Sunday, July 6, 2014

Review: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (2012)

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure (2012) is a Japanese supernatural anime written and illustrated by Hirohiko Araki. It takes place in Europe and North America during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The story has two arcs: 1) Phantom Blood:Jonathan Joestar/Dio Brando and 2) Battle Tendency: Joseph Joestar/Pillar Men. It contains 26 episodes.

First arc (Phantom Blood): In 19th century England, young aristocrat Jonathan Joestar finds himself locked in a bitter rivalry with Dio Brando, a working-class boy who Jonathan's father took under his wing after the death of Dio's father. The story begins when Dio's father rescues Jonathan's father from a carriage accident. Jonathan's father felt forever grateful and decides to adopt Dio as his own child. However, a darkness lurks in Dio's heart. Discontent with his station in life, Dio's fathomless lust to reign over all eventually leads him to seek the supernatural powers of an ancient Aztec stone mask in the Joestar's possession—an artifact that will forever change the destiny of Dio and Jonathan for generations to come.

Second arc (Battle Tendency): Fifty years later, in 1938 New York City, Jonathan's grandson Joseph Joestar must take up his grandfather's mission and master the abilities necessary to destroy the stone mask and its immensely powerful creators who threaten humanity's very existence, the Pillar Men. Joseph's journey takes him to Mexico and eventually Italy where he must train for the ultimate life-or-death battle. The mysterious red stone of Aja has the power to create the ultimate warrior. With his new companions, Joseph masters the art of the ripple. Like his grandfather, Joseph has no choice but to destroy the Pillar Men once and for all.

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure is a very popular long-running manga series in Japan. Since its debut in the 1980s, it has sold over 80 million copies. As part of its 25th anniversary, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure became an anime series. The author uses 80s popular culture (e.g., Wham!, R.E.O. Speedwagon) among the characters of the story. The character design portrays men in uber-muscular form (bodybuilders). I was surprised that this series captured my attention and interest since I normally do not watch this type of genre. As a woman, I thought it would be another Dragon Ball plot, but I was totally wrong. Jojo's Bizarre Adventure show is for adult audiences, weaveing pivotal events in history and Aztec mythology to create a highly intense and exciting storyline. Lastly, the comedy is good, making the characters both light-hearted (especially Joseph Joestar) and enjoyable to watch. I also enjoyed how the fighters explain their moves since I have no martial arts training background. I highly recommend the series. It should be available on DVD in Japanese subtitles and English dub. Watch the trailers below:

Phantom Blood
Battle Tendency

Stay tuned for the sequel, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders (2014)!

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