JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
JoJo was serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from 1986 until 2004, when it then transferred to the monthly seinen magazine Ultra Jump, where the current story continues. The series is collected in a variety of formats ranging from standard Tankōbons to special edition volumes such as Bunkobans and Kanzenbans all of which contain the manga as it was serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump and Ultra Jump with some differences such as chapter names being different and dialogue changes.
The series has over 120 million copies in print, making it one of the best-selling manga series in history. In 2016, the series had 100 million copies in print. Filling over 130 volumes, it is Shueisha's second longest-running manga series. Publication in English of the earlier parts of the series is ongoing.
JoJo's genre spans Action, Adventure, Supernatural, Thriller, Comedy, Tragedy, Mystery, Slice of Life, and Horror. It is perhaps most popularly known for its Stand phenomenon; the Stardust Crusaders arc and its characters Dio Brando/DIO and Jotaro Kujo; the expressive rendition of its proud, glamorous personalities; and its hundreds of nominal references to Western popular music.
Adding to the JoJo canon to varying degrees, Araki has authored several spin-offs and related artbooks; and several light novels have also been produced, all containing his illustrations.
JoJo was previously the longest Shueisha manga series to have not received an animated adaptation for television. However, the official anime TV series finally made its debut on October 6, 2012 (separating the manga and anime debuts by twenty-five years); designed by animation studio David Production.
Its range of other merchandise includes several adaptations in video games, including three fighting games of international release; JoJo's Venture/Heritage for the Future by Capcom (on the CPS-3 board) in 1998; All-Star Battle by Bandai Namco Games for the PS3 in 2014; and Eyes of Heaven for the PS4 in 2016.
The story in JoJo is divided between two continuities. The first continuity includes Parts 1 to 6, detailed in Weekly Shonen Jump from 1986 to 2003, while the second continuity includes Parts 7 to 9, detailed in seinen magazine Ultra Jump from 2004 to the present. The plot across these stories is supplied in multi-chapter arcs detailing precarious, melodramatic conflicts between parties defined both by unique supernatural powers, mainly by the versatile Stand phenomenon, and exclusive ambitions, attitudes or moral standards. These arcs vary in tone, alternating adventure, suspense, mystery, and horror; always through action, and with frequently embedded comedy. Typically, a race emerges among the heroes of a story to intercept a powerful central antagonist.
Many references to modern film, television, fashion, fine art, and popular music are readily identifiable throughout JoJo in many settings and both the characterization and nomenclature of the cast. Examples of physical, mathematical and psychological theory, biology, technology, mythology, natural phenomena, historic events, and segments of other artistic work inform the design and functionality of the multitude of unique Stands. The series occasionally makes fanciful developments upon contemporary scientific theory in creation of the routes by which certain Stands and other powers exert their influence on nature.
Morioh, a fictional Japanese town and the setting of Diamond is Unbreakable along with its distinct incarnation in JoJolion shares its coordinates with Araki's hometown, Sendai, assuming a more culturally detailed description and referencing more contemporary topics (such as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake) than other settings. Additionally, Stand-wielding mangaka Rohan Kishibe, a resident of Morioh introduced in Diamond is Unbreakable, returns as a guide in a number of JoJo spin-offs.
When asked in 2006 to describe the subject of JoJo in a phrase, Hirohiko Araki answered "the enigma of human beings" and "a ode to humanity"; and as his attitude to manga, "the salvation of the heart". Subjects in the text of the manga may be condensed under themes of Destiny, Courage and Justice.
Original Universe Continuity
The first continuity follows an intergenerational feud between the Joestar Family and various forces of evil, the most prominent of which is Dio Brando and his followers.
The first part Phantom Blood, set in England in 1880, follows Jonathan Joestar as he matures with and eventually combats his adoptive brother, the cunning, merciless Dio Brando who becomes a Vampire with the help of an ancient Stone Mask. Jonathan is trained by Will Anthonio Zeppeli in the vibrant energy of the Ripple, wielded in the human body and transferred in hand-to-hand combat, which is the only sure way apart from sunlight of defeating Vampires and their Zombie minions.
The second part Battle Tendency sees Jonathan's grandson Joseph Joestar crossing the world in the days leading up to the Second World War in 1938 to combat the Pillar Men, an ancient race of hostile beings responsible for the creation of the Stone Mask. Like his grandfather, Joseph undergoes strenuous Ripple training alongside Caesar Anthonio Zeppeli, Will's grandson, by the secretive Lisa Lisa and tries to protect the Red Stone of Aja, a gem sought by the Pillar Men to complete the Stone Mask and grant them immunity to the Sun.
Stardust CrusadersStardust Crusaders is set during 1988-1989 as Joseph's grandson Jotaro Kujo journeys along with Joseph, Muhammad Avdol, Noriaki Kakyoin, Jean Pierre Polnareff, and Iggy from Tokyo to Cairo in order to fight DIO who has returned from the depths of the sea and save his mother from DIO's mystical influence. From now on allies and villains alike primarily use Stands, a usually humanoid representation of the person's spirit, which has become one of the series' most prominent features.
The first three parts constitute a trilogy after which Hirohiko Araki intended to end the series, but JoJo's Bizarre Adventure continued nonetheless after the end of the third part.
Diamond is Unbreakable
The fourth part Diamond is Unbreakable is set in the fictional town of Morioh, Japan, in 1999. It follows Joseph's illegitimate son Josuke Higashikata as he meets friends and enemies among a host of new Stand users within the population of Morioh created with the Bow and Arrow, two items which gave DIO his Stand. He, Okuyasu Nijimura, Koichi Hirose, Jotaro Kujo, and Rohan Kishibe eventually chase the serial killer Yoshikage Kira.
In the fifth part Vento Aureo, set in Italy 2001, DIO's son Giorno Giovanna fights his way to the top of Passione, the most powerful gang in Italy, as he plots to overthrow the gang's mysterious Boss in order to protect the civilian populace from the gang's drug trade. To do so he cooperates with gang member Bruno Bucciarati and his own team of Leone Abbacchio, Guido Mista, Narancia Ghirga, and Pannacotta Fugo as they are tasked with protecting the Boss's daughter Trish Una from the assassin teams La Squadra Esecuzioni and Unità Speciale.
The sixth part, Stone Ocean, is set in 2011 as Jotaro's estranged daughter Jolyne Cujoh is framed for murder and imprisoned in Green Dolphin Street Prison. Jotaro then has both his memories and Stand stolen by the Stand Whitesnake after an attempt to free Jolyne. She then decides to stay imprisoned in order to find out both who Whitesnake's user is and what he plans to do with Jotaro's memories and Stand. Along her adventure, Jolyne gains allies in Emporio Alnino, Ermes Costello, Foo Fighters, Narciso Anasui, and Weather Report.
Alternate Universe Continuity
Parts 7-9 take place in a second continuity separate from Parts 1-6. This alternate timeline has many of the same abilities and concepts as the first six parts, but is not historically related to the original timeline. This continuity details the story of Johnny Joestar, the Steel Ball Run race, and the Higashikata family. This continuity features many nods to characters of the former continuity including restyled main characters, Stands and locations.
Steel Ball Run
Set in 1890 in the United States, Steel Ball Run follows a race across the continent of the United States of America. The race is called the Steel Ball Run horse-race and is named after the sponsor, Steven Steel. The protagonists are Gyro Zeppeli, a master of the unique Spin technique seeking the cash prize and Johnny Joestar, a paraplegic ex-jockey seeking to cure his legs through the Spin, both cooperating to win the race. Johnny and Gyro discover that the race is a cover-up from the President Funny Valentine to uncover the powerful and invaluable relics of Jesus Christ, eventually also hunting for said relics while fending off Valentine's many agents.
Leaping to 2011 in JoJolion, university student Yasuho Hirose discovers an amnesiac man tentatively named "Josuke" in Morioh after the (then-contemporary) Great East Japan earthquake. Both then decide to investigate Josuke's past identity, initially thought to be that of the ship's doctor Yoshikage Kira, and the circumstances of his presence in town, leaving him in the care of the affluent Higashikata Family as both uncover the family's darkest secrets and a drug trade involving a mysterious race of humanoid beings and an equally mysterious fruit.
Taking place on the volcanic islands of Hawaii some time in the 2020’s, The JOJOLands follows the story of Jodio Joestar, a high-school student working as a gofer for a small gang managed by Meryl Mei Qi. Jodio is accompanied by his older sibling Dragona Joestar, the kleptomaniac Paco Laburantes, and Usagi Alohaoe. The four of them set out on a mission to steal a diamond from a Japanese person's villa.
|1||1986 - 1987||44||5|
|Beginning in 1880, Part 1 follows Jonathan Joestar as he matures with and eventually battles his adoptive brother, the cunning and merciless Dio Brando.|
|2||1987 - 1989||69||7|
|Set in 1938, Part 2 follows Jonathan's grandson Joseph Joestar as he finds himself embroiled in a war against the Pillar Men, ancient super-beings and the creators of the Stone Mask.|
|3||1989 - 1992||152||16|
|Part 3, set in 1989, follows Joseph's grandson Jotaro Kujo, who has acquired the power of a Stand, as he and his allies journey from Tokyo to Cairo to save his mother's life by defeating his family's archenemy, DIO.|
|4||1992 - 1995||174||18|
|In Part 4, set in 1999 in the fictional town of Morioh, Joseph's bastard son Josuke Higashikata and his friends seek out the Arrow, which has the power to bestow Stand abilities, as well as the serial killer Yoshikage Kira.|
|5||1995 - 1999||155||17|
|Parte 5, set in Italy in 2001, follows the adventure of DIO's son Giorno Giovanna, who aims to rise within the Italian mafia by subverting the dominant gang Passione and its mysterious boss with the aid of a team of fellow Stand users.|
|6||1999 - 2003||158||17|
|In Part 6, which takes place in 2011, Jotaro's daughter Jolyne Cujoh is framed for murder and thrown in Florida's Green Dolphin Street Prison, where she and her allies struggle to discover who had her imprisoned and what they hope to achieve.|
|7||2004 - 2011||95||24|
|Beginning in the 1890 of another continuity, Part 7 follows Gyro Zeppeli, master of a mystic art named the Spin, and Johnny Joestar, a paraplegic ex-jockey, as the two compete in the Steel Ball Run trans-American race and unearth its benefactor's true motivation.|
|8||2011 - 2021||110||27|
|Part 8 continues the Steel Ball Run continuity in 2011, as Yasuho Hirose unearths an amnesiac young man tentatively named Josuke Higashikata near Morioh. The two set out to uncover his identity, and are ultimately caught up in a battle against an inhuman race over a fruit that can break curses.|
|9||2023 - ?||TBA||TBA|
|Part 9 takes place on the volcanic islands of Hawaii, set in a yet to be determined year. It follows the young gofer, Jodio Joestar and his older sibling Dragona Joestar. The two are small-time gang members on the island of O'ahu as part of a gang run by Meryl Mei Qi.|
Chapters are serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump and Ultra Jump, under Shueisha. While in Weekly Shonen Jump, the series was published under the tagline "Romantic Horror! -A Crimson Tale-" (ロマンホラー!—深紅の秘伝説— Romanhorā!-Shinku no hi densetsu-). The tagline was created by the editorial department at Shueisha and was included in every chapter up until Stone Ocean.
- Main article: International Volumes
In North America and the United Kingdom, Stardust Crusaders was translated into English and published in 16 volumes by VIZ Media from November 8, 2005 to December 7, 2010 under the title of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, skipping both Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency. On June 9, 2014, VIZ Media published the first three parts of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure from the JoJonium line of manga, from February 24, 2015 to February 5, 2019, marking the first English publications of Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency. On July 6, 2018, VIZ Media announced they would be releasing an English publication of Diamond is Unbreakable. The first volume of Diamond is Unbreakable was released on May 7, 2019, and finished on May 4, 2021. On August 3, 2021, Viz Media released the first volume of Vento Aureo in English. On February 3, 2023, VIZ Media announced they would be releasing an English publication of Stone Ocean in Fall of that year.
In Italy, Star Comics began publishing the series in a monthly format under the title Le bizzarre avventure di JoJo from November 1993 to April 2004. These monthly releases contained around five chapters in each trade paperback, with 126 paperback volumes released for the first six parts. Starting with Steel Ball Run, published from March 2006 to February 2012, new volumes are published in the Japanese (tankōbon) format. In 2010 Star Comics began publishing the Bunko Edition, completely replacing the original releases of the first 7 parts. Having completely released JoJolion (February 2014-July 2022) and JoJoniun (October 2019-May 2022), they are up to date with the series as of December 2022.
In France, the first four parts were published by J'ai lu from January 2002 to December 2005. In 2007 publisher Tonkam (now a subsidiary of editions Delcourt) resumed the publication of the following parts starting with a publication of Vento Aureo, the previous parts would later see revised releases under Tonkam's publication starting with Stardust Crusaders and then going back to Phantom Blood and continuing from there. Currently, they are publishing JoJolion.
In Spain, the entire series is being published by IVREA. Phantom Blood started publication on June 30, 2017. This publication uses the same volume count as the Bunko Edition volumes, these volumes come out monthly. They are currently publishing Steel Ball Run as part of their publication.
In Argentina, all of the parts are being published at a monthly rate by IVREA Argentina, starting on May 2018 and following the numeration of the Bunko Edition. The current publishing part is Vento Aureo.
In Mexico, the first six parts are being published by Panini. Publication started on August 1, 2018 with Phantom Blood using the same volume count as the Bunko Edition volumes, these volumes come out monthly. They are set to start publishing Steel Ball Run in April 2023.
In Brazil, the first four parts are being published by Panini. Phantom Blood started publication on July 19, 2018. This publication uses the same volume count as the Bunko Edition volumes, these volumes come out monthly. The current part in publication is Diamond is Unbreakable, set to be fully published by February 2023.
In Taiwan, JoJo was illegally distributed under the title Strongman Front (強人陣線) by Tong Li Comics for many years until Daran Comics obtained the official publishing license for JoJo, renaming the comic JoJo Adventure Wild (JoJo冒險野郎). On March 31, 2003 Daran Comics shut down their offices and their license for JoJo was officially obtained by Tong Li Comics who now officially distributes the series in Taiwan and reverted the title of the series back to JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (JoJo的奇妙冒險). In Hong Kong, the publisher of the series is World Publishing Limited under the label Comics World, who have published all of JoJolion. In China, the series is distributed digitally by Bilibili Comics, who have published the entire series; they are currently publishing The JOJOLands in simultaneous release with the Japanese edition.
In Poland, the series is being published by J.P.Fantastica. Publication started in May 2020 with Phantom Blood using the same volume count as the Bunko Edition edition. The current part in publication is Stardust Crusaders.
In Indonesia, Elex Media Komputindo owns the license for the Bunko Edition, and distributes it under the adult manga label Level Comics starting with Phantom Blood on May 18, 2022. They are currently publishing Battle Tendency since December 2023; the publishing frequency is irregular.
When he first conceived JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Araki was throwing around several core ideas he wanted to portray such as an idea of succession between generations, but also to show travelling heroes. From there he began to set up his ideas for Phantom Blood. Araki notes that the process of creating JoJo went from fight to a more spiritual aspect, and that concepts like friendships took a greater place over time. Araki had several themes in mind too, such as the idea of "mystery", and notably the mystery coming from bloodlines. He also asked himself "Who is the strongest person in the world?" and derived from this question themes such as immortality, seeking life, or justice. More importantly, Araki felt that he could create something unique among the current series at Weekly Shonen Jump with these ideas. Araki had initially only planned for three parts, but decided to continue with his series.
Araki gives precedence to emotion and inner thought over plot structure, trying to portray the protagonists' destiny.
Araki follows a particular narrative style called the "golden road", characterized by strong and determined protagonists who constantly advance towards their objectives. This "golden road" is, according to him, the best way to draw in the audience. One example of his "golden road" is the plot of Stardust Crusaders during which the heroes always manage to defeat the enemies on their paths and inexorably approach Egypt. Araki is not avert to killing off his protagonists like Jonathan Joestar but feels that if the death served a greater purpose then he still abides by the "golden road". Araki thinks the basic plot of his parts around a particular predicament and likes to throw his protagonist quickly into said predicament before continuing off his story from there (e.g. Johnny Joestar is paraplegic and wants to find a way to heal his legs). Araki also use a rather original plot structure for the series. Instead of the classical "tournament" format of most other series at the time where the heroes fought enemies in a predictable increasing order of strength, Araki adopted a sugoroku style (sugoroku is a table-top game similar to snakes and ladders) where the heroes would travel and then meet enemies at particular points in said journey and the fights would be more varied due to a better variety of powers, and an emphasis on wit rather than force. Araki also denounces the long-term limitations of always increasing the strength of enemies in a serialized manga.
Araki takes inspiration from a variety of sources to write his series. He has confirmed several times that he uses Western music to name his characters, but also copies designs from varied sources such as artbooks, comic books, the news, or movies. Araki extensively uses books rather than online research. One lesser known aspect of his research is that he often travels to the places he depicts in the series in order to have a better feeling of the place and gather details that an online research wouldn't give. His first tanto Ryosuke Kabashima encouraged him to see movies for inspiration and also travel. Kabashima notably coerced Araki into travelling to Egypt to later depict it in Stardust Crusaders. Araki would later on keep this habit and went to Italy for Vento Aureo and went to a correctional facility in Florida too to get inspiration for Green Dolphin Street Prison, as well as Orlando. He also went on several long journeys in the USA and Japan to better write Steel Ball Run too. His habit of travelling to research places extended to individual buildings such as a hospital or a drug store.
Araki makes it a point to never rest on his laurels and always find new ideas. For instance, Araki was displeased to think he had reached a summit with Stone Ocean in terms of idea and had decided to erase the original continuity and revisit his old ideas in a second continuity. His will to always change is also notable on his art (though he explains it as avoiding drawing old art rather than deliberately change). Araki's art style has changed considerably over the years, although he had always kept core ideas about his art such as his dramatic poses and representation of an ideal human body. For instance, muscle-bound heroes were popular in the 80s so Araki drew these types of characters (e.g. Jonathan), but as trend changes, Araki transitioned to more normal-looking characters like Giorno, a slimmer pretty boy character type. The unusual sound effects Araki inserts in his page are inspired from horror movies and rock music, akin to scare chords and other noises produced by synthetizers and mellotrons.
During its publication in the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, Araki continuously tried to push for unique ideas, often infringing on what was considered acceptable for the magazine. Araki notably decided to make his first protagonist a foreigner and then kill him off to replace him, which was a taboo. Araki also had tried to write female protagonists for the series, with notably Giorno Giovanna being initially thought as a young woman. This would be eventually portrayed with Jolyne Cujoh, whose sex he insisted on despite his editor's requests. Araki notably thought that it was then acceptable to portray women being subjected to violence as intense as male characters were being exposed to. It led to several conflict with the editorial team who tried to tone down the violence and themes Araki wanted to write about. Araki notes that his habit of naming characters after bands and albums is a simple hobby, and a way to pay his respect to the musicians he likes.
During his time at the Weekly Shonen Jump, Araki had the following schedule: Sundays were spent finding ideas, Mondays were spent making the draft storyboard for the chapter. He then met with his editor and began drawing more elaborate sketches, one page at a time. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were spent finishing drawing the chapter for the publication of the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, and Friday and Saturday were spent resting. This schedule that Araki followed strictly was set up by Kabashima too. This notably allowed Araki to keep in shape, and he was also noted as being always on time for his chapters. His currently monthly schedule seems to have stayed the same as his weekly schedule, with Fridays and Saturdays off. Araki adds that he wakes up at 10 AM, begins working at 11 AM, takes a break at noon, and finishes his work day at Midnight. Araki says that his current 45 pages a month match his natural pace better. Thanks to his strict schedule, Araki has never missed a deadline in his career.
- ↑ Baoh: The Visitor Issue #1 English Author's Note
- ↑ https://www.viz.com/jojo-s-bizarre-adventure Official Website for JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
- ↑ Note: The official anniversary of the series is celebrated on January 1, 1987
- ↑ My Rohan Kishibe Talk - "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Has Printed 120,000,000 Copies". JoJo-News. December 18, 2021.
- ↑ https://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXLASDG15HBK_Y6A211C1000000/
- ↑ Morioh Map (JoJolion)
- ↑ [Question for Araki-sensei! (13): "If you can describe JoJo in a single word"] - comipress.com, 2007
- ↑ [Question for Araki-sensei! (9): "If You Can Describe Manga in A Single Word"] - comipress.com, 2007
- ↑ JoJonium Volume 8 (Jotaro Kujo) - Special Interview
- ↑ Le bizzarre avventure di JoJo First Italian release November 1993
- ↑ J'ai lu
- ↑ Hirohiko Araki - Delcourt
- ↑ Twitter post from IVREA Argentina announcing the start of its publication
- ↑ IVREA Argentina's page about its publication
- ↑ JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE - Panini MX
- ↑ Mis Comics MX
- ↑ Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Parte 4: Diamond Is Unbreakable Vol. 12 - Panini BR
- ↑ Comic World's Facebook post on JoJolion 27
- ↑ JoJo的奇妙冒险 Chinese Wikipedia page for the JoJo series
- ↑ 乔乔的奇妙冒险 第9部 The JOJO Lands - 哔哩哔哩漫画
- ↑ KAORI Nusantara
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 Animeland Interview 06/2003
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 Tokai Lecture 06/2006
- ↑ Weekly Shonen Bracket 100Q
- ↑ 25.0 25.1 Hirohiko Araki's Manga Technique chapter 4
- ↑ NYT Japan interview 11/2018
- ↑ Volume 45, Volume 46 Author's note
- ↑ 28.0 28.1 28.2 Dream Talk Sessions 2013
- ↑ 29.0 29.1 JOJOVELLER History 1979-2013
- ↑ Manga Heaven 06/2007
- ↑ Volume 48 Author's note
- ↑ SO Volume 1 special thanks
- ↑ SO Volume 5 Author's Note
- ↑ SO Volume 12 Author's Note
- ↑ P7 Bunko 1 afterword
- ↑ Volume 41 Author's Note
- ↑ P6 Bunko Vol.11 Afterwords
- ↑ JOJOmenon interview
- ↑ 39.0 39.1 39.2 Phantom Blood PS2 Game interview
- ↑ P6 Bunko Vol.1 Afterwords
- ↑ P5 Bunko Vol.1
- ↑ Manga in Theory and Practice chapter 3
- ↑ JoJo6251 Araki interviews
- ↑ 44.0 44.1 JOJOVELLER 2013 Azuma interview
- ↑ Asahi Shimbun interview