Until Next Time, JoJo

joseph joestar the invincible

With its 26th episode this week, may we bid a fond farewell to this first series of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. And a bizarre adventure it has certainly been – JoJo’s has been brilliant in how it has utterly refused to be restrained by any ties to reality, while still maintaining its own internal logic – all of the nonsense that the show pulls is a special kind of “JoJo” nonsense that somehow manages to make itself seem sensical. It’s the kind of systematic chaos in which, looking back on things that came seemingly out of nowhere, it slowly becomes clearer that “Oh, of course JoJo’s would do that!” This exaggerated reality is one of the highest high points of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, because in a world were there is nothing that can’t happen, the only limit on the fun is the creator’s own imagination.

It’s that raw, unabashed embrace of the ridiculous that makes JoJo’s such a joy to watch. It makes the show completely unpredictable and brings such a lush variety of themes, settings, and characters bursting into the narrative that it never gets old. There’s always something new waiting right around the bend, whether it’s Nazi Cyborgs, Piranhas on a Plane, Immortal Beings Named After Famous Rock Stars, Vampire Dubstep Squirrels (this seems a good time to mention Battle Tendency’s OUTSTANDING soundtrack), Magical Blood-Sucking Hair, you name it. It’s easy to laugh at the show for being so outlandish, but it’s never a mocking laugh; rather, it’s an entertained one. And for each laugh you have at the JoJo’s, JoJo’s has a laugh right back at you, as it pulls the rug out from under your feet yet again. Whenever you think you’ve seen it all, JoJo’s doubles down on crazy and shows you something you never imagined was possible. It can pull pretty much any trick in the book, no matter how stupid or unbelievable it may seem, and it can make you believe. From the blood-pumping opening theme to the roaring bass of the Roundabout, JoJo’s straps you in for the ride of your life with each and every episode. It’s a show with the bodacity to make you laugh and the poignancy to make you cry; it’s fabulous enough to make you stare and grotesque enough to make you wince; it’s got the triumph to raise you up in cheer and the suspense to steal your breath away; it is, in a word, exhilarating. Bombastic. Fantastic.

Bizarre.

It’s been a pleasure, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. May the day we meet again come soon.

No. Really. I mean it. Stardust Crusaders when?

No. Really. I mean it. Stardust Crusaders when?

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About BokuSatchii

Yoroshiku ne!
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8 Responses to Until Next Time, JoJo

  1. cybustier says:

    Favourite moments of this adaptation: Hearing “Sono Chi no Sadame” for the first time, Koyasu going completely off the wall in Episode 3, the timing on Roundabout as Zepelli walks towards his fate, discovering the existence of Duwang subs (FUCK SHIT CUNTS, I WIL SHOW U MY PUNCHING FIGHT MOVES, IM WISH MY ARM BLOOD DIDNT FREEZE, et al), having an eyegasm over the second opening, Sugita strutting his stuff as the objectively best Jojo, Straights discovering the suprise was grenades as Overdrive kicks in, Wham dropping the Holy Wubstorm, seeing ACDC’s tantrum fully animated, the superb work by David Productions on episode 20 (CEEEEAASEEEEERRRR!!!), Cars playing the intro toi Roundabout with Lisa Lisa’s legs, and Stroheim’s appearance in the epilogue (that shit had me rolling on the floor).

    I’ve been tallying up all the changes they made from the manga source material (because I’m anal and pathetic like that, shut up) and it’s almost exact. All that’s missing is a bit of Dio scheming in early Phantom Blood, no Danny bursting out from the furnace aflame (wonder why they cut THAT?) some scenes between Dio and Jack the Ripper, Erina cold cocking Speedwagon, Jonathan whupping Wang Chung in seconds, some details in the fight between Bruford and Jojo (no mention of the Mountain of 77 Rings!), a few early jokes with Joseph in New York and the bit where he beats up Mexicans for gas money. Oh, and he doesn’t leave a letter saying “Hello Adolph!” with that Nazi Tracker in the desert.

    That’s it. How many adaptations you know that are that faithful to the original manga without being slavish? I love how many of the staff and crew were themselves huge Jojo fans, and personally stoked to participate in this. It definitely shows. Aside from the production staff, the voice actors of Tarkus, Erina, Stroheim, the narrator and even Ceaser were all psyched to be a part of Jojo. And the best is still yet to come! Next year can’t come soon enough.

    • BokuSatchii says:

      for awesome_thing in your_first_paragraph.split(","):
      print awesome_thing + "was FREAKING BRILLIANT."

      Seriously, there were so many absolutely awe-inspiring moments in this series that I could not even begin to list them all.

      What I found especially impressive about the faithfulness to the manga is that, despite having just read each chapter of Battle Tendency within two months of the airdate of the corresponding episode, watching the anime version was still every bit as exciting, even though it was almost a panel-for-panel adaptation. The visual style, the music, and the voices were all so insanely well-done that even with the somewhat limited animation, watching virtually the exact same content the second time felt like a completely novel experience. What I said in my first post about the series still applies: this is an outstanding adaptation. Pretty much the only thing I could have asked of it was a bigger animation budget. With so much of the staff as huge JoJo fans, they really knew what it was that made JoJo so great, and as such they were the perfect people to bring the series to the anime format.

      While I don’t think faithfulness to the source is necessarily the best metric for quality of adaptation (a new take on the manga can be just as good, if not better), it’s hard to argue when the results are something as sublime as JoJo or Monster. This was definitely a case where direct adaptation was the way to go. But wow, was that really all they cut? The anime seemed very streamlined compared to the manga, especially in Part 1.

      I haven’t read any JoJo beyond (now) Battle Tendency, so I have no idea what Part 3 has in store. All I know is that whatever it is, it’s going to be amazing, and I want to watch it, and I can trust David Pro to do it as much justice as it can get.

      • cybustier says:

        Your post on why this is a perfect adaptation made me follow your blog. LOVED it. And you really haven’t read Stardust Crusaders and up? Seriously?! Oh you are in for a treat my friend. Part 3 has some of the best fights in the entire franchise and Part 4 is a contender for the best Part full stop. The only story which comes close to its demented brilliance is Battle Tendency or Steel Ball Run.

        Part 3 is Around the World in 80 Gays starring Clint Eastwood Jojo and his Amazing Friends, and Part 4 is Jojo trying to do a slice-of-life anime. So naturally it involves aliens, serial killers and deadly matches of Rock, Paper, Scissors.

        When you say you haven’t read the manga past Battle Tendency, do you mean to say you know nothing about Stands? Or do you know the basics from stuff like the videogames? Do you know the vague outlines of what happens or not, I guess I’m asking. I’m planning an actual post appreciating Stands by the time Part 3 airs, so I’m wary of spoiling newer fans to later developments.

      • BokuSatchii says:

        Until my season review post, that JoJo post had about 2-3x as many views as any other page on this blog, save for the homepage, so I’m sure you’re not the only one. I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

        I have not read a page of Stardust Crusaders. Everything I know about Part 3 and beyond I know only because I am friends with a couple really big JoJo fans – they’re the ones who got me to read Phantom Blood in the first place. Things I have learned from them:
        -Several of the JoJos’ and other characters’ names, many of them not yet put to faces.
        -Stands are some kind of superpower with a music-based name manifested in the form of a vaguely-humanoid being.
        -Dio’s stand is ZA WARUDO.
        -Part 4 has the best villain.
        -Part 4 has only ever received a Duwang translation (or had for a time, not sure if that’s still the case).
        -Part 5 is very Italian and also the most fabulous.
        -One of the later parts is about a horse race.
        -One of the later parts features a beautiful song about Pizza Mozzarella.
        That’s pretty much all I have a solid grasp on. Depending on what exactly you discuss in your post, I would either read it for a primer or bookmark it for later viewing. Or if I’ve read the manga by then the point would be somewhat moot. I’m apparently pretty immune to certain types of spoilers, because one of my friends showed me their Robo-Stroheim figure and it was somehow still an absolute shock for me when he came back in the manga.

        If I was more of a manga-reader and/or more of the series were available in-print in English (though I hear that, while part 3 got translated, it went through some not-insignificant editing?), I’d no doubt be leagues further than I am right now, because JoJos has done nothing but amaze me time and time again.

      • cybustier says:

        So you’re still pretty unspoiled? EXCELLENT. I was planning for my post to discuss some of my favourite Stand battles, and asking other readers to share theirs. I’ll be spoiler tagging those, the rest of the post should be fine for you to peruse.

        Part 4 is in the middle of a proper english translation by these wonderful guys: http://donebetterelsewhere.blogspot.co.uk/ They’re almost finished rescanning the whole of Part 4, just a handful of volumes left. Check out their stuff when you do get that far, they’ve done a great job De-uwanging Josuke’s story.

        And yes, Yoshikage Kira is best villain.

        If you’re a buying manga kind of guy, for the love of God buy Viz’s translation of Part 3. They skipped the first two parts, but editor Jason Thompson is a HUGE Jojo fan. He campaigned at Viz for years to publish the story in English, and when they agreed he went flat out. It’s the best translation Viz has ever done, full of personality, wit and humor. And it is completely faithful to the original. Even the musical name changes to avoid lawsuits were inspired (Oingo and Boingo became Zenyatta and Mondatta). I even did an Amazon review for the final book some years ago: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jojos-Bizarre-Adventure-Vol-16/product-reviews/1421530848/ref=sr_1_1_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

        They only censorship done was on some animal violence in the early volumes. Araki redrew those panels himself, so I think he was on board with their changes. Otherwise, its completely uncut. Araki’s hand drawn sound effects are left in there untouched, and it looks damn fine. The only unecessary change was changing Joseph’s hand drawn exclaimations of “HOLY SHIT!” to some inoffensive punctuation swearing. Seems odd they’d censor that and not a guy getting impaled on a telephone pole, but there you go.

        As far as other Araki works in English, buy “Rohan at the Lourve”. It’s a stand alone story featuring a side character from Part 4, so you can read it and not be spoiled on later plot developments. Nice little story, and it’s in full color too! Fab book.

        Have you seen “Baoh”, manga or OVA by the by? Its VERY early Araki, before even Phantom Blood (and it shows), but its entertaining enough. Full of weird little proto-Jojo touches that make for an entertaining read, and the title character himself inspired Cars’ forearm blades. The anime’s up on Youtube and the manga’s been out of print for a while, but it’s still cheap on Amazon.

        My advice: buy the translation of Part 3 and read it in parallel with David Production’s adaptation next year. If you can be patient enough to endure the wait, you’ll be rewarded ten times over. It’s torture I know, and if you can stand the pressure you’ll be far stronger and better man than I.

      • BokuSatchii says:

        I would be all over buying the manga… except that it seems to be out of print and thus certain volumes (2-6, it looks like) are no longer available anywhere at a reasonable price. Actually, looking closer, it seems like Rightstuf just now ran out of them today. Clearly everyone else took your recommendation and got to them before me. I’ll see what I can do to track those volumes down before I try for any of the others. This happened to me with G Gundam as well, and I managed to secure that in the end, but I’ll have to wait and see.

        I have heard of, but not seen/read Baoh.

        Between Pluto, Gundam The Origin, and Aku no Hana, I might (hopefully) have enough to read to tide me over until JoJos comes out, given my infrequent manga-reading. I may just be able to pull through. Though honestly, even if I do start reading it before the series comes out, I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to finish before it ends, seeing as how it’s longer than the first two parts combined.

  2. joshspeagle says:

    I gotta say Avalon off the OST is now one of my favorite tracks. So epic.

    • BokuSatchii says:

      I still have yet to listen to the OST by itself outside the show proper. Apparently like half the music on it didn’t even make it into the show; I am expecting heaping spoonfuls of greatness.

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