JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has been as much of a right of passage for being a writer at AniTAY as watching Evangelion. Despite not ever hearing of the show before I joined in 2017, the team here convinced me to watch the anime and, later, read the manga for this legendary franchise. The first two installments flew by and I loved them so much that I actually purchased the manga (something I had never done to that point). It felt like the goodness would keep flowing and never end.
Then I got to Stardust Crusaders. It was fun and I really enjoyed the journey, however the length of the watch wore on me. I came out of the other end of that and was immediately pummeled by JJBA memes and being told how essential it was to watch Diamond is Unbreakable. After around ten episodes, I wasn’t crazy about the show and oh boy did folks on the anime sect of Twitter let me have it. You would swear I said the biggest heresy possible with the amount of mentions I received. Naturally, I quit watching the show with the expectation I would return to it one day.
Sure enough, that day came while I was free for a week back in August. Despite knowing some details thanks to spoilers and being sledgehammered over the head with others, I thought it was worth getting a fresh look at the show. This was one of those times where I was really happy I swallowed my pride and just rewatched the show despite having feelings of fatigue and annoyance attached to it. If it tells anything, my normal time through a show this long is around two or three months. I did it in four days!
If there is, somehow, still holdouts from watching this show...well don’t worry! I won’t spoil anything outside of identifying stretches of episodes I really enjoyed.
So first and foremost, I really appreciated how faithful to the manga this adaptation was. I’m aware there was different coloring changes for some stylistic liberties in previous parts (namely 1 and 2), however after seeing how the manga switches up colored panels I can fully appreciate this added into the mix. Indeed, there already were the usual bright and vibrant colors the show had, and this nice switch up kept everything fresh and aesthetically pleasing.
Next, I really enjoyed the cast of characters this time around. Not that I disliked the cast in Stardust Crusaders, however I was hoping that I would develop more attachment towards the characters through that long, long trek through Egypt. Instead, I felt disappointed and let down by the lack of notable moments for the characters not named Polnareff. My lack of attachment ended up making me feel rather...apathetic as the last character arcs ended (with an emphasis on ended).
Indeed, even if I knew what would happen for many of these episodes, I was invested enough with the cast to watch with full attention and, at times, bated breath. Josuke and Jotaro were sure things for a good time, sure, but I was not expecting to enjoy Koichi and Okuyasu as much as I did. The former in particular had one of the most bonafide hearts I have seen from a character in an anime of this caliber. When Okuyasa got into a notable bind, I was genuinely worried about the development. It was wonderful to be able to ride the emotion of scenes with characters I cared about.
If I may briefly speak on the details I did not care for, I can start in the character department with the overload of attention that the show had with Rohan. I understand he is a fan favorite, however I imagine it would be easy to be a fan favorite when a good quarter of the episodes focused solely on him. I didn’t hate his character, I was just so fatigued of seeing him by the end of the series.
Additionally, I think this series still suffers from a few of the shortcomings the previous part had in it. Towards the end in particular, some of the “battles” feel tediously drawn out and, at times, they feel like a chore to finish before getting to the marquee parts. With no exaggeration, there were a few times I would check the progress in the episode or leave the room briefly without feeling like I needed to be present for the grind.
That is truly all the further I can take the complaints department, and I am so happy to say I was able to enjoy this anime without the banter from fanboys on Twitter. The art was a ton of fun and I loved the liberties they took to bring Stands as well as their users out. Also, the more memorable battles had super creative twists and turns. In one fight in particular, I loved the use of a character’s powers on a scale that was possibly the furthest (distance) in the franchise to that point. It made an awesome fight even more awesome, which might sound like it lacking in elaborate thought but it is as fitting as it can go.
I’m very excited to jump in on Golden Wind after I take a break and finish up grad school applications. Anyways, I hope you have a fantastic day!