“The reason you lost is because you pissed me off.” -Jotaro Kujo
When Viz media first announced that they would be releasing the Jojonium versions of parts 1 through 3 of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures, I was immediately ecstatic. Not only are these editions of Hirohiko Araki’s magnum opus presented in beautiful hardcover volumes, they feature new artwork for the covers as well as phenomenal paper quality and interviews with Araki himself. The big thing however, is that Americans as well as many other English speaking people would finally have a legal and legitimate way to read Jojo’s parts 1 and 2.
For those that are unaware, before the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure anime started in 2012, The series itself had little to no exposure outside of part 3, Stardust Crusaders. Outside of Rohan goes to the louver (A non canon short focusing on the part 4 character Rohan made specifically for the art museum of the same name) nothing of the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure series was ever officially released in America besides Part 3, and many of the materials surrounding it. Partially due to the popularity of the Capcom Arcade game Jojo’s fighting game, publishers saw a possible audience for Jojo’s and released an English dubbed adaptation of the Part 3 OVA, as well as later on releasing a paperback run of the Stardust Crusaders manga.
So why exactly did it take so long for Jojo’s to take off in America and why start at part 3? A lot of the problem comes in the from of Araki’s stubbornness. In interviews, it is blatant that Araki does not like seeing his vision messed with in the slightest and when localizing Jojo’s, many hurdles involving copyrights come into play. Jojo’s itself is riddled with Pop culture references and not shy about it’s musical inspirations and Araki did not one to budge on changing the names of any of his characters just for a western audience.
The Boy’s Are Back
As to why Part 3 was the part to break the language barrier, I feel it more comes down to the fact that part 3 is probably the most approachable and least strange part of them all. Jotaro, the protagonist of part 3, is a very all around easily marketable character versus some of the strange and flamboyant protagonists found in the later parts. I think in that regard most publishers were afraid that audiences outside of Japan might feel it was too weird, and while there are MUCH stranger things coming out of Japan every day than Jojo’s, I think publishers struggled to find who to market it towards.
As part’s go on, Araki’s style gets more and more flamboyant in tone,making it hard to find a perfect way to market the series.
So with that in mind, it’s quite a momentous occasion to find that in 2016, we now have almost 4 parts of the manga adapted into an anime (which is fantastic by the way), which has also just started airing on Toonami of all things, multiple games, and I can now walk into a freaking hot topic of all the thins and buy a Jojo’s T-shirt. But that jsut leaves one thing, the manga. The original material in which all this stuff stems from has been lovingly brought to America in the form of the hard cover jojonium books. While both Parts 1 and 2 have been released in full, it feels almost nostalgic to see the latest release of part 3 in a hard cover format. It feels as though we have come full circle now that part 3 is starting to release.
We’ve come along way from this release
I guess that’s why I wanted to do this write up. Rather then do a review of Jojo’s (It’s been around forever, you should be able to find a million reviews done by people with far better writing talent than that of mine) I wanted to instead look at how far the series has come. For such a successful series in Japan, it’s almost mind boggling to me to find that it has taken this long to come here and I hope in the future we continue to receive releases of the manga as the series is already at 8 parts. the fact that only 3 parts have come to America is a crime, and I hope that Viz continues to do their thing as the first 3 parts have been fantastic in quality so far.I can only hope that my favorite part (part 4) gets a proper translation soon as I don’t need this in my life anymore…
Thanks again to Viz Media for sending me a copy of volume one of Part 3 Stardust crusaders. I apologize for the delay of this post but I wanted to do something special for Jojo’s since it is one of my personal favorite manga series. I’ve been way to busy with school and work, so taking time to write this felt very relaxing.
See you space cowboy