Opinion: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is the weird anime we all need

The Japanese show is exceptionally weird, but it is one of the most worthwhile shows around.

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Opinion: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is the weird anime we all need

Bloomberg

Bloomberg

Bloomberg

Peyton Downing, Columnist

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In the realm of Japanese cartoons, there are two kinds of fans — those who love JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and those who hate it. There is almost no middle ground in this regard; I would regard few pieces of media as more divisive than it. While the show is eccentric, I find it an extremely entertaining show that many can enjoy.

There needs to be an alternative to the banality of modern entertainment. Predictable plots and character arcs overpopulate our viewing options. Out of the endless shows available on Netflix, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure stands out.

At its core, the show is about the Joestar family. The setting is also all over the place. Each season focuses on a different member of the family at a different location and time, from Victorian England to 1930s New York. Each Joestar also has an antagonist that they must defeat, including a band of three Aztec vampires with a banger of a dubstep theme or a mob boss that can erase periods of time.

In addition to various characters and settings, the plot is also all over the place. There are often storylines that go unresolved and characters are often endowed with powers that never come up again. This is a common source of criticism of the show, but its charm is what makes it unique.

There is also the matter of the animation and art design. The show’s look is unique, to say the least. I think anyone would be hard pressed to find a style that is like the show’s writer and illustrator Hirohiko Araki. This is most clear in the first two seasons and part of the third, where 15-year-old teens look like bodybuilders on steroids. Even though character proportions are eventually improved, the character design is still incredibly outlandish. From torpedo tube hair to the most blatant author insert, the inhabitants of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure look, well, bizarre.

Underneath the plot inconsistencies and the strange animation style, there remains an incredible work of media. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure had some of the best fight scenes I have ever witnessed. They are incredibly well-planned and enthralling conflicts that Araki clearly put effort into thinking through. It’s wacky, over the top, and sets the expectation high for every fight afterwards.

Of course, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is not for everyone; no show is. The number of hurdles to go through in order to enjoy it are big enough that some people can never watch it and enjoy it. And that is perfectly fine. But for fans of great fight scenes, witty dialogue, and the interesting characters, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is worth a try.

The entertainment world needs a little bizarre, and this show delivers.


Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.


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