Sunday, October 16, 2022

SpongeBob Gets A Spooky Junji Ito Crossover

For over 20 years, Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants has been a major animated icon, and while Bikini Bottom has had some Halloween specials in the past, the Krusty Krab fry cook has just experienced one of his strangest crossovers to date thanks to the show's official Twitter account. With Junji Ito remaining a major horror artist in the manga medium, and two upcoming anime adaptations already confirmed, everyone's favorite sponge has received a makeover that makes him look far scarier than any time we've seen him in the past.

SpongeBob SquarePants first hit the scene in 1999, slowly rising in popularity to become one of the biggest properties in Nickelodeon's history. With hundreds of episodes and a handful of feature-length films and spin-offs under its belt, the story of SpongeBob SquarePants has continued for decades, introducing us to the undersea denizens of Bikini Bottom such as SpongeBob, Patrick, Mr. Krabs, Sandy, Squidward, and countless others. Over the years, fans online have taken the opportunity to imagine what the fry cook might have looked like if he emerged from Japan rather than North America, and last year Nickelodeon released a short animated film that reimagined SpongeBob as a Chibi Anime.

The Official SpongeBob SquarePants Twitter Account shared a disturbing new visual for SpongeBob, merging the sponge with the grotesque imagery of Junji Ito that first emerged from Uzumaki, the story that saw a town that was obsessed with spirals and found themselves cursed in countless terrifying ways:

Junji Ito has spent decades creating unique manga and is showing no signs of stopping any time soon, with two upcoming anime adaptations set to arrive via Adult Swim and Netflix. Junji Ito's Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre will be an anthology series arriving on the streaming service, including stories such as The Hanging Balloons, Where The Sandman Dwells, Tomie, and many others. Toonami's Uzumaki has been touted by anime fans as looking the closest to Ito's artwork though the series has been delayed indefinitely thanks in part to the COVID pandemic. 

What do you think of this spookily surreal crossover? Let me know on Twitter @DailyNickNews!

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