It’s the show everyone loves to meme, but what is Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure?
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure was created by Hirohiko Araki and published in 1987 in the legendary Japanese manga magazine Shonen Jump. The story sees several generations of the Joestar family dragged into various encounters against an array of supernatural foes, the most famous of these being the vampire Dio.
The series is broken into 8 parts, with parts 1-5 having received an animated adaptation. For this article we’re going to focus on parts 1-6, since they form a single story, while 7-8 tell another unconnected tale. So with that in mind, prepare to Stand Proud and ride the Bloody Storm because we’re off to visit a Crazy Noisy Bizarre Town! (Yes those were all Jojo references).
Part 1 – The Phantom Blood
Set in 19th Century England, the story centres around Jonathan Joestar (JoJo, do you get it?), the son of a rich nobleman, whose life is forever turned upside down when his father adopts an orphan named Dio Brando. Part One starts off like a period drama, with Jonathan having to deal with Dio’s attempts to ruin his social standing and trying to claim the family fortune for himself. Then it just gives up that pretence, as Dio turns into a vampire and Jonathan learns the mystical martial art known as Hamon to save the day. We warned you – this show is Bizarre!
The meme of part 1: It was me, Dio!
In a show of utter bastardy, Dio forces himself onto Jonathan’s girlfriend Erina, and gloats that she dreamt her first kiss was to be with Jonathan, but it was now with Dio instead. Just in case you didn’t pick up on this yet: Dio is not a nice person.
Part 2 – Battle Tendency
It’s 1938, and this part stars Jonathan’s 18-year-old grandson Joseph Joestar, who has to step up to help save the world from The Pillar Men – a trio of prehistoric supermen who were accidentally released by the Nazis. Joseph ends up travelling the world with fellow Hamon user Caesar Zeppeli and their teacher, the mysterious Lisa Lisa, in order to stop them. The Nazis are also in this one, and they’re sorta the good guys? Perhaps best to not think about it and head to part 3.
The meme of part 2: the Jojo Pose
One of Hirohiko Araki’s hobbies is fashion, and in particular the poses models take when doing fashion shoots. It shows as characters bend over backwards to strike the most powerful of power-poses. Arguably, the most famous Jojo pose is the hand across the face, which debuts here – and from our experience really makes a photo of yourself even more menacing.
Part 3 – Stardust Crusaders
This is the series everyone thinks of when you say Jojo. It’s also the longest arc in the series, and while the previous parts focused on burly men punching one another, this series introduced Stands: spiritual manifestations of the characters, which have some form of superpower. Set in 1987, it tells the story of Jotaro Kujo, the grandson of Joseph Joestar, who teams up with both his grandfather and an eccentric group of adventurers as they attempt to travel to Egypt. All this is in an effort to fight Dio, who survived the events of Part 1, and after 100 years has returned to kill the Joestar family.
The meme of part 3 – THE WORLD!
Dio’s Stand is known only as The World, and with a shout of its name can freeze time for five seconds. Dio uses this in his fight with Jotaro to drop a steamroller on him. Because of course he does.
Part 4 – Diamond Is Unbreakable
It’s 1999, and we’re in the small fictional town of Morioh to meet Josuke Higashikata, the bastard son of Joseph Joestar. It’s a quieter affair than part 3, with the story broken up into two arcs. The first involves the group trying to track down a mysterious arrow that can give people Stands; while the second arc is the hunt for Kira, a Stand-using serial killer who enjoys taking the hands of the women he kills.
The meme of part 4
There isn’t one singular meme from part 4, although one thing that stands out is that in the manga Kira is drawn to resemble David Bowie. Oddly enough, for the anime this isn’t the case. I guess no one wants to be compared to a hand collecting serial killer.
Part 5 – Vento Aureo/Golden Wind
We’re now in 2001 Naples to meet Giorno Giovanna (this time it’s GioGio), the bastard son of Dio. He dreams of becoming a gangster and taking over the criminal gang known as Passione, which is ruled by a mysterious boss, in order to steer it away from the ever growing drug trade. To this end he teams up with Bruno Bucciarati and his team of Stand-users, and they fend off threats from all sides, including fellow gangsters and a rogue assassination squad, before finally facing the Boss himself.
The meme of part 5: The Torture Dance
After defeating a particularly nasty Stand-user, the group attempt to torture their prisoner for information. During this, several of the gang start to dance along to a song as psychedelic imagery plays… because once again, this is Jojo.
Part 6 – Stone Ocean
The part of the story that hasn’t yet been adapted into an anime, Stone Ocean is set in 2011. It introduces us to our first female Jojo: Jolyne Cujoh, daughter of part 3 protagonist Jotaro Kujo, who after being convicted of a crime she didn’t commit, is sentenced to a maximum security prison in Florida. Here she has to contend with prison life, rival Stand-users and Dio followers still attempting to carry out their master’s plan.
Part six also serves as the finale of the Jojo storyline. David Productions, the studio behind the Jojo adaptations, recently suggested an anime version of Stone Ocean depending on the sales of part 5 – so here is hoping the world gets to meet Jolyne soon!
The meme of part 6: the world’s fingers for “F*** off”
During a rather intense fight and in an attempt to rile up her foe, Jolyne showcases a multitude of crude hand gestures from around the world. Each one is based on a previous Jojo character, and this is an amazing moment for Jolyne.