Okay, so in theory I shouldn’t start reviewing JoJo yet, but I figure 4/7 series completed is far enough to at least start, as, man, a full review on JoJo would take FOREVER. I may as well do it now whilst it’s somewhat fresh in my mind.
Uh.. where to start? Well, this isn’t really TECHNICALLY a proper review, I’m just going to say what I thought on parts 1-4 in brief, I’ll post detailed “proper” reviews later or something.
Well, let’s start here.
This is Johnathan Joestar.
This is Dio Brando.
..and here’s JoJo slicing an arm in half. (which was one of the most FUK YEH moments of part 1, as he’s getting revenge for the death of an awesome character who didn’t deserve to die, especially so.. painfully)
Okay, so that’s how it all starts. JoJo’s first series, “Phantom Blood” is certainly interesting, but it’s about as similiar as parts 5/6 as.. well, as fire is to ice. I don’t think it’d be far fetched to say JoJo was initially inspired by Fist of the North Star, the characters look similiar, (aka HUGE) and there’s alot of awesome violence. Joeseph also at one point informs somebody that they are, infact, already dead.
That aside, part 1 isn’t really similiar to FotNS.
Phantom Blood starts normally enough, Dio Brando is the son of some douche who dies, and George Joestar basically adopts him as his own child. Now, Dio HATES the Joestars for some reason I’ve actually forgotten, and vows to, basically, ruin Johnathan’s (or, JoJo) life, and he sets about doing so. The first quarter or so of Phantom Blood basically details how Dio ruins JoJo’s life, but JoJo keeps on forgiving him. He steals JoJo’s loves first kiss, he almost blinds JoJo in a “friendly” boxing match, he comes inbetween JoJo and his father, and he even kills JoJo’s dog. He burns Danny the dog alive. Yet despite all this, JoJo still forgives Dio, then there’s a timeskip and so on, eventually Dio finds some stone mask, that when put on, gives the wearer.. well, vampiric abilities. Weakness to sunlight, super strength and regenerative powers, all that good stuff. It also gives them the trademark URYYYYYYYYYYYYY (WRYYYYY) shriek.
So Dio puts it on, and kills JoJo’s father, to summarize. At this point, JoJo’s pretty much at the “fuck you” stage, and finally doesn’t forgive Dio, they have a loooong ass fight in the Joestar estate, which ends with JoJo impaling Dio on a statue and leaving him as the house is burnt down.
Now that’s all well and good.. only Dio survives, he makes his way to some remote town somewhere, and basically eats all the villagers in order to recover from his near fatal wounds.
Meanwhile, JoJo meets some old guy who tells him that Dio is indeed alive, and cannot be defeated “by courage alone”, so he teaches JoJo the “hamon”, or, “ripple”. It’s basically a breathing technique that powers people up and all that. So JoJo and the old guy (who’s name, sadly, escapes me, something like Mr Zeppeli) go hunting Dio. After many fights, JoJo eventually has his showdown with Dio. It’s a good one. One of the best fights I’ve seen in a manga.
He slices his face in two, but even that isn’t enough to kill him, eventually he uses his ripple overdrive “sunlight yellow”/”burning heat” and stuff like that to smasha him good, as you can see at the end of this trailer.
Even so, Dio, as he falls from the cliff into the water, realises that if the ripple reaches his head, he’ll die. So he cuts off his own head from his body, and floats around angrily, eventually getting saved by his lackie.
Several days/weeks or so later, JoJo is on a cruise to New York with his wife, Erina when Dio pops up again, I don’t know whether it’s suprise or what, but JoJo is “defeated” by Dio this time, who is just a head. However, Dio has gone from hating JoJo to actually admiring and respecting him, and his goal is to fix his head to JoJo’s body. Even so, JoJo, despite having his throat essentially torn out so he can’t breathe or speak and by extension, use the ripple, which is a breathing technique. manages to ensure the safety of Erina, and grasps Dio in a death-grip.
It is pretty sad, main characters don’t often die, especially just after they’ve defeated their arch rival. Still.. just a few pages later, we’ve skipped to the 1930′s or so, and we’re introduced to..
Joseph Joestar, grandson of the original JoJo. My personal favourite out of the 4 male JoJos. 5 if you count Gio, as in japanese his name is like “Joruno Jobāana”
So now we’ve moved onto part 2, Battle Tendency, my favourite part. Part 1 is great, it really is, but I prefer part 2, why? Well, to me, Joseph was just a more interesting character, we also had more variation to the fights. Part 1 was basically JoJo VS Dio several times, and a few Zepelli and random people fighting, and part 3 has way too many different people fighting, Jotaro, Joseph, Kakyoin, Polnareff and Avdul..and.. Iggy. Part 2 got it right in my eyes, we have Joseph, Caesar, Lisa Lisa and Stroheim versus Wham, ACDC and Cars.
Joseph looks very similiar to Johnathan, however he is a very different person, he’s short tempered, rude and cunning. He’s also not technically that “strong” so to speak, so I found it interesting watching him work around this in various ways, take for example, one part where there are TONS of stone maskified vampires, and Joseph is pretty worried, Johnathan could probably take them down, it’d be hard, but he could do it. Joseph tries to destroy them all at once by running the ripple through a net, he also finds interesting ways of inserting his ripple into things he really shouldn’t stick it in. He’s a great character, and he doesn’t hesitate to run away if the situation calls for it. Part 2 continues the story of Part 1 in regards to the stone masks, in short, part 2 is Joseph’s fight against the Perfect Beings, Santanica(?) Wham, ACDC and Cars, with a time limit, as Joseph gets poison in his body that will melt or something within 30 days if he doesn’t drink an antedote that Wham and ACDC carry (amusingly, it is in their nose rings, and green) So yeah, helping Joseph are Caesar (Zepelli’s grandson) and Lisa Lisa (a myserious ripple using woman who only actually fights once, near the end) and to some extent, Stroheim, who’s a nazi, and the basis of Guile from Street Fighter.
There’s not really much more to say about part 2, it’s just awesome.
Part 3, and we’re introduced, as with the timeskip from part 1->2, by an older existing character, in this case, it’s Joseph, the year is now like 1980 and he’s a fairly old (but still capable) man on his way to Japan to meet his grandson, Jotaro Kujo, or KuJO JOtaro. To be honest, I don’t really like Jotaro. Which is ironic as I’m pretty sure he’s one of the most popular in Japan, judging from how popular part 3 is over there. To me though, Jotaro was way too emotionless and generic toughman, he was cool and all that but I prefer characters who have personality.
Even so, he did have this bit, which I found hilarious.
Look at the expression on Star Platinum’s face, he knows he’s punching a woman in the face with a punch that can destroy buildings, he doesn’t care. SUTA PURACHINA.
Anyway yeah, part 3 continues the other existing story from part 1..Dio. In contrast to part 1, where Dio was there all the time pretty much, part 3′s Dio only really pops up at the end, and even so we don’t know what the hell he’s doing really, we don’t know his motives. Much of part 3 revolves around working out the mystery of just WHAT can Dio’s stand do. Like part 2, they have a time limit, 50 days. Unlike parts 1 and 2, the main cast is pretty big and diverse, we’ve got a Frenchman (Polnareff), an English born American (Joseph) an Indian(?) Avdul, and two Japanese, Jotaro and Kakyoin. They also travel alot, much of part 3 focuses on the strange locations they visit on their trip from Japan to Cairo.
Another new thing is, well, there’s no hamon. Jotaro can not use the ripple, however a new power has come into being (and I won’t discuss how it works, as I’m pretty sure it gets semi-retconned again in part 6) but needless to say, they are Stands. It’s essentially a “ghost” that ‘stands’ beside the user, giving them unique powers. Star Platinum, Jotaro’s stand, for example, has very small range, but it is also EXTREMELY fast and powerful, it can catch speeding bullets, kill with one punch, and by the end of the series, even stop time.
So yes, most of part 3 revolves around fighting the numerous stand users they come across on their hunt for Dio, and trying to figure out just what his stand can do. It’s not really a spoiler as I imagine EVERYBODY knows by now, but yes, Dio’s stand is essentially Star Platinum, only it can also stop time. This makes Dio essentially godlike in terms of strength, he may have lost alot of his vampiric abilities (such as the freaky eyebeams) but he still has regeneration and super strength. I thought the way he died was kind of stupid to be honest, in theory he should only be able to be killed by a hamon user. Jotaro obviously isn’t, but if you destroy somebodys stand, they also die, so that’s pretty much what Jotaro does. If you’re wondering just HOW they even fight against somebody who can stop time.. well, they don’t. Not at first, anyway. Avdul and Kakyoin die before they can even work out what his stand can do, Joseph then is also killed, Polnareff was elsewhere, fighting the almost as ridicuously strong Vanilla Ice, but he does intervene when Dio is about to decapitate Jotaro, by stabbing Dio in the head, giving Jotaro the chance he needed to turn the tides of the fight.
Even so, in the end, the only way Jotaro wins is that he gives a short monologue about how he’s super angry and when he next sees Dio’s face, his most ultimate strength will be unleashed, Dio doesn’t look impressed by his claim, and punches him onto a bridge and stops time. Jotaro is thinking “When you show your face, it will be the end for you, come on, Dio.” ..Then Dio pops back into the scene, holding a ROAD ROLLER which he somehow got, and he drops it on Jotaro and punches it till it explodes. Turns out, however, Jotaro wasn’t bluffing, for whatever reason, his stand awakens to its full potential and he stops time after Dio does. Then, the rest, as they say, is history. Dio finally is killed, Jotaro uses the blood from his torso to bring Joseph back to life. Yet no explanation of WHAT Dio’s goals were is made, sadly.
Tune in next time for part 2, where I’ll happily discuss parts 4 and 5.