There are a lot of unique things anime does that we find ourselves clamoring for; things it does differently than other forms of media. While some viewers would demand a rather thrilling and philosophical narrative, some prefer the classic friendship and life-lesson based storyline. JoJo caters to both the niches while bringing an element of mindless fun and violence, giving it its uniquity. Though, when looking at the content JoJo offers, one might assume the anime/manga must be a cult classic. But is that truly the case? Let’s have a look.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is widely hailed as one of the most famous and influential manga of all time. With hitting the 30-years of publication milestone in 2017, the storyline for the manga has yet to end. Having sold over 100 million copies to date, claiming JoJo caters to a small number of people is undeniably false. Though, we aren’t here for the manga, right?
Most anime viewers know JoJo for its supposedly ‘first’ anime adaptation in 2012. Although this statement does hold some truth, it is not entirely accurate. In 1993, a studio named A.P.P.P. (Another Push Pin Planning) took the liberty of animating the manga for the very first time. The series was released as an OVA series called JoJo’s Bizzare Adventure, and it fared relatively well. The reviews were good, but not great. The animation got better over the years as more OVA episodes were released, but it lacked the ‘oomph’ to set it different from other anime.
Enter 2012, and a reboot of the anime begins airing, giving JoJo the fame it has today. However, one can’t help but wonder, what makes the anime so good? If you’re on the fence for deciding whether to delve into the series or not, this list of reasons may help you.
Dramatic & Thrilling Plot
The story begins with an introduction to the Joestar family, staring Jonathan Joestar and Dio Brando. Most JoJos get the title from the initials of their names. Furthermore, Dio is the adopted brother of Jonathan, the first JoJo, who comes across a cursed mask that turns Dio into an undying vampire. Thus, beginning the ultimate rivalry and leading premise for the entire storyline of the JoJo lineage.
With Dio having killed his adoptive father, Jonathan sets out on the quest for stopping Dio for good. Although he manages to achieve his goal, the story knocks the viewers’ socks off by bringing Dio back to life, killing off Jonathan, and stealing his body. Crazy, right? Furthermore, each story arc of the anime takes a time leap and introduces the JoJo of that era, tracing their adventures with them. Hence, the reason for the title — JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures.
The cast and plot continue to expand with each arc. After Jonathan, his grandson Joseph Joestar becomes the protagonist. Joseph sets on the quest to defeating prehistoric vampiric creatures known as the Pillar Men and succeeds. Joseph continues to live, but his grandson Jotaro Kujo — the poster character of the series, becomes the new JoJo.
With the introduction of a new power called a Stand, Jotaro, along with his grandfather and friends, leaves on an international trip for finding and killing Dio. Following the end of Dio’s reign, Jotaro comes across the illegitimate son of Joseph, Josuke. Both JoJos set on a new dramatic quest for tracking down a serial killer with Stand powers. Finally, at least for now, the show ventures into the dramatic tale of Giorno Giovanna and a mafia-based story, in Italy. It is an absolute delight to watch writer Hirohiko Araki come up with new ideas for characters and adventures, with a touch of his unique character design.
If anything, the JoJo series is well known for its odd but enticing characters. From comedic, entertaining personalities and interactions to stern life and death situations, the show does not disappoint. Instead of following the generic trend set by most shounen anime, Araki plays his cards differently. Not only the JoJos but the side characters and the amount of development each character gets is astonishing.
Going from Jonathan, a mild-mannered character with a heart of gold, to the delinquent yet badass Jotaro Kujo, JoJo has it all. The fanbase is equally divided on their favorite JoJos, further proving how good the character-writing is. Similarly, one cannot overlook the villains either. After conducting several polls for top favorite JoJo characters, and this may shock you but several made it to the top 10 list! Additionally, Dio Brando ranked above several JoJos as well.
Moreover, the side characters were also quite memorable. With the addition of characters like Speedwagon, Avdol, Polnareff, and more recently — Bruno Bucciatari, these characters are too hard to let go.
Soundtracks and Voice Acting
The entire series of JoJo and his bizarre adventures have provided us with impressive and memorable soundscores. Ranging from the very first opening theme Sono Chi No Sadame, all the way to the 9th opening theme: Traitor’s Requiem. Just the opening theme songs have harbored over 100 million views on platforms like YouTube.
Furthermore, with a vast array of musical genre combinations, the soundscore varies with each JoJo, supplementing their personality traits. Jonathan’s gentle and righteous personality landed him a classical soundtrack, while the likes of Jotaro and his demagogue personality landed him a more rock-themed soundscore.
The recently acclaimed Golden Wind from Giorno’s arc has received praise by fans and non-fans of JoJo alike. Thus, adding more to the splendor of JoJo and how it has attracted millions of non-anime viewers into anime. Additionally, it would be wrong not to praise the spectacular job done by the voice actors. These individuals are responsible for breathing life into these characters, immersing us viewers further into the anime. And undoubtedly, they delivered. Another aspect the anime deserves praise is for the attention to detail the staff put into the sound effects. The 2012 adaptation had brilliant sound effects, and despite that, the production team has only gotten better with each story arc.
Unique Art and Animation Style
Back when the first OVAs were released in 1993, JoJo’s animation was considered on par with bigger competitors like Dragon Ball Z. However, on par does not necessarily mean outstanding. With the release of 2012’s remake, JoJo started full throttle with its now trademark animation style, leaving the fans wanting more.
What made the animation stunning was not the animation quality rather the animation style. David Productions, the studio responsible for animating JoJo, did a remarkable job at adopting the original content. Therefore, the genius of Araki truly emanates from the anime.
The animation comprises of cliché fights with cheesy dialogue, but that’s the beauty of JoJo. It targets the tropes most anime consider redundant, adding a pinch of Araki’s creativity and making it seem unique. From the weakest enemy to the prime antagonist, all fights are full of thrilling and dramatic turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Besides, this is where the excellent character writing also kicks in, diversifying each character’s fighting style and battle tactics. For instance, Joseph and his cunning nature would leave even the wittiest of opponents in shock, predicting their next moves.
Many viewers, including me, were first introduced to the world of anime with classics such as Death Note and Code Geass. Before that, it was the Dragon Ball series as well as other long-running shows like Naruto and Bleach. However, the trends have finally begun to change once again. JoJo has now become one of the few shows’ fans can suggest their friends, to dive into the world of anime. Though JoJo did not receive the same love and praise from its first few arcs, the writer and the production team strived to improve, making JoJo one of the best anime to this day.
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