Junji Ito Wiki
Circus (story).jpg

The Circus is Here is a short story by Junji Ito. It is the first chapter of volume 13 of the Horror World of Junji Ito Collection, also titled The Circus is Here.


Yoshiyuki goes to see the Papyrus Circus with his friends. They appear to have been lured there by a mysterious girl they had seen hanging around the park, who would never speak to anyone and isn't from around town. They discover that she is Leiliya, the tightrope-walker at the circus.

During the show, all the performers are somehow killed during their act. The audience watches in horror but isn't able to leave. The final event of the performance is Leiliya, along with Mario the trapeze artist. Leiliya screams at Mario to get out. She says that the ringmaster is a shinigami (god of death) who uses the performance to reap human souls. He lures people as performers with the promise that they can marry Leiliya if they survive the act. Mario is confident of his chances, but falls to his death. The ringmaster turns to the audience, promising them a shot at marrying Leiliya if they will join his troupe and help them rebuild the circus.

Yoshiyuki's sister, who had arrived too late to witness the performance, runs home crying to their mother that he got onto the circus bus and she doesn't know where he is.