Hirohiko Araki’s iconic action series, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, has faithfully followed shonen archetypes while also establishing its own trademarks that push the genre forward into groundbreaking new territory. For more than three decades, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has been at the forefront of the anime and manga industry, and there’s no end in sight for the infinitely quirky property.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is so complex that it connects very differently for both adults and children. JoJo’s tells a story that’s appropriate for all ages, but there are certain idiosyncrasies that are easier for the older crowd to appreciate.
10 The Generational Story That It Tells Through Multiple Protagonists
Most shonen series chronicle the development of a single protagonist, but one of the most unique aspects of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is that it very quickly reveals itself to follow the Joestar family tree, not just Jonathan Joestar. This transition from Jonathan to Joseph to Jotaro and so on can be very jarring for younger audiences, especially if they’ve connected with the earlier characters. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is structured much more like a novel that tells a sprawling story across generations.
9 Hirohiko Araki’s Maturing Art Style Is Easier To Appreciate
It’s truly remarkable how mangaka like Hirohiko Araki can be the sole artists and writers for their series for several decades. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is Araki’s signature series, and he’s been working on it for so long that his changing sensibilities and art styles gradually emerge through his storytelling. Araki’s style for Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency is much more aggressive and akin to something like Fist of the North Star. Araki’s evolving style is for the best, but it’s a more awkward transition for younger audiences who are purely focused on characters or story.
8 The Exaggerated Nature Of The Character Designs, Fashion, And Poses
Anime is a medium that has many contrasting tones, and some series are considerably more flamboyant than others. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure prides itself in the exaggerated nature of its characters, whether it’s through their unconventional looks and fashion sense, or their battle strategies and victory poses. Araki understands that the world of JoJo’s is so ridiculous that it’s important for it to have a sense of humor regarding itself. However, kids might be thrown off by these elements and fail to take JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure seriously as a result.
7 Araki’s Informational Digressions Grow More Interesting
One of the reasons that JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has resonated so strongly with audiences is because it feels like such a genuine and personal expression from Hirohiko Araki. Araki carefully crafts suspenseful narratives and unpredictable battles, but he’s also someone who isn’t afraid to let his general passions invade his storytelling.
There are a wealth of scenarios where characters in JoJo’s engage in lengthy digressions on stag beetles, gravity, or seemingly unrelated science facts, only for them to play a significant role in an upcoming conflict. These scientific digressions might feel like chores to younger audiences, but they resonate with adults and reflect Araki’s diverse interests.
6 The Jokes And References In Character And Stand Names
One of the big ways JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure first shows off its playfulness is with characters, and later Stands, who are all named after famous musicians, bands, and songs. Characters and Stands are occasionally named after modern musicians, but the majority of them draw inspiration from bands that go back many decades. It’s not impossible for younger audiences to be aware of all of these musical references, but it’s likely that adults will be more familiar with puns based around bands like Bad Company and Cheap Trick.
5 The Manga Needs To Be Read To Experience The Full Story
There are natural strengths and weaknesses to both anime and manga, but by and large, they’re fairly analogous products. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure isn’t an anime-only series, but its anime is only at the Stone Ocean chapter of the story.
The JoJo’s manga has gone on to Parts 7 and 8, with a ninth on the way, which all provide decades of additional content to consume. This is an exciting prospect for older audiences to explore and devote time towards, whereas younger audiences might prefer the easy-to-digest anime that trims the manga’s fat.
4 The Different Genres That It Experiments With Through Different Parts
Hirohiko Araki has been working on JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure for nearly 35 years, so it’s only natural that his interests would shift and occasionally embrace different genres of storytelling. The core of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure remains the same, and it never stops being an action series, but there are definitely major genre shifts that are present, such as the slice-of-life angle that’s prominent in Diamond is Unbreakable, Stone Ocean’s prison break narrative, or even how Steel Ball Run transforms JoJo’s into a cross-country race. All of these transformations reflect the diverse nature of JoJo’s, but the younger crowd might just want action and nothing else.
3 The Deaths Hit Harder And Make More Sense
Death is an inevitability in most shonen series, but that doesn’t mean that it’s any easier to say goodbye to beloved characters. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure isn’t gratuitous when it comes to the casualties of its characters, but there are still some major losses that will surely sadden younger audiences. The deaths of characters like Jonathan Joestar, Bruno Bucciarati, or Avdol remain painful, regardless of the viewer’s age, but these sacrifices are easier to appreciate in the context of JoJo’s bigger picture. It’s easier to view these losses as necessary evils than manipulative sorrow.
2 Characters Are Allowed To Mature And Grow Older
Anime can tell epic stories that span multiple decades, but there are also series like Pokémon that produce thousands of episodes, yet never allow their characters to visibly mature. It’s easier for children to accept stasis, especially when a young protagonist is close to their own age. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure doesn’t just rotate through its heroes, but it also allows the clock to move forward so that aged versions of former protagonists emerge. Adults, who have experienced growing up themselves, can better appreciate characters like Joseph and Jotaro, who mature in front of the audience because they’re not still stuck in their own youth.
1 The Wealth Of Side Stories, OVAs, And Supplemental Material Are Less Daunting
One of the perks of being an anime fan is that there are usually extra materials to consume when it comes to the most popular properties. This scavenger hunt mentality of consuming content might not be of interest for children who just want to turn on an anime and not worry about chronology and canon. There are some exciting JoJo’s expansions in the form of one-shot manga, light novels, video games, and even an OVA series that focuses on Rohan Kishibe. Some fantastic JoJo’s details are contained in this supplemental material.
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