Anime Vice News

Finishing Off JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE

Episode #23-26 -- Watch & Learn. Outrageous!

One of my most consistent complaints for adventure serials: so many creators get so wrapped up in making the heroes look cool, they forget to make the villains threatening. Fail to do that, and none of the action ever has any sense of weight.

From Dio to the Pillar Men, the villains of JOJO’s have been unrelenting forces of evil, and few have been as excruciatingly hard to vanquish as Kars here. I was about to park the praise train for a moment to talk about how this final stretch of episodes felt a little padded. Kars seemed like Jason Voorhees, cheating death, over and over, and coming back after being thrown into every conceivable life-threatening trap...

However, I had to step back from my own frustration, and realize that emotion was actually the intended one. Seeing that monster hurtled into the void of space - - doomed to a living prison - - wouldn’t have been nearly as satisfying if weren’t releasing all that built-up tension. What an ignoble, horrifying end… and it couldn’t have happened to a better guy.

Now that the secrets of the Pillar Men have been revealed - - and I can view this first season in the long view - - it’s amusing to realize that simplicity is actually one of JOJO’s greater virtues. Compare this with other contemporary shows… there’s a single-mindedness here that’s unusual. The first story arc was about Jojo #1’s desperate effort to defeat Dio. The second story arc was about Jojo #2’s desperate effort to defeat Dio’s masters. In both cases, Jojo was fighting an uphill battle against foes who were hellbent on killing him - - and very close to pulling it off. The stakes were raised immediately, and ratcheted consistently. Simple as that. All the rest of it was gravy.

Maybe that’s the show’s secret? That’s how it's able to get away with the bizarre particulars of this adventure - - by minding the basics and keeping those basics straightforward.

Watch "The Ascendant One" and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous batch of episodes.

YotaruVegetaon June 5, 2014 at 6:32 a.m.

JoJo's secret is being very awesome, basically all the time. Stardust Crusaders!

Kino88on June 5, 2014 at 6:34 a.m.
This show is most definitely the best anime currently Airing right now, it's not hard to imagine how the manga Became so iconic, it's consistently silly and suspenseful, Hell, By the end of that battle with Kars I was so invested in Jo Jo's struggle, that when he finally did Face palm him into the final frontier, I pumped my fist, Jumped out of my seat, and screamed WAY TO GO JO JO!!!!, Also the Stardust Crusaders is looking even better, Even the animation quality has been raised another notch Or two, and just wait till you get a load of Jo Jo #3, he's A real piece of work, Lol
Lurkeroon June 5, 2014 at 9:54 a.m.

Stardust crusaders time, y'all.

The one thing about Jojo that continuously bothers me is that the villains lack practical motivation (beyond just being evil for the sake of it) and the villains are always just super powerful without knowing how they earned that power. It goes with the cartoonish nature of Jojo, though.

takashichea moderator on June 5, 2014 at 11:22 a.m.

Dio is pretty much the best villain in the series. The other villains don't really compare to him. I do agree with Lukero and Tom's on the villains' lack of threat and motivation. What also bothers me is the inconsistency in the plot when they brought back Dio. It's like the author couldn't make a new villain and had to bring Dio who was the main appeal from Phantom Blood arc.

There was one inconsistency if you get into Stardust Crusaders. I thought there was one coffin that Dio's Chinese servant brought. Erina use that coffin to escape the explosion with the baby she saved. Plus, she's supposedly pregnant with Jojo's child.

phantomranton June 5, 2014 at 12:35 p.m.

@Lurkero said:

The one thing about Jojo that continuously bothers me is that the villains lack practical motivation (beyond just being evil for the sake of it) and the villains are always just super powerful without knowing how they earned that power. It goes with the cartoonish nature of Jojo, though.

Half of the villains in Jojo actually do have reasoning for their evil acts or had something occur to them that led them to become villains. Just that there motives aren't anything complex like some of the more developed anime/manga villains.

Dio Brando - Likely childhood abuse by his father and anger at witnessing his mother die from his father overworking her. A life of poverty and always having to struggle with what he had developed his insatiable greed. We see very well in Phantom Blood how that greed turned to lust for wealth and power, and how far that lust went. Most of his motive was pure evil villain archetype though.

Cars - The Pillar Men in general have a decent motive in fighting the Joestars and friends. I'd argue that the two sides wouldn't even have a reason to be in killing conflict with each other, if Lisa Lisa did not possess the Stone of Asia which was necessary for the Pillar Men to achieve perfection and immortality from the sun, instead of having to cower behind the darkness of the night like their vampire creations. Surely no one would want to only live half of a day for the rest of their eternal lives.

Yoshikage Kira - He was essentially born as a killer. Wouldn't be surprised if he had an array of mental disorders and the like that faciliated him to develop his talent for murdering. And if I recall correctly, his motive for murder was to satisfy his own unnatural, psychotic urges, such as when he went on a date with the hand of a woman he killed. Kira actually wanted a peaceful, quiet life and would have preferred not to have fought the good guys of Diamond is Unbreakable.

Enrico Pucci - Pucci didn't pursue his goal out of pure evil, actually it was just the opposite - he wanted everyone to be happy and believed that he acted out of pure, holy good. He wanted to instill into EVERYONE in the world the ability to predict the future, in order to instill happiness and peace. He had a big dream, only problem is that he was heavily influenced by Dio Brando.

And two of the villains there didn't develop their OP powers out of nowhere, because they specifically knew what they were getting into, and how to get it. Cars spent millennia trying to unite the Red Stone of Asia and the Stone Mask, and knew that evolutionary perfection would come out of it. Enrico also pursued the ultimate Stand Stairway to Heaven because he knew that its power would enable him to achieve his goal, and we can see the stage of evoltuion of his Stand from Whitesnake to C-Moon to STH.

tristenkw5on June 5, 2014 at 12:48 p.m.

I'm reading through Jojo's now, and I feel like everything after the stands are introduced kinda feels more like modern shoenen. Not meaning that in a bad way exactly, but the "stand bad guy of the week" kind of runs the rest of the series (at least to where I'm up to, Part 6).

I really like how creative the stands get though, and I feel like that's enough to get me through what small trickle of plot there is, but I'm not sure if that's because I'm so swept up in the hype of being into something so old and well known to pretty much JUST Japan up until now.

takashichea moderator on June 5, 2014 at 12:52 p.m.

@tristenkw5:

I agree with you. The Stand of the Week doesn't bring much variety. I know pointed out a cool reference with the Stand of the Week. I don't want to spoil fans and Tom. It has to do with monster movies. This show is in my top five for this spring season 2014.

zaldaron June 5, 2014 at 4:45 p.m.

Ahhhh!! I was hoping for more extended commentary. What about the ben hur references in the chariot fight? What about the superman 2 references in the ending of Kars? What about simply the unrementing coolness of those fights...

and come on....what about that romantic tension between jojo and his um between jojo and lisa lisa?

I expect once you start on stardust crusaders you will wish you had slowed down a little. I have not been nearly as impressed with it and I don't think it stands (pun very much intended) in the same class as the first two.

Evidently in the manga there are like 8 sections...so do we have a two generational time skip in each one? Aka do we end up before long in like 2200? A sci-fi jojo....would be truly odd....

takashichea moderator on June 5, 2014 at 4:52 p.m.

@zaldar:

You haven't seen the series yet. I put this in spoiler. Read at your own risk.

Joseph Joestar and Lisa Lisa are mother and son.

zaldaron June 5, 2014 at 6:05 p.m.

@takashichea: HAHAHAHAHAH oh no I have seen the series and I had seen it before Tom originally commented....which was why his commenting on it was hilarious....given I knew what you have in spoilers above....I mean man the image of him looking through a keyhole at his....

HAHAHAHAHAHA

Destinyheroknighton June 5, 2014 at 7:37 p.m.

@zaldar:

Evidently in the manga there are like 8 sections...so do we have a two generational time skip in each one?

No, the last two are reboots

taichokageon June 5, 2014 at 7:42 p.m.
Lol. Can't blame Joseph but.....yeah.
zaldaron June 5, 2014 at 8:59 p.m.

@Destinyheroknight: A manga with reboots...wow.....that is interesting....

Kuma_From_Argentinaon June 10, 2014 at 7:59 a.m.

@Destinyheroknight: The Part 7 is a reboot, Part 8 isnt a reboot, but a continuation of the rebooted universe of part 7

Destinyheroknighton June 10, 2014 at 1:42 p.m.

@Kuma_From_Argentina:

Oh, sorry. I always get confuse with the reboots LOL!

Dig Deeper into JoJo's Bizarre adventures

A manga series which involves (to date) eight different story arcs, each with its own set of characters-- but all of the leads' names can be read as "JoJo."

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