Hideo Kojima, Please Work With Junji Ito

Hideo Kojima, Please Work With Junji Ito
Ito appeared in Death Stranding as a minor character. (Screenshot: Kojima Productions)

Horror mangaka Junji Ito is apparently down to work with video game auteur Hideo Kojima if the opportunity presents itself. Those sounds you’re hearing are me furiously typing my demands that Kojima call Ito as soon as possible.

During a recent Polygon interview, Ito was asked about his involvement with Silent Hills, the late Konami-era Kojima project that spawned the P.T. demo before eventually being cancelled. And while it sounds like his contributions didn’t extend past a single, brief planning meeting with Kojima and film director Guillermo del Toro, who was also set to be a major contributor to the ill-fated video game, Ito sounds more than happy to collaborate in the future.

“I’m not too familiar with video games and was a bit unsure of myself, but I headed to Kojima Productions where the three of us had our first meeting,” Ito told Polygon. “Del Toro talked about the ideas he had, but having personally never played Silent Hill before, I just sat there feeling anxious the entire time. At the end of the meeting I took some illustrations of monsters I had drawn before that I had printed out and handed them over to the two directors for reference. And that was the only time the three of us met up.”

“If Kojima-san contacts me again, I’d love to contribute as much as I’m able to,” Ito added.

Panel from Ito's Uzumaki (1998). (Image: Junji Ito / Viz Media) Panel from Ito’s Uzumaki (1998). (Image: Junji Ito / Viz Media)

Take one look at Ito’s work and it’s obvious what a boon he would be to the world of video games, especially when it comes to projects like Silent Hill. His ability to take the human body and transform it into something grotesque is unparalleled. I honestly don’t know how I would cope turning the corner in a survival-horror game and coming face to face with some of his creations. We’ve never seen anything like it in video games and missing out on that is one of the greatest tragedies of Silent Hills’ demise.

But that wasn’t Ito’s only brush with the world of video games or Kojima. In 2014, he collaborated with The Pokémon Company on Halloween-themed artwork, combining his love for the macabre with the disturbing lore of ghostly pocket monsters like Gengar and Banette. Ito also provided his likeness to a Death Stranding character known as The Engineer, one of the several sheltered preppers the player must work with throughout the Kojima-directed adventure.

Here’s the part where I address Hideo Kojima directly: Kojima-san, please call Junji Ito to work on your next game. I know Death Stranding was a massive undertaking and you’re probably still sleeping that one off. There’s no rush. But when the time comes to start developing the next Kojima Productions game in earnest, I beg you to collaborate with Ito. He’s more than up to the task and willing to provide his beautiful, scary mind to the video game industry. If you want to freak out and horrify players — and don’t front, I know you do — Ito is your man. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.


  • I would be so keen for this. I’m still waiting to see Ito’s vision successfully realised in anything but his manga, as all the attempts to adapt his work have been mediocre. That said, I’m cautiously optimistic about that Adult Swim production of Uzumaki…

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