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JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

is a Japanese manga written and illustrated by Hirohiko Araki. It is famous for its original art style, intricate plot, and numerous Western rock music references. Every main character's name in each part can be read as JoJo. The manga, published by Shueisha in their magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump, started in 1987 and went on to 2004. The current story arc was initially published in Weekly Shōnen Jump, but was moved to Ultra Jump in 2005. It is currently Shōnen Jump's second longest running manga with 94 volumes and counting (only Kochi-Kame, with 150+ volumes, has more.) It is however, the longest manga not to have a TV adaptation.

The manga is published in English by Viz Media, starting from the third story arc. Nine volumes have been published. Originally published bimonthly, it has been reduced to a quarterly release.

Manga

There have been seven series of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure manga, each featuring a different cast of characters. Volumes 1–5 (Chapters 1–44) Volumes 5–12 (Chapters 45–113) Volumes 12–28 (Chapters 114–265) Volumes 29–47 (Chapters 266–440) Volumes 47–63 (Chapters 441–594) Volumes 64–80 (Chapters 595–752) Volumes 81– onward (Chapters 753–current)

Anime

Two OVA series have been adapted from series 3 of the manga by A.P.P.P. (Another Push Pin Planning) Company in Japan. The original six-episode series in 1993 began with Joseph, Jotaro, Polnareff, Avdol and Kakyoin in the Egyptian desert on their quest to find Dio (volume 20 in the manga). The series offered very little exposition, assuming the viewer already knew the backstory. A prequel seven-episode series was released in 2001, offering an explanation for those unfamiliar with the story in the previous series. It started with Joseph coming to Japan to explain Jotaro's strange behavior (volume 12 in the manga).

The entire 6-volume (13-episode) anime series has been released in English in chronological order by Super Techno Arts It was originally intended to be released here as early as 2000, but because the STA deal with Broccoli fell through, the first volume did not arrive domestically until 2003, while the last volume was released in 2005. Without a partner, STA had to rely on E-tailers for the bulk of their business. Further hindering the anime's profitability in the U.S. was Viz's choice to wait to publish the manga until after the OVA was completed.

Also, due to legal reasons, names which referenced certain bands or singers had to be changed to their romanized variations in the American translation. Fortunately, like Manga Entertainment's release of Street Fighter II V, the names are retained in the Japanese dialogue, and the American translations are not so far off as they are in Bastard!!.

Phantom Blood, a theatrical film based on Series 1 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, was released February 17, 2007 in Japan. A.P.P.P. and several of the original crew members for the OVA returned to produce the film. The theme song was composed by the Japanese group SOUL'd OUT with their single "Voodoo Kingdom".

Novel

In 2000, it was announced that Otsu-ichi would be writing a novel set in Jojo's part 4. The novel proved difficult to complete; in Kono Mystery ga Sugoi 2004, Otsu-ichi claimed to have written over 2000 pages, but thrown them all out. Intent on writing a novel that lived up to the manga, it took him until 2007 to complete it.

  • Jojo's Bizarre Adventure The Book: 4th Another Day.

Video games

Several video games have been adapted from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. The first was an RPG, based on the third story, which was released in 1993 for the Super Famicom. Later, two fighting games for the arcade were also adapted from the third arc by Capcom, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (released as JoJo's Venture in the west) and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future, both in 1999 for arcade. The arcade games were ported to Playstation and Dreamcast. The fighting games were the first piece of JoJo related media released in North America, exposing the characters to many western players. A third Capcom game was based on the fifth arc titled JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Whirlwind (ジョジョの奇妙な冒険: 黄金の旋風) and released for the PlayStation 2 in 2002. This game was scheduled for release in Europe as GioGio's Bizarre Adventure, but this did not come through because of the heavy references to band names, and Araki is unwilling to compromise in the change of names to avoid lawsuits. Capcom originally intended to release the game in the United States, even showing a playable version at the 2002 Electronic Entertainment Expo, but no further plans or official release date has been announced since then.

A new game by Bandai, titled JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood, was released on October 26, 2006 for the PlayStation 2. The story is based on the first arc and features action/adventure gameplay, similar to Golden Whirlwind. Araki has personally checked the quality of the game and its faithfulness to the original. The release of the game coincides with the release of the new movie and the 25th anniversary of Araki Hirohiko's manga career. The game itself includes a bonus disc celebrating 20 years of the JoJo franchise.

Other video game appearances

Before the first JoJo game was released, Bandai released a Shonen Jump crossover adventure game titled Famicom Jump: Hero Retsuden in 1989. Joseph Joestar from the second arc is one of the playable characters, while Santana and Speedwagon made cameo appearances. Its sequel Famicom Jump II: The Strongest Seven, released in 1991, features Jotaro as a selectable character. Joseph, Avdol, Kakyoin, and Polnareff also appears in this game. Both games were available on the Nintendo Famicom.

Characters from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure were also featured in the Shōnen Jump crossover game Jump Superstars and its sequel Jump Ultimate Stars, including Jotaro Kujo and Dio Brando as playable characters.

Stand powers

A "stand" (スタンド sutando) is a supernatural power in the manga and anime JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. When first presented in Part 3, Joseph Joestar referred it as a ; it could conjecturally be said to be a semi-physical manifestation of one's hamon (ripple) powers as seen in Part 1 and Part 2.

The exact requirements for a person to obtain a stand are unclear, although the series hints that it can be linked to bloodline, rigorous spiritual/hamon training, and/or exceptionally strong willpower. However, a stand may never manifest itself in one's life until it is amplified by certain conditions/factors.

One of the known and most commonly used amplifying factors, is to pierce oneself with "stand arrows" created from a mysterious meteorite. However, it is often a gamble, as it would easily kill an unqualified person, and there is no apparent way to know if a person is qualified ahead of time; the Arrows do, however, tend to seek out qualified people on their own if there is someone to guide them. Another amplifying condition is done by simply being around powerful stand users, such as the case of Trisha Una's Spice Girl from Part 5 (Golden Wind). A qualified existing stand user may also have their stand "upgraded" by piercing the arrow through the stand—this results in the Stand becoming a "Requiem" form of its previous self. However, this is also a gamble, as an unqualified stand user may render their new stand uncontrollable, and he or she may actually kill himself or herself in the process.

Enrico Pucci of Part 6, Stone Ocean, was able to produce artificial stand users with his stand, White Snake, by stealing others' stands and "inserting" them into regular people. It is unclear as to whether or not these artificial stand users were capable of having stands of their own, but Enrico does claim that only certain individuals are qualified to have stands inserted. It is still unclear for the condition that one person can possess two stands. In Golden Wind there are examples of a single person possessing two stands because of the ability of an extraordinary stand.

In Part 7, Steel Ball Run, a third amplifying factor is introduced by fusing parts of oneself with "The Saint"'s body parts. However, stands generated by this factor disappear as soon as the body parts defuse from one another.

Controversy

In May 2008, both Shueisha and Studio A.P.P.P halted anime/manga shipments of JoJo after a complaint had been launched against them, because the series depicted the Koran as a book related to cold-blooded execution. A scene in the anime had used pages from the Qur'an in a book read by the villain; the pages are not depicted in the manga, but Shueisha is taking a close look at scenes that might depict mosques.

In popular culture

  • In the NBC drama, Heroes, a fictional Japanese salaryman named Hiro Nakamura is a fan of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. In his blog, he states that he wants to "be like Jojo and Vaan and go on adventures". One of his powers includes time manipulation, a gift shared with Jojo characters Jotaro Kujo and Dio Brando (fitting, since series 3 seems to be his favorite). Hiro's future self even signed a blog entry as "Jotaro Kujo". He even at one point uses Dio's battle cry (muda,muda), in the second episode of the second season. He once again uses Dio's battle cry (muda, muda) in the second episode of the third season.
  • In Taizo Mote King Saga, an Araki-esque character appears. A Jolyne lookalike fawns over how well done the drawing is. Jotaro also makes an appearance in chapter 59.
  • Stroheim, a character from series 2, is said by many to have influenced Capcom when they created Guile (though Dire from series 1 also looks similar to him). CAPCOM has also stated the character Rose from Street Fighter was based, both on looks and fighting style, on Lisa Lisa from series 2.
  • SNK Playmore admitted that they based Benimaru Nikaido, a character from their KoF series, on Jean Pierre Polnareff, one of the characters from series 3. They continue referring to the former by the latter's name to this day.
  • In chapter 19 of manga Planetes Albert, son of Fee brings home a stray dog that looks like Iggy from part 3, he also gives him the name Iggy.

Reference to popular culture

  • Music plays an immense role in the naming and identifications of the characters and abilities in the JoJo universe. The JoJo title itself is a reference to The Beatles song "Get Back". Throughout the first two parts and most of the third, many of the main characters from the various JoJos and Dio Brando (Dio), the members of the Speedwagon Foundation and allies such as Lisa Lisa and Jean Pierre Polnareff (Michel Polnareff) to villains such as Santana, Kars, J. Geil, Oingo and Boingo. By the end of Part 3, Araki was forced to begin using musical terms for a couple of his final Stands alongside the character, such as Vanilla Ice having an ability known as Cream. By part 4, the musical references were transferred over to the Stands as opposed to the characters, though the lead character still kept the JoJo title.
  • By parts 5 and 6, the names of the characters began to take different connotation in comparison to the musical Stand names. In part 5, nearly all the characters had Italian names due to the setting within the Italian mafia. By part 6, many of the human characters held the names of fashion designers while circumstances forced some of them to take the same musical name as their Stands (such as Foo Fighters and Weather Report).

References

External links

Anime websites

Video game websites (Japanese)

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