The story begins with a young manga-enthusiast, studying in 4th grade, namely Hirohiko Araki. Manga served as an escape for Araki. His identical twin sisters were known to bully him throughout his childhood. The mangaka’s father was an office worker and handed over his collection of manga to Araki. While initially, the mangaka simply read the comic books. However, soon it inspired him to create his first manga in 4th grade!
Ever since then, Araki decided to take the career to become a professional level. After several rejections, his first manga Buso Poker came through, was released in 1981. But due to his misconception of the type of artist he wanted to be, he decided to change his style. Hirohiko Araki drew influence from the Hollywood actors with muscular bodies. He then proceeded to incorporate that style in his first JoJo manga, Phantom Blood.
JoJo begins with a simple idea after viewing a classic Stallone flick; “Who might the strongest person in the world be?”. Thus marked the start of a wild series of bizarre adventures with JoJo, as the visualized strongest person.
So, what exactly is a JoJo?
Traveling back into time for a bit. The year is 1987, and Araki has gained tremendous success with the release of Phantom Blood, the first installment to the JoJo series. The saga of JoJo spans several decades, with the oddest phenomena. Even better, the characters have special abilities that look utterly stunning, even though they don’t make much sense. Simply put, that is what JoJo is all about.
Back to the main question: What is a JoJo? The word JoJo is the nickname of each protagonist in the series. It is derived from the initials of the characters’ actual names. Also, these characters are from the same family — the Joestar bloodline. Take Jonathan for an example: Jo-nathan Jo-estar.
How much reading is there to do?
There is enough content to keep you occupied for the next few weeks, or even months. The storylines of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure comprise of 8 distinct arcs. In chronological order, the collection is:
- Phantom Blood;
- Battle Tendency;
- Stardust Crusaders;
- Diamond is Unbreakable;
- Vento Aureo;
- Stone Ocean ;
- Steel Ball Run;
While the storylines are linked to each other, each arc is diverse and complex enough to consider it a standalone series.
What sets JoJo apart?
JoJo is by far the most stylish and oddly amazing manga/anime you will ever come across. Due to this, there is a lot of JoJo inspired merchandise (https://jjba-store.com/collections/jojos-bizarre-adventure-clothes) as well, tailor-made for the most devoted fans. From their attire and appearance to their color palette and poses, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is something else.
What is the plot about?
It’s about me, Dio!
Jokes aside, Phantom Blood is where it all begins; the century-long rivalry between the Joestars and Dio Brando. Dio, the adopted brother of Jonathan Joestar, is an ambitious yet selfish individual driven by the urge of gaining success at any cost. When Dio’s plan to manslaughter the Joestar family and claim the inheritance is disrupted by Jonathan, he turns his attention towards draconic means of power; Vampirism.
After the transformation, the bizarre adventures of JoJo continue with Dio gaining an unparalleled amount of power. However, to everyone’s surprise, Jonathan gains powers of his own through learning the ancient art of Hamon. While Jonathan manages to defeat his brother, Dio simply ends up living through the ordeal and ending Jonathan’s life, right after his marriage. Yes, he is the epitome of evil.
What happens next?
The next story arc of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is Battle Tendency, which takes place after a few decades of Jonathan and Dio’s dispute. Starring Jonathan’s grandson Joseph who faces off against the Pillar men, warriors from ancient times who have multiple superpowers, with a plot twist. The pillar men were responsible for creating the mask that gave Dio his powers. Furthermore, next in line is Stardust Crusaders and it takes place in 1989.
The main premise of Stardust Crusaders is about Joseph’s grandson Jotaro, and them embarking on the quest to defeating Dio for good. In this storyline, an introduction to a new line of powers and perhaps the most iconic power of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures — Stands, takes place. Set in 1999, after the defeat of Dio, the manga progresses into its next arc: Diamond is Unbreakable. This JoJo arc revolves around Josuke Higashikata, the illegitimate child of Joseph, and his bizarre adventures while his stand powers start to manifest.
Moving on, Vento Aureo is based on the story of Dio’s son, in the pursuit of becoming a mafia leader. Stone Ocean is about Jotaro’s daughter, Jolyne Kujo, and her bizarre adventures after she wakes up in a prison cell. Lastly, Steel Ball Run is an entirely different story in an alternate universe, followed by JoJoLion as its sequel but in a parallel universe.
So what exactly are these Stands?
Stardust Crusaders introduced a new kind of power to the JoJo series. A stand is the manifestation of a character’s spirit. The supernatural powers it brings with it are entirely dependent on the personality of the character. Interestingly, only the characters with Stand powers are capable of seeing other Stands. These supernatural manifestations are formidable weapons, significantly differing in appearance. Some have the looks of a humanoid creature while the rest are inanimate objects or monsters.
What kind of powers do Stands possess?
The best way for explaining the powers they possess would be through an example. Therefore, examining Jotaro and his Stand Star Platinum, his appearance is that of a muscular and bulky humanoid creature. Star Platinum possesses incredible speed and strength, and later on, can even disrupt the flow of time. Josuke’s Stand, Crazy Diamond, also has a human-like appearance but his powers greatly vary from Star Platinum. Crazy Diamond is capable of restoring things to their prior form.
But this is where it gets even wilder. The villain Yoshikage Kira from Josuke’s saga, has the Stand called Killer Queen. The Stand can detonate whatever it touches as well as trap an enemy in an endless time-loop till the person loses their willpower and dies. Awesome, right?!
Not in the mood for reading?
Let’s admit it, we all can get lazy just from the mere thought of reading something. Despite, the exhilarating adventures JoJo entails, people are likely to get bored at some point. Thus, fret not for David Studios has got you covered. So far, the series has been animated till Giorno’s storyline, Vento Aureo. That’s the 5th installment to the JoJo series and widely hailed as one of the best story arcs, if not the best.
Moreover, David Studios has done a remarkable job of animating the JoJo series. Unlike the 90s OVAs, the current studio cleared JoJo off its animation problems. The quality is on par with other highly-grossing anime. The soundscore is also just as bizarre yet catchy and fun to listen to. So what are you waiting for? Get started on the anime right now through on CrunchyRoll!