Hello, friends! Ever since watching David Production’s adaptation of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, I’ve fallen head over heels for this delightfully mad series. Normally I don’t go back and read manga for anime that I have enjoyed, because
I’m a philistine I don’t have as much time as I would like to spend on the wide world of manga. However, I am making an exception for JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.
My journey into the world of the Joestars started as curiosity. I thought I’d see how the original stories stood up to the anime. But then I saw that several volumes of Viz’s adaptation of Stardust Crusaders were still available as long as I did some digging. “Well, I know how Stardust Crusaders generally unfolds,” I told myself. “What’s the harm of skipping ahead of David a bit?” Then I saw how much those OVA adaptations of Stardust Crusaders I’d viewed before had butchered the arc — and how truly amazing it is. Now, I can’t stop. I must march forward with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.
I know how much all you lovely JoJo fans enjoyed seeing my reactions to stuff you’ve loved for years, so I thought I would kill two birds with one Ripple and document my stroll through the bizarre land of JoJo as part of the Manga Driver series. This serves a nice dual purpose for me by encouraging me to take things slower than I might otherwise, to drink the manga in more and savor it like a fine wine.
This post will cover both Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency, because even combined, they are shorter than every other arc. Subsequent posts will cover individual arcs. I have completed Stardust Crusaders and will be writing about that soon, but I might wait until next week to post it since we’ve got plenty of content in the backroom. Still haven’t started Diamond Is Unbreakable yet, but I will once I have written about Stardust Crusaders.
One more thing: I’ll try to keep spoilers to a minimum in these posts, but it may be more difficult once I get into territory with which I am unfamiliar. That said, there are totally spoilers here, so lol.
Volume Count: 15 (finished)
Here’s the scene: The student council president has sent one of his lackeys to scout out Kitano, the student with the demon face, because he thinks Kitano plans to send the school into disarray. The lackey’s plan was to approach Kitano nonchalantly so he wouldn’t think anything was up. However upon approaching Kitano, he catches a glimpse of his face and sees the killing intent in his eyes. Kitano knows! Kitano can sense that the lackey is tailing him and he’s not too pleased at all. But the lackey is too scared to move as Kitano gets closer. The lackey’s knees wobble as Kitano closes down the distance between them, eyes narrowing every second, reaching into his pocket to draw what he’s almost certain will be a knife.
And then, when Kitano is barely 5 metres away from him, he lets out a blood curdling scream and draws the knife from his pocket. The lackey can’t move! He’s like a rabbit frozen in the headlights. He can’t even bring himself to look at the knife Kitano drew from his pocket. Then Kitano, without warning, lets out a second screech like a banshee and suddenly the lackey can feel life in his legs again. Without looking back, he turns and runs faster than he has ever done in his life before the demon can attack him.
Kitano, meanwhile, wipes his nose with the handkerchief he drew from his pocket and mumbles something about how his cold is acting up and making him sneeze a lot.
I find it increasingly bizarre how Yuki Kaji always gets typecast as somebody who gets dismembered. Out of all the typecasting quirks out there, this is probably one of the weirdest that I can think of. I mean at this point, does he require any role offered to him to at least have one scene of dismemberment to counteract all the whining that he has to do? I love it though, because that means that whenever I cover a show that Yuki Kaji blesses with his presence, it can be counted on to provide at least one or two good puns for me to go out on a limb to make. And when something like Shingeki no Kyojin offers not one, not two, but several opportunities to flex my punning muscles, it’s a momentous occasion that even the heavens weep in joy over. Read More
How could anyone not be enjoying this show right now?
Of all the episodes so far, this is definitely the funniest, and it has a wide range of humor, from the silly physical comedy of Nakamura sneaking around and spying on Kasuga and Saeki’s date, to the grandiose ridiculousness of the above scene, and of course the darker, more satirical undertones lining the entire series. I expected the big date to be uncomfortable and more than a bit terrifying (and it’s definitely terrifying to Kasuga, particularly with Nakamura lurking around each corner waiting in delight for his humiliation), but I didn’t expect it to be so hilarious as well. Bravo.
Volume Count: 6 (ongoing)
One day, out of nowhere, a race of sentient, hyper-advanced battleships called the Fleet of Fog appear across the earth and blockade the entire human race onto land. The humans fight back and, despite being massively behind technologically to the battleships, they do far better than expected and capture one of the ships. The Fleet of Fog reason that this is because the humans used strategy and tactics, while the Fleet of Fog have no concept of time so cannot learn from the past or predict the future. How they come to this conclusion in the first place when they supposedly can’t learn isn’t explained, probably because it’s a glaring plothole, but anyway. The Fleet of Fog decide to create their own humans to command each of their own battleships so they can-
Look, basically it’s moe anthropomorphised battleships.
Here is my visual representation of this week’s episode.
I’m still making my way through the wide world of VOTOMS (I finished Armor Hunter Mellowlink recently and am continuing through broadcast order), but I finished the original TV series quite a while ago and finally have the time to write about it. For those who don’t know, VOTOMS is about a soldier, Chirico Cuvie, who gets caught up in a conspiracy involving super soldiers and secret societies. Basically, everyone wants to kill Chirico. The general description of VOTOMS falls along the lines one would expect: It’s a grim, gritty series, quite dark and morose. It is often just that, reinforced most of all by the visuals, which look just good enough (on the remastered DVDs) that it’s not offensive to watch because of OLD, but also still have a rough look and feel to them. My favorite visual detail is the embers that accompany every explosion. It adds just the right touch of horror and devastation to each battle.
But VOTOMS is not simply relentless grimdark, at least not in the way I expected. There are some key ways in which the series subverted my expectations for better or worse. (Although even in the parts of the series I am not so sure I liked, they are at least still interesting.)
(P.S. I have taken care to avoid spoilers as much as possible.)