The JOJOLands (ザ・ジョジョランズ, Za JoJoranzu) is the ninth and current part of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. It was announced in the September 2021 issue of Ultra Jump on August 19, 2021, and began serialization in the March 2023 issue on February 17, 2023.
The story takes place on the volcanic islands of Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean. Jodio Joestar, a young boy living on Oahu Island, aspires to become extremely rich by reaching the apex of the world's mechanisms. As for what he plans to do to achieve his goals, an unpredictable story unfolds in the islands woven with light and shadow.
The JOJOLands represents the third part of the series set in the second continuity.
- Main article: The Villa on Hawaii Island (story arc)
The story is set in Hawaii. The protagonist himself, Jodio Joestar, presents the plot as the story of how he will become rich, as he is shown with his older sibling Dragona Joestar on a boat looking at a volcanic eruption.
On a road in Oahu Island, two police officers pull over a pickup truck being driven by Dragona, with Jodio sitting in the passenger seat. One of the policemen eyes the driver believing they are a woman. He decides to arrest Dragona, molesting them under the pretense of searching for drugs. To his surprise, he discovers that Dragona is biologically a man, but that only arouses him more. Jodio exits from the car to defend his "big brother". The siblings proceed to take out their respective Stands to defeat the policemen, then burn down the patrol car to get rid of the evidence and finally complete a drug deal with local gangsters.
The young boy, Jodio, presents himself and his family, explaining that Dragona looks and acts like a woman, and outlines his mother Barbara Ann Joestar's daily routine. He also presents his family ties to the Joestar family and his outlook on life. After a bus ride to school one day, Jodio completes a drug sale with one of his eccentric seniors. He then explains his outlook on life based on the concept of "mechanisms" and his dream to become rich. Later that day, Jodio, Dragona, and a thief named Paco Laburantes who is also a Stand user meet with their boss, Meryl Mei Qi. Meryl tells them that a lone Japanese tourist has come to Hawaii with a precious diamond in their possession, and she asks the group to steal it. Surprisingly, Meryl assigns a fourth member to the group, which turns out to be Jodio's senior from earlier.
Before going on their mission, Jodio and Paco decide to complete another drug deal. At South King Street on Oahu, a woman approaches Jodio by introducing herself as a mutual acquaintance, though Jodio denies knowing who she's talking about. The woman attempts to purchase from him, but Jodio suspects she's a police officer. When she's about to leave, she goads Jodio into asking whether she is an officer or not, claiming that police officers are not allowed to lie in an undercover investigation. Jodio obliges and believes her when she answers no and they complete the exchange as Paco points out where the drugs are hidden. The woman then immediately pulls out a gun and her police badge from her helmet, revealing that she actually was an undercover cop for the DEA. She places them under arrest while police officers storm out of a nearby ice cream truck to pin down Jodio and Paco. The cop pinning down Jodio asks if Jodio remembers him from before, taunting him by asking how his cute big brother is doing. He threatens to take both brothers to a dark room and molest them. Angered, Jodio uses November Rain to destroy the bag of drugs, forcing the police to let him go afterwards since they no longer have evidence.
Jodio brings up a moment from the past when he was forced to pay for mental counseling at his school, where the psychotherapists diagnosed him with Antisocial personality disorder. His mother, Barbara Ann, didn't believe the diagnosis and demanded a refund for the screening. Jodio is sure he can become happy if he works hard, but he hates running into people like those police officers who don't play fair.
The Diamond Heist
- Main article: The Villa on Hawaii Island (story arc)
The day of the heist, Jodio, Dragona and Paco fly together to Hawaii Island and wait for their new ally, Usagi Alohaoe, at the airport. Usagi is late and makes light of his tardiness. However, he does the role he was assigned and brings the group to a car rental business where the group can rent a car. Usagi assures that the car will leave no trace of them because the company doesn't track the renter's whereabouts with onboard cameras or GPS recorders.
The group thus drives around Hawaii to the villa of said Japanese tourist and Jodio goes to scout the place first. He notes that the tourist is in the villa but also spots some drinks on the table of the balcony, as well as a towel, suggesting that the tourist will go swim in the pool for a moment. This gives the group the opportunity to sneak in and quickly steal the diamond. On the way, the group also spots a stray cat walking around. Usagi reveals his Stand THE MATTEKUDASAI which morphs into a second security camera to produce a modified recording of the group with disguised faces when they trespass into the property. Jodio watches the pool and suddenly recognizes that their target is Rohan Kishibe, a famous manga artist.
While Jodio sneakily consults Rohan's iPad, the rest of the crew searches the house, eventually discovering a laboratory full of rocks. Usagi identifies the rock as cooled lava, but nobody knows why Rohan is tinkering with the rock. The cat from earlier suddenly enters the house, prompting Rohan to leave the pool. Jodio warns his teammates and distracts Rohan with light rain localized at the pool induced by November Rain. Meanwhile, the crew has found the safe and they open it, taking the diamond with them. However, as they exit the room, they are attacked by strange strings that coil around their arms or legs and dig into their flesh. Usagi suspects the cat of being an enemy Stand user. At the terrace, Rohan becomes suspicious of the rain. The trio briefly argue about the nature of the wires and whether the cat is an enemy but Rohan's return is a more pressing matter for the burglars. Although they manage to get rid of the wires, the diamond has somehow fallen out of Paco's backpack and Dragona has to go back to pick it up. Rohan appears and uses his Stand Heaven's Door which allows him to turn anyone he touches into a book. Thus, he is able to incapacitate Paco and Usagi, and turns Dragona's arm into a book. For their part, Dragona is more worried about the diamond which somehow seems able to escape containment.
Rohan calls the police and almost ties up Dragona. However, Jodio intervenes by using November Rain to create a makeshift traphole beneath a carpet, as his rain is heavy enough to make the concrete floor collapse when Rohan steps on it. Thus, Jodio is able to take Rohan by surprise and tie him up. However, the group's escape is still compromised because Rohan has learned about their identities and knows their faces. Rohan offhandedly mentions that they are now in greater danger than facing the police, as they are being followed. Nonetheless, Jodio has figured out that Rohan has come to Hawaii to study the Lava Rocks and that the samples that the manga artist keeps in his safe are somehow precious to him. Jodio tells Rohan to lie to the police about the burglary and crushes one of the two samples to prove he's serious, which surprisingly makes Rohan relent. The group is able to take the diamond and leave the house while Jodio keeps the last sample of lava to himself as insurance. Admiring Jodio for his win, Rohan secretly tells Jodio that he will be able to become rich if he carefully handles the Lava Rock, but does not give any specifics. Rohan also warns Jodio about the untrustworthiness of his gangmates. Jodio takes his leave and the gang begin their return. However, a trio of cats begin to stalk the group.
In the jungle, the diamond and a precious artwork Usagi has stolen from Rohan somehow end up near Jodio. Thus, the group realizes that precious items seem to be drawn to the Lava Rock. Jodio comes to pick up the diamond but he's caught by a wire that coils around his ankle and pulls him up, which leaves him dangling to a tree branch. When Dragona approaches, they are also attacked by two wires that pierce their stomach. When Paco comes to their aid, the wire then stitches Paco's arm to Dragona's abdomen, binding them together. Paco notices that Usagi has escaped with the diamond, the artwork, and the Lava Rock, and has gotten in the car. The cats send several other wires their way, but Jodio uses November Rain to disintegrate them.
As the trio struggles against the wire onslaught, Paco uses THE Hustle to remove the wire from Jodio's ankle. Jodio's November Rain manages to fend off one cat, but the remaining two ensnare them in a net made of wires, which is revealed to come from their fur. Just as the situation seems dire, Usagi intervenes by crashing the rental car into the tree. He reveals he had fed the cats expensive caviar he stole from Rohan's villa. Usagi has Dragona ask THE MATTEKUDASAI to transform into a net and lures the cats toward him. He then drops the Lava Rock he was holding, causing the cats to fall down since they would be drawn toward the rock due to its properties. After Usagi cleverly captures the two felines, Jodio reflects on the mysterious nature of the Lava Rock and suspects that something had been observing Rohan even before their arrival at Rohan's villa.
Testing the Lava Rock
Jodio's group winds down after escaping from the jungle. They drive to a café, where Usagi begs Dragona to lend him $20. Dragona wonders if his family is poor, so Usagi divulges that his father was a construction worker in Oahu who passed away after getting hit by a bus, but they aren't cost-burdened since his mother received insurance money. Dragona agrees to lend the money, which Usagi uses to test the Lava Rock's ability to attract valuables. Usagi places the rock on top of the bill while they talk for a few minutes, then marks the bill with a symbol using a pen before throwing the cash to the ground. A man steals the bill and uses it to pay for food, but the money eventually returns to the group after Paco gets a refund from a shop, confirming the Lava Rock's power. Dragona then suggests a test at a luxury watch store, Diamotch, so they can fully figure out how the Lava Rock's powers work before boarding the plane. Inside, Dragona and Usagi's nervousness and a series of misunderstandings combined with the Lava Rock's influence leads to tense moments with the salesman and security over a missing high-end watch.
Jodio and Paco wait outside. Feeling hungry, Paco goes to buy some food. When he returns, they discover a morbid warning in their food bag: the decapitated heads of the three cats they fought earlier. Jodio surmises that the cats' owner had been watching Rohan's villa the whole time and was stalking the group afterward, aiming to retrieve the mysterious Lava Rock. Paco suggests they relinquish the Lava Rock to the supposed original owner, but Jodio refuses as he explains that they obviously know more about the Rock than anybody and adds that he doesn't expect the owner to leave them alive anyway. Meanwhile, in the shop, the staff eventually watch the security footage and see that Dragona had the wristwatch under their bracelet. However, Dragona has no recollection of it. They find the watch next to the Lava Rock, seemingly brought here by Smooth Operators without Dragona's knowledge. Luckily, when the security staff searches Dragona, the watch suddenly ends up caught onto the salesman's shoelaces and slips away out of the room. The clerk assumes the watch is just slippery and apologizes for accusing them, so the duo are free to leave. Back at the food court, Jodio learns that he was with an impostor when the real Paco returns with food. This leads to the false Paco to shed their disguise and attack Jodio with a knife.
Characters & Stands
The JOJOLands currently takes place throughout Hawaii.
- The Owner of the Lava Rock (溶岩の持ち主, Yōgan no Mochinushi)
According to the Japanese Oricon sales charts, Volume 1 of The JOJOLands lasted in the top 50 physical manga sales for a month, selling around 243,067 copies as of September 24, 2023. It debuted with an estimated number of 93,918 copies sold within two days, ranking in 1st place overall on the week of August 14, 2023 to August 20, 2023. It ranked in 2nd place on the week of August 21 to August 27 with an estimated number of 78,484 copies sold. In the following week on August 28 to September 3, it ranked in 8th place with an estimated number of 30,307 copies sold. On the week of September 4 to September 10, it ranked in 30th place with an estimated number of 16,192 copies sold. Finally, it ranked in 35th place on the week of September 11 to 17, with an estimated number of 12,902 copies sold, and in 41st place from September 18 to 24, with an estimated number of 11,264 copies sold.
Creation and Development
Araki previously mentioned in an interview at the start of Steel Ball Run that he had already planned out the general outlines for each part up to Part 9. When asked what country he would be interested in depicting in the future, he stated that he would like to go to Northern Europe or the Scottish Highlands. He has also mentioned wanting to depict Morioh in Part 9 as well. When receiving the Iwate Hometown Special Manga Award for JoJolion on December 19, 2021, Araki stated that Part 9 of JoJo was in the works.
When the part was first announced, it was originally named simply "JOJOLANDS" (ジョジョランズ, JoJoranzu). However, the name was altered to The JOJOLands (ザ・ジョジョランズ, Za JoJoranzu) when it was later revealed in both Ultra Jump and JOJO magazine on December 19, 2022. Some other proposed titles were "JOJOLANDS 9" (ジョジョランズ９, JoJoranzu 9) and "MADE IN JOJOLANDS" (メイド イン ジョジョランズ, Meido in JoJoranzu). The stylization "The JOJOLand(s)" was also proposed. Noriko Narumi designed the logo based on a "traffic sign" motif because of the feeling she got after seeing the scenery of Hawaii in the first chapter. She added arrows because of JoJo's iconic "To be continued" arrow, volcanoes erupting vertically, and the upward aspirations of young people. The triangular edges to the letters represent a traveling vibe with tickets, airplanes, passports, and such.