Review: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders
Do you like 80’s music? 80’s American Music? Well Hirohiko Araki sure does! And that’s what helped inspire his manga that started in 1982 and is still ongoing. Now, as the title suggests, we’re talking about part 3, ignoring Part 1: Phantom Blood and Part 2: Battle Tendency, and this is merely because the recently released David’s Production of Part 3 is ending soon. It also, at times, appears to be the most popular arc, or at least the most well-known. This part consists of volumes 12 to 28.
So the plot of Jojo’s all happens around the Joestar family, part three centers around Jotaro Kujo, lovingly called Jojo by those around him, grandson to part 2 Joseph Joestar. He’s a delinquent in high school whose story opens with him in jail, saying that his is possessed by an evil spirit. Holly Kujo, his mother, calls for her father, Joseph, to come and help get Jotaro to his senses. Through the altercation, with the help of Joseph’s friend Abdul and his STAND, they are able to make Jotaro understand there is something bigger going on. The evil spirit is actually Jotaro’s stand Star Platinum and it is best known for its screams of ORA! When tragedy hits, he and his crew must travel to Egypt to find and stop the evil Dio! On the way they must fight other stand users hired by Dio to stop them and this leads to both wacky and sad adventures.
The characters, minus a select few, all have Stands.
Jotaro Kujo as stated above is a delinquent who all the girls love. He has a bad attitude, but really he cares a lot. His stand is Star Platinum, named after the Star taro card. Jotaro is a hulking 17 year old who looks like he’s 30. Still he is a pretty stoic great guy, who is crazy strong. Underneath his touch demeanor he really loves his friends and really grows into himself through the journey.
Joseph Joestar is Jotaro’s grandfather and actually the main character of Part 2. His stand is called Hermit Purple which allows him to create vines that he can use to create phantom photos through cameras and also swing from building to building. He is easy going and just a general blast. He has a robot hand and also has the power of Hamon, which is controlled through breathing, it’s also called a Ripple. Altogether though, Joseph is a personal favorite of mine.
Mohammed Avodol, referred to as Abdul, is our calm and centered character from Cairo. His stand is called Magician’s Red. He is also the first character we meet who was born with his stand. He’s pretty cool, though he probably stands out much more later on the more he interacts with characters like Polnareff.
Noriaki Kakyoin is, probably, the character people have seen before. If anyone here has heard of this specific anime, they definitely know of the scene of this guy rolling a cherry in his mouth, rerorerorero echoing in your ears. Besides that he is the same age as Jotaro and actually a schoolmate of his. He is the second person we meet born with a stand, his being Hierophant Green. Kakyoin is also best known for being a bit of a know it all. He joins the group with no real intention, but perhaps to get back at Dio.
Jean Pierre Polnareff is also a familiar character, with his straight pole of a hair style he hails from France. His stand is called Silver Chariot, which fights with a rapier. Polnareff though is serious comic relief, like toilet jokes and ‘I’m better than all of you’ jokes. He joins the team to search for the man who killed his sister, a man with two right hands who may be employed by Dio.
There is one more character but we don’t really meet him till later in the series.
In terms of art style, Hirohiko Araki is very well known for his exaggerated art style and ridiculous ‘Jojo’ poses, however this creates a very nice staple for each new installment. Currently in part three you can already see a dramatic change in art style that continues to adapt with each new Jojo. However in terms of anime animation we have two different sources to look at both a 1993 OVA and the current 2014-2015 David’s Production two season anime. I would say, considering both have drastically different animation styles, that both are good. While the OVA sometimes leaves something to be desired, its monotone colors really speak to me for some reason. It also over exaggerates in a way that isn’t as jarring as the David’s Production. However the new anime has everything in terms of better color and just really works well with Araki’s own style.
So in terms of sound I’m going to mainly focus on the new anime, as there isn’t a whole lot that shines in terms of the OVA. Daiskue Ono voices Jotaro and if you don’t know who that is well, Erwin Smith in Shingeki no Kyojin. We also have Daisuke Hirakawa as Kakyoin, currently known for his role as Rei in Free! We also have Walk Like an Egyptian by The Bangles as the ending theme, which really enforced the importance as well as the fun for this anime. The opening theme is Stand Proud by Jin Hasimoto. Later on in the second season things do change, but the only music that really stands out is Last Train Home by Pat Metheny Group for the ending theme. For the English dub, which is currently in the works from what I’ve seen last, I would say go to the subtitles. This anime, at least personally, only seems to work in its native language. A lot of the dialogue becomes stunted in English that really flows in the Japanese.
This anime is very popular and continues to be one of the most popular ongoing mangas to date. It is violent and has some childish humor, but doesn’t lose its overall story. While completely silly at times, when taking into account Araki’s inspiration, I can’t help but say that this series is a lot of fun. And that’s what it needs to be, fun. Without that this series would be too serious and hard to get through, but it has the right amount of light and dark moments that we as viewers don’t lose track of the meaning. I hope that with the success of Part Three that we will get anime adaptations of the next few parts, as we do have 26 episodes dedicated to the first two parts of the series. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t have problems, there are art issues as well as just general things that weren’t needed in a series like this, and however it doesn’t fully detract from an overall enjoyment level.
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders: 8.5/10