I first began my very own bizarre adventure with the JoJo franchise back in 2015 (only 29 years after its manga first debuted, so, you know, not that late to the party). And, while I wasn’t immediately hooked by the anime adaptation of part one, Phantom Blood, with each new instalment in the anime series, I found myself more and more invested in the franchise. Ironically, what first turned me off of the series, its ugly character designs (I like my men elf-like and willowy, but these guys had muscles on top of their muscles) and unbelievable plot twists, became the exact reasons why I love it most.
2019 saw the conclusion of part five, Golden Wind’s, anime adaptation, and, since completing it, I can say that I’m more in love with the JoJo franchise than ever! Golden Wind was the first part that I was able to watch as it aired, and I had so much fun doing so! It truly is a whole other experience, watching something as it airs, as opposed to marathoning it in one go! Call me crazy, but I adored being left on tenterhooks, wondering how the members of Passione would get themselves out of trouble this time. I also loved getting to see other JoJo fans react (in real time) to the scenes that they’d been waiting to see animated for years (like the torture dance or the seven page muda). It felt like I was watching a piece of the franchise’s history unfold right before my very eyes…
In fact, it actually felt like a privilege, to me, a newcomer to the world of JoJo, to share in the collective euphoria of long-time fans. Actually, if not for the macho-macho men or its self-proclaimed bizarreness, this would be my favourite thing about the JoJo franchise: just how passionate its fans are. I love their tendency to want to share JoJo with every man, woman, and child they come across (there’s no gate-keeping in this community), to turn even the smallest details of the show into hilarious memes, and to generate their own JoJo-inspired content. I truly believe that it’s the passion of these fans that has turned JoJo into the cultural phenomenon that it is today. JoJo’s influence can be seen in the most bizarre of places, from the clothes you wear, to the coffee you drink.
And the fandom is just so nice. Every time I’ve had a question about the anime or the manga, they’ve been there, tripping over themselves, to answer it. Like, is it possible to launch something from a volcano into space (like Joseph did in part two)? Long story short, it is not. Or, why does everybody hate Joshu? Because he’s a skeez with dumb hair. And if not for another fan bringing its going on sale to my attention, I would never have bought myself a digital copy of Eyes of Heaven at such a low, low price.
It’s for these reasons that I can honestly say that this is the most fun I’ve had being part of an anime fandom since my Naruto phase almost a decade ago!