Hirohiko Araki’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has been a staple of the manga and anime industries ever since its debut back in the late 1980s. Araki’s foundational series continues to reinvent the genre and keep its audience surprised. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is never afraid to mix up its formula, and it’s come a long way since the beginning of its look into the Joestar family.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is one of the more memorable shonen series of the generation because of the risks that it takes, but these bold changes don’t always work for audiences. Araki’s creative impulses with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure have made it the series that it is today, but they’re also the root of some of the issues that people have with the anime.
Warning: Manga spoilers ahead!
10 There’s A Rotating Roster Of Protagonists
One of the most revolutionary aspects of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, its scope that covers multiple generations of the Joestar bloodline, is also a frustration for many audiences. A true joy that can only be experienced with long-running shonen series is that audiences get hundreds of episodes to fall in love with characters. JoJo’s approach shifts gears every few dozen episodes as the series moves to a new saga, with a new “JoJo” at the center of it all. This approach keeps JoJo’s fresh, but sometimes, audiences don’t want to say goodbye to characters so soon.
9 New Story Arcs Have Grown Progressively Longer
Hirohiko Araki’s storytelling sensibilities have gradually evolved since the start of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, and it’s led to increasingly longer stories. Steel Ball Run and JoJolion were by far the longest JoJo’s narratives, with the latter spanning more than a decade. A Part 9 to JoJo’s has been announced, which has fans excited, but some are also worried that this new chapter in the series will be even longer than JoJolion. There’s nothing wrong with a lengthy narrative, but if fans aren’t on board with Part 9, then they know that it’ll be a long time before something new arrives.
8 The Series’ English Dub Introduces Altered Stand Names
The existence of an English dub can often increase an anime’s popularity in major ways, but the dubbed version of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has featured some minor changes that have left the fan base divided. One of the trademarks of the series is that many characters and their Stands are named after popular bands and musicians.
The localized version of JoJo’s makes alterations to these names for copyright purposes, but these changes can cause confusion on what a Stand should actually be called. JoJo’s English dub has become increasingly popular, but these revised names are unlikely to supplant Araki’s originals.
7 Enemy Stand Users Have Become Easier To Identify
There’s initially a lot of excitement and intrigue whenever a new Stand user comes into the picture in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. However, the admission that Stand users tend to be magnets for other Stand users gets pushed to its logical limit, and it’s basically safe to assume that any new figure that appears will also wield a Stand. This allows JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure to cater towards constant action, but it’s a little exhausting when the audience is smarter than the characters and knows to be suspicious of any new character.
6 Many Solutions Are Solved In “Bizarre” Ways
A certain suspension of disbelief is to be expected with the storytelling in any shonen series, but Araki frequently turns to some highly outside-of-the-box thinking to solve the problems in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Admittedly, “Bizarre” is right in the name of the series, but the anime sometimes abuses this concession and leans into implausibility rather than logic. There are plenty of scenarios, especially earlier on in the series with a young Joseph Joestar, where fateful coincidences or random knowledge are responsible for victory. This is still more exciting than a duel with huge energy blasts, but it still gets tiring.
5 Stands Have Grown So Strong That It’s Hard To Keep Topping Them
A problem that any shonen series must consider is how to introduce stronger villains as the characters continue to grow more powerful. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure doesn’t hold off in this department, and DIO, Kira, Diavolo, and Pucci all wield unbelievable Stands that seem practically impossible to defeat.
This intense power gets pushed so far in JoJo’s that the universe actually gets reset and starts over. Bigger isn’t always better, but JoJo’s compulsion to feed this belief often gets the series into trouble and forces conflicts with messy resolutions.
4 Stand Inconsistencies Arise As The Series Continues
Some shonen series get locked into rhythms that they’re never able to escape from, but JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure allows itself a lot of freedom when it transitions from Hamon energy attacks to Stands. The series does excellent work to establish how Stands work, but there are still inconsistencies that seem to randomly arise and muddy the system. For instance, some Stands, like Koichi’s Echoes, can evolve and take on more powerful forms over time. There are other Stands that are sentient and don’t require users, while others, like the guardrail from JoJolion, can control Stands even though they’re inanimate objects.
3 It’s Possible For The Entire Universe to Reset And Start Over
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure deserves a lot of credit for not cheating its way out of certain situations, and the stakes get so dire during Stone Ocean’s endgame that the universe actually resets. Stone Ocean boldly allows its villain to succeed in some respects after Made in Heaven properly speeds up the universe to the point that a new world is born and a fresh timeline begins. This is unlikely to become a recurring event in the series, but there’s now a precedent for another universe reset that recontextualizes all of the characters who everyone knows and loves.
2 Random Science Facts Can Fuel Battle Breakthroughs
One of the quirkiest elements of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is how it often feels like Araki will work in any odd science fact or random detail that he learns into the story. There are countless monologues and digressions across JoJo’s where characters get passionate about stag beetles, the Earth’s axis, or other minute detail that would be inconsequential in any other series. It’s fun to learn random tidbits along with Araki, but they’re not always able to sustain plot twists or justify satisfying villain defeats. This passion Araki has for general knowledge is beautiful, but it could be better incorporated into the narrative.
1 The Side Stories And Supplementary Novels Have A Nebulous Reputation
It’s common for the most popular shonen series to have lots of supplemental material to keep the fans satisfied, whether that’s spin-off manga, light novels, or video games. Sometimes, these extra stories are treated as part of the larger canon, while other series exclude these side stories from a proper part of the narrative. It’s a lot harder to ascertain what extra JoJo’s stories should be considered canonical or not. There’s a lot out there across many different mediums, but it’s generally accepted that anything Araki has written is a proper part of the story.
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