JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Vols. 1–3
Super Techno Arts Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Jeff Boman · June 24, 2004 | I first read about this series in the American Shonen Jump: it's a Japanese take on the American idea of superheroes. Don't mistake it for a kid's show like many of the comics of the 1970s, though—this series is violent, sometimes gory and full of adult language (more so in the second and third volumes; it feels as if both try to outdo each other in this).

The original story came from manga, so I can't fault the anime for glaring holes in the story logic. Mind you, the third disc says this is a prequel, so I'm not so sure that excuse still applies...

The basic story sees Joseph Joestar coming to rescue his grandson Jotaro from prison. Jotaro thinks he is possessed by an evil spirit. In reality, he has the powers of an astral spirit in his control, an ability called a Stand.

In the second adventure, his Stand earns a name (Star Platinum), and an assassin sent to eliminate him and his grandfather becomes an ally instead. In the third adventure, another hired assassin joins them. That seems to make the entire team, as no other assassins join them in the second disc. They now become a group of five (grandfather Joseph/Hermit Purple, his Indian aid Avdol/Magician's Red, Jotaro/Star Platinum, Noriaki Kakyoin/Hierophant Green and Jean Pierre Polnareff/Silver Chariot), with the intent to kill a vampire who has plagued the Joestar family for 100 years, Dio.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Vol. 1
Super Techno Arts, 2003
Originally released in 1996
90 minutes

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Vol. 2
Super Techno Arts, 2003
Originally released in 1996
60 minutes

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Vol. 3
Super Techno Arts, 2003
Originally released in 1996
60 minutes

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In the two adventures on the third disc the mother of the Hanged Man N-Yah tries to get revenge on the heroes for his death. There's a surprise in the adventures I won't spoil for you, but think of Sherlock Holmes at Richtenbach Falls. There are some gross-out bits in the adventures here though, like Polnareff licking a dirty toilet. There's also a character who appears on the third disc; unless she appears in a return bit on future episodes, she was just a throwaway attempt to be gross, and one who made no sense here either.

An interesting thing about Stands: they don't all appear as humanoid beings. Hermit Purple appears as a set of vines around Joseph Joestar's hand, and provides psychic visions. Another appears as a gun in the second disc, and as a mist in the third.

There is another element of the series: this is the third of a generational character set. Four Joestars have fought different evils. This JoJo is the third one in the manga.

This series is equal parts gothic horror, fighting manga like Fist of the North Star, and the superheroics of Marvel Comics. As a series, it has developed a cult following—smaller than that of Dragon Ball, but still a good sized following.
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