JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Has Come A Long Way: A Retrospective

With the ending of Golden Wind, we're looking at both the past and the future of the JoJo anime!

As Giorno Giovanna dooms Diavolo to an eternity of dying, we’ve come to the conclusion of another epic chapter in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. True to its name, JoJo has taken us viewers on a truly outlandish ride through a gothic 1800s England, the streets of New York, the deserts of Egypt, small-town Japan, the isles of Italy, and everywhere else in between, with each saga being more exciting than the last.

 

It's certainly no stretch to say that this classic tale has gotten far more, umm, bizarre since stone masks and Aztec vampires, but it's always a treat to see just how insane JoJo becomes with each new installment. Every time you think the show has exhausted all of its ideas, it surprises you with another epic moment, paying proper homage to Hirohiko Araki's original work.


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As a seasoned JoJo fan, I’m honestly astonished as to how far we’ve come in adapting Araki’s long-running and influential manga (which continues to this day). Personally, I never would’ve dreamed the show would get to this point. Yet here we are, bearing witness to Giorno taking his seat at the head of Passione, having realized his dream of becoming a Gang-Star. 


With such a decisive ending, I’d love to take the time to reflect on my own experience with JoJo. Starting off from my first encounter with Jonathan Joestar, I’m going to take a quick dive into how the anime has progressed, and where I’d love to see it go from here.



JoJo’s first part, Phantom Blood, seems like a lifetime ago when I first watched it. I remember my immediate and visceral reaction to Dio Brando’s debut and how horribly he treated the Joestar family. As Jonathan and Dio grew up, their rivalry became much more intense and brought with it an epic clash between sunlight and vampires. That was all it took for me to start binging the first season, but as we transitioned from Victorian-era England to late-1930s New York, my bizarre adventure was only just getting started.



Imagine my shock when the story changed completely between Part 1 and Part 2, Battle Tendency. The polite yet determined Jonathan was replaced by the cocky and mischevious Joseph Joestar. Taking up the rest of the first season, Joseph used his wiles and surprising intelligence to outwit ancient vampires who threatened humanity's existence much like his ancestor did long before. 

 

It was then that I discovered how special JoJo would be. I became utterly fascinated by the prospect of wildly different arcs, each one following a different cavalcade of characters. And with the announcement of Part 3, I couldn't wait to see what else JoJo had in store.


 

I began looking up and researching everything about JoJo. Up until then, it was a series that I vaguely knew about, but never truly understood. I discovered and read whatever chapters I could of the original manga, which currently spans more than 30 years and counting. And I caught up with the lore just as Stardust Crusaders came out. 

 

As one of the more popular arcs of JoJo, Stardust Crusaders has seen a number of adaptations. These include an RPG for the Super Famicom, a fighting game on the Playstation, and a 1993 OVA series to name a few. My own experience with it began with the newest anime, and it was a wild time. Seeing Dio return to be the bane of my existence and evolve as a memorable villain made it that much more gratifying when Jotaro approached Dio to kick the crap out of him.



In all honesty, I thought it would have ended there. Parts 1 through 3 presented a cohesive (enough) narrative, so imagine my surprise when in 2015, Diamond Is Unbreakable was announced. Previous cast members reprised their roles and so unfolded the exciting, slapstick, and tragic story of Josuke Higashikata and his friends in Morioh. Yet even as Part 4 was airing, I found myself wondering whether or not the story of Giorno Giovana would be far behind. 

 

We’ve come a long way since the humble Hamon days, and it was truly hard for me to picture what some of the more surreal and violent fights of Parts 4 and 5 would look like in anime form, but I really shouldn’t have been surprised. The team at David Productions are obvious JoJo fans who breathe life into the anime in style. So much thought and detail has been put into every scene of the new anime. From subtle foreshadowing in the openings to elaborate scenes that depict classic moments from the manga, the JoJo anime is truly unique in its dedication to the source material. With every new JoJo adaptation, the legacy of Araki and the Joestars is made much more vibrant, horrifying, and wondrous all at once. And I would absolutely love to see that much care put into JoJo moving forward.



With the conclusion of Golden Wind comes a very familiar question for JoJo fans: will we get the next part? Next up on the docket is Stone Ocean, which follows Jotaro Kujo’s daughter, Jolyne, as she uses her newly-acquired Stand powers to survive prison. Pictured above is Jolyne as she is featured in the 2013 fighting game, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle, one of the few fully-animated appearances she makes.

 

If you asked me two years ago if we’d ever get an adaptation for Part 6, I would’ve had some serious doubts. But having gotten to this point where we get to see Golden Wind Requiem beat up Diavolo, I feel considerably more hopeful in seeing future JoJo parts come alive. Time will tell if we’ll ever get to see Jolyne’s bizarre adventure unfold in anime form, but I certainly have my fingers crossed. 

 


Because that’s the kind of franchise that JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is. It carried with it an enormous legacy of OVAs, video games, and a cult following that existed long before the 2012 anime began. And thus far, the team at David Productions have done the illustrious series justice with each adaptation, creating a new vision for JoJo that balances both meticulous detail and an original narrative flair. I need only look at how dazzling the anime has been thus far to have faith that Part 6 will soon receive the same treatment, and yet anything short of an official announcement won’t really satisfy me.


Because I truly enjoy JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, and all I want is more of it. 


Which part of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is your favorite? Do you want to see it continue? Make plenty of "JoJo" references in the comments!


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Carlos is a freelance features writer for Crunchyroll. Their favorite genres range from magical girls to over-the-top robot action, yet their favorite characters are always the obscure ones. Check out some of their satirical work on The Hard Times.

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