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The short-lived Silent Hills still dwells in the minds of its fans after the official cancellation on April. Guillermo del Toro, one of the would-be collaborators, recently announced there was one last unknown, yet big name among Silent Hills ranks: horror manga legend Junji Ito. Is he putting salt on the injury, or is something else going on?

Silent Hills’ team was already a controversial one. First Hideo Kojima, whose separation from Konami brought the cancellation of Silent Hills, among other things. Next we have director Guillermo Del Toro, known for his works in horror and dark fantasy films like Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy.

While not as popular (here) of a name as these two, Junji Ito has cemented his place as the king of horror in Japan’s mangaka circle. With a knack for body horror, societal breakdowns, characters drifting to the realms of the irrational and more, he seems like a perfect fit for the Silent Hill franchise.

 

Ito draws inspiration from horror mangakas like Kazuo Umezu, and the influence of H.P. Lovecraft is palpable in the cruel world his characters inhabit – one where forces way beyond their league and understanding punish them for breaking their capricious laws. For reference, Ito’s most famous works include:

  • Uzumaki: A tale about a city burdened with a supernatural curse revolved around spirals. It’s easier if you see it.
  • Gyo: The sequel of horrible WW2 weapon experiments; an horde of giant fish, powered by the “Death Stencth” – parasitic metal legs that enable them to walk – terrorize Okinawa.
  • Tomie: After her friends and favorite teacher killed and dismembered her in a school trip, Tomie reincarnates as the living, physical manifestation of lust, with all the powers over people’s minds it conveys, immortality, the ability to reproduce via infection of live cells… and a thirst for brutal violence.

Both Kojima and Del Toro are alleged fans of Ito’s work, and Del Toro even acknowledges, in the same series of tweets in which he reveals Ito’s involvement on Silent Hills, that Ito’s Gyo has been the only work that made him “jump” in terror. Kojima had a closer relationship with Ito, having a meeting with him some months ago (presumably to recruit him for Silent Hills) and praising his work on twitter.

 

 

The P.T. (Playable Teaser) of Silent Hills released in 2014 gives us a taste of what Ito could have achieved in the video game’s world. The teaser is no longer available for playing on the PlayStation Store, but the Tokyo Game Show 2014 video is still up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owrZHQFjt98

 

Silent Hills is no more, but with Kojima out of Konami’s hands, there’s nothing stopping this “Terror Dream Team” to follow their own arteur project. This could even play in their favor: Ito’s style is not aligned to the mainstream take on horror so, for all we know, he could have been restraining some of his creativity for Silent Hills.

Del Toro has told IGN he and Kojima are still cooking something up. After so many months of Silent Hills cancellation, suddenly dropping this bomb on the fanbase could be a hint.

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