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Crawler3333 avatar 10:04 AM on 04.16.2013  (server time)
Jojo: The Animated Series (2012) - Final Impressions

Back in 1987, one of the most awkward ("bizarre", as the complete title says) manga ever conceived made its debut in the pages of Weekly Shōnen Jump. My country (Italy) was lucky enough to see a translated release of the first number in 1993, but I remember the "what the... !?" feeling I had when I finished reading it like it was yesterday.

Saying that Jojo was a breath of fresh air back then is truly and understatement: it was one of the craziest, most innovative manga of that time. Yes, its visual style at his early stages was very similar to Tetsuo Hara, but even then it managed to give a different feel - much probably thanks to the awkward, impossible poses that the character assumed all the time.

If I had to define the animated transposition in one word, it would surely be "faithful". The only relevant change that David Productions made in the process it's a noticeable difference in the way the character are drawn. Pretty much everything else remains identical: not only the dialogues, but every single scene seems to be taken exactly from the manga itself. It's the most respectful adaptation I ever seen, and this is something that a fan of the original manga can only enjoy and be grateful of. Such respect also cuts half of my job to review this anime series: anime and manga are so similar, that this very review could be useful for both.

Jojo:Bizarre Adventures makes large use of the very same narrative devices that made the most popular series of the shonen of the 80's (Saint Seiya, Dragon Ball and such) what they are today. Just like the authors of those stories, Hirohiko Araki seems completely aware since the very beginning of the many flaws of his work, but instead of "correcting" them along the way, he exposes them so much to the audience that they become a trademark.

Insanely long comments and dialogues from the characters in the back, silly and over-pompous techniques names, non-coherent sequences: it's not just all in there - it has to be. If you don't find yourself thinking "how the heck could that character do that certain action in such a brief time !?" at least once in an episode, then you're probably watching the wrong anime.

I won't fool any of you, at any rate: Jojo's Bizarre Adventures (manga and anime) it's not for everyone. Some scenes are so gruesome and crazy at the same time that they seem to pop out straight from a horror B-movie. Coherence and character depth are out of place as much as fan-service here - and that's what actually make this anime so great. Each and every character, from the protagonist to the most unremarkable minion all have their moment of glory (or infamy), but it's up to you to catch it.

If not for anything else, Jojo deserves respect for "being there" for all this time and inspiring many other authors - and not just in the anime/manga department (Persona, anyone?). Together with the thirteen episodes long OAV series dedicated to Stardust Crusaders, Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency relive one of the greatest chapters of shonen's history... and maybe even more than that.

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