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Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: The Joestar heritage

Rating: 4 votes, 4.75 average.
Jojo's Bizarre adventure is a popular manga series written by Hirohiko Araki. JJBA is known to be one of the best selling manga series on the planet. Selling a staggering 95 million Tankōbon (Stand alone books) since it's creation in 1986. It was later turned into a OVA series in 1993 and again in 2000. In 2007 a film was released to Japanese theaters to commemorate the 25th year of publication. It would be a further 7 years before JJBA had a full anime series, and on October 5 2012, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom blood, was aired on Japanese Television. David Production took charge of the project and has been doing so since then.

The series is sometimes referred to as "Japans best kept secret". Which is understandable as it was not as popular, prior to it's big release in 2013. There are many reasons as to why, but personally I believe that the usage of fan-subbing, legal streaming and larger social media bases helped drive the popularity.

The series major theme and plot line involve the Joestar family and subsequent lineage. Whom are thrust into a world of supernatural powers, mystery and sometimes vampires. As each part of the series progresses, it starts with another Joestar family member, whom all can be traced back to Joseph Joestar. The main antagonist of the series is Dio, whom is the sworn enemy of the Joestar family. While initially he was adopted by the Joestars, the feud continues to this day. While initially Dio did not appear to have any direct family, he seems to also have some indirect family that feature in later parts of the manga. JJBA features a large array of genres; supernatural, actions, suspense, horror, tragedy and notably comedy.

While initially the Joestar's could harness the usage a power called Hamon (Ripple). A form of martial arts that harness the energy of the sun. Similar to that of Ki and Chi energies. It was then changed to the "Stand" which is a physical manifestation of their hamon powers. Through out the series they also go through a transformation of sorts, as the parts progress. This transformation was a surprise at first as in the original JJBA series Joseph Joestar was a trickster of sorts and his hamon power worked well with his personality. Changes where made as the hamon ability can be limited somewhat, stands however opened a door to almost endless possibility.

The Anime and manga are not the only forms of media, there are a few JJBA games. The first, simply called JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, it was launched in 1993 on arcade systems. Since then other games have followed, with Eyes of heaven being the most recent title, available on PlayStation 3 and 4.

JJBA also gained the collective interest of the internet. The creation of memes and macros as well as jovial responses started to crop up shortly after David Production version of JJBA aired on TV. Some notable examples are; The words Menacing with the katakana ゴゴゴゴ (translates to a gogogo sound effect) are often used in images depicting a tense moment. The various poses the characters are known to do in the Anime and manga are also played out by real people. Another notable example is; Jotaro's famous やれやれだぜ (Yare Yare Daze) or Good grief. It can be used as a response to situations that are troublesome.

One of the most striking features of JJBA, is the almost avant-garde art style, fashion and colours. Sure Tite Kubo did some stylish characters in Bleach, but JoJo's has a more unique style to it. Most of the characters have some form of brooch on their chests or emblem on their attire to set them apart from the rest. Akira has stated that much of his use of colour and style was influenced by an american artist by the name of Paul Gauguin. Suprisingly David Production have kept the same amazing quality of animation throought the entire series so far. Even the opening and closing sequences seem like something from a big budget film.

[Top Left: Star Platinum Top right: Yukako Yamagishi Bottom leftt: Aya Tsuji Bottom right: Left to Right: Polnareff, Avdol, Kakoyin, Jotaro, Joseph]

Another feature that makes JJBA stand out (that was a pun) from other series is the names many of the character have. While there is still debate about the Joestar name, which some say Hirohiko Araki named after the restaurant he did most of his work in. The other characters are all named after musicians, songs, popular culture or the current scenario that is being played out in the story. Such as tarot cards as seen in Stardust Crusaders.

Speed-wagon, N'Doul, Chilli pepper, Iggy, Star Platinum, The World and Wamu are just a few notable names, you will come across as you watch and read. Sadly due to copy-write problems, in the animated series, notable the ones which feature musicians names, are normally pronounced and spoken in Japanese but in the English dub they are changed slightly. This is also true of the subtitles seen on streaming sites like Crunchy Roll. Red Hot Chilli Pepper is one of the more notable ones, being simply translated to Chilli Pepper in the sub.

Finally the music, it is a pivotal part of any form of visual media and, JJBA is no exception. Opening and ending songs are carefully chosen for the series it's self and reflect the overall tone and story. The ending songs are sometimes based loosely around the timeline of the series, and feature well known artists, from YES! to Pat Metheny and more recently Savage Garden. The overall music of the series is wonderfully done, with each series having it's own distinctive score. From wind and string classical to jazz, funk, country, acoustic guitar, rock and even dance. Each piece of music accurately sets the tone for the scene it is placed against, and makes the anime that much more entertaining.
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  1. Dark Bane's Avatar
    I enjoyed reading though that quite a bit, thanks man. That was a good read indeed