The fighting shounen manga is possibly the most widely read and widely published genre in circulation today. Hence, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders faces a great deal of competition for the attention the reader. However, JoJo's visual flare, entertainment value, and unrelenting creativity make it the cream of the crop among shounen adventures.
The story takes place 40 years after the events of Battle Tendency (the second part of the JoJo saga). The protagonist is none other than the grandson of Joseph Joestar -- Jotaro Kujo. When the coffin of the vampire Dio (the antagonist of part one, rival of Joseph’s grandfather Jonathan Joestar) was excavated
off the coast of the canary islands, the ancient enemy of the Joestars awakened mysterious powers known as "stands" in Joseph, Jotaro, as well as Jotaro's mother Holly. However, Jotaro's mother is unable to control the consuming power of her stand and falls gravely ill. In order to save Holly from eventual death, Jotaro, Joseph, and Joseph's stand-user companion Avdol must embark on a journey to Cairo in order to destroy the root of her illness: Dio, while making new friends along the way. However, Dio's army of stand-users await our heroes at every turn to impede their progress.
While the outlandish premise of JoJo may not blow anyone away, the sheer creativity employed in the numerous fights will. The term "fight" is used loosely here, as many of the encounters don't rely on the trading of fists, but rather a test of wits and quick-thinking. This is largely due to the dizzying array of abilities that the enemies possess. While the stands of protagonists have more or less conventional superpowers (save for Joseph Joestar), anything is fair game for their foes, with powers ranging from bestowing magnetic pull to the bodies of opponents to the ability to merge with mineral objects, demanding a combination of brains and brawn from the heroes. The action is often visceral, suspenseful, and full of intrigue, especially as the series progresses onwards, when the more outlandish enemies make their appearances. The occasional emotionally charged encounters further enhances the intensity of the story, especially towards the end of the adventure, producing an adventure that is not merely flashy in its action, but truly a memorable journey.
The characters of JoJo are simple and straightforward, each with their own undeniable charm. The strong and reserved Jotaro is the embodiment of "cool", while Joseph makes for spectacular comedic relief with his offbeat attitude, especially for a man of his age. However, most of the villains the group encounters don't have much character behind their stand powers -- they either fall in the "hopelessly psychotic" category, or are bound by their greed for wealth and power, though there are a few exceptions. This is forgivable flaw, given the format of the story, which is a fast-paced ride from one opponent to another, with only brief introductions to the exotic locales in between. There is no mistake in that JoJo does not take itself seriously, as it gives no pretence of plot and character depth, but rather opts to focus on entertainment value, and to this end, JoJo succeeds spectacularly.
The art of Stardust Crusaders, like the previous instalments of the JoJo saga, remains one of the key selling points. The distinctly bold and detailed art style makes it difficult to believe that JoJo was produced weekly. Like the previous incarnations, the characters in part 3 all sport heavily muscled builds, though their bulkiness has taken a step towards moderation from the ridiculous flesh fortresses that appear in the previous two instalments. The fashion sense of the characters is equally wild -- one only needs to take a glance at Jotaro to notice the logic-defying style employed in the manga. Author Hirohiko Araki makes good use of his outrageously stylish artwork by producing action on the page that's ready to leap out at the reader. The fights are kinetic and brutal in presentation, locking the reader's attention and never lets go.
In the end, finding a concrete flaw in JoJo proves to be a difficult task. Its lack of depth is obviously intentional, as JoJo is meant to be a thrill ride -- and what a thrill ride it is. With style, creativity, and exciting bursting at the seams, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders is a no-brainer for any fan of the shounen fighting manga. Even to those who don't usually read works of this genre, JoJo has plenty to offer, and one is bound to be charmed by one of the many positive aspects of Hirohiko Araki's highly influential work.
-- Endlessly creative
-- Outrageously stylish
-- Superb action, enhanced by stunning bold art
-- The first few encounters don't measure well with the later encounters, though respectable in their own right.
-- Over-muscled men may be a turn-off for some readers.
Stardust Crusaders is the third, and most famous part of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. This is for a lot of reasons - it's the arc that introduced Stands, the core mechanic of the series that has stuck with it for the last 25 years. It marks the return of Dio Brando, JJBA's most instantly recognizeable character. It stars the iconic Jotaro Kujo, who is the poster-boy for the series. It was, until recently, the only arc to have an official translation in English, and it produced multiple games based on it.
So, with that in mind, it's kind of surprising that Stardust Crusaders isn't really one of
the better parts that JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has to offer. It's arguably the quintessential JoJos arc, codifying what would follow in most of the parts to come - but that doesn't compensate for its flaws.
While stands were introduced in this arc, Araki wasn't entirely sure how they worked at first, resulting in a small handful of plotholes and/or irrational elements that would go on to be ignored later. Similarly, while Stands would later prove to be a brilliant idea, it didn't seem to hit Araki straight away how much of a masterstroke they were, so a lot of the earlier Stand abilities are either generic, or simply uninteresting. Sure, the series gave us some fantastic battles - especially in the Egyptian God half - but for every Cream, there's a Tower of Grey. For every Bast, there's a Wheel of Fortune. For every Hanged Man, there's an Empress. You get the picture.
Similarly, the plot isn't very interesting. Or rather, what plot there is is interesting, but there just isn't that much of it. The idea is simple - Dio is in Egypt, we need to get to Egypt, there are stand users in the way. The Monster of the Week formula is unimpressive and can drag after a while, especially if you're coming off the heels of Battle Tendency, one of the most dynamic arc in the JoJo canon.
Now, odds are, you've checked my score already and are wondering how I gave this a 7/10.
You see, JJBA relies on trickery and strategy rather than a slugfest of punches, drawn-out powerups, and plot twists from nowhere, as many bog-standard battle shonens are likely to - and the addition of Stands, flawed as they were at this stage, allowed a lot variety in battles than Hamon did. It even allows more variety in its enemies... I mean, where else can you see the protagonists fight an Orangutan, a bird, and A GODDAMNED BABY?
But the most immediate improvement on the previous arcs that the new formula allows is that, in the previous parts, too much of the story hinged on the titular character. OF COURSE he was going to win! Who else could?
Well, not any more. With Stardust Crusaders revolving around a team of 6 protagonists rather than just one, Stardust Crusaders had more flexibility and was able to shake up the formula simply by using a different character each time. However, it wasn't an entirely fair balance - Jotaro and Polnareff did take about 50% of the screentime between them, leaving the remaining 4 protagonists comparatively little, with Kakyoin and Abdul going largely underdeveloped.
This new formula also worked well with Jotaro Kujo, our new JoJo, who had a more stoic, laid back, bancho style than Joseph. having the screentime more split between the main cast allowed Jotaro to take a backseat and maintain a cool demeanour of indifference peppered with badass one-liners. Meanwhile, Polnareff picked up any slack that Jotaro's stoicness left, with his balance of wit and idiocy (coupled with some actual character development!).
And, as I said before, a lot of the latter half's fights (and some of the former half's) remain amongst the best JJBA has to offer - the epic 16-chapter "Dio's World" remains a personal favourite.
...Judgement was still absolute bullshit, though. Just pure crap. Worst JJBA moment ever, no exaggeration.
By far the most recognised part of the series, Stardust Crusaders is the third part in the long running manga franchise Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. While Part 3 is a clear step in the right direction for the series to head in, it is not without the stumbles that come from the introduction into a different focus point (namely the Stand based combat) and does affect its overall effectiveness.
Notably the first thing that a fan of the previous two parts will notice right off the bat is that in terms of the narrative’s strength, JJBA is at its most linear in Stardust Crusaders. The story opens
in the year 1983 on the Atlantic Ocean where a crew of fisherman have discovered a metal casket with the word “DIO” inscribed upon its surface. Believing that this casket holds a great treasure inside they eagerly open it, but soon disappear and are never heard from again. Cut to 4 years later and Jotaro Kujo has placed himself into a jail cell, fearing himself to be possessed by a demon that goes unseen to those around him. Upon meeting with Jotaro, his grandfather Joseph Joestar (the main character of Part 2: Battle Tendency) and his friend Mohammed Abdul explain that this demon is in fact the physical embodiment of Jotaro’s own power known as a “Stand” and that its awakening was most likely triggered by the revival of the Joestar’s sworn enemy: Dio Brando. Jotaro’s mother soon falls ill as a result of Dio’s presence and it is left up to Jotaro and his allies to track down Dio’s Egyptian lair and defeat him in order to save not only her, but the world from Dio’s evil influence.
This synopsis essentially sums up Stardust Crusaders’ plot from beginning to end; with what is left unsaid being more character driven or not worth mentioning and actual story progression acting more as a backdrop for the fights that are to come. While this formula was used in both of the earlier parts of the series, it is worth noting that both stories had more, smaller objectives in-between to give the characters smaller victories/losses along the way. Stardust Crusaders does not have this: it instead relies on the readers to get soaked up in the fights with the promise of Dio held above their heads in order to keep them reading. It just doesn’t work as well compared to what Battle Tendency did story wise and does unfortunately leave a blemish on what is otherwise a very entertaining series.
Making up for the disappointingly linear plot of Stardust Crusaders are the crusaders themselves, who are all memorable in their own distinct characteristics. Jotaro takes over the reins from Joseph in this part to great effect: the biggest difference between the two is that while Joseph in part 2 was very much a trickster kind of character, Jotaro is more of a Silent Badass kind of guy. Despite the difference in personalities, both characters are very analytical fighters that will seek out their opponents weaknesses to turn against them and are ultimately driven by the will to do the right thing (even if Jotaro is more static in terms of his own motivations and emotions). Joseph reappears in this part to act as Jotaro’s mentor along this adventure and appears more level headed this time around, but is otherwise the same quirky character that served the readers well in the previous part. Without wanting to give too much away, the other characters whom make up Jotaro’s ensemble are all terrific, likeable characters in their own right and each have their own distinct motivations for helping the team. In particular, Noriaki Kakyoin and Jean-Pierre Polnareff both experience great characterisation early on and receive excellent character development as they overcome obstacles from their past and those set up by the villains to hinder the heroes quest. Unfortunately the villains (with the exception of Dio) are for the most part ineffective; they are mostly confined to appearing to a mini arc (generally spanning 3-6 chapters each), are mostly bland in terms of personality (with many of their motivations being only to aid Dio’s own will) and at worst will not intimidate the reader into thinking they pose any real threat despite their Stand powers. Another gripe to be had concerns Dio; while he’s a constant presence throughout the story, he remains largely unseen and does not end up taking any direct action himself till the very end of the series. These two factors can become distracting and ultimately does take away from the overall experience.
As with the previous two parts in the series, the absolute high point and main attraction are the fights that Jotaro and company have across their journey. Gone from this series (save for a couple of brief ineffectual instances from Joseph) is the Ripple fighting style that was the protagonists main form of combatting their vampiric enemies and in its place are the Stand powers; the embodiment of a beings inner fighting spirit. The different Stands in this series are each named after one of the Major Arcana of the Tarot Cards in this part (with a couple of exceptions) and all operate in different ways with vastly different powers/effects dependent on the power of the particular Stand, making them much more varied than the previous Ripple based combat. To this end, many fights involve the heroes working out the mechanics of the Stand’s ability and either trying to overcome them with their own abilities or by tracking down the Stand’s user and defeating them to get rid of the Stand. While this new dynamic of how battles are fought is an improvement from the less original concept of the Ripple, many of the Stands in this Part lack the originality seen in the other parts of the series: there are a couple repeated concepts (namely shape shifting), a few involve element manipulation (e.g. the ability to control fire, ice etc.) and for the most part lack the utility element featured by Stands later in the series (which is forgivable for a new concept but does detract from the series). It should be noted that battles get more entertaining the further the series progresses, leading to the final confrontation with Dio which is one of the best fights ever to be seen in manga form. When all is said and done the introduction of the Stand powers was a big step in the right direction and has solidified Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure as being a truly unique and entertaining series that has left an impact on Manga as a whole forever.
In terms of art style, it was in Stardust Crusaders where Hirohiko Araki really started to change up his own drawing technique. While some things such as the overly muscled design of the main characters remained the same as what was used in the previous two parts, the way the characters were drawn shifted from the more angular and messy detail style last seen in Battle Tendency towards a more squared off style featuring cleaner lines. This change can also be seen in the design of the environments where the fights take place, with environment appearing slightly more angular as the series progresses. This is a change for the better; as this new drawing method allows for a greater distinction between different objects in a panel, makes the art easier to follow and moves away from being inspired by Fist of the North Star in order to gain its own identity artistically (something that the series up until this point had been lacking poses and fancy clothes aside). It's worth mentioning that this series can be very gory in sections; while Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency had their fair share of blood and guts, it feels as if Araki really stepped up just how horrific it appeared in this Part. Anyone who can't stomach graphic violence should therefore either avoid this series outright or do their best to overlook this.
So once all is said and done Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders is praise worthy, but is far from being a flawless work of fiction. If nothing else the success of this part gave the author a sense of what direction it would be best to take future Part’s towards (as it does more right than wrong) and with the invention of the Stands it now has something to make itself stand out as a truly unique series. If you’ve read the previous parts and enjoyed those then you’re in for a treat and if you’re new to the series but don’t want to read the preceding parts then it’s still worth checking out just to see if you like the concept of the Stands. It is one bizarre adventure that should not be missed.
The most popular and famous Part of Jojo, Stardust Crusaders is considered one of the most iconic and influential manga ever made. But is it really THAT good?
Stardust Crusaders picks up 48 years after Battle Tendency. In it, an elderly Joseph Joestar teams up with his grandson Jotaor Kujo and others to stop a resurrected DIO, who has cursed the Joestar family and is hiding in Egypt. They go on a 50 day adventure to Egypt fighting DIO's army along the way with newly developed Stands, spiritual forces that live within one and grant a special power or ability.
And what a long
adventure it is. Stardust Crusaders is...long. It drags on way too long. There are more fights than ever before, and for the first half not too many of them are interesting. In fact, two of them (Wheel of Fortune and The Sun) are some of the worst, ever. Stardust Crusaders is significant as from here on out, all fights in Jojo consist of Stands and Stand Users. No more fist fights. Araki doesn't know how great of a concept he had with Stands until around halfway through Stardust Crusaders.
While half of it is lackluster, the other half is some of the greatest action one will ever experience in graphic fiction. You know how people say "It isn't the destination, but the journey that counts?" Yeah, bullshit. Stardust Crusaders proves the opposite. Everything before it is just generic villain of the week and "Punch him I win" fights. Egypt is where things get great, but DIO'S Mansion is when things get GODLY, and features some of the best shounen action in manga history. The 18 chapter long final fight against DIO, called DIO'S WORLD, is one of the most dramatic, epic, intense, and satisfying final showdowns ever created, period. It completely justifies the long runtime of the manga. It's that good.
The art style remains almost unchanged since Battle Tendency, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it. One thing that has improved is facial structure and movements. Lots of good reactions. Also proportions are much, much better. Artwork during DIO'S WORLD in particular is very impressive.
There are much more characters in Stardust Crusaders than the previous Parts. At first, most of the villains are thruway but some (Hol Horse) are very fun and thankfully reappears. Pretty much all of the Egypt villains are very good. Oingo and Boingo, Pet Shop, Vanilla Ice, and both D'Arbys are particular favorites. As for main characters, Joseph is still fun although his Stand, Hermit Purple, is terrible. Avdol is great but his Stand's power is a tad boring. Kakyoin is my fav, but he sadly is out of commission for a chunk of the Egypt arc. Iggy the dog is terrible, but he is the subject of my favorite minor fight, Iggy vs. Pet Shop and he isn't in the series for very long. Polnareff is the comedic relief and he works very well as it, but he's not without his dramatic moments.
The Jojo of this Part, Jotaro, is, well, boring. He's too "badass" and his actions speak for his lack of words. It makes for a great fighter, but not too compelling of a character. The real standout is DIO. What a badass villain he is. Though he's pretty much absent from the Part until DIO'S WORLD, his presence is felt throughout all of it, and the buildup pays off as DIO basks in the villain spotlight in all his flamboyance and might.
It's very hard to review Stardust Crusaders. The second half, particularly the fights in Cairo and of course DIO'S WORLD are extremely entertaining and I had a hell of an enjoyable time with them. However, hardly anything before is as entertaining, and thus it's a very slow and tedious read, but the payoff is well worth it. Regardless, Stardust Crusaders has some special, it truly does feel like a "bizarre adventure", slow parts and all.
Stardust Crusaders isn't the best Part, but it is one of the most significant and influential. There's a reason its popularity is still growing even after nearly 30 years. The inclusion of Stands is arguably the most significant addition to the Jojo canon, and it officially concludes the first trilogy of Jojo, the fight against DIO and his vampire lackeys. The next trilogy of Jojo is about the next generation in the Joestar family, the children of all 3 Jojo's from Parts 1-3 and while they're all different independent stories they are nonetheless connected to the events of Stardust Crusaders. A slow read, but well worth it.
Stardust Crusaders is the third part of the JoJo series so please read or watch parts 1 & 2 first.
After the events of Phantom Blood & Battle Tendency, Jotaro Kujo makes his debut as this arc's Joestar who discovers his new STAND power & his visited by his grandfather, Joseph Joestar, warning him of the danger that is DIO Brando. After Jotaro's mom, Holly Joestar, is taken ill by DIO's curse, Jotaro, Joseph, Avdol, Kakyoin, Polnareff & Iggy embark on a road trip to Egypt to put an end to this family feud of The Joestars & The Brandos.
Part 3 is the most hyped
arc of the series but new fans should be prepared for certain changes. The RIPPLE martial art is no longer in use & is replaced with the series iconic STAND which later inspired Persona. Stardust Crusaders takes advantage of this road trip setting as it pays homages to several horror elements found throughout films & novels, yet this is also its weak point.
As great as the main cast is, the enemies are perhaps too many for this arc. What is to be expected of part 3 are ongoing fights & villain of the week almost on a constant basis with DIO as the final boss. There are a few villains who leave an impression such as Vanilla Ice & The Darby Bros, but as a whole the villains aren't Pillar Men level in terms of character. While the future parts of JoJo also follow this formula, it's more noticeable & repetitive in Part 3.
However, the charm of Stardust Crusaders are the stands & the heroes themselves as this is the most iconic & arguably the best roster of any JoJo part. While fans may have different opinions on JoJo as a whole, there will undeniably be a favorite character to be found within the group.
The major flaw to part 3 is how inconsistent Araki can with his writing but this is also present in the later parts as well. What can affect enjoyment in this series are the fights as some end in very anticlimatic ways, but then again this is JoJo where anything can happen. The structure of Stardust Crusaders became the main formula of later JoJo parts & offers a grand conclusion to its long lasting nemesis & puts the Joestar family curse to rest.
Enjoy Part 3 & look forward to Part 4 Diamond Is Unbreakable as it will be the last of a masculine artstyle before things get FABULOUS in Parte 5 Vento Aureo.
Stardust Crusaders is by far the most iconic, recognizable and popular part in the Jojo's Bizarre Adventure series. It was very influential and when there is a Jojo reference anywhere, it tends to be this part, particularly to Jotaro who is the most famous Jojo in the entire series.
Unfortunately, the earlier parts of the series have really not stood the test of time, and Stardust Crusaders, especially given its status as the most iconic part, might be the biggest example of this.
The basic idea is fairly sound: Dio returns after being absent in part 2, Joseph and his grandson Jotaro along with a few other
people go to Egypt to save Joseph's daughter and rid the world of Dio once and for all.
To give credit where credit is due, SC introduced the concept of "Stands" to the series, which is much more interesting than the "Hamon/Ripple" of the previous two parts and allows for a lot more diversity and cleverness in the fights.
The thing is, while it may have been good for its time, the characters and storytelling in SC are now honestly pretty lackluster, outside of some entertaining fights it doesn't have anything that you haven't seen done better in a modern shounen 1000 times already. Jotaro is a pretty bland Jojo all things considered, and the rest of the cast is pretty forgettable. Even Polnareff, as entertaining as he can be, pales in comparison to just about any side character in part 4 and onwards.
Stardust Crusaders is also unnecessarily long; it is more than twice as long as both parts 1 and 2 combined, and most of it is just a "monster of the week" that gets dull fairly quickly. You really wish they would just get to Dio already, especially considering that there's no real interesting drama, substance, or character development going on.
The art in this part is improved from the previous 2; characters are still bulky and overly muscular, but they do generally look more natural and expressive. The art is by no means bad, but I can't say it's that much of a high point either unless you really really love the retro fist of the north star look.
There are some pretty good moments, admittedly, such as Jotaro's game with D'Arby and the final fight against Dio, but none of that really makes up for how underwhelming SC is compared to future installments in the series.
Stardust Crusaders IS entertaining and serviceable, but it is noticeably dated. if you want to experience this part i suggest watching the currently airing anime adaptation of it as it makes it a lot more entertaining.
Despite this being the original break out part in both Japan and the west, I really feel like the popularity is misplaced when compared to the rest of Jojos. It's a good part, no doubt, and the inclusion of stands was a fantastic idea since Ripple was a very weak, undefined ability.
The story is solid following the long fued of the Joestars and the Brandos and putting a nice epic ending to it all.
Araki's art style is something that takes a long time to get used to, at least I think, but somewhere around Parts 2 and 3, his muscular style definitely started growing
on me. There's a lot of weirdly proportioned models throughout this part, and weird goofy, almost cartoonish art direction when it's trying to be funny. These are things that would get defined as Araki's artstyle improves throughout the series. However, in the last few volumes the artwork is definitely stunning and clean.
The characters are all pretty solid asides from one glaring flaw which is Jotaro, one of the weakest protagonists in all of JJBA. He's a quiet badass, which is cool and all but doesnt make for a very interesting lead. His Stand is also extremely bland in comparison to some of the future ones, but you gotta love it either way because it's just so energetic.
The enjoyment is a little less than the average for Jojo parts. The main problem is the setting. Jojo's has a very formulatic villain of the week formula which persists in every part after 3, but the problem with Stardust Crusader's take on the formula is the setting of Egypt and the lack of progress. It never really seems like they're getting closer to Dio which made it a chore to read some of the later fight before they finally reached Cairo. Every single villain is DIO's henchmen without a single break to the formula, which other parts also improve on, so the first half until Egypt really wore me down.
The series in general hits its stride when the crew gets to Egypt, and that's when it starts clicking more. The abilities start being more creative, Araki's genius for interesting combat direction starts to shine, and the moments start becoming punchier and more impactful.
Not sure why I haven't heard of JJBA until very recently, but I watched the new anime for the first season and decided to try out the manga so I started with part 3 and, let me tell you, it was one hell of a ride.
You should know this already (if you don't then here it is), but here's a quick brush up on what JJBA is. It's a manga that has been around for an extremely long time and is very popular. It contains lots of action, gore/blood shed, super bulked up men, and each protag has the nickname "Jojo" hence why it's called
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure.
This particular part of the long running series was truly an adventure. The story spans about 50 days and the group of heroes on this journey must reach the ultimate antagonist at the end or else the protag's, Jotaro Kujo, mother will die. While most of the story seems to be filled with meaningless encounters, these are still very much entertaining. It's not a super fast paced story, but it runs well enough and is clear in its intentions through and through. I give story an 8.
Now, many people are put off by the art style in JJBA. Personally, I was drawn in by its art style because I assumed this series was going to be funny and that the bara men were going to add to the comedy. I found the art style fairly consistent and I still liked it even if it didn't fit normal standards. I give art an 8.
On to characters. One of my issues with JJBA is the lack of strong female characters. From Part 1 to 3 most of the female characters were either the potential love interests or the family members who generally didn't play a huge part in the adventure. However, despite this I found most of the characters to be interesting and enjoyable since they're filled to the brim with their own quirks and are all pretty easy to grow fond of. For example, at first I felt neutral about all the characters that I didn't know yet. There was nothing about their appearances that made me like them immediately, but as I read on I began to appreciate all of them a lot more which made major losses really hard for me. Even if you don't feel the same way I do you'll at least enjoy their reactions and interactions throughout the story since dialogue can be extremely funny. I give characters a 9.
Enjoyment? Did I enjoy JJBA part 3? Hell yes. It was jam packed full of comedy, great characters, an interesting story, and good art. I have be recommending the entire series to many of my friends since I started reading Part 3. I think Stardust Crusaders really sold this entire series to me. I enjoyed it. 10/10.
Overall I give it a 9. It's not the BEST manga out there, but it sure as hell is one of the better ones.
Art - JoJo's always has great art, and part 3 is no exception. The uniquely styled faces are wonderful and the stylized dramatization of panels are awesome.
Character - The cast of characters in Stardust Crusaders is very good. Each party member is unique and lovable in their own way. DIO is also such an evil character that it's great.
Story - To clarify, I'd rate the story itself about a 7, but the writing is a 9. The way Araki can kill off main characters is great, because one of the worst things is when characters have plot armor because they are main characters.
Overall - The
first half is good, but nothing amazing. The second half is where most of the greatness takes place.
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.
Stardust Crusaders is THE most known JoJo part, and honestly, that's not because of the story.
This is also the first real "adventure" in the JoJo series, as the characters have to travel to Egypt in order to stop Dio, who yes, is still alive, somehow, and still powerful.
It's one of the first manga to create what is now generic shonen story beats, à la Monster of the Week format, and the progress feels similar to moving in a board game.
Beat a stand user -> Move a few spots -> Beat another stand user -> Move a few spots
And so on until they reach Dio. It can get tiring very fast if you're not invested in the characters or the fights, which are 90% of it. And speaking of fights...
Stardust Crusaders introduces the concept of stands, a manifestation of the user's psyche as what is essentially a punching ghost with an added ability. Magician Red punches and has fire, Emerald Splash punches and shoots green energy, and so on.
The meat of Stardust is watching how the main cast use their stand abilities to defeat other stand users, and unfortunately since this is the first time the concept was used, Araki was still trying to figure out what to do with them, and as a result, some of the fights are good, a lot of the fights are boring and end up being "who can punch first" or "who can punch harder".
Most of the stand abilities aren't too crazy, but some are really annoying and sometimes seem to make no sense at all, at which point they get punched into oblivion, usually by Jotaro and his Star Platinum.
But most infuriatingly, this is the start of a meme known as "Araki Forgot", in which Araki simply forgot that some stands can do certain things, or forgot previously established plot points, the most notable one being that in Phantom Blood, Dio was somewhere. Now he says he was ACTUALLY somewhere else, and this really only serves to bring him back as a villain, albeit much less charismatic, and without much screen time outside of the last few volumes.
The art is a gigantic step up from Phantom Blood, and one of the most iconic art styles in manga, ever. It's still frequently referenced in anime, 30 YEARS LATER, and for very good reason. Nothing ever looks stale or confusing, and the stand designs are all mostly awesome to look at.
The "stand user of the week" villains have mostly unique designs, which is really hard to accomplish for a long series like this (larger than previous parts), but I can't say the same for their personality.
The main cast is alright. Jotaro is closer to Kenshiro than Jonathan and Joseph were, with his stoic attitude and constant punching of things via his Star Platinum, but without any of their emotions other than "I'm angry". The rest of the main cast is okay, even if underused, which is reminiscent of how Z fighters would lose until Goku came in to defeat the villain.
It also features an old Joseph Joestar, which is still a trickster but VASTLY underused.
The main villain is once again, Dio Brando, this time not only is he a charismatic vampire, he's also a charismatic vampire with a STAND. Chances are you already know what it does, but I won't spoil it if you don't. The final fight with him is similarly iconic and still referenced to this day, in multiple other manga and anime, again, for good reason. You probably already know why and you probably already saw dialogue of it somewhere.
So if you like shonen battle manga and you don't mind a seemingly emotionless protagonist that only wants to punch things with his punching ghost as hard as he can, this is a pretty solid read. You might get bored around the halfway point but it's thankfully not a manga with a lot of dialogue, so you can still just enjoy the awesome fighting. And if you liked this, then you'll probably like the following parts.
It's a very iconic entry into the shonen genre, but if you're already used to the genre, you will probably notice 90% of the most common tropes might affect your enjoyment of this manga, which is due to the fact that it largely STARTED those tropes. So whether you can accept that or not vary from person to person, but I would say it's at least worth a try.
One of the most influential manga of all time. Redefined battle systems in shonen manga and has an actual cast who are useful, a rarity in 80s manga, let alone current ones. Simply a masterpiece, you owe it to yourself to read this at least once in your lifetime.
The art is fantastically detailed and the story is simple and linear, but straight to the point and never pulls any punches. The fights are the biggest highlight of the manga, each one being radically different and unique.
It's JoJo's Bizarre Adventure's rise to greatness and the start of the creative pinnacle that is Hirohiko Araki. READ
I really hate to disappoint fans of JoJo's Bizarre's Adventures fans but I really did not enjoy the manga. I do not have the intention to watch the anime either because the hype kills it for me.
Not much to say since I pretty much did not enjoy the first volume. I could have stopped half way if I wanted to but I don't know. I wasn't too convinced to carry on reading the whole series to be honest. I felt like the anime isn't mainly aimed for males.
I'm most likely to give this manga a 2/10. Sorry JoJo fans. I just cannot get into it
First chapters of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, pt.3 are disappointing: the concept behind renown stands may seem childish, first battles result in ‘classic’ enemy-becomes-friend scenarios and protagonist Jotaro Kujo reminds too strongly of his predecessor. But hold out for thirty chapters and you will start to realize how brilliant the creation of Hirohiko Araki is. Stands will become just another form of superhuman abilities, shounen tropes fades quickly and and Jotaro will transform into unique, awesome character. In fact, most of characters of Stardust Crusaders are awesome because of Hirohiko Araki one-of-a-kind approach to the story. He never tries to *teach* which opens up an opportunity
to portray villains as human beings and not the devices to make heroes bond together, train willpower or contemplate the values of life. Same *not teach* technique strips the story of unnecessary templated episodes about friends, hard work and other bullshit. Everything is simple and honest: protagonists are compatritriots united by duty (much more plausible cause than most shounen have) against an ambitious spiteful man. Each of characters has quirks and traits that makes them fun and distinct.
But the main revelation of pt.3 are stands. Stands are cartoonish creatures standing behind host. Sounds stupid, yes? Don’t worry, in middle of journey you will forget about that detail and most stands will be perceived simply as superhuman powers, like in western comics. Each fight will begin with a mystery: what is our enemy stand? And will revolve around strategic approach of how to deal with adversaries, utilizing our strengths and exploiting their weakness. In fact, that is why Hirohiko Araki made stands of protagonist so trite and unsophisticated: so no encounter will have an easy solution. No encounter will be dull either. Hirohiko has done a extraordinary job: the journey to Egypt is filled with dozens of stands most of which being intricate and unorthodox. It creates this engulfing story train where you can’t wait to see who will be the next enemy and what are his powers. So if you one of those people who likes to be passenger of said trains - JoJo pt.3 is definitely for you.
Unfortunately, I’m not exactly one of these people. Ninety nine percent of of pt.3 are battles. There are literally only two or three chapters that are not the part of some fight. Protagonists can’t make a step without encountering another stand user which is kinda ridiculous. There are literally no story twist, side stories or any other plot deviations. It’s all just fights, one after another, non-stop. It makes Stardust Crusaders look very discreet and unnatural. It also makes me very sad because, ironically, the slices of life in execution Hirohiko are *extremely* good. The tiny bits of peace at the start of each new battle arc are so entertaining that I just couldn’t help but ask myself: “Why, why did he have to end them so soon?”.
All in all, Stardust Crusaders transforms JoJo into what it is even today: smart stylish collection of epic strategic battles. Yet pt.3 is too blatant about it - more sophisticated plot definitely wouldn’t have hurt.
P.S. Bulkiness, gore and strong language are fun too.