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Reviews Manga / Jojos Bizarre Adventure

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12/03/2020 06:04:38 •••

2 Seasons of Anime

If I were to try and explain Jojo's Bizarre Adventure to my parents, I would start by saying it is basically Japanese He Man. That would go some way to contextualising the show's notorious "flamboyant masculinity", but as to the individual episodes, I would have to steal someone's summary from reddit: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure is like those two kids arguing in the playground. The first says, "Ha I shot you, you're dead!" and the second replies, "Nuh-uh, I was wearing a bullet proof vest!" and the first replies, "Yeah, but I was using armour piercing bullets!" and the second replies, "But I also had magnets hidden in the armour, to deflect the bullets!", and the first replies, "Well my bullets are made of wood, which aren't magnetic!", and so on. The joy of Jojo is in watching this same pedantic argument play out between two very stern, burly men in a fight to the death.

In the briefest summary possible, the series follows the Jostar family and their 100+ year long, globe-hoping, inter-generational conflict with vampire supervillains. The Jostar's and their enemies have superpowers that let them fight each other, each character is loosely inspired by pop star costume aesthetics, everyone is built like a brick shithouse, but also struts their stuff like a fashion model.

Prior to watching the anime, my only exposure to Jojo was through endless, de-contextualised memes online and people saying "OHOO!" over and over. I was thus surprised to learn this is all based off one of a 30 year, best selling manga series, and not just some new, modern parody of comic book Super Heroes in the same vein as One Punch Man. Like One Punch Man, Jojo has a tongue size of a surfboard, crammed into its cheek. As someone who generally dislikes the tropes of fighting anime, especially where most of the run time is devoted to combatants explaining their special moves to each other in excruciating detail, it's a delight seeing this stuff finally taken to the point of comic absurdity. Meanwhile, the over-the-top design of its characters lends ''Jojo a very distinct aesthetic. It is also perhaps the first anime I've seen where they bother to draw noses on the characters.

So if you haven't watched it already, I recommend giving the show a go. It takes a while to ramp up the silliness, and the second season is where it goes particular bananas, but persevere.

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