LIKE A BLOODY STORM; JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE EPISODES 25-26

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure 25 - [A9B9C734]_Apr 23, 2013 8.26.44 PM

ILLEGENES: IT’S HARD TO SUM UP WHAT JOJO HAS BEEN TO ME THESE PAST SIX MONTHS. TO SAY AN ADVENTURE WOULD BE GENERALIZING THE ENTIRE EXPERIENCE, AND TO SAY THAT IT WAS JUST A MERE, ENJOYABLE RIDE WOULD BE UNDERESTIMATING ITS IMPACT ON ME. JOJO HAS PROVED TO ME THAT IT’S VALUABLE AND ENRICHING FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS, NONE OF WHICH ARE ACTUALLY ‘INTELLIGIBLE’ IN THEIR OWN WAY, BUT ARE STILL WORTH REMEMBERING NONETHELESS. ARE YOU READY TO TAKE SOME NOTES? HERE ARE TWO THINGS TO WRITE DOWN.

  1. JOJO HAS BEEN A SUPERB EXAMPLE OF WHAT IT MEANS TO ADAPT A SOURCE MATERIAL RATHER THAN JUST DIRECT ORIGINAL MATERIAL. 
  2. JOJO TELLS US WHY ANIME IS IMPORTANT. OR RATHER, WHY IT’S SO FREAKING ENJOYABLE AND ADDICTIVE AND JUST PLAIN, SIMPLE, FUN.

BULLETPOINT #1: JOJO, DESCRIBED BY IT SUMMARY – MAN WITH BIG MUSCLES, SAVING THE WORLD – SOUNDS PRETTY DARN LAME. I’LL ADMIT IT; WHEN I FIRST SAW THE BASIC PREMISE FOR JOJO, I WAS PRETTY DISAPPOINTED. “NOT ANOTHER TYPICAL SHOUNEN SHOW!” I SAID, AND THEN WENDEEGO DRAGGED ME IN AND HERE I AM, WEEKS LATER, AN AVID FAN OF THE FRANCHISE. WHY? WHY IS IT THAT A SHOW WITH SUCH A STALE PLOT WOULD CAPTURE MY HEART AND SOUL SO  QUICKLY?

IT ALL COMES DOWN TO ADAPTATION. DAVID PRODUCTION HAS DONE A FANTASTIC JOB OF NOT JUST NAILING ATMOSPHERE, SOUND EFFECTS, ANIMATION (EVEN WHEN IT WAS LOW PAR) AND OTHER TECHNICALITIES, BUT THE EFFECTIVENESS OF JOJO CAME DOWN TO THE HEART AND SPIRIT OF THE SHOW ITSELF. THERE’S JUST SO MUCH ENERGY IN JOJO. FROM THE WAY JOJO SHOUTS OUT HIS MOVES, TO THE CAMERA SHAKES AND FLASHY OPENINGS, EVERYTHING IS PERFORMED WITH ACCURACY AND CARE. THAT SORT OF TECHNIQUE IS HARD TO COME BY THESE DAYS, BUT JOJO HAS DONE A MASTERFUL JOB OF COMBINING SKILL AND HEART. THIS IS  ALL REVISITED IN THE FINAL TWO EPISODES, WHEN JOJO TRIUMPHANTLY DEFEATS CARZZZ AND RETURNS TO HIS OWN FUNERAL:

TURNING FEATHERS INTO SCALES; YET ANOTHER HIGHLIGHT OF HOW ABSURD AND YET SMART JOJO CAN GET. THIS IS A BATTLE OF WITS AND THINKING ON THE SPOT.

WHAT I DO LIKE IS THAT THIS DOES SEEMS SORT OF OUT OF NOWHERE, BUT NOT IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT: AFTER ALL, JOJO AND CO WERE IN ITALY SEEKING THE STONE, SO IT’S NATURAL THAT THEY’D FIND A VOLCANO…NEAR ITALY….

WHAT’S BEAUTIFUL IS THAT JOJO’S LIFE IS AT STAKE – IT HAS BEEN IN THE PAST BATTLES, BUT HERE, HE’S ACTUALLY LOST AN ARM, AND YET, IT’S BECAUSE OF THESE EFFORTS THAT HIS VICTORY DOESN’T FEEL CHEAP IN ANY WAY. IT’S ACTUALLY HEROIC.

THE SHOW THEN PROCEEDS TO HIT US EMOTIONALLY WITH PARALLELS AND THE TRAGIC HISTORY OF THE JOJOS. THIS WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN ACHIEVED WITHOUT A CERTAIN MONTAGE AND THE FACT THAT THE SHOW COVERED A PREVIOUS JOJO AND HIS BATTLES.

PHYSICS! WHAT’S GREAT IS THAT THIS THEMATICALLY AND SCIENTIFICALLY MAKES SENSE; CARZZZ HAS BEEN CAST AWAY FROM THE PLANET THAT HE WAS A GOD OF. GODS DO NOT EXIST IN JOJO IF THEY HAVE NO FOLLOWERS, AND THUS, CARZZZ IS BANISHED FOREVER, FORCED TO HOVER BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH ITSELF. A FITTING PUNISHMENT FOR THE EVILS HE HAS WROUGHT, IF YOU ASK ME.

THEN PROCEEDED WITH EXCELLENTLY TIMED COMEDY (I’LL BE HONEST, I DIDN’T SEE IT COMING) AND A MASTERFULLY DONE RESOLUTION TO ALL OF THE CHARACTER’S LIVES – AND DEATHS, PLUS A GRANDPA JOJO CONTINUING HIS HERITAGE.

BULLETPOINT #2: A LOT OF PEOPLE WOULD ARGUE THAT FROM THE PLOT ALONE, JOJO SOUNDS LIKE THE STUPIDEST THING EVER. AND FRANKLY, AT TIMES, IT IS UNINTELLIGIBLE!  BUT I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT TO ESTABLISH THAT INTELLIGENCE DOES NOT ALWAYS VALIDATE A SERIES’ WORTH. STORYTELLING DOES NOT HAVE TO BE SYMBOLIC OR HAVE HUNDREDS OF ALLUSIONS TO BE CREDIBLE. IN FACT, WHILE MANY STORIES THINK THIS IS THE EASIEST WAY TO BECOME ‘GOOD’, THEY OFTEN FORGET THE MOST ESSENTIAL INGREDIENT OF ALL: CREATIVITY. AND SO WHAT JOJO LACKS IN HAVING THE SMARTS AT TIMES (THIS EXCLUDES THE BATTLES, WHICH ARE ALL ABOUT INTELLIGENCE AND WITS) IT MAKES UP WITH HAVING CREATIVE TWISTS AND TURNS THAT MAKE THE SERIES STAND OUT FOR WHAT IT IS. AND THE THING IS, IT’S MORE FUN THAT WAY. IT’S FUN TO NOT HAVE TO THINK ABOUT EVERY ASPECT OF A SHOW THROUGHOUT ITS RUN, AND JUST SIT BACK AND BE ENTERTAINED AND SURPRISED. THIS FEELING IS SOMETHING I HAVE OFTEN MISSED FROM ANIME, AND  JOJO HAS GIVEN IT BACK TO ME. I CAN’T THANK THE SHOW ENOUGH.

THE TRUTH IS? WE NEED MORE SHOUNEN LIKE JOJO THESE DAYS. SURE, WE COULD DUMB DOWN JOJO TO FLASHY, EXAGGERATED FIGHTS, RIDICULOUS TAUNTING, EXCESSIVE BRAWN – BUT IN THE END, THAT’S KIND OF WHAT ANIME IS ABOUT ANYWAYS, ISN’T IT? IF YOU WANT A GOOD RIDE, THERE’S JOJO AND A NUMBER OF OTHER SHOWS. BUT WHAT DISTINGUISHES JOJO FROM THE REST OF THE FODDER IS THIS: IT KNOWS WHAT IT’S DOING. AND IT DOES IT MORE THAN JUST ‘WELL’. IT TAKES A SOURCE MATERIAL WHICH 2 OVAS AND 1 MOVIE HAD FAILED TO CAPTURE THE SPIRIT OF, AND COMPRESSES IT INTO A TV FORMAT WITH LOVABLE CHARACTERS, A WELL DEVELOPED PLOT, AND SOME SUPERB ANIMATION AND MUSIC. IF THAT’S NOT A GOOD ADAPTATION, WELL, I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS.

UNTIL STARDUST CRUSADERS (DON’T LIE, YOU KNOW IT’S HAPPENING) MY FRIEND, THIS IS ILLEGENES, SIGNING OFF!

IN THE MEANTIME, PRACTICE YOUR DRAMATIC POSES, WINTE- I MEAN, SEASON THREE IS COMING.

WENDEEGO: WELL, NATASHA PRETTY MUCH SAID EVERYTHING I WANTED TO SAY ABOVE. SO RATHER THAN GO INTO DETAIL ABOUT THESE TWO EPISODES, I’M GOING TO BE TRYING SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT. I’D LIKE TO SAY THANKS.

THANK YOU DAVID PRODUCTION, FOR GOING THE DISTANCE IN ADAPTING A MANGA VERY FEW PEOPLE THOUGHT WOULD EVER GO ON TELEVISION. THANK YOU FOR PERSEVERING DESPITE HAVING ONLY A TINY BUDGET AND A LOT OF HEART. I’M SURE PLENTY OF OTHERS SCORNED YOU BECAUSE THE MOVEMENT ON SCREEN AT TIMES APPROACHED MOTION COMIC LEVELS RATHER THAN “ACTUAL” ANIMATION, BUT THAT WAS GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME. I’M SURE OTHERS WERE UPSET BECAUSE YOU WERE CHOSEN TO ADAPT RATHER THAN A BETTER-KNOWN STUDIO LIKE MADHOUSE, BUT I KNEW YOU’D BE A GOOD FIT FROM THE BEGINNING. TRUST ME, I SAW BEN-TO. WE’RE COOL.

THANK YOU HIROHIKO ARAKI, FOR WRITING ARGUABLY THE BEST SHONEN MANGA THAT MOST PEOPLE IN THE UNITED STATES HAVEN’T HEARD OF. THE FIRST TWO ARCS OF JOJO AREN’T QUITE PERFECT–THE FIRST ISN’T QUITE UP TO SNUFF WITH THE REST, THE SECOND WAS KINDA PROBLEMATIC IN PARTS–BUT EVEN BEFORE THE SERIES BECAME POPULAR WITH STARDUST CRUSADERS, THE SPARK WAS THERE. I’M GLAD THAT YOU’RE STILL WRITING MANGA AND THAT I HAVE A LOOTTTT OF JOJO TO CATCH UP ON. TIME TO CATCH UP ON STONE OCEAN!

THANKS TO THE STAFF OF JOJO FOR ABSOLUTELY NAILING THE ADAPTATION. MY EYES ARE NOW ON EVERY ONE OF YOU TO CARRY THE MEDIUM FORWARD. THAT INCLUDES YOU, KENICHI SUZUKI AND NAOKATSU TSUDA. IF YOU CAN BOTH PULL SOMETHING LIKE JOJO OFF THEN I’M LOOKING FORWARDS TO SEEING WHAT YOU BOTH DO NEXT. YASUKO KOBAYASHI, YOU BETTER NAIL THAT ATTACK ON TITAN ADAPTATION OR I WILL BE PISSED…NAH, JUST KIDDING! THAT SAID, THE PACING THROUGHOUT THIS SERIES WAS PRETTY SOLID AND I’M PRETTY SURE AT LEAST ONE OF YOU THREE HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH THAT. CONDENSING PHANTOM BLOOD INTO SOMETHING TOLERABLE MUST HAVE BEEN DIFFICULT, BUT YOU ALL (ALONG WITH ALL THE OTHER PEOPLE WORKING UNDER YOU, NO DOUBT) DID A VERY GOOD JOB.

THANKS TO JONATHAN JONESTAR FOR DEMONSTRATING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LUCK AND PLUCK. DIO FOR BEING A SCHEMING BASTARD OF THE VERY HIGHEST ORDER. ZEPPELI FOR LAYING DOWN HIS LIFE, AND SPEEDWAGON FOR CRYING WHEN NO-ONE ELSE COULD. ERINA FOR GROWING UP TO BE A TOTAL BADASS. CAESAR, FOR SACRIFICING HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIEND. STROHEIM, FOR PROVING ONCE AND FOR ALL THAT GERMAN SCIENCE IS THE GREATEST IN THE WORLD. LISA LISA, FOR BEING FABULOUS AND AWESOME EVEN THOUGH ARAKI DENIED YOU A REAL CHANCE TO SHOW YOUR STUFF. ALL THE PILLAR MEN FOR BEING TERRIFYING, EXCEPT FOR CARS BECAUSE HE’S AN ASSHOLE. THAT’S RIGHT, ENJOY YOUR VACATION IN SPACE, CARS! YOU TOTALLY DESERVED IT.

THANKS TO JOSEPH FOR PULLING THE RUG OUT FROM US ONE LAST TIME. BUT I’M ON TO YOU, ASSHOLE. I READ THE MANGA AND KNEW HOW THE STORY GOES, SO YOU DIDN’T FOOL ME. TAKE THAT! THAT SAID, I’M GLAD YOU’RE ALRIGHT. WHILE WE’RE AT IT, THANKS JOTARO KUJO. YOU TEASE.

THANKS TO THE SUBBERS WHO MADE SURE THIS SHOW WOULDN’T DROP OUT OF THE PUBLIC EYE. SPECIFICALLY DUWANG, WHO GAVE US ALL A GOOD LAUGH AND PROBABLY MADE MEME HISTORY WHILE THEY WERE AT IT, THOUGH SHORT-LIVED. THANKS TO THE BLOGGING COMMUNITY WHO, FOR MANY WEEKS, OBSESSED OVER THIS SHOW. MANY THANKS TO FILM CRIT HULK, WHOSE GIMMICK WE…UH…PAID HOMAGE TO THESE LAST FEW POSTS. AND THANKS TO THE PEOPLE WHO TOOK TIME OUT OF THEIR DAY TO READ THIS STUFF. WE KNOW WE COULD HAVE COVERED THIS SHOW EPISODE BY EPISODE RATHER THAN IN BIG CLUMPS, AND THAT WE MIGHT HAVE PUBLISHED THINGS LATE. BUT WE HOPE YOU ENJOYED THIS RUN JUST AS MUCH AS WE DID.

HERE’S HOPING THAT AFTER DAVID PRODUCTION FINISHES ADAPTING HYPERDIMENSION NEPTUNIA, IN AND AROUND THE LAKE, MOUNTAINS COME OUT OF THE SKY AND THEY STAND THERE…

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2 responses to “LIKE A BLOODY STORM; JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE EPISODES 25-26

  1. Pingback: An Insatiable Appetite; Tokyo Ghoul and the Allure of Campy Horror. | Isn't It Electrifying?·

  2. I love you guys. You guys express the way how I feel the show. I would like to say that Bullet Point #2, the intelligent aspect is what seals the deal as one of the best Anime in Fall 2012.

    For example I watched both Psycho-Pass and Jojo from Fall 2012. They both have different audience, however it’s that false appeal that Psycho-Pass has that what makes me not enjoying. Note: The show isn’t bad.

    Shows that use constant philosophical quote or symbol reference creates a false authority of the show. Jojo on the other hand build it’s own appeal and credibility over and over. They introduce weird adversary that has its own personality quirk and most important of all, poses. And finally the art of the Ultimate Lifeform Kars. Sure it looks weird of an 80s rock star with wings. But as an art, it is appealing.

    I would also say I love the fight as well. Even though it’s ridiculous as performance, on paper it does seem very plausible. Notable mention were Johnathan vs Bruford, and all Joseph scheme. And finally Kars banishing to space.

    Thank You, to both David Production and Wendeego and Illegenes.

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