Good grief is it great show
by George Kite
Staff JoJo Expert
When I started to watch the show JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, all I wanted to see were memes. That was really it. What a fool I was.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a Japanese anime and manga, which is popular with both a great deal of Japan and anime fans elsewhere. The manga has been running since 1987, but has only been adapted for television since 2012.
This show is by far one of my favorite shows ever. Before I watched this show, I thought anime was silly, overrated, and stupid. I refused to watch anime, even with my friends who were anime fans. I was incredibly stubborn on my dislike of anime; JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure made me like anime.
Here’s the thing, I can’t physically describe to you this show. There’s a very good reason it has “Bizarre” in the title, because this show is, well, very bizarre. Like, really bizarre. So bizarre that I can’t just straight up explain the show to you, because it’d take a long time and you’d be very confused. The best way I can describe the show to you is like this: it’s a show about generations of the Joestar family fighting evil villains with supernatural powers using their own powers. But it is much more than that.
Instead of seasons, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is split into parts. There are 5 parts in the show, each one focusing on a different member of the Joestar family. Each main character for each part is typically referred to as a “JoJo” by their friends and allies. Each character, and each part, is very different in tone, personality, and style. But every part shares common themes. Each part is filled with action; fighting is a huge part of JoJo, and is often done in the anime-fighting style of outsmarting an enemy, rather than just simple brute-force action.
Each part often has great supporting characters for their JoJo, whether they be mentors, friends, partners in crime, or other family members. There will often be a core group of friends and allies that each JoJo has that become the main characters of each part. I want to emphasize that JoJo does a fantastic job of having interesting, complex, and very entertaining supporting characters that can sometimes honestly outshine the JoJo of that part.
But by far one of my favorite aspects of the show is how it’s a shameless reference to Western pop culture, especially music. Nearly every single name of characters or the character’s power is a music reference. You’ve got people like Master Zeppeli, Robert E.O. Speedwagon, Steely Dan, Suzie Q, Esdidisi (pronounced like AC/DC), Kars, Santana, and Vanilla Ice. You’ve also got powers (called Stands) with names like Killer Queen, Crazy Diamond, Gold Experience, King Crimson, Moody Blues, Bad Company, Talking Head, White Album, and—one of my favorite names—Red Hot Chili Pepper.
This show also manages to be absolutely hilarious. It is able to balance intense action and emotional characters with moments of genuinely amazing humor. I seriously have not laughed so much at a show in a long time. Sometimes the humor is a wacky or stupid line from characters, other times it’s the absolutely ridiculous fighting moves that just make you laugh.
It’s important to note that each part has its own unique story and tone. Part 1, called
“Phantom Blood”, is often considered the least of the JoJo series however it’s still good in its own right. It’s about gothic vampires using old-school martial arts fighting styles. It’s also probably the least wacky of all the parts, and the most similar to typical anime. Part 2, called “Battle Tendency”, is an Indiana Jones-esque fight with three ultra-powerful figures, with a JoJo that’s an amazing trickster. Part 3, called “Stardust Crusaders”, is a globe-trotting international fight against Part 1’s villain and is much more wackier than the previous parts, as it introduces these weird ghost-like superpowers called Stands to all the main characters and villains. Part 4, called “Diamond is Unbreakable”, is almost like a slice-of-life anime in a small Japanese town, fighting evil members of the town and investigating how they obtained their Stands while making new friends. Part 5, called “Golden Wind”, an Italian mob with the JoJo fighting their way to the top of the organization against other members of the mob in Italy.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure ranks as one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. I only watched it over the course of this summer, but I will forever love it and adore it. It’s fresh, exciting, funny, interesting, and stands out as one of the most unique shows I’ve ever watched. I simply cannot express how much I recommend this show to you; I really can’t fully explain in words how good it is.