JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (2012 IMDb)

Viewing

Seen in 2015.

Review refers to the first three seasons, extending to the conclusion of Stardust Crusaders: Battle in Egypt.

Categorization

Straight-faced supernatural martial arts comedy.

Subject

Several generations of the Joestar family face horrifying vampires, starting with the late-Victorian aristocrat Jonathan Joestar, or “JoJo” to his friends.

Commentary

As in the manga bases of each respective franchise, here we see the exaggerated grit and masculinity of Fist of the North Star (1986) successfully combined with the comedic strain of the following generation of shounen epics like Dragon Ball (1986), further combined with sexily posing Gorgeous Georges, glam-rock allusions and historical riffs. The latter reach their peak when Al Yankovic is name-dropped in the final episode. I can’t take it seriously, nor am I expected to: It is the maturation of Blazing Transfer Student (1991) in fantasy form, a seamless blend of parody and imitation. The action somehow remains remarkably engaging until the comedy takes center stage in the Stardust Crusaders arc's most irrelevant episodes. There’s an “explanation” for every crazy stunt, as in all good shounen tournament nonsense shows. Quite faithful to the manga, which adds to the sense of almost surreal artifice.

References here: The Stand (1994), Yamadeloid (2015).

Japanese production animation series