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Do you know what puts the Bizarre into JoJo's Bizarre Adventure in my opinion The strange comedy that may not make you laugh out loud but still makes me smile.
In my first episode review of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, I mentioned how I had certain fears prior to the airing of this anime but those fears were gone when the first episode aired. A big fear of mine was that the anime wouldn't convey the silliness of the manga, but it seems like this episode did just that. Actually that is almost all it did and I loved it.
This season there are a lot of anime with a little Western flavour to them and it is often hard to put JoJo's Bizarre Adventure into the same group. Shocking when you consider that this is the only anime that is actually set in the Occident, but the reason is a lot simpler than you might think; whilst others incorporate some Western influence into the story or soundtrack, JoJo mocks it. We're not talking about a full on attempt to mock English stories but rather a new and highly comedic/entertaining way they are portrayed.
Every little detail of this episode had comedy in it. Whether it was more noticeable like the DUM DUM DUM! moments in the plot where a villain's plan is foiled or the smaller moments like the small nugget of racism from JoJo - "Chinaman, tell me where your kind sell drugs" - it just made the episode enjoyable to watch. The exaggeration of it all is what made it stand out as something funny but at the same time it didn't detract from the story, which as you might have guessed is dated and it did run in the late 1980's so it isn't surprising.
A lot did get accomplished in terms of the story here, consistent with the pace set in the first episode. Going by in a quick yet un-rushed manner we were introduced to Robert E.O Speed Wagon, another name inspired by pop culture, and then the stage was set for a big turning point in the story. I think the pace the series has chosen is quite nice and should be able to cover the first saga of the manga in 13 episodes quite comfortably as it is now going at a half volume per episode pace. If you do feel that this is a little rushed, you're not to blame but do keep in mind that a slower pace would be really boring and that the manga doesn't really go into much detail at times.
There is also a contrast in Dio's character in comparison to the first episode, that is quite important to the series as a whole. Though it may not seem like it, this is necessary for him to develop into the great villain he is at heart, but that cannot be accomplished without any fear of death and the narrow escape that the classicaly good villain must pull off.
All I can say is, much like what the anime is doing, people should just have fun watching this anime. It isn't a series to be taken seriously, especially now that they have introduced the hyper-muscular bodies and signature stances.
After an opening episode that veered between serious and comic, episode two of JoJo s Bizarre Adventure sets a darker tone for the rest of the series.
The first episode of this adaptation has been, in my eyes, a rather mixed affair. I had heard a little about JoJo s Bizarre Adventure, and I had hoped to have a strong introduction to a series that has made a such a great impression on anime culture. This contributed to my mostly negative view of episode one, which I felt needed a more consistent tone. However, episode two manages to save the series in my mind, creates intrigue in an anime that lacked some, and establishes its own unique personality.
From the outset, we have the new opening sequence. Following the previous cold opening, this launches us into the mood and style of this series. The cell-shaded animations recreate the events of episode one, with a few action pieces that sit between the Dragon Ball Budokai games and Borderlands. The tone is set for the episode and, unlike the first, this episode seems to follow the mood set by the introduction.
JoJo seems to have beefed up since the seven year time skip, becoming something of a walking iceberg. Dio, in the meantime, has installed himself as JoJo s poisonous best friend acting kind while actively seeking to destroy his rival s life. Dio has become more subtle in the seven years, and is now able to hide the fact that he is evil by, well, not kicking dogs every five seconds. JoJo is still a bit na ve for a man his size, but now he has developed the mental faculties to discover Dio s plots. His trip to Ogre Street, a totally authentic London back alley, shows how he has matured into a kind of pacifist warrior.
It is the events of Ogre Street that start to introduce the intentionally bizarre elements of the titular adventure. JoJo is set upon by unusual thugs, led by a man who calls himself Speedwagon. Speedwagon, apart from being named after a classic rock band, happens to sport a rather dapper bladed hat that is somewhat useful as a weapon. The fact that it floats around in patterns seems to set it apart from Oddjob s relatively simple bowler hat. Thankfully, JoJo doesn t have to fight Speedwagon for long his gentlemanly kick convinces Speedwagon that he s a decent bloke, and SW calls off his gang from doing whatever they were thinking of doing in the first place.
Like I suspected last episode, the mask becomes the most intriguing element of this episode. Dio hopes to use it as a murder weapon after his poisoning scheme get foiled. Being one step beyond the average villain, he decides to test out the mask in order to discover whether it really can kill someone. Then the purpose of the mask becomes clear it isn t a torture device, but a way of turning people into vampires. Who knew
The episode seems to be building towards another confrontation between JoJo and Dio, similar to the one at the end of the first episode. As a protagonist, it seems like JoJo has a lot a character development sandwiched together, and early into this series as well. JoJo has matured over a period of seven years, but by leaving those seven years out, his sudden confidence in fighting may appear unusual. However, the series seems to be shaping up to be a classic FotNS style romp. Now the tone and mood are set, I can happily look forward to the next episode of this series.