Graphic Content – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

List Item:  Read half of the 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die
34/501Title: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
Creator: Hirohiko Araki
Year: 1987-now
Country: Japan

What a fantastic name for a manga series. I have been holding off starting the anime adaptation until I got a chance to sit down and actually read it first. From the images of the recent Diamond is Unbreakable seasons I was not entirely sure of what to expect when the manga started in the 1880s. Now it makes more sense.

It takes a lot for a manga to be able to last for 30+ years and still find commercial success. The genius with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure being that the titular JoJo has changed a number of times in the manga’s run. All are descendants of the original 1880’s Jonathan Joestar and we move between them (and eventually different timelines) between the story arcs.

Doing this was a real gamble; especially since the first JoJo dies rather unexpectedly at the end of Phantom Blood. Full credit to Hirohiko Araki though – by going down the family line it helps to keep the story fresh whilst still keeping it in the same world. A world of vampiric masks, column-bound demigods and powerful auras based off of tarot cards.

It’s all good fun, but there are times where JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is let down by the artwork. Especially early on. In the later chapters there is a substantial improvement where it kept the slightly over the top burly look of the male characters, but everything felt more detailed. I guess the budget went up or something.

Getting back to the name – it feels a little bit loaded and, honestly, it takes a good while until things start to feel truly bizarre. For me that moment where the bizarre truly hit me was in the third JoJo incarnation where they were battling a pissed off orangutan on an imaginary boat. Nope, it wasn’t the robot Nazi or the killing people with soap bubbles that did it – it was that weird orangutan.

As of writing this I am coming to the end of the third section, which means I haven’t even gotten to the Diamond is Unbreakable section that I mentioned at the top. I will, however, be continuing with the JoJo family for as long as there are still manga for me to read.

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