JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

> I... I just love JoJo's Bizarre Adventure so much (as you can probably tell from the background). It's an epic story, with gorgeous art and amazing characters. For future reference, at the time of writing, JoJolion chapter 65 was just released.

my jjba tag

JoJo Parts, Ranked1

  1. JoJolion: Okay, this was an easy choice. The story-telling is fast and tight, and these are probably some of the best written and most interesting characters of the series. While Steel Ball Run is generally held to be the best written part, I'm certain that JoJolion will surpass it by the time it's over. I especially love Jo2uke and Yasuho, but I can get into almost every character, and I’m invested enough that it’s gonna hurt when the side characters die. The art is beautiful, with amazing composition and stand battles. Definitely my top choice each time, and I can’t wait to see where it goes.
  2. Diamond is Unbreakable: I love this part a lot. It reminded me a bit of both CSI and The Lovely Bones. Reimi’s speech on justice really resonated with me, and the ending had amazing animation. Shigechi’s death made me cry a little, even. I didn’t think I’d like it, because it does have some slice-of-life stuff (which the only one I’ve found that I like is Yotsuba&!), but this is definitely a great part that only gets better each time I see it.
  3. Stone Ocean: Really fun part. Great art and creative battles; and I really love Jolyne and Hermes. Araki did a great job capturing the wildlife and culture of the US. The ending made me cry a lot, even though it's meant to be bittersweet.
  4. Phantom Blood: Okay, so I know a lot of people don’t like this part because it’s relatively simple. But let me tell you, I fucking love everyone (except Dio) in this part, especially Speedwagon. Jonathan’s backstory also really got to me, because I was bullied, gaslighted, and alone for a long time when I was younger. The art isn’t the best, either, but I do like some parts of it. This part is especially nice as a comparison with the other parts. I really like the podcast JoJo’s World’s take on this too. (You guys should check them out, they’re really fun!)
  5. Steel Ball Run: This part is really long, and it can be a long slog at times, but the characters and writing are pretty great. Some of the best writing comes in the Sugar Mountain arc, Johnny’s backstory, and Hot Pants and Gyro’s deaths. The story-telling and art are pretty great once it gets into it, but you can tell that Araki still had no clue where he was going with it in the first third.
  6. Battle Tendency: Hmmm… this one is okay. I didn’t really like Joseph all that much, but the dub is hilarious and it’s still a fun part. Lisa Lisa, Smokey, Oldwagon, and Erina are real great. I’ll admit I totally cried over Caesar’s death, too. Overall, though, it’s pretty highly overrated.
  7. Stardust Crusaders: …This one was also really easy to sort. This is the only part that I don't actively like. I find the character designs and color palettes unappealing, and the plot was the ‘Stand User of the Week’ shonen thing, which is literally my least favorite plot ever. It’s annoying and boring, and I would have just skipped to the Egypt arc if I had known about this. The ending is also really stupid and poorly (read: not) foreshadowed. Also, I couldn’t get into any of the characters. Like, I couldn’t even get the sense that most of them were even close friends. It was really annoying how Polnareff took over a lot of the plot, too. Fortunately, Jotaro is a lot more interesting and likable in Diamond is Unbreakable. I get the sense this is one of the most popular parts because it's been the only one the western fandom has had for a long time.

I decided to collect the (rough) first appearances in the manga of the Joestar Birthmark on each member of the Joestar bloodline (excluding Gio’s brothers, the Green Baby, Pucci, Weather Report, and Irene). It’s sort of interesting, as it’s never seen on PB Jonathan, BT Joseph, Josuke, and Johnny in the manga. With Jonathan and Joseph it’s because Araki hadn’t had the idea yet, but in Johnny and Josuke’s cases it’s just never visible.
Also, the location and size changes on a whim, and it’s usually only visible once (even if it really should show) as is the case with JJL Kira, Kyo, Josefumi, Giorno, Jotaro, Holly, and Joseph. It’s visible often with Jolyne and Jo2uke due to plot relevance, and shows up twice on Jonathan’s body, once for the reveal in SDC and once in a picture in VA to link Giorno to Dio.
Bonus points if you can identify who is who!



Stand Name:「ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA」(ELO or Neon Jukebox in the subs)
Stand Master:「J.D. NIGHT」(Named after Jeff Lynne, Diana Ross, and Gladys Knight)2
Stand Ability: Light Solidification Power - D Speed - A Range - B (up to ½ mile) Durability - A Precision - D Potential - B
Electric Light Orchestra can create solidified light structures, both hard and somewhat soft. These light structures are impenetrable as long as the user is alive. ELO’s structures can be made as thin as 5 mm ‘sheets’ that can be bent, but otherwise the structures can’t be made very precisely. These structures also give out a varying amount of light that the user can control, however this light cannot be entirely turned off.
The Stand has only low level offensive abilities. It usually aids its user in a fight by forming shields and blunt weaponry. The light can also be used to temporarily blind an opponent. However, it does not have a great deal of strength and the structures will soften to a degree when exposed to a strong light.
The Stand manifests as a tall (2.15 m) humanoid with long limbs, three fingers, and no visible face. The figure wears a round ‘glass’ helmet, a blue skirt with a large bow on the back, red boots, and has patches representing the 8 planets on its torso.

 

So a friend and I did an art collab, with the idea of combining all the JoJos. I did most of the design, though Ryan did have some input. So here’s Jogio!3

Influences, from the top:



It's time for... the JOESTAR SECRET TECHNIQUE!

You know what was really missing from Battle Tendency
A part where the Pillar Men discover automobiles and they’re all like “Wow what fascinating constructions. Who knew humans would do something like this. What are they called” and then they find out they’re called cars and Kars is like “wait what the fuck”



jesus in steel ball run

part 1 dio: educated lawyer, the embodiment of class, "those without manners do not deserve to live", does not let any dirty lowlife kill jojo because he's only good enough to be killed by kono dio
part 3 dio: the biggest hoe on earth. seduces 16 year old priests and drug addicts. sends nudes to a 67 year old man




Speedwagon coincidentally achieved everything Dio wanted without being a piece of trash


 

“I think that even if you’re creating a manga that includes love and romance, you could have it be between two male characters, as long as that fits with your manga’s world. As long as your characters are appealing, you could get away with a world of all men. You have nothing to fear."
--Manga in Theory and Practice by Hirohiko Araki


 
 
 
 


Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure in the '03 FMA anime style!

So, queer headcanons for the JoJos... Of the Jos, I think the only 100% straight JoJos are Jonathan and Jo2uke, and with Jo2uke this is mostly because there's only one guy close to his age, and he's a complete asshole. Joseph and Johnny are bi. Jotaro is aroace. Jolyne is pan. Giorno is aroflux polysexual and has a QPR with the Passione gang and Trish. I don't know about Josuke. Hot Pants is genderfluid, Foo is agender. Also, I sort of headcanon Jo2uke as nonbinary, with he/him or they/them pronouns.





So the Pillar Men went dormant 2,000 years ago, and encountered Hamon users at that time. The big three were sealed under Rome. Jesus (AKA Yesua bar Yoseph, AKA JOshua bar JOseph) was the Holy Corpse in Steel Ball Run, and a stand user (of “Love Train” in particular). Judea was a colony of the Roman Empire. He had a mysterious absence in his youth.
Do I need to spell it out for you?



   
   

Life Lessons Taught in Steel Ball Run:




Meta



I’m just thinking about how excited Jonathan must have been when his father announced that he’d be adopting Dio. It’s mentioned that George Joestar often went away on foreign trade, so a lot of the time it’d just be him, the servants and Danny alone in that giant manor of his. He’s never seen on familiar terms with any of the boys around town, and it’s likely he had very few friends beyond his dog, even before Dio came along. Although the Joestar Fortune gave him a life where he never had to struggle financially, he was ostracised by his surrounding peers for being born as such, one of the kids picking on Erina when he was first introduced said he hated rich people, despite not having much of a reason to, and him being rich was license enough to beat him down.
Additionally, seeing how easy it was for Dio to turn everyone against him with a groundless rumour that so quickly festered, it’s unlikely anyone knew him enough to even refute that. He was probably a very lonely kid. So now the prospect of having a brother would be brilliant, to have a friend who he could confide and play with would have been like a dream come true. I bet had a whole host of things planned for the two of them to do together.
...but then Dio actually arrived and all that is thrown into disarray.


Yo okay real talk though. Speedwagon is the greatest force of good in the Jojo universe.
Robert Edward Orville Speedwagon was nothing more than an average criminal and thug who never had anything worth a damn in his life until he met Jonathan Joestar. Jonathan was the FIRST person in the world to ever show him an ounce of kindness and I’m not lying when I say that Jonathan not kicking him with his full strength completely changed his life. When Speedwagon found oil in America, he used it to found the Speedwagon Foundation, which is, literally, THE only reason the Joestar line is capable of fighting evil. The Speedwagon Foundation hires and funds doctors, scientists, archaeologists, anything and everything to make the world a better place. After meeting the Joestar family, Speedwagon dedicated everything he could to saving the world. With the exception of the Pillar Men, every source of evil in parts 1-6 can be attributed to Dio in some way. However, every source of good comes from Speedwagon or the Speedwagon Foundation. Speedwagon is the reason Jonathan was able to reveal Dio’s plan. The SPW developed the infrared lights to keep the Pillar Men at bay. The SPW sent doctors to Holly’s house when she was under attack from her Stand, as well as providing the Stardust Crusaders with vehicles and Iggy. Jotaro became part of the SPW and used their resources to aid Josuke, and even get Giorno started on his journey. The SPW researched the Stand Discs and provided assistance to Jolyne while she was imprisoned.
And all of this is because Speedwagon willed it to be so. Because his will dictated that ALL efforts of the SPW should go toward aiding the Joestar line and improving the world.
Also despite being a charming and handsome individual he never once made a move on Erina because he knew that her and Jonathan’s love was eternal and he was a motherfucking gentleman.


Literally my favorite fact about JoJo is that a lot of the JoJos have real lives outside of the general bizarre JoJo stuff….. like the fact that a lot of the JoJos have jobs!!! That they actively pursue amidst all the weirdness of their lives and are not relegated to Tragic Backstory or Exposition. It may seem like a really mundane detail about them but I think it provides a lot of insight into their personalities and what they’re interested in. It’s a really cool narrative tool to make these characters seem three dimensional and actually feel real. Like the fact that after defeating four immortal super vampires Joseph Joestar went on to become a realtor! Dio was studying to practice law while also actively plotting to steal the Joestar fortune! Jonathan was studying to be an archaeologist!
Like with Dio and Jonathan, those interests tie in and relate to their stories but tbh it doesn’t really fall into the realm of Backstory because it doesn’t actively drive their motivations; like abbachio’s stint as a police officer is Backstory because something tragic happened to him while he was police-ing and got him to where he is now. While Jonathan’s fascination with the stone mask stems from his dead mom and inspires Dio to use it, it’s not like he HAD to study archaeology in order to move the plot forward, so it’s just a cool passion of Jonathan’s that gives depth to his character, that he’s curious and intellectual on top of being a “gentleman.”
And then there’s fucking Jotaro who starts out as this shitty teenager who barely goes to school and fights vampires with his magic spirit who punches things and can stop time and ends up going through THE FULL COURSE OF HIGHER EDUCATION in order to get his ph.d IN FUCKING MARINE BIOLOGY OF ALL THINGS. like to some people that may seem kind of out of left field but to me is an EXTREMELY adept method to portray offscreen character growth in a realistic fashion, along with making Jotaro an actual three dimensional character by giving him a passion not influenced directly by his weird life changing experiences, but definitely affects his life and how he spends his time but can’t be quite slotted in the “stoic silent badass” compartment that everyone seems to pigeonhole Jotaro in.
I love mundane character info like that: Joseph loves reading comic books. Josuke’s favorite artist is Prince. Giorno loves Les Mis. DIO BRANDO BUILDS MODEL SHPS.


 

This is my favorite Araki reference; to Tony Viramontes’s illustration for Nina Ricci. Shadow Dio’s core visual is based on a drawing of a woman in an evening gown. The illustration is in part fetish image – the exposed back and hourglass shape - but in Araki’s interpretation, the object of your attention looks back at you. And does it in a way where you can’t see his face. You can’t quite see him but he sees you which is fabulous because it inverts the power structure fetishism normally takes. And in SDC, Shadow Dio’s power to see without being seen (he’s hidden throughout most of the story) is a form of control.


Jotaro acts like he does at the beginning because he grew up half-white with an American mother in Japan in the 70′s and 80′s, and Japan being hella xenophobic probably means he was bullied a lot as a kid. His dad never being around didn’t help either like look at the photos Holly has of the two of them, Sadao Kujo just doesn’t EXIST.
It probably gets worse in high school when he gets his growth spurt b/c then he’s “Kujo the mutant, who still can’t leave the house without a goodbye kiss from mommy.” No wonder he gets into a lot of fights and adopts the “delinquent” attitude, he probably just wants people to leave him alone and if they’re scared of him they’ll probably just let him be. Then he starts filling out his Joestar bara destiny along with his “2 cool 4 u” attitude and suddenly the same girls who were calling him a half-breed and mongrel a year ago are suddenly fawning all over him? Give him a break.
He pushes back against Holly’s affection because he’s 17 and has to keep up appearances, you know? How’s it going to affect this carefully constructed facade of being an unapproachable asshole if word gets out, haha Kujo pretends to be tough but he’s all talk. Holly doesn’t care how he treats her because she KNOWS he’s all bark and no bite. He puts himself in jail b/c he’s hurting people when he doesn’t mean to. He saves some random stranger working for the enemy at the risk of his own life because he had the ability to. He checks up on Holly when she collapses because he can’t leave the house without a goodbye kiss from mommy.




An incomplete list of Deep Jojo Things™ I think about sometimes:



Araki has explicitly stated in interviews that Jotaro is not interested in women. Whether this means he’s asexual or gay is unclear, but given how much Araki works in queer subtext (his editors are too strict to allow explicitly queer characters and partnerships), it isn’t at all unlikely that Jotaro is either gay or ace. Also, we know from Jolyne that Jotaro doesn’t give two shits about the woman he married. Again, given the time Jotaro got married, same-sex marriage wasn’t legal in Japan. In all likelihood, Jotaro got married for sake of maintaining appearances and not much else. I personally headcanon him as aroace.



JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a breath of fresh air. It has an amazing set of characters for each part, and all the characters are believable. the characters are deep and meaningful, and all go through real, human struggles. Lots of characters go through some sort of trauma; and lots of them get through it and overcome it. The trauma of these characters isnt used as a plot point, rather a way to show how strong the character is, and how these traumas dont reduce these characters or weaken them. Take a look at nearly half of the protagonists of part 5; most of them have dealt with abusive parents and yet they overcome that, making them strong, independent characters, and they care. They care about each other and have healthy relationships with one another. They showcase that despite being victims, despite being hurt, they can still be happy, they can still do fantastic things. They arent broken.
Secondly, none of the characters in any part are shota/lolicon. It is so very common to see some sort of young character in a series to be seen as “moe,” and they often get sexualized, despite being minors. In JJBA, however, there is not one minor that is overtly sexualized. I feel that this is important; pedophilia shouldn’t be normalized, and shows in which loli/shotacon is present is harmful. JoJo steers clear from that toxic trope. There are scenes where a character who is a minor is in a situation that could be seen as sexual (eg, Valentine advancing on Lucy,) but that, instead of being portrayed as “hot,” is instead portrayed as creepy and wrong.
Oh, and the diversity!! There is a character for everyone in JoJo. There are so many significant characters of color (muhammad avdol, enrico pucci, sandman, to name a few) and none are stereotyped. There are also openly lgbtq+ characters. in fact, probably the most recognizable character in all of jojo, dio brando, is canonly bisexual. Two more characters, gelato and sorbet, are gay!! This is groundbreaking, not only because this wasn’t very common for a manga series in the 80’s-90’s, but because JJBA is such a huge thing in japan. To have a series this big have multiple lgbtq+ characters is extraordinary, and the lgbtq+ characters aren’t even there just for fanservice! They are all well-written, thought out characters.
Lastly, JoJo has something for everyone. whether you’re into hardcore action animes with a dark mystery surrounding them, or a slice-of-life fan who likes more light-hearted plots, JoJo fits everything. Even if you arent a fan of really intense action animes, part 2 still brings you in with Joseph Joestar’s jokester attitude, and if you despise the slice-of-life genre, part 4 has enough mystery and action to make up for it.


I really appreciate Araki so much for how he writes his female characters. Is the writing perfect? No. Could it be better? Always. But honestly, he knew and admitted that he fucked up writing female characters (in the past) and wanted to fix his writing. He fixed it by subverting the typical tropes and archetypes of female characters that are typically seen in manga. I’ve never seen a female character be front and center in a shonen manga before, till Jojo. He made Jolyne Cujoh, a main female character of a shonen manga, front and center. When I say main female character I don’t mean sakura level of main character where she’s a “main” character but takes a backseat to the titular character, Naruto. No, the main character of Jojo part 6 stone ocean, a shonen manga, is a woman. She’s Naruto level of main character front and center.
It’s not just Jolyne though, with Yukako he wanted a female character that was the opposite of moe culture. Yukako wasn’t passive and overly cute nor was she always sweet. She was aggressive and Araki basically said (and I'm paraphrasing here) that he wanted to show how female characters can get angry and that they’re not always cute and innocent.
Trish Una, arguably Reimi, and the female cast from part 6 are other examples of Araki creating strong female characters. Are they perfectly written female characters? No, but Araki is one of the only male shonen mangakas that I know of that cares about his females characters. When people say Jojo is just a manly anime/manga for men I get pissed. Jojo is so much more than that in terms of style, themes, and complex action scenes. In the beginning, was there an emphasis on manliness? Yes, but Araki’s art and writing style have grown so much since then and Jojo continues to be something more than hyper-masculinity.


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Notes: Vento Aureo is not included as I have not read or seen it at time of writing (21/05/17)
J. D Night is nonbinary genderqueer and uses they/them (singular) or xe/xem pronouns.
Jogio is genderfluid and uses they/them (plural) or he/him prounouns. Jogio is pronounced JO·gee·o, like Georgio with a Boston or New York accent. I chose this because people seem to think the 'gio' in Giorno's name is pronounced like 'geo', when the proper Italian pronunciation is like 'jo'.