Reviews of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (1987) and related work

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (1987Sequential art with text)

Araki Hirohiko (writer-artist).

This review refers to the first 28 volumes, up to the conclusion of the Stardust Crusaders arc. This is a small fraction of a still-ongoing series as of 2021.

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

fiction Japanese production sequential art series text

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (2012Moving picture)

Seen in 2015.

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

Straight-faced supernatural martial arts comedy. 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 comic, which adds to the sense of almost surreal artifice.

References here: Candyman (1992), The Stand (1994), “Yamadeloid” (2015), Food Wars: The Fourth Plate (2019).

adaptation animation fiction Japanese production moving picture series