"Roundabout" is a 1972 single by the British progressive rock band Yes from their 1971 album Fragile. It is used as the ending theme for the first season of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: The Animation, which covers both Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency.
Version 1 Ending Animation (Episode 1-9)
The ending depicts an Aztec mural depicting the history of the people that used the Stone Mask, beginning with the Aztec chieftain killing the woman and her spilled blood running through the mural, whilst images of the various characters in the series are also displayed. The mural also displays the eventual destruction of the vampirized Aztecs by the Sun, culminating in the blood reaching the Stone Mask, causing it to activate.
While the images alter over the course of the arc, of particular note is the version from episode 1, which uses the initial 12-year old versions of Jonathan, Dio, and Erina. This is the only episode in this period and the actions from episode 2 and onward adapt the main story, which takes place 8 years later.
Version 2 Ending Animation (Episode 10-25)
The second version of the ending changes into an upward vertical scroll, along with a shadowed background. A circle of light regularly crosses the screen, showing that the viewer is trying to inspect the mural via flashlight. The animation begins with the Stone Mask breaking into pieces, before scrolling upward. The mural depicts the Pillar Men as well as images of tribesmen worshipping the power of the Stone Mask.
Like the previous ending animation, images of whatever characters appeared in the episode appear as well. For the first two episodes of the Battle Tendency episodes, the image of Speedwagon would briefly show his younger, Phantom Blood era appearance, which quickly fades into his older appearance from Battle Tendency. And despite being dead at this point in the story, Jonathan Joestar also appears in this version of the credits for the first two episodes of Battle Tendency.
The animation ends on an image of the Red Stone of Aja placed upon a final part of the mural.
- Episode 16 plays the song while the credits appear, though it shows scenes of Joseph and Caesar training instead.
- Episode 5, 8, 16 and 24 play the ending song at the 6:57 mark of the Full version.
- Episode 14 and 21 play a cut from Roundabout, featuring the flamenco section of the song from around the 3:22 mark.
- Episode 20 plays another cut from Roundabout, featuring a slower tune from around the song's 4:58 mark, to commemorate Caesar's death at the end of the episode.
- The artwork Araki drew for the cover of the Ultra Jump May 2011 Issue is a reference to the album art.
- In the second version, when the Red Stone of Aja is displayed, several pieces of iconic paraphernalia relating to later JoJo protagonists can be seen i.e., a hand sign symbol (Jotaro), vines (Old Joseph's Hermit Purple, circa Part 3), several arrows and diamonds (Josuke/Part 4), a ladybug-like stone (Giorno), a butterfly (Jolyne), and a horseshoe (Johnny).
- "Roundabout" was chosen to fit with the time frame of Phantom Blood's comic publication and Araki's own musical preferences. It was one of the requested songs included on a memo Araki wrote for the staff. It's a song that the sound director, Yoshikazu Iwanami, liked during his own teens and he was happy to finally work with it. According to him, he was initially stumped on how to end episode 6 after the audio climax for Poco's scene and struggled to come up with a natural lead into the ending credits. Then Iwanami listened to the beginning notes of "Roundabout" and was dumbstruck at how well the pacing fit with the episode's cliffhanger without editing. He considers it a strange and happy coincidence.
- The producer Hiroyuki Omori of Warner Brothers Japan, who is in charge of the music, initially wanted to discuss about an opening with Araki and went to him to make him listen to various rock music samples. At the end, it was Araki himself who suggested that the production team used "Roundabout" as an inspiration. It proved difficult to adapt so they decided to use the song itself, initially as an opening but then as the ending at Omori's suggestion.
- The ending credits of each episode features the characters that were present in that episode, with exceptions from episodes that had the credits overlap the ending scenes.
- Yoshikazu Iwanami, the accoustic supervisor for season 1, reported that he was able to use the entirety of the song for the ending credits during the production of the season.