Serving as a soft reset for Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Steel Ball Run takes the story in original and daring directions. But does it work? Oh who am I kidding? I'm going to be straight up.
I consider Steel Ball Run to be one of the greatest written works I've ever read.
I will admit Steel Ball Run has a very, very slow start. In fact, Stands aren't even introduced until like 20 chapters in. That's another thing: Steel Ball Run is seinen instead of shounen. That means each chapter ranges from 35 to 60 pages long in comparison to the 20 page long
chapters of the Jojo Parts before. This may seem daunting at first, but once you get invested in Steel Ball Run it feels like the story was too short, despite being the longest Jojo Part to date. Steel Ball Run also changes the Jojo formula in its fights. Stands are no longer humanoid for the most part, and they function more as superpowers than spirits who fight for you. Each fight is engaging and unique, dealing with psychological warfare more than throwing blind punches. This makes the fights in Steel Ball Run among the best in the series.
Steel Ball Run is also magnificently written with very great story arcs throughout. However, there is a controversial near the very end direction which I won't spoil that will surely throw some people off and make them consider it unnecessary. Eh, I didn't mind it too much, though it does undermine what made a previous Part so good to a degree. Despite that, it still contains one of the greatest and most emotional endings I've ever read.
Part 4 may have been the pinnacle of Araki's style, but Steel Ball Run is his pinnacle in his talent. Truly perfect art in all fields. The detail is much more in depth than previous Parts and character designs are on point.
Steel Ball Run, though its primary cast is a fraction of other Parts, contains some of the best characters in Jojo, and in my opinion some of the best characters of all time. Gyro Zeppeli qualifies for the latter. He's hilarious but he also has a tragic backstory that offers him plenty of motivation while keeping him in mystery. Diego Brando is an interesting spin on Dio Brando from The Phantom Blood and his Stand Scary Monsters is awesome. Lucy and Steven Steel are a great duo. Steven is barely in the story but he's a well written and unique supporting character and while Lucy doesn't really come into play until the finale she is still compelling. Wekapipo is one of the best side protagonists and works well as a foil to Gyro. Steel Ball Run also contains my favorite side villain, Ringo Roadaggin, and though his time spent in the story is brief it is arguably he pinnacle of Jojo.
As for the Jojo and main villain, they're simply the best. Johnny Joestar is a tragic lightning rod of Shakespearean proportions. It's not only impossible to not root for him, it is immoral. He has one of the greatest and most significant character arcs I've ever experienced, and his Stand Tusk is awesome to boot. He is my favorite Jojo bar none, despite being one of the most depraved ones. Johnny is immoral and sinful and honestly can be considered the villain of Steel Ball Run, but he is still a compelling force of nature.
The villain, President Funny Valentine, in contrast, can be considered the hero to an extent, and is one of the most sympathetic villains to grace manga. In fact, it's no secret Funny Valentine is my favorite antagonist ever. He's like a better version of Ozymandias from Watchmen who takes pride in his actions rather than cry in secret. A true patriot, Funny Valentine will stop at nothing to make America great again. As said by the man himself, his "heart and actions are utterly unclouded. They are those of JUSTICE.". His Stand, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (D4C), has one of the most insane and unique powers of any Stand and makes for a more than satisfying final fight.
Steel Ball Run blew me away in every way. It is a literal epic, a poetic work of great magnitude following flawed heroes on a large scale journey that tests their spiritual and emotional strength as well as their physical. It is compelling and powerful and the fights are pretty damn great. Absolutely mind blowing and awe inspiring yet will leave you in an emotional wreck, despite the story still being filled with trademark Araki humor (Thanks mostly to Gyro and his obsession with making up gags). Johnny and Gyro are a perfect tag team; their relationship is strong and real and their chemistry is on point. They are part of what makes the story so damn compelling.
Steel Ball Run is one of the most intense and pleasing emotional rollorcoasters I've ever experienced. It contains some of my favorite characters in fiction history and is a fantastic new take on the Jojo universe that, dare I say, is utterly superior to all that's come before it. Featuring my favorite fights, my favorite Jojo, my favorite villain, my favorite story, and one of the most emotional endings I've read, it's no secret that I consider Steel Ball Run to be the greatest Jojo Part, and one of the greatest manga ever created, period.
I am writing this review simply because there was only one review which means that no matter how bad this review is it will still end up being the second most helpful.
Set in an alternate universe from previous parts as a result of the events at the end of Stone Ocean, Steal Ball Run is probably the apex of the massive Jojo's Bizzare Adventure franchise, which is no small statement. Araki has once again recycled and improved upon his formula for making terrifically bizarre adventures.
The premise for Steel Ball Run like many of the other parts of the JJBA series is fairly simple and straightforward
yet manages to go so far beyond the limits in depth and development of such a simple story. Essentially the story is about a cross-continental horse race across America with a prize of $50 million. There are many wacky and wonderful characters who enter this race ranging from a native american trying to save his village to a man who entered the race because he got a good fortune from a creepy fortune teller.
Moving onto the two main characters of Steel Ball Run. We have Johnny Joestar the titular Jojo of the series and Gyro Zeppeli. In his youth Johnny was a promising horse jockey until he was shot and paralyzed which resulted in him being unable to compete, he also lost all his fame and his father's love as well. It's at this point Johnny encounters the flamboyant Gyro Zeppeli who Johnny believes holds the ability to restore his ability to walk, with nothing to lose Johnny pursues Gyro. Gyro whilst reluctant at first allows Johnny to race alongside him in the Steel Ball Run. Araki decided only to have two central characters in this part as opposed to previous parts such as Stardust Crusaders and Vento Aureo which results in both characters receiving brilliant development over the course of the series, this is hands down the best bromance in anime and manga. There are still many notable side characters present and they still play an important role in the plot, we have a magnificent cameo performance from previous villain Dio Brando in the form of the suave ladies man Diego Brando who is willing to do anything to achieve his ambitions. As well as the mysterious Hot Pants who provided one of the most shocking twists in the entire series.
We then have the antagonist of the story Funny Valentine (named after the song 'My funny valentine' by Chet Baker) who happens to be the President of the United States and is the one secretly pulling the strings behind the scenes of the Steel Ball Run for his own nefarious means. Valentine manages to set himself apart from the other villains in the series and even manages to surpass his counterparts which is very impressive considering JJBA arguably has some of the best villains in any series. He manages to combine his strong philosophical and political views with perhaps the coolest ability of all time to become a truly great villain.
Once more Araki's artistic style has evolved further, his eccentric character designs have been brushed up to the point of perfection. Since the series moved from Weekly Shounen Jump to Ultra Jump which has monthly release the length of the chapters has lengthened, as well as the quality of the backgrounds and landscapes which vary greatly across the massive continent of America from vast desserts to frozen wastelands which are all captured beautifully.
The Stand fighting system is back once more, but has been refined further. Araki once again provides the reader with a banquet of fabulous powers and intelligent fights that other fighting series could only wish for. A special mention to Diego Brando's 'Scary Monsters' because well it is awesome.
Araki has really outdone himself this time. He has truly created one of the most exciting and memorable manga series of all time with Steel Ball Run, I have no idea how he plans to top himself with Jojolion but he has set the bar pretty damn high for himself and every other shounen author out there.
I highly recommend this series to anyone looking for a fantastic series filled with intelligent and innovative fights, brilliantly developed characters who are genuinely relatable and for anyone who wants to read a series with horse races in it. If you are interested in reading Steel Ball Run you can probably get away with not reading the entire series from parts 1-6 but I would strongly advise you to check out the entire series as you would be missing out on a lot of greatness, at any rate you should at the very least watch the 2012 series as there are a few overlapping themes and characters which you should be aware of.
On many forums I've seen recommendations of Steel Ball Run as an "Absolutely amazing manga", "easily the best Jojos and epitomising everything about that 'style' of comic", and "From the art to story 10/10. Best thing i've ever read". After finishing it, I honestly can't say I see its appeal. The characters were barely fleshed out and quite boring, the fighting frequently was decided on pure "luck", rather than fighting strength or strategy, and the story was painfully plain.
The story - Coming in, I wasn't expecting a narrative masterpiece, but I was expecting a compelling story. I was very disappointed. There really isn't any
depth to it other than "I want to complete the race first", or "I want to assemble the corpse". The corpse could've been a very interesting part of the story - but besides it being an object that everybody wants, and some small abilities, it was hardly touched upon. There was almost non-stop fighting, and bc of that really wasn't much of a story. It was basically a stereotypical shounen way of handling stories.
Fighting - There were a couple - 3 or 4 fights that were decided by luck, which left a very bad taste in my mouth. Are real-life fights decided by luck? Sure. But the author makes a big point of "luck" being a main reason why the main character wins some fights, which I cannot fathom why. The bad guy does everything right - but because xxxxx happened just at the right time, the main character wins! Once would have been cute. when it happens more than a few times, it starts getting frustrating. I don't know why the author glorifies plot armor, but it made me lose a lot of emotional attachment to fights and characters.
Also frequently in fights, I would notice that powers are VERY inconsistent - while a random character that gets hit by ability X would instantly blow apart, when it hits the main character, they were given almost 10 seconds - to talk it out, figure out a strategy, and then execute it to get to safety. I noticed this happening in almost every single fight. The amount of plot armor in this manga was ridiculous.
Character - After 22 volumes, I had nearly no emotional attachment to a single one of the characters. I think this is due to the manga being absolutely dominated by fighting. When there is no flashback scene or racing going on, the characters are most definitely fighting, leading to close to no exploration of the character's personalities or character. I honestly think the manga absolutely dropped the ball in this regard, there were some painful and not-showing-at-all moments where one character would say a "gag", but besides that there really wasn't any interesting shows of personalities. Most of them felt like cookie cutter good guys that were just on different sides.
Each bad guy was given a brief exposition of why he wasn't really "bad", then was thrust toward the main characters to get beat.
Overall this manga felt like a mediocre shounen. No interesting characters, no emotional attachment, no interesting story, just tons of fighting with chunk of them being decided by plot armor. Wouldn't really recommend.
In Steel Ball Run, Araki once again delivers a story arc full of clever battles, creative abilities, crazy plots and lovely characters. No, this is even better than the previous arcs, as the author continues to recycle his own style and improve without limits. This is a very rare example in which the author actually gets better with time, and Steel Ball Run provides very good evidence for that.
The story starts out pretty simple: our crippled Joestar hero, Johny, gangs up with Gyro Zeppeli and aims for the top in the intense Steel Ball Run race. Each competitor has his own unique motivations, abilities and
means to win. Add the wackiness of the Stands to the mix and you've got yourself one hell of a ride, much like previous installments of the saga. But Steel Ball Run goes one step beyond and throws in characters/factions with their own agendas, a large conspiracy and personal quests.
That doesn't mean the story is complicated, but it definitely has interesting plot twists, intense conflicts and engaging character dynamics. Everything just flows so well that it's easy to get sucked in by the manga.
The art gets even more refined, making brilliant use of Araki's trademark style to highlight emotions, grant impact to a scene or simply serve as true feasts to the reader's eyes, specially with the rich character designs.
Gyro and Johny are likely the best JoJo protagonists to date, despite not topping Joseph from Part 2 in terms of badassery. They are far from perfect, but that's what makes them fascinating: they keep struggling with their inner demons, which are also their greatest enemies, in order to continue advancing, revealing more and more aspects of their personalities in the process. Their bond of friendship is quite powerful and authentic; even meaningless interactions are a lot of fun to watch. Oh, and Gyro's charisma is a huge plus.
The rest of the cast may not be as developed as Johny and Gyro, but they still shine. For starters, you've got Dio, who is again that bastard we all love to hate, manipulating everyone he can to achieve his personal goals. There is also the sympathetic cowboy Mountain Tim, the conflicted Hot Pants, the hilarious comedy relief Pocoloco and many other remarkable characters. The main antagonist is also great, using all of his experience acquired in combat, political power and honest, strong patriotism to pose a serious threat for the heroes.
As usual, battles are one of the biggest focus of the narrative and the main driving force behind the characters' growth, by putting them against desperate situations which demand a strong resolve and difficult choices to be made. While the Stands were becoming stronger and stronger in the previous arcs, Steel Ball Run brings most of them down dramatically. There are few overpowered abilities, making the battles very strategical and a lot demanding of the users. This is highlighted in battles such as the one against Axl Ro, which literally makes everyone involved face their sins, specially Johny and Hot Pants.
If you're up for some exciting, yet intelligent battles, a great cast of characters and one of the most bizarre races of the entire universe, then JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Steel Ball Run is for you. And it doesn't matter whether you are an experienced reader of the JoJo saga or a total newcomer, because the Steel Ball Run excludes no one!
(Reviewed for the club "Reviews for the unreviewed")
Huh, this manga has me confused. All the high ratings and hype, I figured this was going to be a masterpiece along the lines of Berserk or FMA, with engrossing and emotional character development, mind blowing powers and abilities, a captivating story, yadda yadda yadda. Sadly I found myself incredibly bored by the halfway point, disappointed around the 3/4 mark, and I really only finished it because I had no other bathroom material to read at the time. There are no characters I'm really attached to, the characters I'm supposed to like I don't much care for, but on the flip side the characters I'm
supposed to hate, I do hate, which leads to me just not liking any of the characters, and comes off as imbalanced character design. The premise had me salivating with a race across the west, but then they introduce the powers, and while the race continues it feels like the importance of it was left behind in the dust. While the art is amazing, the same face issue detracts from it slightly.
Overall I'm left feeling pretty disappointed. The ending was not satisfying, nor did it leave me feeling like I was a better person after reaching the end of the journey. The only takeaway for me was to pray to RNJesus for good luck, but that you'll probably just get screwed anyways.
Again, I'm confused on this one. I wouldn't say this manga is bad, but for it to be at the #2 spot on MAL frankly baffles me.
JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken Part 7: Steel Ball Run Review
Story (9/10) Great
More Specifically (9.80/10) Great+
The story for the critically acclaimed Part 7 of JoJo's did indeed live up to the hype as the best JoJo's Part from a story standpoint. It's not perfect just like any other series and it's the best Araki has ever written. Now my personal issues with the story is the climax of this Part which also hindered my enjoyment so I'll put those in that section. But that's not the only thing that urked me as we know JoJo's has never made 100% sense and as a reader
of JoJo's one must admit that and accept that accordingly. Araki tries his best (or at least I hope he does) to explain the supernatural or scientific situations that occur in his series and some times it makes sense and some times it doesn't which is forgivable depending on the individual reader and the situation at hand. One thing that didn't sit well with me for this entire part was the power of the spin. Now ripple made some what sense and so did stands they were some sort simple and easy forms of powers araki made up in the past that you could wrap your head around but the power of the spin made little sense at the start of the series but then just started to make less and less to me and damn near lost me at the part where Gyro needs to see a perfect rectangle to activate his true potential, I can't let araki ride out with that one. Other than that the story plot of the actual Steel Ball Run Race was amazingly unique and the biggest flip from JoJo's we've seen since Part 4's slice of life spin (and it's even more than that). You get the same sensation of watching or reading a really good sports manga with JoJo's flavor on top of it and majority of it was done great and I can cosign it as the best story Araki has written thus far.
Art (10/10) Outstanding
The art in JoJo's Part 7 is Araki's best work he's ever done in my opinion. Of the time of me writing this review I've already read Part 8 and I am caught up with it. Part 7's art is superior to Part 8's. I don't know what happen after he was done with Part 7 but that was his pinnacle he has never drawn anything that has looked as good as it did in any other Part of JoJo's or any other manga he drawn before JoJo's.
Characters (10/10) Outstanding (Spoilers)
What made the characters outstanding to me in Part 7 were not how likeable they were but because of the backstories they have. Johnny's, Gyro's, Diego's and Funny are some of the best backstories for characters Araki has ever written. The only character's backstory to be honest that rival's the back stories of these characters I mention and aren't apart of Part 7 were Part 6's Weather Report and Enrico Pucci's. Likeable is subjective and I indeed enjoyable the company of how main characters Johnny and Gyro their chemistry as duos outshines any duo we've seen in previous parts Joseph and Ceaser? Nope, Josuke and Okuyasu? Nah, no duo is touching Johnny and Gyro. Now Diego Brando as a character does indeed outshine the orginal Dio from a character standpoint. Although i like the og Dio more as a character Diego shows that he's more deep and interesting than OG Dio. Although Dio got more characterization in Part 6 during Enrico's flashback that made Dio seem more than just some 1 Dimensional villain that hates the Joestar bloodline and I appreciated it, I still think Diego is a better character from the ground up. My only gripes about Diego is the way he got his dinosaur abilities, it still doesn't make sense to me and when the 2nd Diego got pulled into the picture which is basically a completely different character and I felt it wasn't really needed and felt more like a lazy attempt to bring The World back into the picture, although the idea I think was cool i think getting completely rid of the original Diego so earlier wasn't too much of a good move. Diego Brando is a great antagonist and I don't feel he was a villain which is why I feel since I don't consider him a flat out villain like Dio Brando I feel he was a better character by default. Funny Valentine on the other hand can be looked at as both villain and antagonist. His complex mind and way of thinking was outstanding I do feel he is a better villain than Dio but I do like Dio more. With all that being said even though I am giving this section a 10/10 it's because like I say time and time again all a 10/10 means to me is that it has reached my pinnacle of satisfaction I was looking for when it came to this section doesn't necessarily mean it's perfect.
Enjoyment (9/10) Great
More Specifically (9.60/10) Great+
My enjoyment for Part 7 was great I enjoyed majority of it. I do feel the start of Part 7 took a minute to get going but once it did it was smooth sailing from there on out. Enjoyment is a 100% subjective category so it's different for everyone. So for me I felt when it came to the conclusion on how the final opposing villain was handled, it was good but the whole Diego Brando from an alternate universe with the Stand power of The World? When that came into the picture I my enjoyed kind of hit a wall, because I just felt it was quite an ass pull even by JoJo's standards. Honestly this was more of an ass pull than Part 3's Jotaro getting the power of time stop right at the end of the series yeah it's that much of an ass pull to me. Apart of Diego getting The World was spoiled for me before I got to it in the manga and I thought that the original Diego was going to get the that ability somehow and I was interested to figure out how he gets it. But when I figured out it's not even him it's another Diego from a parallel universe it kind of disappointed me and hindered my overall enjoyment for a conclusion to the critically acclaimed SBR, I guess I felt it could have been handled better, example could you imagine if the original Diego wasn't dead and the new Diego teamed up with him and that had some sort of 2v2 fight with Johnny and Gyro? That would have been far better to me. Another issue that hindered my enjoyment was the fact that just like the previous Joestar (which would be Jolyne) Johnny couldn't finish the job. Sure one could say Johnny defeated Funny who was the true main antagonist of Part 7 but the fact that it's because of Funny that this 2nd Diego is here still makes me uncomfortable in the same way that I did when Jolyne couldn't finish the job against Enrico Pucci back in Part 6. It doesn't sit well with me that Lucy Steel (just like Emporio) is the one to lay the final blow on the final opposing threat of Part 7. Nonetheless it didn't completely destroy my enjoyment as you can tell because it still ended up getting a 9.60 it's far more forgivable than the big issues of previous Parts of JoJo's (Part 4,5 and 6 in particular which all had that one big thing that is unforgivable in each of them). Nonetheless points (just like i did for Part 6 when this happened) had to be deducted from my score but not as much.
Overall (9/10) Great
More Specifically (9.85/10) Great+
So the hype was indeed real, I can see why this is considered the best Part of JoJo's. And as of me writing this review and also being caught up with JoJo's Part 8. I would say my ranking for my personal favorites would be 4,2,3,7,5,1,8,6. I do feel this is superior than it's counter Part which is Phantom Blood, but everyone feels that way. All and all Part 7 was a great Part and I can cosign it as one of the if not the best from a critical standpoint.
After sitting down and thinking about it hard an long my new ranking as far as favorite parts rank as the following now. 7, 4, 2, 3, 5, 1, 8, 6. So yeah Part 7 is like wine although the issues that I have with have not gone anywhere, comparing it to the issues I've had with my previous #1 favorite i felt bothered me far more than the issues I've had with Part 7. The anime for Part 4 that aired, made me realize how many issues I have with Part 4 that bother me to the point where it made me do a deep comparison on everything Part 4 and Part 7 has done in every category and Part 7 came out on top. So yeah Part 7 is my new favorite.
I will never understand the jojo fandom's constant and obsessive wanking of this part. They pretend it's the greatest thing since the invention of the wheel like hxh and one piece fans do, except they actually have fair reason sometimes (one piece selling most manga worldwide and hxh's chimera ant arc).Where do i start? The pacing is like any other jojo part, but because it's seinen it's 1.5 to twice as longer, leading to slow and long-dragging arcs that suck the enjoyment, investment, or interest out of you every fight. D4C was 15+ whole seinen chapters, imagine being a monthly reader during that time. That's
1.5 years for one fight.
The Stands? Honestly some of the most unoriginal stands in the series next to the ones in part 3. ToTB is metallica, but weaker and lacks all of the cool stuff metallica has. Wired is Beach Boy crossed with the hooks episode from spongebob (which predates this manga). OLM is literally rope that makes your arm extend a couple feet. CtR is Weather Report/Heavy weather but weaker. BnRwK is killer queen but weaker. Hey Ya is the first stand seen, and even araki admits it's a joke that can only give good advice. In a Silent way is Echoes, again. Mandom works like King Crimson but in reverse, as rewinding time 6 seconds is like skipping back 6 seconds when nobody can tell the difference but you. Oh and The World is used again, but that's fair since it's the same user.
As for the original stands: Ticket to Ride, Sugar Mountain Spring, and Tattoo You don't have forms. Tubular bells is a cool and unique stand, but it has no form and relies on physical objects. The stands either are their user or they're on them. Ball breaker is a cool design, but has no discernable ability at all, only punching really hard to break valentine's walls. Chocolate disco wasn't even made by araki, it was a fan-made stand requested by his daughter. So that leaves us with 2 good minor villain stands: Civil War and 20th Century Boy. Like every other jojo part the stands of the main cast (tusk, scary monsters, cream starter, d4c) are pretty good compared to the rest, so no surprise there. Overall these stands are average like 4 and 6. Part 3 stands being worst and 5 (maybe 8 if it goes well) being best.
When people talk about the worst fight in jojo, they'll say it's dragon's dream or janken boy. In my opinion, that title goes to Tomb of the Boom. As i said earlier, it's metallica and bits of bastet but worse. It's one of the first stands shared between multiple people, but it doesn't help when those people are boring hill billies whose faces I cannot even recall or differentiate. The rest of the arc is johnny and gyro getting bodied bc they don't have stands, and then au speedwagon saves the day with rope in the end. This would be mediocre or average if it were shonen, but this is seinen we're talking about here.
Speaking of the fights, the vast majority of them are resolved by gyro throwing his steel balls at the enemy's face. BnRwK, CtR, Chocolate disco, Scary Monsters Prof Ferdinand, Wekapipo, and mandom were all solved this way. The 4-5 Johnny fights are very beneficial and actually make him grow from his original weak self. Gyro is one of the best characters of this part for having everything that makes a character great. Backstory, Motives, Personality, Likeableness, etc. He is easily in the top 3 with bucciarati and jolyne for me. Diego is only good bc he's a hot asshole, unlike DIO who was just an asshole. Hot pants was a cool character, unfortunately her death was so insignificant nobody even knew she died until they looked it up. Johnny is an interesting jojo, but certainly not the best character in the series like people make him out to be. Like giorno he is outcharisma'd by his friend/mentor. But unlike giorno he actually takes a proactive role, speaks, and disagrees with gyro from time to time. Much like pucci and dio's friend-mentor relationship. Continuing with the characters, people wank em bc it's one of the few jojo parts where they get redemption arcs which people feel males them "unique" and "special" bc a good 1 to 2/3rds of jojo fans have never watched another anime. When in reality, you can find character redemption arcs in literally anything from steven universe to game of thrones. It doesn't make a series unique, it's a basic goddamn principle.
The story is like part 3 (since it's a remake) but slightly better. The protag goes on a journey across X distance with his friend(s). This time he goes on the journey bc he wants to learn from the man he just met. However his motives soon change for the corpse parts in the next 15-20 chapters. Then it becomes a battle royale for the mcguffin and each character has their own reasons. It's lime the third act of part 5, but it spans an entire jojo part (which just so happens to be the longest in the series).
Great art, possibly the best of the series due to monthly deadlines. However the pacing is weakened for the art.
An American Western. Literally. Araki is such a westaboo (and most jojo fans are) it's no wonder why this is their favorite setting (even tho italy in part 5 was more accurate, researched, and fleshed out). I have a working theory that only the americans like part 7 because it's so familiar to what they know in the same way the japs love part 4.
I liked Valentine bc jojo fans told me to like him. Then I took a step-back and realized, wow he was such a dick. It baffles me how anybody can think he's the hero. His motive was to fuck over the rest of the world for the sake of America (something americans sympathize with bc they were raised that way) like every American president that's ever been in office. The only difference is you don't see the vast majority of people in real life wanking presidents like Andrew Jackson and Richard Nixon as heroes like the jojo fandom does. What makes it worse is that he raped a 14-year-old girl. This man is not a hero to america people. Get it in your thick skulls already. Like DIO in part 3, valentine sends his stand-user assassins 1 by 1 until they're all wiped out. Then he says "fuck it, i'll do it myself".
Anyways, i'm getting tired of this review so...
Part 7 is an average shonen that people wank bc their friends told them it was perfect. It should not be #2 on MML, it should be in the 20s/30s. And i hope the high expectations set in-place by the fandom leads to it's downfall when the anime comes out and new watchers are inevitably disappointed. Oh and btw everytime you say part 7 best X a cgi horse will be added to the questionaly "confirmed" anime. It probably might not happen since there were no part 7 or 8 manga panels in sono chi no sadame, suggesting DP would only animate the original universe. But who knows what the future holds.
The 96 chapters and 24 volumes that chronicle the events of Johnny Joestar and Gyro Zeppeli make up for what I consider the greatest piece of literature ever made. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure part 7: Steel Ball Run is Hirohiko Araki's Magnum Opus, beloved by fans and highly critically acclaimed, garnering a score of 9.16 (as of this review) on Myanimelist making it the Second highest rated manga series ever. Araki's Magnum Opus lives up to all it's praise as it's one of the greatest pieces of media forged on This planet.
Q: Should I read JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken Part 7: Steel Ball Run?
For new comers to the JJBA franchise part 7 is a great starting place, being set in a completely different universe from the latter parts, steel ball run leads for more fresh and new ideas and is much easier to get into. As for Hardcore fans, it is a must read, the alternate characters make the trip Nostalgic, and heartwarming while staying fresh and original, but also not loosing touch with other Jojo parts.
Steel Ball Run chronicles the journey of former jockey Johnny Joestar, who after an incident were he was shot and was paralysed on the lower half of his body, we're accompanied by Gyro Zeppeli, the Jobro and mentor of part 7, he teaches Johnny the secret behind the spin, during the Steel Ball Run race, the president of the United States is searching for the body parts of a saint, and is using the SBR race to help him find all the corpse parts.
in my opinion SBR was engaging from he start, many believe that It only get's good when stands are introduced but the first stage of the race is one of the most engaging parts of SBR, the simple horse racing is interesting and engaging, seeing Johnny try to impress Gyro enough for him to teach him the spin is great and as the story progresses it seems to get better and better, with each new revelation you feel the weight of everything and the tension rises and rises leaving you wanting to see what will happen next.
Araki's art has reached god levels, being in the Louvre, and being praised everywhere is his art in part 7 good? Who am I kidding, part 7 has some of the best art in the series every panel is visually stunning, the amount of detail that goes into every panel, every cover, every design is incredible, no one face looks the same and the use of having one image per page is used a lot more in part 7 then in previous parts, and it looks great.
Johnny Joestar, the protagonist of part 7 is relatable and believable, his motivations make sense and he is willing to do morally grey acts in order to achieve his goal, he's willing to even give up his humanity for the corpse part, this is perfectly contrasted with his normally laid back sarcastic personality, his relationship with his best friend Gyro Zeppeli makes up for the best parts of the story being the emotional crux and the comedic relief, Gyro contrast Johnnys laid back and sarcastic yet morally grey attitude with a more optimistic view, he's a mentor figure but still learns along his journey, Gyro is also relatable, his a rebellious figure and is looked up to by Johnny. The supporting cast and Villain are fantastic, Diego is believable and you can definitely feel sympathy for the life he has lived, but he still has some inner Dio, he's merciless and vengeful, Hot Pants is also great, for most of the time she's on the page she is fantastic, she feels real and is great, of course character like, Sandman, Poco Loco, Ringo Roadagin, Wekapipo and Lucy Steel are great. Funny Valentine is a great character, many have made the statement Funny Valentine did nothing wrong akin to that of Griffith did nothing wrong from berserk. Gunny Valentine's intentions may seem pure but he's at his core rotten, he's a very interesting character and is a menacing figure while also being relatable.
Steel Ball Run is amazing, it's emotional, it's engaging, fun, action packed filled with adventure and friendship and was a breeze to read through, I couldn't turn my head away, it was like I was glued to the every page of the story, it's a mesmerising experience leaving you wanting more and more.
JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken Part 7: Steel Ball Run is brilliant, great for newcomers and nostalgic for older fans, for as long as I'll live, I can promise you that JoJo part 7 will always be my favourite manga ever created.
This is my first review, please forgive any mistakes.
The story was better from all the jojo parts.The story line was best and chapters was submitted to right way.This story was really different from other parts.The characters and design was outstanding.The story didn't bored me at all it was fun while watching and reading it.Some chapters were having long pages.Individual elements of this story was done well.From genre it was some comedy, there was so much mystery, there was some ecchi scenes of torture really dangerous one.The action was really outstanding i wish they animate in series well.there was a lot of suspence in it after
each chapter finish.The ending is really incredible althrough this story is finished till end no other story will come out from this.
The art was really done beautifully by my favourite araki.The art lines is fitted to the story.None of the mistakes was done in the manga.The art was different from rest of the parts of jojo.The characters designs matched the characters personalities.Each characters designs was really different from each other.The plot was best.
Most of the characters are strong and smart.As you guys know everyone has different stand ability.Whenever anything bizzare happen in manga thir reaction looks so realistic and funny.I was not related to any of the characters.There is a foil for the main character.There is a flashback of main character and main villian.There are so much of supporting characters which helps the main character johnny.There are enemies which i hate most in jojo history especially part 5 but the main villans i like them.i think so it was araki intension to make us hate them.i will surely remember the characters.
You guys out there who are reading my review just go and watch this awesome part.It is also ranked 4 you guys will love it even haters too.I will not read manga again but if its animated in future i will watch it no matter what.I cant forget this awesome part everything i read is still in my mind.I loved this part 7.SALUTE TO ARAKI THE ORGINAL CREATER OF JOJO SERIES.
Sorry this was my first one so i follow all the guidelines.take care guys.
Steel Ball Run is the (at the moment this review is being published) last completed arc of the long running Jojo's Bizarre Adventure saga, a franchise that has lasted more than 2 decades. While each part of the series has always had its own contributions and spin on the formula, Steel Ball Run in particular stands out from the crowd for one big reason.
Sometime after concluding part 6 (stone ocean), Hirohiko Araki decided that he was through with the limitations of the weekly serialization format and the shounen demographic, of which he had worked in for several years. He figured that with a series that
had gone on as long as Jojo, there was no point in continuing it if the series did not grow up with its audience and become a more ambitious and challenging manga. So to that end, while Steel Ball Run was initially serialized in Shounen Jump for some time, it was eventually moved to its sister magazine Ultra Jump, and announced as part 7 of the Jojo saga.
This turned out to be for the best, because Part 7 is almost certainly the best Jojo part to be completed at this time, and honestly the crowning achievement of Araki as a mangaka.
Inspired by ambitious western storylines, both from movies like The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and serialized tv stuff like 24 and Lost, Araki created a sprawling epic that is by far the longest Jojo part at 24 volumes. The story functions as a wildly different retelling of part 1 (phantom blood) in a new universe, and when i say wildly different i mean that. there are no vampires, no ripple, the characters equivalents in the story are completely different and some characters don't exactly function as equivalents at all, the premise of the plot is not the same whatsoever, etc. It is more accurate to say that part 7 borrows various elements from the first four parts and repackages them in a completely new way, while still keeping a number of nods and shout-outs to the old Jojo universe.
Perhaps the best example of the differences between the two is between Jonathan, the main character of part 1, and his equivalent in SBR, Johnny. Jonathan was a enormous hulk of a man, a quintessential british gentleman who was the archetypal hero, pure, selfless, courageous, brave, and noble. Johnny Joestar is a young, scrawny, cynical, ruthless, and cunning paraplegic mostly out for himself. Indeed, while the Jojo's of each part almost always had some sort of flaw, they were all fundamentally heroic and selfless. Johnny, on the other hand, is the most flawed and morally ambiguous of them all, but this only serves to make him more interesting. It is very easy to say that he is the most psychologically complex and compelling main character in the series yet.
This more nuanced style of characterization extends to the rest of the cast as well, with Gyro Zepelli, Johnny's co-star, being immensely charismatic but also highly fleshed out and interesting, being much more than what his initial showy persona would have you believe. Other characters like Diego Brando, the newly reimagined and much more sympathetic counterpart to Dio, Hot Pants, the mysterious racer with a horrible secret, Lucy Steel, a young girl way out of her depth who shows extreme courage in dire situations, and Funny Valentine, the most well-intentioned Jojo villain and certainly one of its memorable and charismatic.
No longer shackled with the restraints of the shounen demographic, the story deals with adult subject matter much more openly and maturely than the previous parts of the series (keeping in mind that Stone Ocean is probably one of the most adult shounen stories ever), such as domestic abuse, sexual relations (both consensual and otherwise), homosexuality, etc. However Araki uses this newfound freedom carefully and responsibly for the most part, never indulging in the excesses that a lot of seinen manga, even ones that are overall pretty good, seem a bit too willing to dive into. The series still feels like Jojo with all its wonderful peculiarities, but simply more dense, adult, and without limits as to what subject matter can or cannot be depicted.
As good as a manga as it is however, there are a few things keeping it from being perfect.
Firstly, it is important to talk about Araki's art, which had been going through a process of continuous evolution that seemed to reach its zenith in SBR. Now with much more time to work on the pages, even with the increased page count, the art in SBR is far more lavish, detailed, and realistic than in previous parts, with some incredible craftsmanship in some pages. However, unlike some artists such as Makoto Yukimura and Takehiko Inoue who have unquestionably only gotten better with time, Araki's artistic evolution has come with its ups and downs. While the overall drawing and visual storytelling have overall improved quite a lot, the variation in character faces is much worse now, with many characters looking very similar to one another. This is honestly disappointing as Jojo was always a manga that had a lot of diversity in the character designs, and now not only do a lot of the characters look quite similar, their faces aren't even as expressive as they were before. This is an area Araki will probably improve in with time, but as good as the art in SBR is overall, it unfortunately is not an improvement in all areas.
As i've already said, SBR is by far the longest Jojo part. While this is in large part because of the story's legitimate length and complexity, and mostly the result of a more dense and meticulous storytelling approach, the manga does drag a little bit in a few places. this is mostly evident in the final stretch of the manga, with the last confrontations being extremely decompressed and taking quite a long time to end. they are still fun to read but honestly could have been shorter than they were.
Overall however, even with these caveats and other nitpicks and flaws I could point out (such as the uncomfortable sexualization of Lucy Steel in promotional art and the story itself, which wouldn't have been so bad if she wasn't only 14 years old), SBR still stands as the best Jojo part, and a display of how much Araki has grown as a storyteller and artist throughout the years. It is a complete success as an evolution of JJBA, keeping most things that were good about the previous parts but with much more sophisticated storytelling and mature storytelling sensibilities. Of course, not everyone is going to enjoy this new type of Jojo, but if you are a fan of the series you should at least give it a read.
Since the classic second installment of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series, Battle Tendency, JoJo has always been a great manga. Each individual part features a plethora of great characters, compelling plot points, amusing comedic scenes, and heartbreaking tragedy. As the final panel of Part 6 comes into full view, no one can deny that JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is one of the greatest manga of all time.
Yet I'm not writing this review to tell you why JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is great; I'm here to tell you why it's a masterpiece and my second favorite series of all time. And to understand why JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is
a masterpiece, one must first analyze the almost undisputed greatest story arc: Steel Ball Run. With this seventh story arc of the JJBA franchise, Araki joins the likes of Miura and Urasawa in the highest echelon of the manga industry.
Steel Ball Run is a narrative that follows the adventures of two protagonists, Johnny Joestar and Gyro Zepelli, as they both strive to obtain first place in the Steel Ball Run Race; a voyage across the United States of America on horseback for the chance to win $50,000,000.
Ever since Part 4, Araki has utilized the narrative concept of an epiphany masterfully. Within the first three parts, the goals of the respective JoJos ultimately remained stagnant and undynamic. Each protagonist, more or less, understands the gravity of their conflict from the opening acts until the very end. However, since the mystery surrounding Yoshikage Kira and the murder of young Morioh women in Diamond is Unbreakable, Araki has ensured that each individual interprets the world around them differently and comes to multiple realizations throughout the course of the plot. Not everything is as it seems.
Within Steel Ball Run, Johnny and Gyro's epiphany fuels the story forward, as they begin to ascertain that the significance of this race holds worldwide implications. Whereas originally the reader is of the notion that Steel Ball Run is all about its namesake race, we soon discern that this is not the case.
The narrative of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 7: Steel Ball Run is beautifully woven. Each arc feels as if it belongs and holds merit. A sense of progression pervades each action taken by the characters. The story is full of complex thematics, psychological battles, and cleverly written dialogue. By far, Steel Ball Run is the most expertly written segment of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
JJBA is famous for its battles, so It wouldn't be just to refrain from mentioning them. Steel Ball Run has the greatest battles within JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Each Stand is unique and interesting, and each action has a psychological element to it. The final two conflicts are extraordinary, both serving to wrap up the two significant plots of the story; attempting to become the victor of the Steel Ball Run race, and preventing the actualization of the purpose the race was constructed for.
Similar to the part before it, Steel Ball Run has potentially the greatest ending I've ever witnessed within fiction. It is seriously perfect, yet I wouldn't dare spoil its riches.
At its heart, much like A Tale of Two Cities, Steel Ball Run is a story of revival.
Steel Ball Run possesses the second best artwork Araki has ever drawn, only being beaten out by its successor JoJolion. Every single character is aesthetically pleasing, and their appearance reveals a multitude of information about their personality. Araki has definitely had some issues in the past attempting to draw feminine faces, yet he really nailed the character of Lucy Steel, who is one of the most beautifully designed female characters in all of manga.
Steel Ball Run possesses one of the best cast of characters I've ever seen.
There are five major characters within the narrative: Johnny Joestar, Gyro Zepelli, Diego Brando, Funny Valentine, and Lucy Steel. Every single one of them are contenders for the greatest fictional characters ever conceived. Every single one of them possesses their own heartbreaking backstory and distinct motives/ideologies. Because it would take a century to analyze them all, I'll take a closer look at the most compelling and complex character of the manga: Johnny Joestar.
Johnny Joestar is the primary protagonist of Steel Ball Run, as well as the seventh JoJo. Previously, he was a world renown jockey, enjoying opulent environments and luxurious living. However, this caused Johnny to spiral down a dark path. He was conceited and extremely brash, treating those around him like garbage, believing everyone to be a waste of space. Until one day, when cutting in front of the line to watch a play, Johnny was shot in the spinal cord by the enraged person that he wronged.
While in rehabilitation, the world forgot about Johnny Joestar. Although humbled, he became a shell of his former self, suffering constant abuse at the hands of his caretakers. He becomes a paraplegic, even finding himself unable to mount his horse again. After years of looking down upon those who couldn't achieve fame like he did, Johnny Joestar is diminished to a state where he's less than those he ridiculed. He joins the Steel Ball Run race to build himself back upwards to "zero", or the basic point of humanity devoid of any disability or privilege, detestation or praise, isolation or fame. In other words, Johnny Joestar wants to start again.
Each of the main characters is filled with as much depth as Johnny Joestar. That's how profoundly masterful this vibrant cast of characters is. As we follow Johnny throughout his adventures, we are tormented with philosophical questions, such as whether or not the hero of this narrative is actually the villain.
I love consuming fictional stories. From any sort of medium. Yet there's only a certain sort of story that can light a spark inside my very soul. A story that attributes me with a certain fluttering feeling within the stomach, as I carnivorously crave for more content. The first time I experienced this feeling was after watching the first four seasons of Game of Thrones. The second time I experienced this feeling was when reading the Golden Age arc of Berserk. The third, and final, time I experienced this feeling was when reading the masterpiece that is Steel Ball Run.
What more can I say? I absolutely love it. In fact, it is the only story I've ever read that I wouldn't change a thing about.
Steel Ball Run is a masterpiece, and the greatest story ever told from beginning to end. It is hard to put into words how this manga makes me feel. I recommend it with all my heart, and could give no series higher praise than JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
"This story is the tale of me starting to walk. Not in the physical sense...but in an adolescence to adulthood sort of way."
LuckyYounes proudly presents this modern manga review:
- JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a long running manga written by the most popular influential manga artist (mangaka), Hirihiko Araki, the Japanese immortal man. He was born on June 7, 1960 in Sendai, Miyagi. He started publishing his magnum opus in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1987, and his deep love to the western culture made this franchise have a very unique and diverce plots and interface. Particularly, we will have the spot on its 7th part; Steel Ball Run. That was published from January 19, 2004 to April 19, 2011 in Ultra Jump.
- The story
is about a horse race where the jockeys have to cross more than 10000 Kms from San Diego to New York in a weird shaped route with 9 stages and the prize is 50 Million Dollars. That time, it was a heavy number, with some calculations that prize in 1890 is equal to 1,3 Billion Dollars in our days. The main protagonist, Johnny Joestar, the crippled former jockey , his fans call him “Joe Kid” or “JoJo”. He wanted to watch the race start in San Diego. There he encounters his future ally, Gyro Zeppeli, a racer and former executioner with two steel balls instead of guns. JoJo witnesses Gyro use one of them in a duel to unleash some superpowers. In the midst of chaos, Johnny happens to touch the other steel ball in his waist and feel a power surging through his legs, allows him to stand up for the first time in 2 years, spoiler alert it’s called rotation. Joe Kid vows to find the secret behind all of this and decides to compete in the race so his bizarre adventure begins. For the narrator, he was simply defined as Johnny because right at the end of the first chapter, he said “ This is my story how I got back my ability to walk two years ago”. For the vocabulary, you don’t really need a dictionary because the hard word are bold and illustrated so you can comprehend it while reading the dialogue in the bubble text and that’s a cool thing. For the events’ order, you can say it’s well ordered but in a bizarre way because for a new reading who started from part 7 and it’s a frequent phenomena because part 7 takes place in an alternative universe so it’s like a reboot for the franchise and whatsoever. So they will find some difficulties with the main superpower “Stands”. For that, the author made a special chapter (27.5) to explain everything about “Stands” but that won’t hurt the order because on each fight they win, the closer they get to solve the mystery behind the Steel Ball Run race and beat the Antagonist as known as the 23rd USA president, Funny Valentine.
- In conclusion, the characters might seem realistic because most of their appearance and ideology are inspired from real life artists and western songs. Even their back-stories are a reference too; For exemple, Funny Valentine’s back-story is a reference to Putch’s from the 1994 American Film “Pulp Fiction”. And though, one of the most accurate reason why I can say Steel ball run is one of the best comics ever written is due to its creative and original story plot. Nonetheless, I recommend intellectual people to start reading it hopefully they like it.
By far the greatest Manga I have ever read. Steel Ball Run is an adventure through the eyes of two of the funniest, wittiest, and most eager protagonists I have seen. The story takes you through the race across America all the while an unknown threat is lurking behind the clear but much weaker stand users. This is Araki's greatest work and can be picked up by anyone as it is an alternate universe to the previous 6 parts. The art style is beautiful and the use of color reflects the emotions of characters perfectly. Each character is carefully planned out with a list of
quirks and personality traits. Overall i enjoyed this Manga thoroughly reading it in a total of 2 days straight. I would recommend it to anyone, being a fond reader of Shonen Jump or not.
One of the best mangas I read in my life, thanks Araki
The stories are impressive, with a slow but necessary start, other manga artist make this a negative point in their stories because of their poor development of this, but not Araki.
The art of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has always been evolving, from the standard bulky heroes of the 1980’s action manga to Araki’s own unique style present in this story and it’s follow up, JoJolion. The background and characters are very detailed, and the stylization of the characters are impressive. The characters are unique within the shonen/seinen genere at large and amongst each other. Being
a monthly serialization, the time Araki uses allows for the development of some incredible set pieces and the visualization of Stand powers are always impressive and eye-catching, even if at times it can hard to follow visually. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has been running since the mid 1980’s, and reading from the beginning is a great way of following an individual artist’s evolution and establishment of his own personal style.
The characters, is another bright spot in this manga, and we are not only with the best protagonists in the history of Jojo's, Are the best you could meet in a work of fiction
And the final bow is by one of the most sublime moments in the history of Anime/manga
Steel Ball Run is probably the epitome, or at least the manga epitome, of the “weird west” genre. Underneath all of the graphic action, constantly twisting plot, insane concepts and over-the-top “fabulousness” of the visuals, there’s a surprising amount of humor and heart to it. If you can saddle up and find a decent translation, it’s well worth a peek. Just be prepared for a lot, and I mean a lot, of strangeness.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 7: Steel Ball Run is definitely the best piece of literature that I have read so far. It is a sort-of reset to the series and takes the concept of its previous parts and juices it until it's dry. Fortunately, it worked out amazingly.
Steel Ball Run is a well-written story, though it may be a little hard to invest yourself into at first, however, Steel Ball Run's story only goes uphill after stands are introduced. The fights are always interesting (even though there are few which are a little bit confusing) and it has a good climactic ending. Stands are
a lot more simple and easy to understand, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Instead of having really powerful and fast stands that fight for you, the fights are about its user and strategy, and how well they can abuse their stands ability.
The art style in Steel Ball Run looks very nice and the character design is flawless. The backgrounds are always detailed and very pretty. The character design is most likely the best I've ever seen, each character is very unique and different from another and much like the backgrounds, much detail has been put into these characters and Diego Brando has the best character design I have seen.
Steel Ball Run has some fantastic characters. Although Johnny might be the "JoJo" of Steel Ball run, Gyro was the main character for probably the first half of the series. Both Johnny and Gyro have a unique and interesting personality. The side characters for Steel Ball Run are also very fleshed out and even have an interesting backstory such as Ringo Roadagain and Hot Pants. The main villain of this part, President Valentine, is the best antagonist in the series because his reasoning is something that the viewer can see as a good thing. Everything about the characters is amazing.
I read this so fast because after finishing a chapter I thought "What will happen next?". Steel Ball run was very enjoying from the start to the end and I don't think have enjoyed reading nearly as much before or since reading Steel Ball Run. It was very fun to read and I could read it over and over again without getting bored of it. I really enjoyed seeing Johnny and Gyro and I think that they are a better team than any of the other teams in JoJo's.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 7: Steel Ball Run is ranked one for anything that I have ever read in my life. The story is amazing and it's a roller-coaster of bizarre events and fights that keep you wanting to read even more. The art looks magnificent, the backgrounds look pretty and the character design is flawless. Steel Ball Run is an amazing part and it is worth reading every single page because of just how perfect it is.
If anyone is planning to read Steel Ball Run, I recommend that you lower your expectations as it may not be your cup of tea. I know of some people who were told about Steel Ball Run and they seemed very enthused and hyped about reading it. In the end, they ended up being disappointed because to them, Steel Ball Run seemed over-hyped and did not live up to their expectations. I advise to anyone who is planning to read the manga to just take it as it is and go with the flow and not let the hype overwhelm them.
Without further ado, here is
my review of Steel Ball Run.
「STORY」 - 9/10
Steel Ball Run may not be captivating at first though it was very nice to see familiar names of the JoJo universe. Steel Ball Run starts to pick up the pace when stand battles begin. The story arcs are very well written with an excellent cast of minor characters to accompany it.
「ART」 - 8/10
Hirohiko Araki comes back with the art from part 6 and then improves it as we go along the story. From here, we really see how the characters from Part 1 with fabulous bodybuilders evolve to Part 7 with skinny Gucci models. I prefer the latter as it tends to be more glamorous which goes well with the story, at least in my opinion.
「CHARACTER」 - 10/10
Jonathan Joestar was a kind, tall and muscular English gentleman. He would probably be likable in real life but not so much in the manga/anime because he is very one-dimensional. Johnny Joestar in contrast is a short,skinny and paraplegic American asshole who acts very sarcastically to friends and acquaintances, especially to Gyro.
He is only motivated by the chance that he may walk again if he pursues his journey and that's all he really cares about. He is very relatable due to this because he is not some hero out there to save the day, he only wants to benefit himself. He is accompanied by a goofy mentor who is there to babysit him which makes the story all the more fun.
Dio in the form of Diego Brando is a much better villain, if he is even considered as a villain, with an actual motivation to fight with other people unlike his counterpart who was "born evil".
The villain of the story, Funny Valentine, is probably the best character in my opinion. Although Funny's goal is very immoral, he just does so in order to benefit his country as the President compared to Johnny with his goal to harden his flaccid legs. This makes you sort of cheer for both characters which made me give the characters a score of 10/10, I would give an 11 if possible.
「ENJOYMENT」 - 9/10
Nothing much to talk about here as I probably already expressed my love for the manga in the previous sections of the review but I will say that none of the other JoJo parts have really captivated me, they were just fun to read. Steel Ball Run was very enjoyable,introducing a new way stands fight, although the user does most of the fighting instead of the stand. This made the users seem more vulnerable and made it seemed that there are high stakes in each stand fights. JoJo's lives up to its name for being a manga that's over-the-top.
「OVERALL」 - 9/10
I was glad I avoided as much spoilers as possible when reading Steel Ball Run. It is a very fun and enjoyable read. I highly recommend that people read this with the advice I had at the start of the review or if lacking the free time, have someone summarise the story for you.
If I were to rank all the parts of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure from my favourite to least favourite, excluding Part 8 as it hasn't finished yet by the time I'm writing this review, it would be: 7>5>4>2>1>3.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Steel Ball Run is truly a masterpiece and one of the best manga to have ever been written. Its quality far ouclasses the rest of the JoJo manga series. The combination of very intense story, amazing characters and beautiful art makes it from the series that can provide you with the most entertainment. In addition the relationship of the protagonist Johnny Joestar and Gyro Zeppeli together with the main antagonist Funny Valentine who is my personal favorite anime villain is the primary reason of why this manga is such a success and took so many awards. Funny Valentine's design specific is created
in such a way to achieve character perfection, his beauty, personality and powers make him the best character in the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series.
That's a question I always had in my mind. One I had before reading it, one I really thought about while I was reading it, and one I'm still thinking about now. After binging all parts in about three weeks, I felt compelled to write a review about one of them; I picked Steel Ball Run because it's my favorite. I feel an urge to try and explain exactly what about Steel Ball Run, and maybe even Jojo in general, is so compelling. What about it that made me whip out a score of nine out of ten in
a manga that has so many technical flaws - glaring ones, even. Now my personal reasoning aside, let's get into it.
Starting off with the plot, SBR is about a cross country race set in the 1800s. Our protagonist Johnny, a former horse racing star that became wheelchair bound after an incident, ends up joining the race after he spots Gyro - a mysterious man carrying with him steel balls he can rotate at will - and thinks that his technique might be able to make him walk again. But throughout the race, they end up involved in something bigger than what they initially signed up for.
It's quite simple: each Jojo part, for whatever unique plotline it has, is primarly about the power of stands, mysterious powers that manifest in some people that are a projection of their aura and soul. In this aspect you could call the Jojo series a battle shounen in a generalized way, but Steel Ball Run diverges from this notion a little; it feels more like an american comic, and it's more story driven. The scale of the mystery behind the stands gradually builds itself up until it becomes something bigger that goes far beyond Johnny and Gyro's control and intentions. Also Steel Ball Run can technically be read as a standalone, but I wouldn't recommend it; there is just too much buildup from the previous parts that, had you missed out on, would make it feel extremely incoherent and strange. And you'd even miss out on things such as all the callbacks to the previous parts, most notably part 2.
That said, there are several things I could criticize about the plot, or the flow, or the pacing of SBR. The climax is a little lacking, and there are many things, including character arcs, left without resolution (things like a major character being killed off without a completion to their arc). That would be my biggest complaint about it. The plot takes a couple of leaps and entangles itself, but nothing absurd. There are also a lot of inconsistencies that are borderline hilarious, most notably the main antagonist suddenly being drawn as a buff, handsome man when he was previously a greasy runt with no explanation given at all - although that's more of an art blunder than a plot one. These are all things I actively noticed and disapproved of as I read it. But I'll get into why they turned out to be irrelevant in the big picture for me later.
The cast of characters in SBR is big, but in the end it boils down to a couple of central characters we see a lot. You have Hot Pants, a mysterious rider who never makes his own intentions clear. Diego, a cheeky and egocentrical antagonist (or is he?), Johnny's sworn rival. Lucy Steel, a young teenage girl without the power of a stand who finds herself going to lengths she could never imagine to protect her husband. And our main villain - Funny Valentine, a terrifying man with little empathy, the personification of rotten patriotism. They are all very dynamic; Diego and Johnny's relationship in special has some sort of heat to it, and as they meet and unmeet throughout the race they all slowly reveal their true colors and backstories.
The backbone of it all, though, is definitely the protagonists Johnny and Gyro and their own relationship. Both of them are fleshed out through the entire story, and we get to know their ambitions, their intentions and their goals in a very honest and straightfoward way. Johnny is a boy driven by selfish determination, on the edge between adolescence and adulthood, with a huge need for approval. Under his guise of almost edgy coolness, he's a brash risktaker. Gyro is a fun-loving, kind-hearted italian man that joined the race to save the life of a child - knowledgeable but still harboring almost naive loyalty and gentleness underneath his personality. When both of them meet there is an instant sense of understanding that comes across as very natural, and it flows along the chapters, guiding you through the story, making you experience it from the perspective of the pair. Johnny and Gyro come from very different backgrounds, yet they overlap enough to make it possible that they recognize each other's struggles and bond deeply. The intimacy and love between them is so sincere and so innate, there isn't a single moment that makes you doubt it, and it's what breathes the most life into SBR. In a setting where you can never be too sure about anyone's intentions, you can find a strong trunk to hold onto in them, and that made the emotional payoff here greater than in parts 1-6.
Once again, that doesn't come at cheap: some of the characters - or most of the side characters not mentioned before - have an unclear role or very shallow motivation before getting killed off. Some look like they'll be relevant, then they are not; and among the main characters, there's problems with character arc conclusions and development, sometimes at the cost of their own characterization.
And then, the golden question: If it's so flawled, what about it is so special?
That's hard to explain, but I guess it's also part of the magic. I'm mostly talking about Jojo in general and not just SBR when I say this - there is something about the absolute confidence in which Araki writes that fully draws you in. Every single Jojo part has very clear faults, and plentiful. From inconsistent writing to wobbly characterization to pointless moments, even threading into things like a character's gender, appearance or personality literally being backpedaled into something entirely different, and even downright harmful tropes. But the way it's all written with the utmost certitude that it's doing only the right thing almost makes you believe so. You're thrown in a maze of creativity with no guide: you can't get enough of it, and you can't help but look foward to what other unbelievable stunt it'll pull on your next. Between all the insanity, music references, high fashion, exaggerated power-ups, caricatures of shounen tropes, incredibly entertaining battles, psychedelic delights, pop culture nods and whatever else is thrown in the mix, there is room for laughing, crying and having incredible fun.
Maybe Araki isn't concerned with who he's writing to, and thus he writes only for himself, changing things at his own will. This gives Jojo a sturdy sense of authority. It is what it is, it isn't interested in what pleases you, you either take it or leave it. But does it manage to draw you in and keep you there, with all things bizarre. Steel Ball Run is just a branch of this entire experience - one that pays homage to westerns and american comics. If you'd like, you could find yourself a part that is all about american pop culture, or the italian mafia, or shounen parodies in Egypt.
All in all, SBR is the best Jojo part in my eyes, with a coherent story and an endearing cast of characters that take us into the most emotionally charged journey of the series, carrying the spirit of its predecessors into a different kind of style. It's a beautiful addition to the universe that was constructed all the way from part 1. And yes, it is heavily flawled - but it makes itself worthy with the beaming confidence in which it honestly bares its missteps to us.
DISCLAIMER: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is a currently ongoing series with (at the moment of writing), 7 complete parts and one ongoing one. It's important to first make the distinction that this is NOT one ongoing story split into parts, but rather 8 stories in the same universe following the Joestar bloodline, that share similar elements, plot points, and even motivations in some cases.
Due to that, this and my other JoJo reviews will follow an unique JoJo rating system, since in my opinion it cannot be easily compared to other manga, done in a beginner-friendly way so as to illustrate whether or not it is worth
it to get invested in the series, and how it compares to other parts of it.
After a gap year following the last chapter of Stone Ocean, Araki puts out the newest JoJo part after the world reset in Stone Ocean, which is Steel Ball Run. It's often ranked as one of the best JoJo parts and honestly, I have to agree with that. It does away with everything that was bad, and doubles down on everything that was good, starting by giving it a full, proper story with a justification for the stand fights beyond "hired henchmen with stands".
That justification is a race across the United States for US$50.000.000.
Of course they'd fight with everything they got to get that prize.
Johnny Joestar is an amazingly complex protagonist. He starts off relatively similar to Jolyne in that he's a douchebag, but throughout the 24 volumes (a full 7 volumes more than the standard JoJo amount) he develops into the most human character in the series.
Gyro Zeppeli (once again, Joestar-Zeppeli dynamic similar to parts 1-2) is an equally amazing character, albeit far less complex. He serves not only as a rival, but also a mentor and ALSO as a comic relief during the brief moments of respite where Johnny and Gyro can rest during the race.
The art and style is outstanding, and miles above even Stone Ocean, which leads me to believe Araki used his gap year to hone his skills a bit further. It also has some of the best pin-up style covers.
This time, the "stand user of the week" formula is like previously stated, not intrusive at all, as these are merely other competitors in the race trying to get ahead for the 50m dollars. The battles are even more interesting than usual due to a few key facts:
1) The number of humanoid stands went down by a lot. Stands are now mostly abilities or objects with abilities. Way less punch ghosts.
2) Not only are there stands, there's also Spin, which is the new universe equivalent of the Ripple, albeit far more interesting and with far more use than simply breathing so hard you catch on fire.
3) Due to the fact that they're traversing an entire country, the amount of places to fight in and situations to be in are more diverse than ever, resulting in the most interesting matchups in JoJo history.
And of course, last but not least, we have the main villain, who is one of the (if not the) favorite for a lot of people. His motivations make complete sense to the point where I found myself questioning just how wrong he really was for doing what he did, considering unlike most previous villains, he seemed to have a genuine goal in mind that he wanted to achieve, complete with a method of how to achieve it.
The plot twists and the final fight are by far my favorite from all of JoJo. Not only because it encapsulates what makes the final fights so good, but because they take it a step further and make it interesting the whole way through, moving through different places and giving the chase a sense of urgency, complete with one final GIANT twist afterwards, resulting in a fight that spans almost eight whole volumes without ever feeling like it drags on. I would compare it to defeating Liquid Snake in MGS only to, a few minutes later, hear him proclaim IT'S NOT OVER YET as you fight one last time for your life.
This is, one of the best JoJo parts, and to me, it shares a spot with Diamond is Unbreakable as my favorite. The art is better than ever, there are no bad characters, everyone's motivations are sensible and heartfelt, and it's full of emotional moments, which is something that JoJo usually lacks.
It's by far the most complete, and the most satisfying to read through of the parts, and by the end of it, it's one of the few that manages to make you feel like you truly reached the end of an adventure alongside Johnny.
JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken part 7: Steel Ball Run, as the name suggests, is the 7° installment in the jojo's bizarre adventure series. The story is set in the U.S at the 1890's and it follows our protagonist Johnny Joestar, a 19 year old former horse-racing prodigy turned paraplegic, who now seeks to understand the mysterious power of the "spin", which made Johnny's legs move enough to allow him to stand for a little while. Now Johnny must gain the trust of the man who used that power, Gyro Zeppeli, and for that he must enter the Steel Ball Run Race, a mad-dash
across America for a grand prize of 50 million dollars.
The duo later finds that money isn't the only thing in play here, as they discover a large scheme including some「BIZARRE」stuff in there, such as the body parts of no other then Jesus Christ scattered across the land, and when they come in contact with humans they grant them strange abilities that can only be described as manifastations of one's soul and will to fight.
Now Johnny and Gyro must try to win the race and at the same time stop the one that wants to unite all the body parts, the President of the United States of America, Funny Valentine.
This manga is probably one of the best things i've ever read in my whole life, i love the characters and the dialogue between them so much. The art is amazing as expected of Sensei Hirohiko Araki. The story is so good and exciting that you can't turn your eyes away or you might miss something.
The powers of the characters and the way they are used in fights or in other stuff is super creative as well.
Overall my enjoyment of this manga was gigantic and i recoment to anyone and everyone.