air, choking the air with thin bits of fur. It screeches at both Koichi and Sayuri when they approach, before eventually going full-on Pikachu and electrocuting Soichi, blasting him with an electric shock.
As a result, Soichi is hospitalized with bandages all over him, while the others seem to have got their cat back to the old Coron again… until we zoom in and see the cat has a menacing face still.
The Episode Review
Junji Ito delivers its final episode with a couple of intriguing and slightly amusing stories, harking back to the earlier chapters and bringing everything full circle. You can tell that a lot of these stories are connected in the same universe, with nice little Easter eggs dotted throughout.
However, the stories here aren’t quite as hard hitting or eye-opening as the rest of the series and it’s perhaps a bit of an underwhelming way to end things. Despite that though, the art style has been great throughout and there’s lots of stand-out chapters to make this a worthy anthology to binge through. Whether there will be another collection or not remains to be seen but this is definitely worth a watch.
You can read our full season review for Junji Ito: Maniac here!