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AKA: ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 (JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken)
Genre: Fighting action
Length: OAV, 9 episodes, 30 minutes each
Distributor: R1 DVD from Super Techno Arts
Content Rating: R (graphic violence, brief nudity, profanity)
Related Series: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure (TV), Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood
Also Recommended: Fatal Fury, Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge, Street Fighter II The Animated Movie
Notes: Based on the manga by Hirohiko Araki.

The final three episodes of this series (produced in 2001 as "New Jojo's Bizarre Adventure") are actually a prologue, and are released as the first three episodes in the North American release.

This review is for the original 1993 OAV series; the 2012 TV remake will be covered separately.
Rating: Three StarsThree StarsThree Stars

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure

Synopsis

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure is based off of a long running manga in Japan. These six episodes start off at a point in which the focus of the manga shifts from Joseph Joestar to Jotaro, his grandson. This anime follows the adventures of Jotaro and company as they battle their way through Northern Africa to save Jotaro's mother, whose life seems to depend on whether or not they find and defeat an evil entity named Dio. The main characters all have powers associated with either an Egyptian God or one of the Tarot Cards, called stands, and these powers allow them to send forth and fight with a psychic manifestation of said card or god. (Hey, it makes for some funky fighting scenes!)


Review

Please note when I first saw this I had never read the manga and the video game was only available in select arcades in the US. I later had a chance to play the game on my Playstation, thus gaining further understanding of the storyline. I still haven't read the manga, (although I've heard it's quite good) and a second OAV series has been released as the prologue to the six episodes I have seen.

As a stand-alone (snicker), it features a disjointed storyline, as you are swept from one episode to another without exactly being explained how they got from point A to point B. Case in point: after episode two, where they finish off a stand user in the desert, episode three starts the team off in an Egyptian bar and a wounded member apparently got shipped to a hospital in the process, without informing the viewer about how and when... Oh well.

Thankfully, the characters all have personality, which is great! The anime, however, really only focuses on Jotaro, as if the other characters had already experienced growth and require no *new* experiences. They are, in fact, quite disposable as you shall witness, if you get the chance to watch this. The bad guys are done well (especially Darby! I hope he never had to play cards with Prince Rain from Dragoon!), although they tend to be a little bit cliched when they are about to be defeated. N'dool's death scene was a little too long ... "all I ever wanted in life was to be a *oofff* pizza boy delivering to all the happ-y *ugh* customers in *huff puff* the neighborhood ... y'know ... seeing their smiling faces as they *huff* gave me a tip for *wheeze* a job well done ... but I took the wrong path ... the path of *wheeze* darkness ... but I don't feel *cough cough* any regret, for I have enjoyed this existence ... like the time I *ugh* gave my little brother a wedgie *heave* and--" JUST DIE ALREADY YOU MORON!!!

The animation quality is rather drab and colorless at times, and completely still in some scenes, which can be exasperating after five minutes of hard-core fast action ... i'ts kinda like running a marathon, stopping completely after a couple of minutes, and continuing ... you lose your concentration that way! The plot would be more interesting of course, if they explained *why* they are in a desert to begin with! --and you will wonder what that sacrifice scene with the Mayans (?) at the beginning of each episode has to do with the story (unless, of course you've read the manga). And Jotaro's "ora ora ora" and Dio's "muda muda muda" dialogue will get old fast! At times a whole five to seven minutes are dedicated to hearing both of them moan at each other! Give me a break! (A mute button comes in handy for such scenes.)

But overall, despite its shortcomings, it does deliver a pretty good story, with more believable fighting scenes than say, Dragon Ball, so its a decent watch if you've got the time for it. Not excellent by a long shot, though.

If you are still interested in what you've missed from their adventures, you may want to rent the JoJo's fighting game and play the story mode ... you'll find out what the anime's missing.

It's average...not too bad, not too good...fast forward through the intro to each episode to avoid confusion!Eric Gaede

Recommended Audience: When these people fight, they bleed, and they die, too ... sometimes hideously! And the sacrifice scene in the intro shows brief frontal nudity, so you may want to use a little discretion.



Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub
Review Status: Partial (6/9)
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure © 1993 Hirohiko Araki / Lucky Land Communications / Shueisha / APPP
 
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