Twelve Days of Christmas; Day Eleven

day 11

On the eleventh day of Christmas, the fairies gave to me…

Eleven Generations of the Jojo Family: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is my pick for the best anime to air this year. It’s not the smartest, the most fluid or even the most politically correct, but when firing on all cylinders it’s served up more memorable moments than just about any other anime outside of Shinsekai Yori. Others might have scoffed at the idea of an old manga from the 80s being adapted by David Production–neither of which has a postcard “great” reputation–but I’d read the manga, and I was fascinated to see how the people who animated the fascinating Book of Bantorra, the extraordinarily kinetic (if problematically misogynist) Ben-to and the apparently fantastic Level-E would adapt it. As it turned out, David Production turned out to be a perfect fit. Jojo might have been animated on what appears to be a shoestring budget, but it’s so stylish and just plain well executed that it trumps plenty of shows this year that might have been otherwise technically superior. You could probably write an entire essay on the color use and how it enriches the whole experience. Then there’s the music.

It’s a great tragedy that Yes’s prog-rock song Roundabout, one of the best things about this Jojo adaptation, is also why the series will probably never be licensed. Licensing companies are rarely able to fork over the money to keep US or British songs in their anime, and Roundabout is a popular enough song that I’m pretty sure no company will risk bringing it over. Jojo is so great that it would be tempting to bring it over without Roundabout, but when push comes to shove there are moments in Jojo that would just not work as well any other way. Roundabout makes those moments in the same way that Magia served as excellent punctuation to every episode of Madoka Magica, or how music by ARB somehow served as a perfect accompaniment to Mawaru Penguindrum. If you’ve been watching Jojo, I think you know what moments I’m talking about. One moment in particular, in fact.

Forget David Production’s usual output, that was an Imagawa level of epic drama right there. And it couldn’t have worked without Roundabout. Araki, creator of the series, has always been a big fan of rock music, sneaking references into his work to everything from Dio to Santana to Led Zeppelin. So it’s great to see that the creators of the Jojo anime approached the work with the same spirit, setting the last moments of an unforgettable character to a truly unforgettable song. “Cause I’ll be the rounddddaboutttt…

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One response to “Twelve Days of Christmas; Day Eleven

  1. I think there’s some hope to be had that JoJo will get licensed. Ergo Proxy did, after all, Paranoid Android ED and all. I think they even used PA heavily in the marketing. All is not lost!

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