‘Junji Ito Maniac’ Episode 6: Mold And Library Vision – Recap And Ending, Explained

Junji Ito deals with themes of schizophrenia, childhood trauma, and genetic and mental illness in the same episode, where another story is about a disease that turns everything into mold. His ability to create horror stories using ideas from both ends of the spectrum throws light on his immensely broad range of creativity. Episode 6 in Netflix’s “Japanese Tales of the Macabre” deals with two stories with distinctly different color pallets and stories. While the first one makes you disgusted and queasy, the second story evokes a feeling of sadness because of the situation that the character goes through. The first part is about an unknown disease that spreads its sickness throughout the walls of a house, while the second story, which is set in what could be any bibliophile’s dream destination because of all the books, narrates the painful story of a young man losing his mind.

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Spoilers Ahead


What Happens In ‘Mold’? 

A man enters his house while complaining that he was excited to finally start living in his home after returning to the country, but now he feels disgusted because another family is living in his house meanwhile. Apparently, the family belonged to the man’s middle-school teacher, and he wasn’t interested in the slightest in letting that man’s family anywhere near his brand-new house. The first thing he noticed after entering his house was the putrid smell. He hurried towards the dining room to find it in a mess, with plates clattered everywhere, food lying astray, garbage bags littered in the kitchen, everything inside the fridge had gone to waste, and serious mold on the walls. It’s even worse in the bathroom, as he notices mold inside the bathtub right after throwing up from all the rancid smell. Just then, he hears his younger brother calling him, so the owner, Akasaka, goes over to find his brother standing beyond the doorstep, but he doesn’t agree to step inside. Seiji, the brother, tries apologizing for the mess, but Akasaka is furious and demands to know if the teacher did this out of spite because he didn’t want to lease the house to his creepy family. However, Seiji says it’s on him that the house is reeking of mold but doesn’t explain much and leaves to look for Akasaka’s dog. While scrubbing the rooms, he thinks back to the day when his brother called him to say that Rogi, the teacher, would be dropping by to discuss leasing the house to him. Akasaka finds it strange that the teacher he always disliked magically knew about him leaving the country, and his brother agreed to bring the weird teacher’s family over before he even agreed to lease the house.

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The family shows up, and Akasaka has to seat them, ignoring the warning barks of his dog. The man, his wife, their daughter, and the baby on the mother’s arm give off a very abnormal vibe, and Rogi begs the owner to lease the house to him as his daughter starts throwing a tantrum about the house. Seiji seems very dedicated about helping Rogi’s family in every way possible and requests Akasaka to lease the house out. The baby starts crying, but the mother hides it from sight, although a black silhouette can be seen from inside the wraps. His brother’s request, the crying of the baby, and the eerie teacher’s repeated pleading, mixed with the dog’s incessant barking, make it difficult for Akasaka to refuse. He wakes up to find the walls becoming gross and bumpy and the mold spreading rather rapidly. Akasaka freaks out and demands Seiji tell him where Rogi’s family is immediately. Seiji, still not entering, says that he has no idea where Rogi is and that he left without alerting anyone.

Moreover, the place where his house was to be built is empty, and it’s just a barren land right now. By now, mold has spread everywhere, from the windows to the furniture, and the walls are inches deep with the substance. Akasaka calls Seiji to show what an inhabitable moldy hellhole the new house has become, and he informs his brother that the bathroom is unusable because the dampness makes the mold grow, and for some unknown reason, it’s worse on the second floor. Mold has almost blocked the second-floor passage. Akasaka tries pulling Seiji inside, but the moment he puts one foot inside and mold starts flying, he screams and falls back. He reveals that the mold is too similar to the baby. Seiji had seen the baby crawling on the floor with its skin crumbling like paper and a similar thing on its elder sister, and he thought the mold infected the baby and the girl. He then advises Akasaka to pack his things and come live with him and then hurries back.

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The mold has turned into roots by now that wind and unwind around the house, and walking has become impossible in some parts of the house. Walking anywhere causes squelching noises. Touching a swollen mold bursts it, and black liquid pours out. Akasaka itches his face with that liquid on his face, scratching his cheeks. He walks inside a room to see the mold being the strongest near the moldy bodies of Rogi, his wife, and the elder daughter. Akasaka is scratching his cheek as his skin starts resembling the same texture that Seiji had seen on the baby and the daughter as tendrils start growing out of his legs.


What Happens In ‘Library Vision’? 

A wide-eyed child stares at a freakishly tall monster in a room full of books. In the present day, the child has grown up and lives in a massive mansion, and his wife, Koko, asks him what he’s reading. Goro, the man, looks away. Later, Goro is losing his mind because he’s looking for a romance novel named “Renee of the Winter Wind,” a book his mother loved but that he can’t find in his church-ceiling-high racks of bookcases. Koko smiles and says that she’s reading the book; Goro barks at her and chides her for taking the book without asking for his permission. Apparently, he has a duty to protect the books.

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At night, Goro notes the details of his day, a practice that he has continued daily ever since he was four years old. He has trouble sleeping and wakes up with a jolt after having a nightmare where each of his books is disappearing. He immediately has to get up and ensure his books are in place and is shocked to find “Renee of the Winter Wind” is missing. He also finds that “Hell of Thorns,” his father’s most beloved book, is also nowhere to be found. Apparently, it’s the most terrifying book to ever exist. In the morning, Goro is passed out in the library from the pain of losing the books. Koko brings Goro’s diaries to his desk and pensively opens to a page where the child Goro had written that his mother has left with someone else, and immediately the phantoms of the child Goro calling for his mother and a woman walking away play in front of Koko. Goro’s father screams that his books are escaping.

The bell rings, and Goro opens the door to find a paper-white woman standing outside with black holes in her eyes. He tells Koko that Renee of the Winter Wind has come back, and he points at a leaf that has blown in. He’s seen shaking in fear, and when asked, Goro says that the “Hell of Thorns” monster came back and read the book in a disgusting voice. Goro is seen standing in front of the same monster from his childhood, with a lot more books around him now. At night, Goro sees with dilated eyes as the monster is crawling inside. Koko wakes up to hear Goro reciting the book, and while narrating the part about a disturbing surgery done in 1955, marks seem to appear on Goro’s body out of nowhere. His screams have become a daily event now, and after failing to find the book about Renee, he decides to memorize every book in his house.

Koko emotionlessly asks Goro to stop what he’s doing, but the insane bibliophile is too busy memorizing every book he has, to the point that his own memories are being overwritten by the massive amount of information that’s being cramped inside his brain. Having finished reading all the books, Goro is reciting lines from the book of Renee when Koko’s voice can be heard out of sight. He turns and sees the lantern fall, and fire breaks out inside the wooden library littered with books while Goro, fully insane, sits amidst the burning fire. Inside a mental institution, Goro’s father, resembling the monster, jumps out of the building, leaving behind a third book titled “Koko’s Maple Leaves.” A flashback shows the child Goro happily smiling at a woman while the two stand in front of a lake.


‘Junji Ito Maniac’ Episode 6: Ending Explained

Ito’s style of short stories is such that any two of his stories are completely different in their theme, approach, and treatment. The first story is about a house where an infection starts spreading mold everywhere after the strange family of Akasaka’s teacher moves in. The gray color palette sets the tone that the story is grim and depressing, as if to symbolize that the mold has covered every color in Akasaka’s life. It’s obvious that Seiji, his brother, knew something was wrong with the family ever since they started living there, which is why he never stepped foot inside the house. It’s strange as to why Akasaka continued living in that moldy nightmare, but it’s possible that the love for the house was too strong for him to leave. In all probability, the disease came from the baby, and it spread to the rest of the family and the house because Rogi, his wife, and the daughter’s body were seen, but the baby was nowhere to be found. It’s possible that the baby is the source of the mold, and it kept growing with time until the entire house was covered in the substance. Probably setting the whole place on fire would be the only way to destroy the mold monster.

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The second story is about mental illnesses and how parents’ actions can impact children. As a child, Goro had two distinct memories of his parents. He dearly loved his mother, who left with another person—an event that deeply affected the child. Her favorite book was “Renee of the Winter Wind,” and Goro came to associate it with his mother. Goro’s father, the previous owner of the library, couldn’t deal with the reality of his wife leaving, so he narrated the terrifying “Hell of Thorns” to the child. In his mind, his parents were represented by the two books, and seeing the paper-white woman meant peace for him while seeing the monster caused panic. This was a case of childhood trauma that twisted the child’s mind, making him see things that weren’t there. Koko, his wife, knew that Goro was going mad, like his father before him. He, too, had tried memorizing every book in his library because he didn’t want the books to escape. Goro is finally able to memorize every book but loses his mind in the process. The falling lanterns set fire to the accursed library, killing Goro in the process. The old man seen in the mental hospital is Goro’s father, who leaves behind another book about Koko. It’s highly possible that Koko didn’t exist, and Goro, a schizophrenic, had imagined seeing the woman all along. It’s sad how his father’s madness affected Goro so much that he created monsters and fairies in his mind, and only with his death did the curse break.


Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh has a master's degree in English literature from Calcutta University and a passion for all things in cinema. He loves writing about the finer aspects of cinema, although he is also an equally big fan of webseries and anime. In his free time, Indrayudh loves playing video games and reading classic novels.

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