Final Review: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (2012)

DISCLAIMER: Anime reviews on this blog will attempt minimal to no spoilers unless other noted. If a review seems dull or shallow, it’s because I’m trying to make sure not to go into too detail for those who are actually interested in the show before or after reading the review or those who have yet to finish the title. If you want further details, there are usually tons of reviews that can be found elsewhere on the internet. Furthermore, anime reviews in general are the sole opinion of the author writing it and thus differ across the users. There is no such thing as a “right answer” only a majority agreement. You are free to have your own opinions and thereby free to state and/or argue/debate in the comments section below or on the Fansub TV Forums. The review is not necessarily meant to serve as a recommendation but rather a personal opinion of having completed the series.

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (2012) is based off the 63 volume manga of the same name. To date, the Jojo series has received very spread out and non-chronological adaptations of the 8 part series with the first adaptation in 1993-1994, which animated the second half of the third part of the series: Stardust Crusaders. The 2012 anime adaptation animates the first 2 parts of the manga (volumes 1 through 12), featuring Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency. Phantom Blood had received a film adaptation in 2007. In essence, this is the tale that begins all of Jojo. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure 2012 premiered during the Fall 2012 and Winter 2012/2013 anime seasons.

The Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure manga has long finished (1999) and similar to the Joestar family’s curse, the earlier adaptations between in the last 20 years were all generally poor and long forgotten, mostly due to lack of chronology and jumping half way into a story. The 2007 anime film adaptation was a step in the right direction but not widely well known due to poor advertising. Luckily, Jojo returns in 2012 with an adaptation that begins appropriately from the beginning of the series allowing for many new audience members to join in on the party. As stated above, the 2012 series adapts the first 12 volumes of the manga and thus first 2 parts of the series to completion. The plot is spaced out very nicely with a strong narrative that explained a lot of the various terminology in the series. The premise is great as the story continues on for generations to come so that no one protagonist is infinitely strong. The one big flaw in this show is the skipping of most of the training regiments. Granted that adapting the entire menu would double the length of the series, it would be helpful to see (even if a little bit) how the characters actually progress to their next level. The magical appearance of “new techniques” in a showdown is nice and all but diverges from plausibility even for a shounen action title. Character wise is a mixed bag. Jonathan is generally a boring character while Joseph on the other hand is amusing. People also seem to chatter about the amount of plot twists…generally speaking, I find it rather expected for this show. It likes to build up some suspense to these moments that make it blatantly obvious over time. On the other hand, I love the dialogue in this show more than anything else and really glad they flushed that aspect out from the manga along with an appropriate cast.

Art is very well done. Detailed and has a nice classic feel that truly brings out a historical like setting along with the manga style from the 80s and 90s. Animation is by David Production and feels a lot like Tatakau Shisho -The Book of Bantorra-, which had decent animation. The quality definitely improved since then and fits with the premise of the series. I also enjoyed how the manga effects and color changing shots were incorporated in to the series. It really highlighted certain moments of the series.

OP and ED are generally stuff I didn’t care about in this show. The jazz OP themes definitely fit with the series while the ED felt out of place at times. Background music was amazing and most definitely sound effects. Seiyuu was also fantastic for this title. Great cast, especially Joseph’s seiyuu.

Enjoyment? Phantom Blood is arguably one of the more boring bits until the final showdown. Granted, it sets up the ultimate premise for the rest of the series so I’m glad the staff chose to start here instead of somewhere else. The adaptation leaves room for potential (proper) sequels in the future now that the manga is long done and that the industry has finally come to terms with giving this series a proper adaptation (or so I hope). Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is definitely one of the better series to kick off the year with and it has a different setup than most shows nowadays, not to mention one of the better action anime adaptations as of late. There is only one show that rivals the Jojo series and that is Hokuto no Ken. Seriously speaking, nothing else can even compare.

Overall, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure 2012 is the best anime adaptation for the Jojo franchise to date. If you’re new to the franchise, I suggest you start watching here as it does a great job at sticking with the key points of the manga. It gets the message across in a very concise manner.

 

Story and Character:

  • Premise (1/1): Great and different
  • Character Personalities (0.5/1): Generally decent cast. Jonathan is boring
  • Character Development (1.5/2): Kind of weak at times but when it dives, it dives.
  • Character Usefulness/Presence (2/2): Small and memorable cast
  • Pacing: (1/1): Solid overall
  • Reasonable/Plausible (1.5/2): Lack of training
  • Conclusion (1/1): Nice way to leave openings for the continuation of the franchise
  • Total: 8.5/10

Art and Animation:

  • Backgrounds (2/2): Nice and detailed that fits with the setting of the series as well as 80s/90s manga art
  • Character Designs (1.5/2): Above average
  • Fluidity (1.5/2): Some overuse of still shots
  • Visuals/Special Effects/Flashiness (1.5/2): Very nice.
  • Art and Animation “Expectation” (2/2): Likely David Production’s best work
  • Total: 8.5/10

Sound and Music:

  • OP/ED/Insert Themes (1/3): OP1 and 2 are fitting with the series. ED theme is generally forgetabble.
  • Background Music (2/2): Great
  • Sound Effects (2/2): Fantastic
  • Seiyuu (2.5/3): Very strong cast, especially for Joseph
  • Total: 7.5/10

Enjoyment:

  • Amusement (1.5/2): Generally good
  • Weekly/Next Episode Anticipation (1/2): A few early bumps
  • Presentation: (1/2): Linear with supposed plot twists.
  • Re-watchable (1/1): Finally a Jojo title worth watching. Has even more value if we get the rest.
  • Recommendation (1.5/2): Only one other title surpasses Jojo in this niche genre and that is Hokuto no Ken
  • Value (1/1): A classic GAR title in modern animation.
  • Total: 7/10

Preliminary Score: 7/10

Final Score: 8/10

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