May 25, 2021
I was reading this book when going back after watching Parts 1-5 of the recent Jojo anime, completely up to date as of the time writing this review. I was set out to go back and read all of the manga, light novels, and other spin-off stories associated with the franchise to truly dive into all that Jojo has to offer. And I thought to do so in by order of what Part each product was associated with - prolonging my journey into the current manga-exclusive Parts, but something I found very sane and orderly.
But here arises my first issue: going by the synopsis given,
you would assume that this novel was simply an expansion of the lore we already knew, diving into the life of Jorge Joestar, husband of Lisa Lisa and father of Joseph. A story that took place between Parts 1 and 2 and what would no doubt be a relatively charming side-story of a WWI fighter pilot, plus the eventual doom we knew he would meet.
Well, THAT IS A LIE. A FILTHY STINKIN' LIE. THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO THE GALAXY-BRAIN AU SET-UPS TO THIS THAT IT'S NOT EVEN FUNNY. I UNIRONICALLY DESCRIBE THIS AS INJECTING THE WEIRDEST JOJO CRACK FICTION STRAIGHT INTO MY VEINS.
And yes, a fair warning for spoiler content into this book going in, as it actually discusses characters and scenarios from Parts 1-7. I actually had to put my reading on this book on hold as I saw mention of Funny Valentine, someone I knew to be the main antagonist of Part 7, and I had not even read Part 6 yet. And so, the novel got put off for some time until I had adequately caught up - and I would very much advise the same of anyone attempting to read this.
You begin pre-Part 2, as you would expect, but with an odd murder case involving a child whose skin could peel off whole. If that didn't set the tone for the weird you're in for, this will:
There are also TWO Jorge Joestars, of different universes and a different lineage, one in a pre-Part 2 setting and another in an AU Morioh/Part 4 setting. The chapters alternate between their perspectives.
AU Morioh crew teaming up with AU Passione
Spontaneous trip to Mars
The most elaborate Dio scheme yet, and way too many Kars. And Funny/Funnier/Funniest Valentines.
You almost forget that the writer also introduced a Sherlock-esque-but-way-more-messed-up character by the name of Tsukumojuku. The character had apparently gained some renown in Japan, though the story can get very incestuous and grotesque. I do not believe there is an English fan translation out there, but I did find the next best thing on Tumblr, a complete play-by-play someone did in providing an extensive summary. So for more context about the character of Tsukumojuku, I would advise reading this huge info dump before tackling Jorge Joestar as well.
And while I'm at it, since there aren't any official English translations for the novel itself either, here is a link to a fan translation I had been using as well, if anyone is so inclined
Tsukumojuku brings some elements from his book into the Jojo universe, such as the concept of living within a narrative, but the concept of God in this thought experiment is given the name Beyond. He also acts as significant plot advancement. But most of my WTF-ery is with all of the AU Jojo Part colliding happening.
I struggle to call the novel outright BAD, because I'm just left dumbfounded at what I had just finished reading, at a staggering 666 pages no less. I feel like I will take a lot of these concepts with me for some time to come. But like... I was not ready. I don't feel like a lot of people are. I would rather read Purple Haze Feedback or Dio Over Heaven any day over this, but at the same time I needed to read this and am glad I have? A weird journey, overall. Be prepared going in.
What did you think of this review?