A Stand is an entity psychically generated by its owner, referred to as a Stand User (スタンド使い Sutando Tsukai). It generally presents itself as an ethereal figure hovering over or near the user and possesses abilities beyond that of an ordinary human, which, depending on the Stand User, can be wielded for good or evil.
Stands are defined as personifications of "life energy" whose abilities are given visual form. When first presented, the term is written as "Stand" (
A Stand can also represent the manifestation of an individual's innate "fighting spirit" and embodies, to an extent, the individual's psyche. However, Stands may also derive through the exploration of possibilities and expression of the mind, in which case, only a large amount of mental strength is required. Beyond that definition, Stands present themselves in a large variety of forms and with different behaviors, if they are sentient at all. They follow a loose set of rules, with no definite standard by which one can fully classify them. As an embodiment of someone's psyche, Stands are therefore as varied as human minds can be.
Due to their diversity, Stands are not made equal. Some can be incredibly powerful due to their User's outstanding grit, others can be highly situational because of a defining quirk of character, or even detrimental to their User if they do not have the necessary fighting spirit.
When Stands were first introduced in Stardust Crusaders, they were named after Major Arcana of the Tarot and then Ancient Egyptian deities, with their designs often featuring motifs of those cards or mythological figures. Towards the end of Stardust Crusaders and in all subsequent story arcs, Stand names are references to musicians, bands, albums, and songs from American, Australian, British, and European music scenes; only one Stand's name has ever referenced Japanese music.
Stands are also connected to an alien virus contained in the rock of a meteorite that fell in Cape York, Greenland. It is explained that the virus can infect people and for the most part kills them, but the few who survive are granted a Stand ability.
The User and their Stand
The Stand is created from someone's psyche, which includes not only humans but also other living creatures. That individual is referred to as the Stand User. The User then gives their Stand a name and uses it for various purposes.
Unless bound to a specific object or automatic, Stands are attached to their User's body. In that case, any damage the Stand sustains results in an equivalent injury on the User's body and vice-versa. Exceptions to this rule include automatic Stands and bound Stands, which usually do not reflect the damage into the User, or special abilities like Silver Chariot's armor.
Except for rare occasions, when a Stand User dies, their Stand disappears with them. If a Stand suffers so much damage they are destroyed, the User dies as well. However, a User can survive with their Stand destroyed if the Stand is automatic or depending on the level of the User's injury. Inversely, some Stands can survive beyond their Users through exceptional abilities like Notorious B.I.G.
Since a Stand is the form of its User's psyche, they share an intimate psychic bond. First and foremost, Stands usually obey their Users' command without question. If a User demands it, the Stand will perform any task within its capacities, which includes attacking someone, defending the User, or any miscellaneous order. In the case a Stand is sentient, they can occasionally advise their User that an order is unwise but will carry it on all the same. Stands are also shown to protect their users in certain instances, such as when Jotaro tries to shoot himself, or Weather Report tries to commit suicide.
However, there are instances when a Stand cannot be controlled by the User. It can be either automatic like Super Fly or the User can acquire a Stand but not have the fighting spirit to control it like Holy Kujo. In both cases, a Stand can accidentally work against its user's interests through their unsupervised power. However, specifically in the second case, a Stand can go out of control and slowly kill its User like a disease. According to Muhammad Avdol, the User becomes ill, then falls into a coma only to never wake up again; moreover, such occurrences are common enough for him to claim having witnessed many people succumbing to this.
One of the defining rules about Stands is that someone may only have one Stand (at a time). Although Stands may take different forms, or be split into several entities, no one is able to summon several Stands at once. Although exceptional circumstances may lead to someone wielding several Stands, only one will be the User's real Stand. A Stand generally remains attached to its User, but it can sometimes change Users. For instance, it can be stolen from its original User, or if the Stand's ability involves changing User. Thanks to Whitesnake's DISCs, a Stand can change Users but will act to protect its new User instead. Others Stands, like Anubis or Cheap Trick, will actively try to change Users, and their malevolent nature makes them harm their Users instead of protecting them.
Occasionally, a Stand can emit a Stand Cry, shouting repeatedly while delivering a beatdown.
Manipulating a Stand
When a User acquires their Stand, their control over it is partly instinctual but needs practice.
When a User discovers their Stand, they usually do not know anything about it and thus has to figure out what their power is. Sometimes the ability is straightforward and easy to understand like Koichi Hirose's Echoes, at other times a sentient Stand may explain the power directly to its User as Spice Girl did for Trish Una, but sometimes the User will need time to know their Stand's power. For instance, both DIO and Jotaro possessed their Stands for some time until they discovered that they could stop time.
Afterward, it is up to the User to discover what their Stand can really do with its ability. A Stand User will need practice to develop their Stand's potential and manipulate it in a more precise manner. Hidden subtleties and applications of the Stand's power may require time for the User to notice. Giorno Giovanna, for example, had to use Gold Experience on Bruno Bucciarati in order to discover what its Life-Giving ability did to humans, and similarly had to figure out that its abilities could mend wounds.
To use a Stand, the User has to consciously summon it. Likewise, to use its power, the User has to command their Stand. Thus, Stand Users are still vulnerable to sneak attacks. This does not apply to automatic Stands which act by themselves.
Acquiring a Stand
In most cases, Stand Users are either born with the ability to use their Stands at an early age or with the potential to unlock one later in life. This Stand potential can notably be inherited, however without it a person can not achieve a Stand through natural means. For those born with it, the trigger for unlocking one's Stand varies with the user but is generally derived through the refinement of their talents or skills throughout their life. As such, a Stand's awakening and abilities are often tied to the users' occupation. Notable users who acquired a Stand through natural means include Noriaki Kakyoin, Muhammad Avdol, Tonio Trussardi, and Kenzou.
Stands are also noted to awaken through the mere presence of powerful Stand User in the general area, however the most widespread way to trigger one immediately is to be pierced by a special Arrow made from a meteor from outer space. If a person has the potential, they will survive being stabbed and acquire a Stand. Otherwise, the person will die. Notable people who unlock their Stand this way include DIO, Koichi Hirose, Diavolo, Enrico Pucci, and Jolyne Cujoh.
Moreover, if someone acquires a Stand this way, their existing descendants will also gain a Stand, although it may not manifest itself at first or be uncontrollable. In one such case, Jonathan Joestar's body was pierced by the Arrow, causing every living member of the Joestar Family to awaken their own Stands. The way siblings acquire Stands is portrayed inconsistently: although Koichi Hirose awakened a Stand, his sister Ayana Hirose did not; however, the twins Enrico and Wes both awakened a Stand when Enrico was pierced.
In the new continuity of Steel Ball Run and JoJolion, the Arrows don't exist. The way most known Stand users have acquired their Stand is unknown. However, one confirmed method of acquiring a Stand is to survive going through a location named the Devil's Palm, a shifting plot of land containing the Saint's Corpse, which can bless someone and give them a Stand.
History of Stands
The "Stands" in JoJo can be conceptualized as a reification of hidden talent, with their source being a sort of energy that's been in the Earth since ancient times. The oldest instance of a Stand User dates back to the 16th century with the death of Caravan Serai and the emancipation of his Stand, Anubis.
Appropriately 50,000 years ago, a meteorite crash landed on Earth around an underpopulated region of Cape York, Greenland. Several hundred years before the discovery of the virus, a man who wished to acquire the power of gods took the rocks and fashioned them into a set of Arrows whose fate is undetermined.
In 1978, a mineral excavation team discovered the meteorite and uncovered an unknown virus within the rocks of the surrounding area and determined that it has been laying dormant inside the meteorite that hit Earth long ago. Despite extensive research, government doctors were unable to determine the alien virus' purpose outside the culling of life. Akin to the theory of evolution, it was discovered that certain people possessed the quality that would allow them to survive when exposed to the virus, rewarding them new abilities as they surpassed the trial.
The Arrows resurface in 1986 when an Egyptian ruins investigation team uncovered six of them from underneath the Egypt desert. The Arrows were eventually stolen by Diavolo, who sold five of them to Enya the Hag. The Arrows allowed the wielder to unlock Stand abilities in those who had the potential to awaken one, essentially acting as the aforementioned trigger. Thus since the '80s, there has a been a sharp rise in the population of Stand users. The six Arrows were eventually distributed to various people, among them were Keicho Nijimura, Yoshihiro Kira, Jean Pierre Polnareff, and the Speedwagon Foundation.
In the later parts, the Stands were reintroduced but with unknown real origins. In Steel Ball Run, Stands were described as being granted by the Devil's Palm and the Saint's Corpse which both bestowed power to those that could seek them out and survive their presence. However, a number of Stand Users acquired their powers without ever stepping in America or meeting with the Corpse, most notably the characters of JoJolion.
- Main article: Stand Types#Form Types
Stands present themselves in a wide variety of forms. Some adopt a humanoid form, others, the appearance of an object or a tool. These Stands all share an inability to be viewed by ordinary humans, unless bound to physical objects. In addition, some Stands can simply be devoid of appearance, simply manifesting themselves as a special power.
Stands can be divided into 5 trends based on their appearance. Most of the Stands have features from two or more categories.
|Natural Humanoid||Stands in this category have physical characteristics similar to human beings, most often their users. Obvious identifiable features include arms and legs, but the category distinctly specifies appendages that are reminiscent of the human muscular system as well as having working eyes and mouth. Stands that apply to this category include Star Platinum, Magician's Red, Hanged Man, The World, Crazy Diamond, Heaven's Door, Killer Queen, Gold Experience, Sticky Fingers, Purple Haze, Baby Face, Spice Girl, and Chariot Requiem.|
|Artificial Humanoid||While also having humanoid-like bodies, Stands in this category will often feature artificial or mechanical nuances that separate them from natural humanoids. This includes having completely non-humanoid facial features and mechanical joints. Appearances that resemble robots, cyborgs or androids are applicable here. Examples of Artificial Humanoids include Hierophant Green, Silver Chariot, Ebony Devil, Death Thirteen, Osiris, Cream, The Hand, Bad Company, Cinderella, Echoes, Black Sabbath, Moody Blues, White Album, and Green Day.|
|Natural Non-Humanoid||This category features Stands that, while not human-like, are reminiscent of other lifeforms or objects in nature. This includes basic organisms such as animals and plants, but also more unorthodox concepts such as fog. Stands that may be described as "monster-like" are often applicable here. Stands in this category include Hermit Purple, Tower of Gray, Yellow Temperance, Lovers, Justice, Sun, Horus, Stray Cat, Sex Pistols, The Grateful Dead, Notorious B.I.G, Metallica, and Rolling Stones.|
|Artificial Non-Humanoid||Stands comparable to instruments or mechanical objects are placed in this category. This includes vehicles, weapons, and machines. Stands in this category include Strength, Emperor, Wheel of Fortune, The Fool, Ratt, Aerosmith, and Beach Boy.|
|Phenomenon||Stands in this category typically either don't have clear appearances or are integrated into their user's appearance. This includes Stands such as Khnum, Tenore Sax, Love Deluxe, Achtung Baby, and Atom Heart Father.|
A Stand's appearance is not set in stone. Stands change appearance as their Users age. As seen with Jean Pierre Polnareff's Silver Chariot or Jobin Higashikata's Speed King, young Stand Users have typically childlike Stands and when they become adults, the Stands' features also become adult-like. A special category of Stands that can evolve into different forms or ACTs, is also able to change form and therefore appearance. Finally, a Stand pierced by the Bow and Arrow can evolve into a brand new form called a Requiem Stand.
When a Stand is injured, they may either bleed like an organic being, crumble into ashes, fizzle out in flashes of light, or break into small pieces like a statue.
Most Stands display no personality, sometimes because they do not have a form with which to emote, but the majority of humanoid Stands simply hover behind and above the user awaiting a command. Some Stands display bits of personalities through facial expressions, but it is ambiguous whether the emotions come from the Stand or simply reflect the User's state of mind.
For unknown reasons, a handful of Stands do have a separate consciousness from their Users. They are sentient and can converse with their Users whenever they are summoned. Although they display a variety of personalities, most still obey their Users to the letter. Examples of such Stands include Echoes, Spice Girl, and Whitesnake. Rarely, these Stands are uncontrollable and have no true master, and instead, move from host to host and actively seek to harm their "user" with their powers. Anubis and Cheap Trick are examples of such Stands.
Whenever a Stand talks, their otherworldly nature is indicated in the original manga material as a text written with Katakana. In the case of audiovisual media such as the anime or a video game, a Stand's voice will possess a ghostly echo and mechanical tone.
- Main article: Stand Types
Each Stand possesses supernatural properties as well as a special, unique power, indirectly granting its User superhuman abilities:
- In general, a Stand is invisible to normal humans, yet can interact with normal objects. It allows the User to use their Stand unnoticed by a large majority of the population. The mundane use of a Stand has been likened to a poltergeist phenomenon by normal people. Even a Stand's power is invisible for ordinary humans; for instance, normal people cannot see Magician's Red's flames but can feel its heat.
- Stands are ethereal and, as a result, possess intangibility. It is uncommon but not unheard of for Stand Users to channel their Stands inside their bodies to protect themselves, using their Stand's superhuman durability to their advantage. It is even more uncommon for Stands to phase through objects, but the possibility exists.
- As psychic projections, Users can also communicate through their Stands. Barring rare exceptions, a Stand User typically shares their consciousness with their Stand and is able to see through its eyes. Moreover, a Stand User can also speak through their Stand, enabling a form of distant communication. However, the Stand must have a mouth or otherwise be able to speak to do so. Notable examples include Star Platinum, Death Thirteen, Highway Star and King Crimson.
- Users possess the ability to shrink their Stands to a microscopic level, but the one time it was shown, Polnareff indicated that it was difficult to manipulate the Stand at such a subtle level and that it was taxing to maintain the small size, making that property impractical in most cases.
Each Stand possesses an esoteric and unique power that defines it and sets it apart from other Stands.
A Stand's power can wildly vary between Stands. The nature of the power can range from relatively mundane powers such as using a sword or controlling flames to extremely powerful ones such as the ability to manipulate the flow of time. These powers have many different subtleties, such as a limited range or a special way of manifesting themselves, that can be exploited during a fight. For instance, Sticky Fingers can create zippers on any surface, but it has to hit an object with its hand to be able to create them. It is up to the User to know how to protect themselves or use their enemy's weakness to their advantage.
The User is sometimes immune, or protected to a degree against the power of their Stand. For instance, Prosciutto can stay young despite his The Grateful Dead aging everyone around it. However, the reverse is just as widespread, as Stand Users like Pannacotta Fugo with Purple Haze's virus, and Muhammad Avdol and Magician's Red's flames are stated to be just as vulnerable.
Barring rare exceptions, if the Stand is destroyed or the User is knocked out, the Stand's power immediately disappears and any modification to the environment due to its power is reversed.
Each Stand is unique, but many share enough characteristics that they may be grouped under specific Stand Types. Very uncommon special stands may appear in the story from time to time due to exceptional circumstances.
One of the most important features of a Stand is its range. Stands in principle can only be used within a predetermined range centering around the Stand's owner. As such, for the sake of convenience, the range that a Stand can perform abilities is referred to as "Firing Range" (射程距離). A Stand's range and accuracy are inversely proportional; the further the Stand moves away from its firing range, the weaker and less subtle it becomes. This principle is applied to almost all Stands. Furthermore, this can be construed more specifically as an "effective firing range", as a Stand will only gradually lose effectiveness the further it deviates from its firing range, rather than just relinquish immediately. The Stand's range is effectively just the range where it can optimally perform, though this can notably fluctuate depending on the emotional state of the user.
From a general point of view, all Stands can be roughly divided into two types: "Short distance", and "long distance". As a trend, short-range types display great power, many of which excel at direct blows or destruction (Silver Chariot, Crazy Diamond, Sticky Fingers, etc.), and are often referred to as "Power Types". Long-range types typically have a special ability that can let them indirectly attack. (Hierophant Green, Echoes ACT1, Beach Boy, etc.)
Some long-distance types are referred to as "Automatic Pilot", in which the "power vs distance from user" principle does not apply. This is exactly what is touched upon in the third Stand theorem, in that autopilot types are typically an extension of an "effect" that results in a Stand triggering. As such, these Stands are independent of the Stand User's will and mental strength, and their power does not drop as a result. As a related note, certain Stand abilities do not have specified ranges (Earth Wind and Fire), an example being time-based powers, such as The World or King Crimson.
Stand Parameters (スタンドパラメータ Sutando Paramēta), or Stand Statistics are six statistics used outside of the story to gauge a Stand's capabilities. Some parameters refer to specific abilities of the Stand, such as in the case of Moody Blues and Whitesnake. They are in order (clockwise from top): Destructive Power, Speed, Range, Persistence, Precision, and Developmental Potential.
- Destructive Power (破壊力 Hakairyoku):
Measures the Stand's strength and ability to cause destruction (physical injury or collateral environmental damage) in a given period of time. Close-Range Stands such as Star Platinum, The World, Crazy Diamond, Killer Queen, Gold Experience and Stone Free will typically boast high destructive power (Rank C or higher). There are also cases like C-Moon, where destructive power is low or not applicable, despite having fairly destructive abilities.
- Speed (スピード Supīdo):
Measures the Stand's agility and reflexes as well as performance speed. This is also typically evaluated fairly high for Close-range Stands. Sometimes it can be strengthened through training, such as with Stands like Silver Chariot.
- Range (射程距離 Shatei Kyori):
Measures a compromise of the Stand's range of manifestation, range of ability influence, and spatial mobility. In most cases it is inversely proportional to destructive power. However, there are cases where both power and range are excellent, such as Red Hot Chili Pepper and Weather Report. In addition, a Stand's range may decrease due to evolution, such as with Echoes and Made in Heaven.
- Power Persistence (持続力 Jizoku-ryoku):
Measures the duration of time that the Stand can actively maintain its ability. It can also be used in the sense of the time it takes before a special ability can be activated again, such as Star Platinum: The World's time stop.
- Precision (精密動作性 Seimitsu Dōsa-sei):
- Development Potential (成長性 Seichō-sei):
Measures the Stand's possible functions, utilization of its abilities and powers, and capacity to improve its overall capabilities. It decreases in rank as the user masters their Stand. For example, Jotaro Kujo's Star Platinum is Rank A in Developmental Potential during Stardust Crusaders, but is given Rank C during Stone Ocean, as Jotaro has had many years to hone Star Platinum's power. However, Rank C implies that all of Star Platinum's possible abilities and functions still had not been discovered or figured out by that time. For a Stand to gain an E-Ranking, it means that either their Stand user discovered all of their Stand's abilities or the Stand came with very few abilities and thus cannot grow any more than it has. Stands such as Green Day and Notorious B.I.G, with infinitely increasing abilities, will be evaluated very high in this parameter.
Each statistic is ranked from A to E; though rankings of None and Infinite are also possible. If a rank is Unknown, it will show a question mark (?); this is usually because the Stand or its full capabilities have not yet been revealed in the storyline. Rankings are defined as follows:
- A: Very Good (超スゴイ Chō Sugoi)
- B: Good (スゴイ Sugoi)
- C: Average (人間と同じ Ningen to Onaji, lit. "Comparable to a Human")
- D: Poor (ニガテ Nigate)
- E: Very Poor (超ニガテ Chō Nigate)
They are first seen in the artbook JOJO A-GO!GO!, later in canon from Vento Aureo onward as Stands are shown with their parameters along with their name and ability description. Steel Ball Run and JoJolion do not display parameters, but Stands introduced during these arcs are given them in artbooks.
In the anime from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders onward, Stand parameters appear as Eyecatch illustrations displayed after commercials. In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable, a silhouette of the Stand User is displayed as well. In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind, eyecatches are stylized by a spinning gold coin which transitions into the Stand and its information.
Araki had conceived his idea of Stand following a need to illustrate his character's abilities and drew inspiration from several sources. As the Vampires and therefore the Ripple which was needed to fight them, became less relevant, there was a need to innovate the way characters in the series would fight each other. Araki mentions several trains of thought which would eventually lead into the creation of the Stands.
In several instances, Araki says that he was influenced by spiritualism, the ancestor cult of the Shinto religion giving him the idea of an otherworldly being protecting someone. Moreover, Yokai legends and folklore would become one of the main inspirations for the Stands' appearances. Araki also claimed that the concept of Stands were inspired by the 'guardian spirit' from Jiro Tsunoda's Ushiro no Hyakutarō manga.
Alternatively, starting from the idea of psychic powers, Araki mentions that his natural skepticism about psychic powers inspired him to draw a psychic entity summoned by the characters. His interrogation about how psychic powers could affect the physical world without any medium led him into illustrating the psychic powers through Stands, which could make the reader visualize the way characters affected the world with their minds. Araki mentions having in mind a punching fist coming out of the body to break an object, and thought that anything could be drawn, giving him a lot of artistic liberty.
- Araki explains that Stand abilities are often the first element he thinks of when he creates a character, and that he then develops the character's personality and appearance based on the harmony with said Stand power.
- Starting from Part 3 to Part 6, the name of each Stand that is used by the main protagonists are referring to their own representative sub-titles (e.g. Star Platinum, Stand of Jotaro Kujo from Stardust Crusaders).
- Like characters named after musical acts, the names of Stands names after musicians, albums or the such have historically been the subject of renaming in English localization of JoJo material, so as to avoid trademark infringement. These altered names have become a common point of chagrin and humor among JoJo's Bizarre Adventure fans within the Anglosphere, most notably the renaming of Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap to "Filthy Acts at a Reasonable Price".
- While in the original universe Stand was written as 幽波紋, in Steel Ball Run, 立ち向かうもの was briefly used by Mountain Tim, which literally means "the thing that confronts".
- Currently, Stands that don't have an anime version of their Stand parameters are Tenore Sax, Love Deluxe, Echoes ACT2, Achtung Baby, Ratt, and Boy II Man.