Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Manga Introduction: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure

G'day guys (yep I'm Australian... well half)
By the way I never say G'day in real life. I just ran out of different way's of the starting greeting on posts.
But anyway......G'DAY!

I felt it was about time to write up another Manga Introduction, plus I don't have a good video editor at the moment as the free trial I was using ran out.....time to look for a new one that is easy to use and does what I want it to without crashing........sigh........The internet surprisingly lacks good free video editors. If anyone know of any please let me know (the one I was using was Video Pad).


Recently I've been reading a manga that is extremely popular in Japan, but not necessarily so outside it, as far as I know. The manga I'm going to be writing about is Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, or 'ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 Jojo no Kimyou na Bouken' in Japanese, created by Araki Hirohiko (荒木 飛呂彦). As it's title implies, it is indeed a bizarre adventure. There are around 100 volumes now, and is broken up into 8 different arcs, each with a different main character. All of the protagonists names in this series are constructed in way so that it can be nicknamed as 'Jojo', for example, Jonathan Joestar or Kujo Jotaro etc.

First off, I wasn't to keen on reading this manga. The artwork is quite heavily 80's style, and looks a little grotesquely deformed at times. The plot(s), or how the stories progresses are like a typical Shonen (Young boy) manga (such as Dragon Ball, Naruto etc). There is a big boss, and then there's his minions or other smaller enemies that they must battle before reaching him/her. I'm generally not a great fan of this, and it is also one reason why I can't be bothered following Naruto and One Piece anymore. It's basically the same thing over and over again with different characters.

Furthermore, there's an excess of 100 volumes, which is still growing, as a new arc has just recently started again this year. I only picked it up as I've only heard good things about it, and is huge among the Japanese internet community. It's also famous for 'Jojo dachi' (ジョジョ立ち), which means 'The Jojo Stand'. This manga series is well known for characters posing in unusual and sometimes impossible poses. Some maniacal fans try to copy these poses, and have even created classes to teach people the proper way to do it.

                                                    Example of Jojo-dachi (ジョジョ立ち)

So since there was all this good response towards it.......I started reading. ...
Time consuming? Yes. But strangely addictive, and I sailed through much of it without noticing.

I generally don't like reading manga from before the 90's. Mainly because they find it necessary to explain absolutely everything are doing, or going to do, and how it's going to the affect the other characters. I mean....serious? Why would you just let your enemy know your battle plans and stuff like that? They also have a tendency to start having conversations to themselves because of this......Which I find awkward. And annoying.

......This manga is no different. In fact it might be even worse in that aspect than most other manga. HOWEVER, I could strangely bear it with this one, and later grew used to it, and actually began to enjoy it. It doesn't help that the first arc is a little slow to get into the story, but once you get past that, it's quite easy sailing. Plus there's lots of funny moments as well.

Generally, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure is simply described as a generational quarrel between the Joestars' and a man/ vampire called Dio Brando. You're probably thinking "haha what the?". As I said before, this manga is broken up into multiple arcs with different protagonists. For the first 6 arcs, they have a common ancestor in Jonathan Joestar, who is the main character of the first arc. It's too hard to summarise Jojo as a whole, so I'll briefly go over the arcs, up to what I've read.

Part 1 takes place in the 1800's England, where Jonathan Joestar is caught in a battle with his adopted brother Dio Brando, who, after wearing an ancient stone mask is transformed into a vampire with superhuman strength, speed and immortality. He can create more (but weaker, vampires) as well as raise the dead. The only thing that can damage him and his minions is sunlight, and the power of Hamon' (波紋 means Ripple), which has the same properties as sunlight. This is done by learning a special way of controlled breathing, which causes ripples of energy to emit from body parts. Jonathan Joestar must use this to destroy Dio Brando before he turns the world into a bunch of vampires.

From what I've read, this seems like the most popular era among Western fans, whereas Part 3 is often the most liked by Japanese. The protagonist for this arc is Jonathan Joestar's grandson, Joseph Joestar, and primarily takes place in America and Italy during the 2nd World War. An ancient race of people that created the stone masks that turn people into vampires (vampires are food (sort of) for them) awaken from a 1000 year sleep in various ancient ruins. Their weakness is also sunlight, and the 3 survivors of this race are searching for jewel that has the power to make them immune to this weakness, so that they can then proceed to take over the world. Joesph Joestar inherits 'Hamon' power, and must overcome these super human race of people.

This is my favourite section by far. The main character this time is Jotaro Kujo, the half Japanese, half American grandson of Joseph Joestar. A new type of power is used to fight to from this series. Character's use 'Stands' a kind of protective spirit that has varying types of abilities, from mediocre to more powerful ones.. It is revealed that Dio Brando had actually survived the battle with Jonathan Joestar in the first arc, and had been asleep in an air tight coffin under the sea. He get's out of this coffin when it was pulled up to shore by some people, and plants a cell of his in Jotaro's mother, which will kill her in a certain amount of days unless if he is defeated. Jotaro, his grand father and other ally stand users must travel through various countries and reach Egypt, where Dio is hiding, while defeating assassin stand users sent by him along the way.

This arc follows, Higashikata Jousuke, the product of an affair between Joseph Joestar and a Japanese woman. It is discovered that Dio Brando used an ancient bow and arrow to create stand users in the previous arc. If a person survives being pierced by this arrow, this person will become a stand user, otherwise they just die. Someone is going around shooting people with this bow and arrow, causing a huge increase in the amount of people with this ability in the town. One such person is a remorseless serial killer of young females with pretty hands (he cuts them off and keeps it around until it rots, after which he goes to find a new one). It is found out that he is the perpetrator of many known and unknown murders over many years, and the main character and gang set out to find and punish the cunning killer.

........I'm still in the middle of finishing this arc. So I'll leave the rest for another post, since this one has gotten really long and no one would probably have read up to here anyway. Well done  and thank you if you did though!


  1. It's pretty interesting. Did you know that Jojo's Bizarre Adventures was also made into a video game by Capcom? - http://capcom.wikia.com/wiki/JoJo%27s_Bizarre_Adventure
    I remember playing it a bit, though I'm not sure if the story line in the game was consistent with the manga.

  2. Ahh yeah I've seen several videos of Jojo games on youtube.

    I've never played though!! and I would like to...

  3. You can, it's kinda simple. You need CPS3 which you can learn from here:
    To get the link to download it, press more info at the bottom of the video.
    Then when you learn about the roms, you can download it from here (remember to pick the ones that are MAME):

    And just to be sure (because I'm usually paranoid) scan the files before using them.
    Ask me anything if you need more help.

  4. ohhh great! I used to have MAME on a cd somewhere but lost it and forgot what the name of the thing was! Thank you!

  5. Aah, because of this post now I'm starting to read Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure lol

    Yes, now I'm hooked by this manga...

    I remember in the public library there were several books of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (I think it was more focused on the first arc) and I never read it because the art of the cover looked odd, very unusual and I heard it was a long long serie... And you know when it's very long, suddenly... laziness lol
    But still I always wondered why this saga was so reputed (but very underrated in the Western fandom).

    Currently I am reading the end of Chapter 4 of Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood (yes, I'm really far away compared to you and in addition I read very slowly... (-_-) )

    (On a random note, today I went to CdJapan website just to see the price of collectible figures and woah the price!)

    You should write more posts about this manga! Only one post is not enough for the greatness of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure!
    In addition, I noticed there weren't a lot of informations on the web about this manga.

    As suggestion, you should write a post explaining the influence of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure on other mangas because I was surprised to learn some other mangaka in general borrowed some ideas (or were very influenced by) from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure!!!

    By the way did you succeed to solve your problem with Video Pad?
    Which editor video are you currently using?
    If you need any help related to video editors, let me know. I also have a friend who know some stuff about this subject, so don't hesitate.
    In my case, I usually use Aegisub which I combine with VirtualDub (free and easy).
    At first myself I didn't understand how VirtualDub could work but after some test, it was easy.

    I didn't know you are Australian, this explains a lot why you speak so well English.
    I once talked to someone who were from Australia and she told me she never said G'day but instead hello (lol) (she also told me she was annoyed when people was often saying the Capital city was Sydney instead of Canberra, but this is another story lol)

  6. What happened? I've just posted a comment but it was eaten by blogger?!

  7. Haha for some reason Google thought it was spam. I told it it wasn't so it should appear now. Thanks for taking my recommendation seriously! I didn't expect someone to actually read it because of this.

    I also didn't want to read it at first because of the strange style of drawing, but he improves a lot from the first few volumes and I started liking it after a while. It's a very strange series, or should I say bizarre? Well it definitely lives up to it's title.

    I have sorted out the Videopad issues. I did fiddle with virtualdub and many others but found Videopad the easiest to use by far.

    And yeah I'm actually half Australian half Japanese, hence why I understand both languages which is lucky. Your friend was right....we don't actually say G'day apart from the older people and very Australian Australians. Hope that makes sense lol. And yes our capital city is very often mistaken, although I don't get annoyed about it like the person you spoke to lol! It's a really small place near Sydney but has the Australian version of the White House there.

  8. Superb blog post. I love your review as a big fan of attacking toys like Jojos Bizarre. I have to take a decision to collect this anime toy and its DVD series from at PIJ. I hope both of them are really cool and amazing to play. Thanks for your sharing and nice review.

    1. Thanks for the comment, and you're welcome too.
      Yes, the toys for this series seem pretty cool!
      Well a lot of anime figures are good quality and detailed but I'm sure you'll be happy with the Jojo one.