Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is one of those anime that I hear about a lot, but haven’t seen. The manga was written by Araki Hirohiko and has been adapted into several OVAs and a longer tv anime. We’ll be looking at the longer series from David Production, a studio that has rendered assistance for some anime I’ve seen like Code Geass R2, Soul Eater and Black Butler, but has never been the main force behind any anime I’ve seen. Let’s take a look at Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and try and find out what the fuss is about.
The story begins when a young aristocrat named Jonathan Joestar, aka JoJo, meets another young man named Dio Brando whose going to live with him and his family. Dio is a comically over the top evil character and this leads to him and JoJo coming into conflict. Meanwhile, the Joestar’s have a strange stone mask that Jonathan is trying to find the secret of. The first half of the anime covers Jonathan’s conflict with Dio and the secret of the stone mask. The second half covers an adventure with Jonathan’s grandson, Joseph, also called JoJo, and the origin of the mask. The story in this is pretty weak. A lot of what happens is incredibly predictable and they also explain it through exposition, in a very over the top way, just to make it very obvious.
Then we have our characters. The cast of this is pretty cliche. The female characters kind of get a raw deal, most of them not getting to say or do much. The villains especially tend to be one-dimensional evil for the evils types of characters. To give an example, one of the first things Dio does is kick a puppy for no reason except that kicking a puppy is evil and he’s working on being one of the most unsubtle villains ever because the writer was under the impression that they were writing a silver age super hero comic. Most of the characters are named after rock bands from the 70s and 80s, Dio, ACDC, Wham, Cars, Robert E.O. Speedwagon and so on. It’s not the worst naming scheme I’ve ever seen in an anime, it certainly isn’t on the level of a family named after undergarments, but it is pretty ridiculous. The only character in this I really like is Joseph. He’s kind of a cliche cunning protagonist, but he’s a lot of fun.
The art style in this oozes machismo. The characters are large and heavily muscled, some to the point where they don’t even have human proportions. It’s not as bad as your average 90s superhero comic, but it is pretty noticeable. The action sequences tend to be interrupted pretty frequently by posing and reaction shots because posing while in a fight for your life is the best possible plan. They learned that from super Sentai series.
This series got some really good voice actors like Koyasu Takehito, Sugita Tomokazu, and Tanaka Atsuko. But the acting in this is really over the top and exaggerated. The music is pretty decent.
The yuri factor is a 1/10. There’s no yuri in this.
This anime is actually pretty enjoyable. Far more than it should be. The story is weak, the characters are weak, but the exaggerated execution makes it pretty amusing in the same way that Adam West’s Batman is enjoyable or that Silver Age comics as a whole can be enjoyable. It’s over the top and cheesy and that makes it fun. Honestly, a lot of shows like this end up being over the top and goofy because of incompetence, but I think it’s deliberate here and it’s pretty glorious. I have to give the series a 7/10 just for the exaggerated goofiness that’s so entertaining and Joseph. If you’re looking for a serious series with a compelling story and developed characters, this isn’t going to be for you. But if you want something so skillfully exaggerated and over the top that it’s hilarious, this series is sure to entertain you.