4 CommentsTwelve Days / By Scamp /

12 Days of Anime #3: The longest 10 seconds

jojos-bizarre-adventure-dio-is-back-and-more-muscly-than-everThe first season of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure with Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency ranks as one of my top 10 anime of all time. Stardust Crusaders wouldn’t make my top 100. I felt that in changing to this episodic format it managed to strip all the urgency and gravitas out of a series that, for me, was mostly about that. The ridiculousness nature of proceedings stopped being enthralling when each fight wasn’t billed as a possible world ender. I wrote a whole piece for ANN on why you should never, ever skip the first season of Jojo’s, an article in its original version was a hell of a lot more negative about Stardust than it was positive about the first two seasons.

The one big exception to this was the final fight with Dio.

For the first time in the series, it felt like the fights had significant weight to proceedings. This should be obvious considering the series spent its entire runtime basically leading up to that one fight. But when they finally reached that climactic battle with Dio, for the first time I felt that joyous rush Jojo’s gives me. The extended battle at the end was marvelous and brought back all those feelings I had for the first season. Dio counting down the longest 10 seconds of his final attack, reaching for a steamroller from nowhere, was everything I had ever wanted. It’s a shame it took 40 episodes to reach that point. Perhaps later seasons of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure will return to that form. I’ve heard people say Part 4 is great, but a lot of the praise says it’s a better version of Stardust Crusaders, and I’m not sure that’s quite what I want from Jojo’s.

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  1. Posted December 23, 2015 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    I love Part 4 and I’m really looking forward to it! But, if what you like about Jojo is “urgency and gravitas”, maybe Part 4 isn’t what you personally are looking for. It’s like this weird, violent slice-of-life story that doesn’t even bother to add a main villain until well into the run. There is also a healing stand in Part 4, so while that allows the fights to become even more violent/gruesome, it also allows for everyone to (usually) be miraculously healed after it’s done.

    Bah, you’re going to watch it anyway. I look forward to any and all commentary.

    But if what you really want is world-ending bad guy powers and life-or-death stakes at every turn, Part 6 (Stone Ocean) is probably the one you’ll want to see animated. Too bad we’ll have to wait probably 6 years to have me proven right or wrong. Now I know how Monogatari fans felt when Bake first came out.

    P.S. I loved how you compared Jojo to pro wrestling in your ANN writeup. That is so spot on!! My non-anime-watching husband is a wrestling fan (despite WWE’s best efforts), so that is exactly how I pitched Jojo to him. And then I made him watch a grown man feeding poop to a baby, and now for some reason he’s no longer interested. (“But you don’t understand, it’s funny because it’s an EVIL Freddy Kruger baby!” “Honey, have you been drinking again?”)

    • Shinmaru
      Posted December 24, 2015 at 12:42 am | Permalink

      I like everything in this comment.

  2. gedata
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    Every arc afterwards is a “better version of Stardust Crusaders” besides maybe arc V. You just need to figure out what “better” means in each case to get the true appeal of the series. I think the quality of the dozens of zany pointless arcs do more than make up for the fact that there isn’t any weight to them. I’d honestly be willing to put Stardust on par with Battle Tendency if the fights from the 1st half were all up to snuff with Jojo’s standards.

    • gedata
      Posted December 24, 2015 at 12:07 am | Permalink

      Also I direct you to my 1st comment on your article regarding why starting with Stardust is a fine way to get into the series. Not that anyone really should mind you. I only did it out of necessity (I did not dabble in the wonders of fan translations in those days).

      EDIT: Based on the part 4 trailer, DP is going to animate everything in arc 4. Get ready for another long one.

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