My Return to Anime: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders
After a long hiatus of not watching anime, due to a lack of both time and interest, I finally got pulled back in with “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure” (JJBA). I have heard various friends gush about how amazing the manga and anime were, but explanations fell on deaf ears. How could I understand anything about family legacies and Stands, and everyone’s hatred for DIO? I had no frame of reference for the level of epic that JJBA fans were trying to impose on me. To me it sounded like gibberish with some battles here and there. However, after learning about a live action adaptation of Part Four’s “Diamond is Unbreakable” being released soon in Japan this year, I decided to see what the big fuss was about. Two weeks and thirty cups of coffee later, I can say the hype is real and totally worth binging!
“Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure” began as a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hirohiko Araki. Weekly Shonen Jump serialized it from 1987 to 2004 until it became a monthly serialization in the magazine Ultra Jump in 2005. The anime is produced by David Production and is distributed by Viz Media. Currently Adult Swim is airing the series weekly. My sister and I keep up with it, even after we completed the series' original Japanese dub. This is one of the best shows I can recommend watching both the subs and dubs.
“Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure‘s” part three, also known as “Stardust Crusaders”, sucked me into the JJBA fandom and I would suggest for new viewers to start with it as well. The story is fast-paced and very easy to follow. Our heroes go on a journey to find a cure for a loved one, and meet baddies along the way to impede their quest. It’s feels like a typical fighting style anime with the hero encountering a new villain every week, but JJBA keeps the battles fresh in a variety of different ways. Each villain has a different quirk and personality, making each encounter vastly different from fight to fight. Also not every fight is solved the same way. There is always an air of mystery in how to defeat the foes and this kept me engaged. I found myself wondering if I came up with the same solutions the heroes did while they struggled.
The art style is simply amazing! I will say it is a bit odd that all the male characters look like they belong on the cover of body builder’s monthly. However they were badasses doing badass things and I loved it! The poses, colors, and music will stay stuck in your head for days and never let you forget what you have witnessed. Each frame was drawn with so much attention to detail even still shots feel dynamic. When characters died, it felt like my soul was ripped out of my chest because over the course of the series it felt like I had grown with them on their journey. There were even moments I cried when the antagonists were losing!
I could talk about JJBA for hours if I could, but there is only so much I can say without spoiling it for everyone. It takes a very special series for me to get heavily invested in, and I’m glad “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders” was the one to bring me back.