Can you believe that JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure first aired in 2012? WHAT. Man has time flied, I remember when it first started airing and the hype around it at the time. Today, let’s take a stroll through what was one of the most popular Anime at the time, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures’ 26 episodes are split into two arcs, Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency. Phantom Blood tells the story of Jonathan Joestar, better known as JoJo, heir to the wealthy Joestar family fortune, and his fated encounter with Dio Brando, the son of a lowly con man, and how one ancient stone mask forever changed the fates of not only JoJo and Dio but those who would eventually follow in their footsteps. Battle Tendency follows the life of Joseph Joestar, Jonathan’s grandson and also known as JoJo, and how his grandfather’s legacy ultimately involves him in a struggle to save the world from certain doom. Through larger than life battles, passionate characters, and, for lack of a more appropriate word, bizarre situations, JoJo’s unique definition of the word “epic” certainly makes this show entertaining and addicting to watch.
Even in the face of insane and unconventional battle scenes along with plot that was so over the top that it could have been considered silly, the aspect of JoJo that stood out the most, that was the most memorable, and that was the show’s strongest selling point was its cast of characters, heroes and villains alike. Each important character has a unique personality along with their own strengths and weaknesses, and they all give you a good reason to either cheer for them or to absolutely hate their guts. You would be hard pressed to find another cast of characters that drew you to them quite like JoJo’s cast of characters.
Jonathan Joestar epitomizes the image of a true hero. He fights for the honour of his family, radiates an aura of kindness and gentleness, and protects those who are powerless. While mild-mannered, he fights with the tenacity of a true warrior, and never gives up as long as he draws breath. His grandson, Joseph Joestar, while not as good-willed and honest as his grandfather, still shows genuine empathy towards his loved ones and respect towards his enemies. A fighter who relies more on his quick wits and brilliant battle strategy creating abilities rather than overwhelming his opponents through feats of strength; he utilizes the weaknesses of his adversaries and manipulates them to his advantage.
It is rare these days to find a villain that truly embraces the meaning of evil, and one such villain that pulls it off excellently is Dio Brando. A man who will kill your dog because you angered him, steal the first kiss of the girl you’re in love with, and simply physically beat you up from time to time can’t be described with any other word other than evil. Treating the family that took him in after he is left penniless and alone in the world as a stepping stone to wealth and power, and taking every opportunity to trample upon JoJo’s kindness and goodwill, he makes one believe that some people are simply born bad.
A good villain should make your blood boil, send chills down your spine, or give you a sense of odd respect every time you see him, and Dio Brando is precisely the kind of man who will evoke all of the said reactions at the same time. The Pillar Men are the kind of villains that don’t seem like evil incarnate, but their lack of empathy and desire to attain absolute power make them fine antagonists in their own right. I will refrain from describing them in greater detail due to spoilers, but they themselves will tell you exactly what kind of personalities they have; you can be sure of that.
Watching JoJo was like reading an antique comic book from the turn of the century, both in art style and literal sense. The end of each episode made me immediately load the next episode, akin to eagerly turning the page of an action comic book to see what comes next. The age-old sound effects of BAM!, or POW!, or ORAORAORA! (okay maybe not that last one), make the battle scenes much more entertaining, and I found my eyes glued to the screen for the whole 25 minutes of each episode. The story is fairly well written and fluid, and they take the time to explain any inconsistencies when they arise. While the action or story can become a bit overwhelming to the point where it seems silly, or ridiculous, or unnecessary, that is simply part of the experience of watching JoJo. When you take a show for what it is, you are then able to appreciate it more; JoJo is no different.
The art seems to be, as stated before, straight out of a vintage comic book. Bold lines, action sounds, and muscular men make up 90% of JoJo’s art, with the occasional beautiful woman. The animation is quite graphic and is not for the faint of heart. There are bloody battle scenes, grotesque zombies and vampires, along with a whole plethora of other strange and insane scenes. The soundtrack is another one of JoJo’s strong points. The OP for both arcs are catchy and will stay with you for a while; the ED is “Roundabout” from an English progressive band called Yes, and suits the show very well (there are many allusions to famous music bands and icons throughout the show).
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures is not a show for everyone. If you’re the more logical or rational type who dislikes anything over the top and/or unnecessary/pointless, JoJo won’t be your cup of tea. However, it is definitely a show worth checking out if you enjoy action, passion, and, of course, the age-old fight between heroes trying to save the world and villains who are trying to either destroy or rule it.
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