Synonyms: JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken (2012)
Japanese: ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 (2012)
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 6, 2012 to Apr 6, 2013
24 min. per episode
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.551 (scored by 36882 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisBeginning its tale in 19th century England, young aristocrat Jonathan Joestar finds himself locked in bitter rivalry with Dio Brando, a low-born boy who Jonathan's father took under his wing after the death of Dio's father. Discontent with his station in life, Dio's fathomless lust to reign over all eventually leads him to seek the supernatural powers of an ancient Aztec stone mask in the Joestar's possession—an artifact that will forever change the destiny of Dio and Jonathan for generations to come. Fifty years later, in 1938 New York City, Jonathan's grandson Joseph Joestar must take up his grandfather's mission and master the abilities necessary to destroy the stone mask and its immensely powerful creators who threaten humanity's very existence, the Pillar Men.
Related AnimeAdaptation: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 2: Battle Tendency
Sequel: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (2000), JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders
Alternative version: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood
Characters & Voice Actors
This adaptation of JoJo covers Part 1: Phantom Blood & Part 2:Battle Tendency. Both parts are unique 80's horror shonen filled with MANLINESS! The following will be split into two reviews per part below. The reason for this is that every JoJo part should NOT be skipped as each have their own tone. Examples include: Phantom Blood being a classical vampire hunter story while Battle Tendency feels very much like an Indiana Jones film. However, both animes are filled with stylish colors, great characters & outstanding music!!
PART 1: PHANTOM BLOOD (EPS 1-9)
The beginning of JoJo seems a bit rough at first but manages to give the outline for its primary themes of the series. Taking place in the late 1880's in England, we are introduced to the Joestar family & the Brando Family. The story starts to move when Dio Brando is adopted into the Joestar family as Dio is an ambitious jerk who wishes to rob the family of its fortune & would resort to murder.
Jonathan Joestar is our JoJo for the series whose life changes once Dio discovers the stone mask using it to make himself a vampire. The rest of the series involves Jonathan learning the Ripple martial art to battle against Dio & his vampire army & going on an adventure involving zombies, Jack The Ripper, martial artists, bizarre super powers, over the top dialogue & manly tears.
Being inspired by Fist Of The North Star & possibly Bram Stroker's Dracula, Phantom Blood is a blend of manly characters & horror elements making it a unique short tale. To some people, Jonathan comes off a rather too "good hearted", however having experiencing Fist Of The North Star (specifically The Shin Arc chapters 1-10/episodes 1-22) the "corny moments" come off as very tragic to me.
Part 1 feels more like a classical tale of vampire hunters especially with its location & time period as we have normal humans battling against the forces of darkness. This is further aided with its music as it has the feel of an epic tale & often resorts to something akin to immediate music.
While the concepts of Stands & its much later "Bizarre" quality weren't developed yet, this story almost works as a stand alone with its tragic finale giving much highlight to fans of Manly series such as Sakigake Otokojuku, Riki-Oh, Cyber Blue, Kongo Bancho & Fist Of The North Star respectively.
Phantom Blood may not be the best part of JoJo but serves as a teaser of what the series can become as it expresses the original themes Hirohiko Araki thought of: The struggle of humanity, the temptation of evil, the strive for perfection & the importance of family.
PART 2: BATTLE TENDENCY (EPS 10-26)
50 years after the events of Phantom Blood, Joseph Joestar makes his debut as the grandson of Jonathan Joestar. The story begins once Straights uses the stone mask battling Joseph who then later encounters The Wermacht & the series villains; The Pillar Men who created The Stone Masks of Part 1.
This story continues the original message of the importance of family as history repeats itself with the descendants of The Joestars & The Zeppelis having to face Aztec Vampires. Battle Tendency succeeds as a sequel as it vastly improves The Ripple technique along with having 3 major enemies this time around. Much like part 1, this sequel contains over the top dialogue, manly battles, creative abilities & flourishes more into comedy while still retaining its signature horror.
Joseph Joestar is vastly different from his grandfather, as he comes off as more rebellious & comedic which more fans seem to like as a leading JoJo. Other differences in Part 2 is being more expressive in flamboyancy in ways serving as a contrast to the more masculine tone of part 1. This is aided by its opening & villains The Pillarmen as the fabulous colors pay homage to Araki's coloring style & foreshadows its future in Part 5. While it may deter to some viewers, this part does retain its masculine audience as the characters continue to carry various warrior ideologies. The tone for this series is more adventurous as it contains more locations than the 1st series as well as a bigger roster of leading characters. Aiding these characters are various theme music used in this anime as it ranges from 90's rap, upbeat pop, german lyrics, dubstep, electro, rock, classical & even Italian singing. Note the anime uses mostly instrumental tracks while the OST contain lyrics within their songs.
Part 2 is about breaking The Joestar family curse & the passing of lineage as it displays how men learn to accept their pasts & discover the value of the next generation. Most of the content in Battle Tendency is greatly appreciated due to the tragic events that occurred in part 1 as it helps the viewer see the progress of not just a family but the author's writing style.
Look forward to Part 3 Stardust Crusaders as it focuses more on horror & introduces its iconic STANDS creating the structure of the following parts of JoJo. read more
This is my favorite series ever, and it finally got a real weekly anime adaptation after 25 years—the ‘94 and ‘00 OVAs and the Phantom Blood movie, which never saw DVD/home video release do not count—there is definitely some bias in this review. That said, there’s a reason I still didn’t give it a perfect score, and it’s because I’m still trying to keep a hint of objectivity in here.
Art - 8/10
I suppose I’ll start off with how it adapted the source material. Unlike the OVAs and Phantom Blood movie, there were no cuts in content, and it actually adapted parts 1 and 2 of the manga: Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency. The studio, David Production, did what I would consider a masterful job in terms of bringing out Araki Hirohiko’s style into the manga. He is an artist, and you can see his art evolve throughout the long-running JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure franchise. DP hired multiple art directors and tried to incorporate the different faces and builds in body throughout the series. Also, because there is no such thing as “canon” colors for characters, DP, in an unexpected but very innovative manner, used their poor budget to their advantage—by changing color schemes and using colorful abstract backgrounds during monologues and still-frames. I’ll give the art by itself a 10/10, even though sometimes Jonathan and Joseph, the titular JoJos in this series, suffer from Gorilla Face Syndrome, since the BD/DVDs are doing a great job of fixing it.
On still-frames, this is one of TWO flaws I found throughout the whole series. DP was contracted by Warner Bros. and they were given a pretty weak budget to work with. As a result, some might say that there are lots of times where this show is more of a “live-manga” or stream of the manga. The “animated” SFX from the source material, plentiful still-frames, and lack of actual animation at times are what add to this idea. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s not like every episode is a slideshow; however, there are DEFINITELY times when it feels that way—I’m looking at you, episode 16. Honestly, I feel like DP made it up to us with some episodes that were battle-heavy, like episode 20 and most definitely the final 3 or so episodes. Especially the last one. For this I will have to give the animation itself a 7/10. The distinct art style and use of colors boost it up to an 8 for me.
Sound - 8/10
So-no Chi no Sa-da-me, JOOOOOOOOO~JO! There are two opening themes, JOJO~Sono Chi no Sadame~ by Hiroaki “TOMMY” Tominaga , and BLOODY STREAM by Coda. Both were tailored for their respective Part in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, in both lyrics, atmosphere, and animation itself—we actually get some pretty good CG depicting events in Parts 1 and 2. They were extremely catchy, and I never skipped them. The ending theme was Roundabout by progressive rock band YES, which actually came out in the 70s—and influenced the original manga! and I applaud DP for that choice. The song’s lyrics fit extremely well and it is actually one of Araki Hirohiko’s favorite bands! Also, because it is an 8 minute song, they used different snippets, some soft, some more intense, depending on what kind of note the episode ended on. That was genius and definitely made the watching experience better. If it were up to the OP and ED alone I'd give the sound a 10/10
As for the actual soundtrack, because of the difference in atmosphere between Parts 1 and 2, or at least I assume it’s for that reason, DP hired two composers and gave us two soundtracks per part. Phantom Blood was mostly orchestral, very fitting with the late Victorian feel we get when we think of England in the 1880s. It fit extremely well and I applaud Matsuo Hayato for his beautiful soundtrack. Part 2, being much more dynamic and quite literally “all over the place”, has Iwasaki Taku, who worked with his friends Lotus Juice. The soundtrack he made has soft, orchestral pieces and, well, everything. He has rap/hip-hop, rock, metal, DUBSTEP, and even flutes and drums that bring a middle-eastern feel. Personally, I thought the dubstep was actually very good and tamer than most, and that it fit well the middle-eastern sounds he composed for with the Pillar Men, the main antagonists of Part 2. The sound direction, however, was not as amazing. Iwasaki Taku complained himself, over Twitter, that his songs were not being used correctly, and, after paying close attention to episodes 22 and 23, I can’t say I disagree. David Productions flubbed it when it came to transitioning the music and providing an appropriate atmosphere with the songs in those two episodes. For that reason, although the music itself was superb, I will have to give it an 8 total.
Story - 9/10
Story is pretty simple, to say the least. The original story came out in 1987, in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump. Phantom Blood can be pretty much summed up as Castlevania with Hokuto no Ken elements, which shouldn’t be seen as bad in any way. Araki Hirohiko wanted to make a solid base so that he could evolve his work throughout time, and I think he did a pretty good job, taking in the work of contemporaries around him. The first part is hot-blooded, fast-paced, and the definition of “camp”. Jonathan Joestar and Dio Brando are probably the most one-dimensional characters you will ever find, but it is because they were so static, they polarized each other and made the fight between them so interesting. Dio Part 1's main antagonist, from the first episode, is depicted to us as the very definition of EVIL at the age of 12! Although the story is simple, the characters are definitely what make the sure. In Battle Tendency, the story takes a more adventurous route and we see our new JoJo, Joseph Joestar, go from New York, to Mexico, to Italy, to Sweden, and it’s amazing. The main antagonists of this part are a powerful trio of “Pillar Men” called Wham, ACDC, and Cars, responsible for the creation of the stone mask that set the events in Part 1. The continuity is great and you definitely feel time passing as you watch the series, characters like Speedwagon and Erina are shown old, and with every major timeskip you see differences in character design. Story, when it boils down to it, just has to be interesting. I was definitely interested in the stories for Parts 1 and 2 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. They were simple, straight, and to the point, which made it possible to expand more on the character dynamics, arguably the strongest part of this series. There were no long and obnoxious training arcs, the fights are NOT dragged out—probably the most common flaw in shonen battle series—and if there are cliches, they are exaggerated to their extremes. This series does not take itself that seriously, and when it does, you can bet that you’ll be on the edge of your seat. Story gets a 9/10 from me.
Character - 10/10
As for the characters. Araki sure knows how to get you attached to characters. And then rip them away from you. There are definitely deaths in this series and they are dramatic and will definitely tug at your heart. Also, the voice actors are passionate and work admirably together. Takehito Koyasu, with his smooth, deep voice will send chills down your spine whenever Dio is formulating a plot or mocking JoJo. Okitsu Kazuyuki may be a newbie, unlike the slew of veterans in the rest of the cast, but he makes Jonathan Joestar so damn LIKABLE with his passionate screams, calm reassurance, and definitely makes the heart of gold in this character shine brightly. Sugita Tomokazu, probably best known for his characteristic shonen gag voice as Gintoki (Gintama) and serious/apathetic voice as Kyon (Haruhi Suzumiya series), makes a perfect Joseph Joestar, because Joseph embodies the ideal shonen protagonist—smart, strong, funny, and extremely expressive. Basically, where the animation fell short, I believe that the voice actors definitely picked up the slack. Everyone has fun, because this is supposed to be a fun series. I love it. Characters get 5/5 from me. Both as they were written and how they were acted, you can definitely feel the chemistry between all the voices and that made it way more enjoyable.
Enjoyment - 10/10
Enjoyment. I keep on mentioning this when I score each aspect of the show for this review. Ultimately, when you watch an anime, or any show, movie, etc; you do so because you want to enjoy and be entertained. I can almost guarantee that if you go and watch this show with a blank slate and just a pure, unadulterated desire to be entertained, you will not come out disappointed. Just keep in mind that JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a series that is 25 years in the making, and this is but the beginning. It is without a doubt my favorite manga series, and this long-awaited anime adaption gives it the justice that it deserves. If you watch it, and enjoy it, like I said you probably will, then I implore to take up the manga. You can skip right to Part 3, the most popular arc in the franchise, but I recommend reading from the beginning, you’ll pick out some tiny things left out that couldn’t be conveyed through the anime, and you’ll see the evolution of Araki Hirohiko’s art throughout the ages.
But first, if you watch the anime, I recommend Muda Muda Muda Subs [MMM] subs or CommieSubs [Commie]. They are the most accurate subs and if you prefer a better script, go with MMM, if you want better typesetting and subtitled SFX, go with Commie. Personally, I used MMM because they are a group that got together solely for this series, released in a timely schedule with accurate subs, took advice/criticism well, and also have better encoding.
I hope that after this review some of you watch this show and develop the same love I have for it! read more
If you're looking at these two as a comparison of similar anime stories, don't, there isn't one. Instead look at these two as having a similarity of overabundant histrionics (lot of shouting and overacting) and male characters that are very gar.
The storylines are simple within themselves.
Just remember that these two series are both over-the-top, so be ready for it.
What if I'm so manly that I drill open the sky?
Purposely done over-the-top shounen series with positive outlook on the general flaws of humanity when they are fighting supposedly ten times as powerful alien monsters.
Supernatural characters who start out as weaklings constrained by their naiveness, and though Jojo develops its characters through generational heritages, both display a trending possession of glorified characters.
Mostly fluid action scenes. TTGL is more mecha, whilst Jojo goes back to the '80s battle shounen genre. Overall, vastly epic action scenes and great music.
Both are highly potential, likable butlers for macho men with interests in manly looking characters containing a thoroughly explored plot about humans vs. aliens/superior beings.
Over the top in every possible way, from characters, to music, to animation.
If you enjoyed Gurren Lagann then that means you must love the "shonen" genre. Both of these series are very hardcore and manly; they both have a ton of action. And I loved every minute of both of them. If you enjoy very shonen (manly) anime that makes you feel like you're on a roller coaster of pure testosterone while watching then you'll just love the TV series Jojo's Bizarre Adventure.
If you liked Gurren Lagann for it's over the top manliness and balls to the wall insanity then you will probably love Jojo's Bizarre Adventure (2012) as well.
-Both shows have over-the-top characters and plot lines
-Both shows involve manly men fighting for the fate of the world
-Both shows are badass in general.
The only major difference in the two is that Gurren Lagann is a mecha and has plenty of Fanservice, while Jojo is a shonen and has manservice.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is the Second MOST GAR action title after Fist of the North Star. So if you like GAR, watch both...you won't regret it.
Both have the same manly/badass hotblooded shounen vibe to them, and both are based off manga from the late 70s-80s. Hokuto no Ken has a more diverse cast of characters, because this is only 1/8th of the JoJo's Bizarre adventure series which is still ongoing. Well it's 1/4th of the series if we continue on to battle tendancy and make this a two cour anime adaptation... which would probably make those of us who've been into the series for over a decade such as myself jizz.
-Both series have a good amount of fighting
-Both series have a male main protagonist (except for part 6)
-Both series have been around since the 1980's
-Both series tend to be very over-the-top (HnK in it's depiction of violence, JJBA in a lot of the concepts presents, such as the ripple/stands)
Opening Theme#1: "JoJo ~Sono Chi no Sadame~ (ジョジョ～その血の運命～)" by Hiroaki TOMMY Tominaga (eps 2-9)
#2: "BLOODY STREAM" by Coda (eps 11-25)
Ending Theme#1: "Roundabout" by YES (eps 1-25)
#2: "BLOODY STREAM" by Coda (ep 26)
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