Why You Should Watch JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

Screenshot: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. David Production

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is one the most outrageous and joyous series I have ever watched. You owe it to yourself to experience it.

Describing what JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is about is much harder than describing its pedigree.

It’s one of the most famous and influential mangas ever, which was finally adapted into an anime in 2012, and will soon enter its fifth season.

Many of the character concepts, images and ideas — such as “Stands”, a physical manifestation of a psychic power — have become frequently-used tropes in other anime, manga and even games.

The seminal manga group CLAMP began their careers making fan comics based on JoJo characters, and the Persona series in particular owes a lot JoJo’s, as the titular personas are just Stands by another name.

Hirohiko Araki, JoJo’s writer and artist, is so renowned that his work has been shown at the Louvre.

That last fact alone was enough for me to give the show a try, but I had no idea what I was actually in for.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is the story of the Joestar family, starting with Jonathan, a mild-mannered Englishman who strikes up a rivalry with Dio Brando, his adopted brother. Because of a cursed mask, Dio becomes a powerful vampire, and Jonathan swears to stop him.

After learning a fighting move called the “Ripple”, which allows Jonathan to kill vampires by punching the sun into them, he goes on a quest to defeat Dio for good.

How does this already weird concept get weirder, you ask? Well, you’re in for a ride.

Each arc of the manga and anime follows the life of another member of the Joestar family, tracing their adventures through the generations. After Jonathan comes his grandson Joseph, who must defeat the vampiric Pillar Men, and then his grandson Jotaro Kujo, who develops a Stand and goes on an international trip to finally kill Dio.

Each of the eight arcs of the series takes a new Joestar descendent on a dramatic new quest, each one exploring a new and more inventive setting and genre of storytelling.

After globetrotting with Jotaro, we join Joseph’s illegitimate son Josuke in the small town of Morioh and track down a Stand-using serial killer. Next comes Giorno Giovanna’s mafia story in Italy, then Jolyne Cujoh’s jailbreak, then a deadly horse race set in an alternate universe, and most recently, the Pygmalion tale of another Josuke, who also has bifurcated pupils and two sets of balls.

Each time you meet a new JoJo and settle in for their new story it is a delight to see creator Araki find new heights of drama, new ideas for psychic powers, and new fashion boundaries to push with his outlandish designs, my favourite of which is Jotaro’s hat that is also his hair.

Seriously, his hat just becomes his hair somehow? (Screenshot: JoJo’s Bizarre AdventureDavid Production)

When you watch JoJo’s, you’re never going to be bored, which is a true delight. As you spend time with the current protagonist’s group of friends and allies, seeing them learn to work together, trust each other, and learn how to use their offbeat powers in creative ways, even the more out-there villain plots seem intimate and understandable.

The idea of a serial killer with psychic powers in a sleepy town who murders women for their hands is, on its face, completely bonkers. In terms of things that happen in the JoJo’s universe, it’s just another day.

This doesn’t even touch of the beauty of Araki’s art and his references to high fashion, or his obsession with American pop music, which he names many characters and Stands after — my favourite being the character of Robert E. O. Speedwagon.

There are small touches that amuse me about JoJo’s, such as Araki’s very obvious obsession with Italian culture that he shoehorns in more and more as the series goes on, or the more fantastical individual episodes like the one where Josuke punches a plate of pasta into its component parts.

On the whole, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is an invitation into a melodramatic, technicolor world, and you should give yourself the gift of seeing it for yourself.


Comments

    I thought the first season was good as an introduction (a bit more of a serious than the later seasons with an element of horror), the second season was probably the best because of the added comedy element (in prime Joseph Joestar being the best of the JoJo's imo), Season 3 fell a bit flat after season 2 and took a while to get good, similar with season 4 which was on track to be last ranked until the introduction of the main antagonist (probably one of the best antagonists in anime, and with a lot more layers than 1 dimensional Dio).

    I've seen season 1 and 2, but for some reason when it comes to Stardust and beyond, I just can't watch it.

    Friends have been recommended this show, but the lack of main female protagonists (why can't one of the Jojos be a woman?) and the show seems like it's a testosterone filled male power fantasy, are what turns me off this anime.

      The adaptation is a little far away but Part 6 has has Jolyne Cujoh as the protagonist.

      Yes, the early parts are super influenced by 80s mega action blockbusters hence the very muscled men in ridiculous poses. But the designs start to become more nuanced part 4 onwards.

      One prevailing theme though is that wits will trump brute force almost every time, and it definitely gets more entertaining as you go through the parts.

      Also not mentioned in the article is that Jojo's started in 1987 and is still ongoing today, so it's literally a snapshot of the pop culture of the times they came out.

    Ehh. I've heard a lot of good things about it but couldn't make it past half of season 2.

    i read all of the Manga when the Giovanni arc was the last at the time. im gald i stopped there as it was a real struggle to get through. i feel like the story got worse and the powers go stupider with each new generation for the joestar family.
    Jonathn and Joseph were easily the best story arcs for me. definitely weird.

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