A new season of manliness, a new season of awesomeness, a new season of crazy onomatopoeias, impossible poses and clichéd phrases which are so awesome that will make you forget that they are really cliché. Here it is, a new season of JoJo´s Bizarre Adventures and it will be this Cat´s pleasure to review it.
Welcome to The Neko´s review of JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken Part 3: Stardust Crusaders.
As we know, JoJo is divided into several parts, each with it´s own character, own plot but with similar style. Stardust Crusaders is the third part of the whole Jojo´s Bizarre Adventures franchise and works as a sequel to the first season of Jojo, which included parts 1 and 2, Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency.
The series starts with the revelation of DIO´s comeback to the series, who is after the remaining Joestars heads, and the journey of the new Jojo, Jotaro Kujo, and his companions in order to exterminate DIO once and for all.
This time the series took a more episodic nature and replaced the Hamon by new powers called Stands, a manifestation of psychic powers that takes the form of any given character´s Alter Ego. I can only imagine all the Jojo fans, when this was published in the manga, going "Awww my GAWD, that is soooooooo AWESOME", because even if now it´s not THAT original, when the manga was first published it was a kinda big deal. Now we have things like Persona that do things like that, but Jojo is different in the aspect that here Stands can take ANY form, ranging from an enormous ship to a little insect, each with its own abilities and weaknesses. So this episodic nature that the series took this time is shown in a ‘Stand User of the week’ format. Bad guy appears, Jojo and his friends have to deal with him, they have trouble at first, then they find a way to beat him and then they win in the most awesome way possible...most of the times. While there are some really fun, filled with action and comedy episodes, there are also a lot of episodes that end up being either boring or completely irrelevant, such as The Sun episode. This happens because the author of the manga thought that it would be cool to have the Stands named after Tarot cards, the thing is that then he had to use them all leading to some really unnecessary episodes here and there. The episodic nature of the show can also be bothersome to some people since Part 1 and 2 had a more over arching story. Also, this season is only the first half of Stardust Crusaders with more to come in 2015, so its ending really doesn´t conclude anything, nothing to worry about since its continuation is already announced.
But of course, this is still Jojo so we still have the things that make Jojo what it is, bizarre comedy, lots of action and cool phrases, so if you liked season 1 then you will most likely enjoy this season anyway.
The artwork in Season one wasn´t the best there is because of the short budget, but they still compensated with filters and colour changing to make it look cool enough despite the short budget. This time they have more money and it shows, the animation is more fluid, colours are more vivid and backgrounds are more detailed but they still keep all the things that made the first season´s animation so cool, all the change of colours, all the onomatopoeias, all the style is still here and it looks better than ever. The character designs are still Jojo too, lots of muscles and the cool hairstyles are still here. Jotaro´s design is the one I liked the most, it served its purposed which is to make him look like a badass.
In this part we have a new set of main characters starring the new JoJo, Jotaro Kujo and his friends, Mohammed Avdol, Jean Pierre Polnareff, Kakyoin Noriaki and the old version of Battle Tendency´s Jojo, the fabulous Joseph Joestar, Jotaro´s grandfather. Sadly, Jotaro didn´t live up to my expectations as a protagonist, he was to much of a badass protagonist than anything else, and is a kind of bland character. It seemed as if he was too forced into being a badass and that had it´s consequences. He lacked a lot of the charisma that the previous JoJo, Joseph, had. Still, he isn´t by any means a dislikeable character, but he is far from being one of my favourites.
Speaking of Joseph, he is back as an old version of himself this season, and boy did he make me worry at first. In the first couple of episode he was presented as a mature old man, almost completely different to the original Joseph Joestar, and I was "But...is this really the Joseph that we all know and love?" and it wasn´t until he starred in one episode that this series said "FUCK YES HE IS!" leading to one of the best episodes in the series where we get to hear his old phrases such as "OOOOOOOOH NOOOOOOO" and "Your next line will be...", so yeah, Joseph is still awesome.
On the other hand we got Avdol and Kakyoin as supporting characters who had some moments to shine here and there but there is nothing that stands out that much, they are nice characters, but I wouldn´t say they are amazing. Polnareff on the other hand was the source of most of the usual bizarre comedy and with his joyful personality (most of the time) he ended up being one of the more likeable characters of Stardust Crusaders, at least until now.
Sadly even if DIO came back we still don´t get to see much of him and his fabulousness on screen, he does have a couple of scenes, but for now he doesn´t do much, since he is to cool to go out and kill all the Joestars by himself. We have secondary villains every episode, but the only ones that stand out are Hol Horse and Enyaba, with other less important villains such as The Empress, which are more funny that any other thing.
The soundtrack in this part is composed Yugo Kanno who, as redundant as it may sound, isn´t Taku "God" Iwasaki, the composer of Battle Tendency. As such the only track that really stood out was the Main Theme, Stardust Crusaders, with the rest of the soundtrack being kinda forgettable. In the other hand the voice acting is still great for the most part, every seiyuu did a grat job with it´s character, the only complain I have is with Jotaro, voiced by Daisuke Ono, since his voiced lacked some emotion, even in moments where Jotaro gets hit, it´s not really his fault but is still weird see Jotaro getting damaged and still not showing any sign of emotion, not even in his voice.
This season features only one Opening and one Ending, the opening being "Stand Proud" by Jin Hashimoto, a song that, as always, captures almost perfectly the essence of the Part, is a hit-or-miss song, but for me it was a really cool theme. The ending is of course an 80's song, "Walk like an Egyptian" by the Bangles, is a nice song, but I still prefer the opening one.
As always Jojo´s Bizarre Adventures is still a really enjoyable instalment of the franchise, with some boring episodes here and there, sure, but enjoyable indeed. If you liked season one then there´s probably no reason why you shouldn´t watch this one, because even if it´s not as good as the first one in my honest opinion, at least not yet, it still has most of the things that made Season one so great.
Disappointed? Maybe a little since I was hearing so much things about this being the best part of Jojo´s Bizarre Adventures, and I still prefer Battle Tendency over this one, but this still provided me with lots of fun every week, more than what can be said about other series this season, and it is still Jojo, with its poses, its phrases, its over the top action and its bizarre comedy it will surely be enough to satisfy anyone who is looking for some MANLINESS this year. Now the second half is coming out on Winter of 2015 and I am not planning to miss it.
This has been The Neko and I wish you have a nice day/night.