JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (1st season)

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This is one of the titles that I have seen countless times in memes, anime portals, Youtube videos, and anime community overall, it’s the second most popular manga in Japan, I read about that even a designer brand like Gucci collaborated with it! And that put a seed of curiosity in myself, so I watched the first anime season of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and after doing some further research on this, I think I learned why it became so big and influential.

The 1st anime season of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure(Jap. JoJo no Kimyo na Boken) holds two arcs in itself: Phantom Blood and Battles tendencies, and we obviously start with the first one, Phantom Blood it’s set in valedictorian Britain  where we follow our main protagonist Jonathan Joestar, who’s a young boy trying to live up to his dream which is to become a true gentleman, he has a childish and straight forward personality and always tries his best, but his happy days come to an end with the arrival of his adoptive brother Dio Brando, and we don’t need to spend a lot of time with him to see his diabolic nature! As soon as he arrives he makes it clear as water that he is there to steal everything from Jonathon (also called JoJo) and make it its own no matter how cunning he has to be. But we also learn what shaped Dio into this menacing character, and we become a clear picture of both of them and why their duality  creates the perfect rivalry between them. As they grow and their relationship gets to a critical state our already devilish Dio gets his vampire powers through an ancient artifact and becomes nearly immortal and loses that bit of humanity he had (if he had),  and his recruiting of undead zombies begins and setting his plans for world domination.

After this point on JoJo meets a stranger an Italian called Will A. Zeppeli who is a master in a secret martial art called Hampo, something that JoJo has to master as well, in order to defeat Dio. And in a shounen like manner JoJo together with  Zeppeli and his thug companion Speedwagon, start their mission to stop Dio, and I know you are probably asking yourself what? vampires? an Italian Bruce Lee? as you can see this series does justice to his name especially the Bizarre part!  But JoJo’s manages to pull this off through engaging animations, and absolutely stunning aesthetics, the entire franchise has an outlandish flamboyantly look which doesn’t let you take your eyes away while those beautiful characters who are a combination of muscular first of the north star character with fabulous looks and clothes, posing like sculptures made by Michelangelo himself.

Where I would critic the series in a harsher tone it would be the weak support characters, a flaw that will be corrected in the next arc, also Jonathan was a little bit dull, he was just a massive guy who overpowers his enemies by sheer force and his benevolence, but don’t get me wrong he is still sympathizing , and it feels empowering to watch him overcome the  obstacles in his way  but the character of Dio is more of an enigmatic character, and a big part of Phantom Blood is about him. This arc also offers us an impactful finale which leads us to the second arc.

While I talk about the second arc I have to do a couple minor spoilers regarding Phantom Blood.

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Battle Tendencies is set in the post world war two era, and we get a new “JoJo”(Joseph Joestar), yes you heard that right and this is a crucial aspect of the entire franchise is that we always get a new main protagonist from the Joestar bloodline and some of you may be skeptical of this in the same way I was, but this innovative story writing was ahead of its time( the late 80s) and is still modern and refreshing now! We get a unique protagonist each arc with a new set of support characters and each of them are different from the previous ones, the best example would be comparing Jonathan who is sheer force, is straight forward and prideful of his gentleman Codex, on the other hand we have his grandson Joseph who is far away from that, he is a trickster through and through, and doesn’t care what tools he has to use,he is the type of guy who pulls a Tommy gun from nowhere and shots at his foe, both share only the physique and nothing else with each other and that’s what makes JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure so special and enjoyable for me, since each character lives his mark on the franchise and then we move on to the next one who brings something else to the table, never becoming repetitive.

This time there’s a new and more powerful enemy than what we have seen so far and I’m talking about the pillar men,  immortal creatures from ancient times, with one of them being the genius behind the stone masks, until now they were studied from Nazi Germans, but they awakened and  their goal is to find the special stone and become the perfect being, and it’s JoJo’s duty to stop them. In this arc, I feel like the design of the characters improves even more and we have likable support characters like Cesar Zeppeli and many others who think of their own, also they aren’t just thrown at us be we get the time to know them and understand them as people. Also, Akihiro is a genius at writing about the relationships between those men and how they become comrades. The fights also improve a lot here! They become more strategic and we don’t see the usual overpower your enemy scheme and that adds a lot to the entertainment factor!

The second arc really shows us the infinite paths that JoJo’s can take and how huge its potential is, the improvement is astonishing, new support crew, development of relationships between the characters, breath taking fight scenes. Both arcs put a heavy emphasis on death, and character writing, with the second arc correcting some of the elements that can be seen as flaws, and the JoJo franchise is always on this road of constant improvement and always trying  new formulas, making it an unforgettable joy meet all those flashy characters with their own personalities and the different challenges that they face while fighting their supernatural enemies.

13 thoughts on “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (1st season)

  1. This is one of those Animeseries that I have heard so much about (like for instance Fullmetal Alchemist), but still haven’t found the time for to watch. Strange that you forget at times to watch some of the classics. Really enjoyed reading your thoughts about this. I did not really know what the story of this one was, but both arcs certainly sound intriguing enough for me to hopefully see this soon. I just started on Ergo Proxy today, so it won’t be anytime soon, but I hope to get around to it eventually. Great post 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ahh, JoJo. I remember starting it because of all the meme flying around with “oraoraora!”. Well, I was seriously surprised to see… a different JoJo (character) from the one I was searching for. To be honest, I always sided more with Dio than Jonathan, but as you said, it’s probably because his past makes you simpathize more with him rather than JoJo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you a lot for reading my review!
      Dio just gives us more, while JoJo only reacts to his actions, so I understand why.
      In all honesty I kinda like this way of story telling with new protagonists, but I understand that it isn’t for everyone.

      Liked by 1 person

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