Which JoJo's Bizarre Adventure opening reigns supreme? Here they are, from best to absolute bestest!
A new year is upon us, and with it comes an all new season of anime. The transition from one season to another is an exciting time for every seasonal anime viewer. As we say goodbye to our favorite shows either ending or going on break, our thoughts turn toward the continuing shows and the promise of all new openings for them. While we know we’ll miss the openings we’ve come to love for 90 seconds every week so far, we always hope the next one will be even better than the last.
As for myself, I can’t tell you how excited I am for the upcoming season’s worth of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind we have in store for us. What we’ve seen so far is nothing short of some of the best action that 2018’s anime had to offer, and all of it was preceded by “Fighting Gold,” its stellar opening. If recent entries in the JoJo’s anime are enough to go by, we can expect Golden Wind to receive another spectacular opening any time now. Not only that, I know for a fact that it will be spectacular, because every single JoJo’s opening is. We’ve seen eight openings now over the course of the show and there isn’t a bad one in the bunch. All of them deserve a spot in my personal list of all time favorites, but in what order? I know which one is my all time favorite, but I’ve never sat down to compare them all to one another. So, without further ado, here’s every opening in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure ranked from best to bestest.
I know I’ve already said it, but given that I’m starting from the bottom it needs to be reiterated. Every single opening in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is incredible. Some just happen to be more incredible than others. A common thread I found among openings in the bottom half of this list is that either the visuals couldn’t quite match the quality of the music or vice versa. Usually there just isn’t enough there to compete with the best openings on this list. This one is different. This one just has way too much.
Visually there’s a lot to love about it. The opening is done in the extremely attractive 3DCG style that dominates all of the show’s openings through the first three seasons. Of particular interest to me is just how much foreshadowing takes place in this opening. The first shot is of the inner workings of a giant clock, alluding to the yet unknown Stand powers DIO possesses. Clockwork imagery continues throughout the opening amidst recreations of famous moments from this particular arc. Many of these moments are innocuous enough to one watching for the first time, but the seasoned JoJo’s fan will recognize them as moments taken right before a major character death (or supposed death). There’s even an incredible alternate version of this opening run later in the season where DIO uses his newly revealed time stop powers to literally pause and manipulate his place in the opening.
Its dedication to fanservice is ultimately the reason this opening places at the bottom of this list, though. The opening’s accompanying single is performed by TOMMY, Coda, and Jin Hashimoto, all of whom individually performed the show’s three prior openings. They’re all incredibly talented vocalists in their own rights, but they don’t quite gel together as well as anyone had hoped. As much as there is to love about this opening, it unfortunately ends up being less than the sum of its parts. Which, to be fair, is still better than most openings can aspire to.
7.) "chase" by batta
You know, there was once a time where I didn’t like this opening. Going back and watching it again while constructing this list taught me a few things. One, past me was a complete and utter fool for not liking this opening. Two, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a really silly series.
Okay, so maybe I knew that one already, but I still had to realize it all over again when figuring out why “chase” shouldn’t place higher in these rankings. After all, everything about it is superb. The carefree daily life of Josuke and his friends is cleverly undercut by the washed out palette and unsettling framing of each character’s actions. A crowd of feeding pigeons is disturbed by a single fingernail, taking to the skies in a Hitchcockian swarm. Josuke, Koichi, and Okuyasu chat about their day as the camera glares down at them from above, watching them. Blood drips from suitcases packed in tight corners and a clawed hand emerges to crush the protagonist’s signature anchor pin. A serial killer is lurking in Morioh, and no one is yet the wiser. The accompanying song is frantic and pained, almost as batta’s Tatsu Hoshino himself is desperately trying to warn the characters that Kira is coming for them.
It’s simply spectacular all around, which is why it pains me to say that it’s just too dark. It just doesn’t fit the tone of Diamond is Unbreakable at all. If I was judging it entirely on its own, it’s a top three opening for sure. I simply can’t do that, though. A show’s opening sets the tone for what’s to come, and the tone that “chase” sets is not at all the one that Diamond is Unbreakable provides. Yes, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure can be dark and disturbing, but it’s also very lighthearted and fun. As we’ll see soon, the best of the best JoJo’s openings convey both.
“Fighting Gold” may not be one of the most visually inventive openings on this list, but I’d be remiss to rank it any lower than it already is. While it is easily the most conservative on this list in that department, what it has to offer is still quite good. Its opening shot depicting Michaelangelo’s statue of David in one of Giorno’s poses from the original manga and covered in chains sets the stage for a tightly composed opening. These chains binding David are a common motif throughout the opening, symbolizing the chains that bind the members of Passione to their respective fates. That is, until they’re shown calling out their Stands, at which point Gold Experience turns the chains into vines and we see one of the best Stand summoning montages of any JoJo’s opening.
The real standout part of this opening, however, is the music. “Fighting Gold” is Coda’s third appearance in a JoJo’s opening and a surprising one at that. In the songs climax his sultry crooning turns into a loud and throaty cry as the members of Passione break free of their chains. At the same time the music’s accompanying strings swell and you begin to forget you’re listening to a rock anthem. That is, until the very end when one final strum rings out on the electric guitar and Coda sings out the song’s titular line in his most gravelly voice yet. That one moment alone fills me with emotion and makes me pumped to watch a new episode of Golden Wind every single week.
If there’s any single testament to the sheer quality of all of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’s openings, it’s that “Crazy Noisy Bizarre Town” is only ranked fifth on this list. Seriously, this song is pure unbridled FUNK. It was the first JoJo’s opening to not be done in the distinctive 3DCG style seen before, which disappointed me for about the first five seconds watching it. It’s impossible to feel anything other than joy and happiness while watching this opening. This song is easily the JoJo’s single I go back to listen to the most. Not even the show’s own cast of characters can resist dancing to it at one point! It’s bright and colorful and couldn’t fit the opening arc of Diamond is Unbreakable any better. I love it so much. God, JoJo’s has great openings.
I gotta admit, it had been a long time since I’d last seen this one. For awhile all of the early 3DCG openings ran together in my head as all being very similar stylistically. In analyzing them deeper for this article, though, I began noticing some stark differences. This one, the one that started it all, is actually among the most unique. This opening is a love letter to JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure as a whole.
The first images shown in the opening are animated manga panels of the first six protagonists of JoJo’s (you’ll have to wait a few years to understand why the seventh and eighth ones are excluded) counting down until finally we get to Jonathan, the first, who transitions from his panel seamlessly into the 3DCG style. The rest of the opening recreates panel after panel from the very first arc, acting as a near-complete retelling of Phantom Blood in the space of a minute. SFX blast onto the screen, panel borders move in and out of frame, and colors wash away into monochrome as Phantom Blood finally transitions from the page to the screen in front of our very eyes.
The whole opening feels is a 90-second love letter to Phantom Blood and the legacy it’s left behind. While it may not be the first time it was ever translated to the silver screen (it received a movie adaptation in 2007 that ran in few theaters and was never brought to video), this animated iteration of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure was many longtime fans’ first time seeing one of their favorite series done so well. For most international fans (such as myself), it was our first time experiencing the series at all. If this opening can get me feeling nostalgic and emotional for this series, I can only imagine what it’s like for someone who’s been a part of the now three-decade ride.
“Ohhhhh, ‘STAND Proud.’ I get it now.”
--My dumb ass like three days ago.
Hard rock and Stardust Crusaders go together like a hat and Jotaro’s hair; you can't have one without the other. Classic rock and metal are, as we all know, referenced heavily in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, so it was only a matter of time until they tapped into those influences for an opening song. And boy do they ever knock it out of the park with this one. “STAND PROUD” shreds, rips, and rocks in every way you could conceivably like it to. It’s a hard anthem that goes perfectly with the arc that gifts us Jotaro Kujo, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure's hardest dude.
If all it had was a killer sound, though, it wouldn’t be near this high on the list. Suffice to say, this opening’s visual direction and animation have the chops to back up everything the accompanying single lays down. This opening is chocked full of references to past arcs. Both Jonathan and young Joseph are shown multiple times, including one sequence harkening back to moments when each one either passed on their resolve or inherited the resolve of another, ending with Jotaro inheriting both. Eagle-eyed fans will also recognize a sequence in the opening where Jotaro confronts DIO face to face that coincidentally mirrors a scene of Jonathan confronting Dio in the very first opening.
There are so many great moments in this opening I could keep pointing out. I love the scene full of action shots of everyone using their Stands amongst a backdrop full of the series’ signature SFX. I love the intimate shots of quiet time where they wander through the desert or lounge together underneath the stars. I love the beautiful art depicting Holly being overtaken by her own Stand, and the shot of it all rushing into Jotaro as he summons Star Platinum. I also love the final sequence where we get a dynamic camera shot rotating around Jotaro as Star Platinum attacks the reflected visage of DIO. The 3DCG these openings became known for has never looked better than it does in that one shot. “STAND PROUD” is incredible.
Ask any random JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure fan what their favorite opening from the show is...I mean it. Go ahead, do it. I’ll wait…
...Oh, you’re back. That sure took a while. Is it because they immediately screamed “BLOODY STREAM” and forced you to watch it with them for an hour? In the time I’ve spent among other JoJo’s fans, this opening is the fan favorite by a wide margin, and for good reason too! It’s fantastic! It’s everything Battle Tendency condensed into one 90-second sequence. Despite the show’s first few openings being known for their heavy use of 3DCG, “BLOODY STREAM” actually foregoes it for much of the opening in favor of 2D silhouettes, line-heavy action, and low-movement recreations of famous panels from the manga. All of it is overflowing with bounciness and color. The entire opening simply oozes style out of every orifice. It’s as cheeky and fun as Joseph Joestar and still manages to pull an emotional gut punch at the end alluding to a major character death late in the arc. And all of this is perfectly backed up by the legendary sultriness that is Coda in the first of his three appearances in an opening for the series. Honestly can’t find a single fault with this opening. It was my number one for a long time, that is, until...
Is there anything more perfect than perfection? There is; it’s called “Great Days.”
I can’t stress enough how much I love this opening. I’m bursting at the seams waiting to tell you about how good it is. It’s 90,000 milliseconds of everything that is good and just in this world delivered directly to your eye holes. Imagine 90,000,000 straight microseconds of pure, unadulterated good vibes being auditorily injected into your mind and you get “Great Days.”
This might very be the most detailed opening in the history of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Blink past the very first frame and you’ll already have missed a wealth of cool artwork that absolutely no one realized they needed. Did you notice that at the beginning the big “JOJO” is spelled out using the figures of the main cast? That the symbol you see between each “BREAKDOWN” represents a different one of Yoshikage Kira’s powers? You may have noticed that the number one in “1999” is Heart Father, but did you also notice that the other numbers were Janken Boy, Highway Go Go, and Misterioso? Everything in this opening just looks so good. The frame by frames of all the characters moving through town are incredible. I wish I had the technical art and animation knowledge to talk more in-depth about the tracking shot through Rohan’s doorway or the sequence focusing on the fracturing of Kosaku Kawajiri’s family. The moment where everyone points to the sky in unison up at their friends who died at the hands of Kira is an emotional gut punch rivaling that of Joseph donning Caesar’s headband, and my god the music! The beat changes up so much throughout this song, and it lands perfectly each and every time. It’s a roller coaster of emotion befitting of what I consider to be the high point of the entire series so far.
I am grabbing you by the collar and shaking you now. How can I possibly expect to explain to you the depths of how great this opening is? What if I tell you that there’s an entirely different version of this opening that reflects the main antagonist’s newly discovered ability to completely undo the past? Not only is the entire opening undone, but an alternate cut of the song plays too! No one asked for them to deliver something so perfect to us, but they did it anyway! It’s incredible!!! I literally have to stop myself now before I ramble on for another thousand words about it. It is without any doubt in the world the single best opening in the entirety of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.
If one thing’s obvious by now, it’s that I care a lot about an anime’s opening. There’s something so uniquely integral about them to the anime experience. Pretty much every show around the world has some kind of an opening, but you’d be hard pressed to find ones that place as much emphasis on them as anime does. With so many incredible ones out there, it can be hard to really stand out among the pack. It’s an awesome feat that JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’s openings consistently stand head and shoulders above the pack in their style and quality. I’d have been remiss to let the opportunity pass me by to not recognize each one’s greatness, and I’m sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for the next one Golden Wind has to offer.
Which JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure opening is your favorite? How would you rank them all? Break down (BREAKDOWN) your thoughts in the comments below!