Monday, May 26, 2014

Manga Review 3

Well, I've certainly talked about it enough times. Time to go into a bit more detail about one of my all time favorite manga: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure.
Strap in kids, because it's time to get weird
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure was first published way back in 1986, and it's continued to this day. Since its initial publication, there have been a total of eight major arcs, with the eighth currently ongoing; each arc covers a different character who is a part of the same bloodline. To try to summarize all eight arcs would be both extremely difficult and inevitably give away spoilers, so I'll do my best to give the general overview of things:

The story begins in the 1880s in Great Britain and centers on one Jonathan Joestar, the heir to the very wealthy Joestar family. Though somewhat spoiled and naive, Jonathan is nonetheless a very kind and polite boy who is particularly opposed to bullying of any kind. His life changes one day when another boy named Dio Brando arrives to live with the Joestar family due to a promise by by Jonathan's father to Dio's. Though Dio gives the impression of being a very charming and friendly individual, he makes it clear to Jonathan that he is thoroughly cruel, manipulative, and above all, determined to replace Jonathan as the next heir to the Joestar fortune.

Jump ahead a few years and the two appear to have gotten over their initial conflict as boys, though Dio still secretly plots to obtain the Joestar fortune. This plot involves the use of a mysterious stone mask that was obtained by the Joestar family; it appears to react to coming into contact with blood by extruding spikes out of the back of it, presumably into the skull of the wearer. What follows uncovers the dark truth of the stone mask and forever changes the fate of the Joestar family, plunging the lives of all of its members into conflict for many years to come.

The manga is both very well written and illustrated; although the art is somewhat flawed near the start of the series, it quickly develops into a very unique style that compliments the bizarre but engaging story. There is an absolutely huge cast of characters, and for the most part they are very entertaining to watch; each has a very unique personality and their interactions with one another are always fun in one way or another. Additionally, each arc is notably very different from each other, with the setting, characters (for the most part), and the nature of the conflicts constantly changing in a way that manages to provide new and interesting material without ever seeming out of place.

While certainly a very odd series, it is without a doubt one I can recommend to just about anyone, particularly anyone looking for some good action from a unique perspective. Additionally, with the recent production of an anime series (a 26 episode first season covering the first two arcs, and a currently ongoing second season covering the third arc), I would say that it is very easy to get into without necessarily having to read all of the considerably long manga to get up to date, though I would definitely still recommend checking out the manga at some point.

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