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12/15/2021 07:43:29 •••

A Bizarre, But Fantastic, Adventure

JoJo is very hard to describe. Simply saying it's a fighting series revolving around different members of a family fighting superpowered enemies doesn't do it justice.

Each and every part feels unique, helped greatly by the contrasting personalities and characterization of all the main protagonists. Jonathan is a lovable goofball, Joseph is a wacky Combat Pragmatist, Jotaro is a serious brawler, etc. About the only character traits that they all share is 1. overwhelming badassery and 2. a good heart, though the latter is sometimes hard to spot through their gray morality.

The story doesn't seem like much at first, but as it keeps building on itself in each part, you'll begin to realize how much Araki loves writing it. Many characters have callbacks in later arcs, and every arc has a different type of story, almost feeling like a different genre altogether.

What really makes the series special, however, is the heart put into it. Every moment, whether awesome, funny, heartwarming, or tearjerking, feels real. Every Joestar runs the gamut between these emotions, and you'll be hard-pressed to not find at least one whom you can empathize with.

JoJo is also known for its names - specifically, the names of its characters and Stands, and to a lesser extent its locations and plot devices. With the exception of parts 4 and 8, which feature primarily Japanese characters, just about every name is some sort of musical reference, ranging from hard rock to pop to folk. While it's understandable if you don't recognize all of them at first glance, you'll laugh in surprise when first introduced to AC/DC (sorry, Esidisi) and Black Sabbath. It helps greatly that the name JoJo itself is a Beatles reference, just so you have an idea of how prevalent this is.

If there is any one overarching flaw to speak of, it is that not all arcs are created equal. Part 1 is criticized for its somewhat generic shonen feel, part 4 takes too long to reach the main conflict, part 5 feels too Monster of the Week, part 6 features a universe-wide Reset Button, and so on. However, you're sure to find a favorite, and every arc has its strengths.

In summary, JoJo is less a manga and more an experience. Read it (or watch it, as the anime is fantastic) and experience the highs and lows of humanity and emotion.

12/15/2021 00:00:00

Part 3 is the one that feels too Monster of the Week, not Part 5. With each fight, they actually progress the plot.

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