All anime and manga fans acknowledge the genius of Hirohiko Araki and his JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure series. The mere fact that the manga has amassed over 30 years of story arcs and content can intimidate many people. Emphasizing on story arcs, the series shares the tales of not one or two main characters, but several of them. So far, eight JoJos have been seen alongside their storylines, with more to come in the future. The average person may assume they would feel lost when beginning the series. However, that is far from the truth.
JoJo is the nickname given to each protagonist of the respective story arc. The origin of the name itself comes from the initials of their allotted names. A good example is Joseph Joestar. While it may seem the writer tends to deviate from the name trend, he still makes it possible to canonically authenticate the story. Moreover, all characters in the series have their unique powers and skills. The diversity JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure offers is impressive, but this is often mistaken as bad-writing as well. Therefore, today we will help you get accustomed to the JoJos and their lineage.
Yes, we know. George was never a JoJo, nor did he have any Bizarre Adventures. Despite that, George is the person who sets the cogs in motion for the series. In the late 1800s, George and his family are en route to a specific destination. However, a carriage accident cuts their trip short, with George losing his beloved wife to the unforeseeable incident. Consequently, Dario Brando — a local bandit, attempts to loot the disaster-ridden family. Though due to the misconception of the events, George comes to believe that Dario is, in fact, their savior.
George assures Dario that night that he owes him an immense debt. Little did George know the consequences that were to follow after that night. Several years later, a dying Dario demands George to pay the debt by taking in his son, Dio Brando. Like father like son, Dio enters the household with malicious intent, the sole desire to take over the entire Joestar Estate. Treating Jonathan, the son of George, extremely pugnaciously, Dio sets his plan in motion.
As time flies by, the young kids grow into adults. It is now when Dio approaches the final steps for his scheme. He plans several attempts at murdering his adoptive father, only to fail in the end. With his failures piling up, Dio resorts to supernatural means of gaining the power he desires. He comes across an ancient mask that grants vampiric powers to the wearer. Having become a living, breathing, a freak of nature — a vampire, the bizarre adventures begin to unfold. George’s death calls upon him when he tries to save his son, Jonathan, ultimately getting killed in the outcome.
Jonathan is the first JoJo of the series. Starring in Phantom Blood, Jonathon is an upright gentleman till the day his father passes away and his adopted brother becomes a vampire. These events ultimately change his life, leading him into a set of Bizarre Adventures to put a stop to Dio’s evil. While the only support Jonathan has initially is that of Robert Speedwagon, a random thug, and his sidekick. However, they come across an individual called Will Zeppeli, who possesses the mastery of the ancient art of combat known as Hamon. The power refers to a technique that enables the user to perform numerous feats by regulating their breathing.
Having mastered the new technique, Jonathan treads forward to finding and defeating Dio. His bizarre adventure concludes with a fight to the death against Dio, where Jonathan triumphs. Although JoJo seemingly killed him, Dio somehow survives because of his immortality. In the belief of everything being normal now, JoJo marries the love of his life, Erina, leaving on their honeymoon. However, the joyous cruise turns into a bloodbath as Dio emerges again from nowhere and kills Jonathan, stealing his body and making it his own. Jonathan’s sacrificial act allows the pregnant Erina to escape with the child in her womb.
George Joestar II
The child of Jonathan and Erina, George is a reputable pilot in the British Air force. Similar to being named after his grandfather, he is not a JoJo. George eventually grew up to marry Elizabeth, later to be referred to as Lisa Lisa. Elizabeth was among the few people saved by Erina from the incident that transpired on the ship. Later, the married couple gives birth to a child, who goes to become the next JoJo.
Moreover, George ends up living a rather short life. During one of his confrontations with his superior officer, an agent of Dio in disguise, he dies helplessly. Elizabeth ends up avenging her late husband by killing the vampiric zombie with her Hamon proficiency.
Among the more iconic JoJos of the series, Joseph makes his debut in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency, the second entry to the series. He also serves as a mentor and supporting character for the JoJo of Stardust Crusaders, with a cameo in Diamond is Unbreakable. With neither his parents by his side, Joseph’s grandmother, Erina, decides to raise him as well. Robert Speedwagon becomes a wealthy individual by then, having made a fortune from selling oil. Joseph is a fresh change from the mainstream and upright protagonist stereotype.
Similar to his forefather, Joseph is exceptionally skilled with Hamon. However, what truly sets him apart from other JoJos, is his comedic personality and witty fighting style. While Joseph does not go straight up against Dio, he faces a more formidable foe — the Pillar Men. The Pillar Men are ancient humanoid creatures who were the creators of the vampiric mask that gave Dio his powers. Joseph’s Bizarre Adventure commences with his friend Smokey, and his rival Caesar Zeppeli — grandson of the world-renown Will Zeppeli. Although Pillar Men are the enemy he faces, a dramatic turn leads Joseph into being tutored by Lisa Lisa, the mother of Joseph.
The poster character of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures, Jotaro Kujo is the acting protagonist of JoJo’s Stardust Crusaders story arc. His storyline begins with him being held in prison on his own accord. Unwilling to leave his cell, his mother Holy requests her father Joseph Joestar, to help her son out of jail. Jotaro claims to be possessed by a supernatural power, causing harm to innocent people. It is then that Joseph explains to Jotaro that this evil spirit is a power inherited due to his Joestar blood. Furthermore, this newly introduced power goes on to be known as Stands.
People across the globe attained the ability to manifest stands. These manifestations of limitless power are unique to each character’s personality. Jotaro’s Stand, Star Platinum, is the culmination of unparalleled speed, strength, and immaculate accuracy. Dio’s Stand, The World, is similar to Jotaro’s except for one trait: The World can stop time. However, with time and practice, Star Platinum also becomes capable of stopping manipulating the flow of time. Nevertheless, with Holy in her deathbed, Jotaro, and his grandfather, Joseph, embark on the quest to find Dio and end his tyranny once and for all. Thus, begin the bizarre adventures of JoJo, traveling from Japan to Egypt, forming and losing friends along the way. Moreover, the rivalry between Jotaro and Dio garnered the attention of the series. Franchises all around the world offer merchandise from JoJo phone cases to JoJo printed clothing. Hence, giving shape to what the JoJo series represents today.
Following the demise of Dio, JoJo unfolds a new chapter into its series, known as Diamond is Unbreakable. Starring Josuke Higashikata, the illegitimate son of Joseph Joestar.Taking place in 1999, Jotaro Kujo travels to the town of Morioh, in the hopes of meeting Josuke. Due to his ties with the Joestar bloodline, Josuke can manifest his Stand as well. His Stand — Crazy Diamond, has the ability to restore objects and living beings to their former state.
With certain reports of paranormal activities, Josuke and his friends conduct their bizarre adventures in the town of Morioh. The adventures may seem small on a scale but rest assured, they do not lack the thrill JoJo offers. Moreover, dealing with the upsurge of Stand-users, the villain of the arc makes his appearance. Yoshikage Kira is an extremely treacherous serial killer, with a Stand that puts even the likes of Star Platinum to shame. Thus, partnering up with Jotaro and others, Josuke proceeds to stop criminal masterminds, especially Yoshikage Kira.
The recently animated and completed JoJo adaptation, Vento Aureo, has the son of Dio Brando play as the main character. While his name may seem more of GioGio rather than JoJo, he is, in fact, a JoJo sharing the same Joestar family. The proof provided by the series is that Giorno was conceived with Jonathan’s body, making him part of the Joestars. Giorno’s Stand is Golden Experience, which later evolves into Golden Experience Requiem. Nevertheless, his Stand is capable of manipulating life itself.
Unlike the former JoJos, Giorno bolsters a muscular, yet slender build. Despite the lack of huge muscles, Giorno resembles the Joestars and his late father, Dio. Vento Aureo is a mix of all the great things Stardust Crusaders and Diamond is Unbreakable offer. The story begins in Italy, where Giorno gets into a gang named Passione. The goal of Giorno is simple; become a reputable gang leader, to improve the life of people in Naples, Italy. Therefore, Giorno begins his quest and attempts to climb up the ladder of Passione gradually. Fending off against powerful Stand-using foes, Giorno indeed gains the title of Mob Boss by the end of the arc.
The daughter of the famed Jotaro Kujo, Jolyne is the protagonist for the 6th JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure story arc — Stone Ocean. The only female JoJo in the franchise, Jolyne’s Stand is Stone Free. It grants the ability to loosen herself into a string. The story of Jolyne begins with her waking up in a prison cell. Oddly enough, Jolyne is falsely-accused of murdering someone. However, having discovered the true culprit, Jotaro meets Jolyne and tells her about the actual murderer. The crime was committed by none other than the subordinate of Dio, Enrico Pucci, who is also the acting Prison Chaplain. What is the reason for framing her? Simple. To end her life and strip Jotaro of his powers and memories.
Therefore, with the task of protecting her father and her friend Emporio, Jolyne is required to sacrifice herself. As expected of JoJo, the adventures will always remain bizarre as the clash between Emporio and Pucci results in the change of the universe’s timeline. It results in a new strand of time, where Emporio finds the Jolyne of that multiverse, continuing his life henceforth.
The alternate universe and the Joestars
Following the reboot of the entire universe, the Bizarre Adventures of JoJo come to an end. Or, do they? After the end of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean, Araki proceeds to take JoJo to its 7th and 8th story arcs. These arcs serve as a reboot of the entire series, with the same characters yet different personalities and stories. Steel Ball Run is the first arc with the new timeline. It revolves around the character based on Jonathan, namely Johnny Joestar. Similar to Phantom Blood, Johnny comes across a peculiar mentor who tutors him on supernatural powers called the Spin. The context is just like Hamon except the technique is entirely different.
Furthermore, the eighth installation to the series of JoJo is JoJolion. It continues after the events of Johnny Joestar and is based on the adventures of the doppelganger of Josuke. While the story arc continues to air, it still provides the same degree of exhilarating drama and action JoJo is known for.
Undoubtedly, no one can figure out what Araki has in store for us next. However, given the success of the series, as well as the dramatic and thrilling narrative, the fans of JoJo are always at the edge of their seats. Hirohiko Araki’s unique approach for his story-telling, action, and fashion sense, has diversified the anime fans all across the globe. With more storylines and anime adaptations to come, the future seems quite bright for all JoJo and anime/manga fans alike.