Whew, it’s been a while since we’ve talked Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure here at Geekenstein, so let’s play some catchup, eh? When we last left off, Jotaru and crew had been dealing with Enya’s 6 Stand users and were still on their way to Egypt and their ultimate matchup: Dio. Unfortunately this batch of episodes started getting a little bit dull and repetitive for me and resulted in more mundane ‘monster-of-the-week’ storytelling. There’s nothing wrong with that, and it still held up the ‘bizarre’ standing we’ve all come to expect from the Jojo brand, but it seemed to pad the story rather than add much drama or motivation. The final batch of episodes certainly helped hype up a new cour starting in January, but the bits in-between all of that left me wanting more.
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure has always been absurd and well, bizarre. Like I already said, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure still has that in spades, but Stardust Crusaders cranks it to 11 and almost to 12. When they hit 12, like having a cargo ship, or an entire ocean becoming a Stand, your sense of disbelief needs to be checked and think “is this too far?” For me, it kind of is. I didn’t hate watching week-to-week the antics and tribulations Jotaru, Joseph Jostar, Polnareff, and the rest, but I did have to give a slight frustrated groan when convenient plot twists and characters popped up and helped fill in the blanks that Hirohiko Araki has intentionally left that way to fill in later. Without too much spoiler, one character fakes his death, and they rest of the group refuses to let another know because ‘it would cause the enemy to know they were alive’. Yeah, that really happens, and I know I’m being snarky and critical as it does make sense and they explain it thoroughly, but looking back subjectively, that’s absolutely a horribly dumb tactic.
For days and days, the team was struggling to survive, and they have a relatively fresh or recovering team member that they can’t have as a reserve because they’re recuperating? It was such a silly revelation and the episodes surrounding it felt more like filler than general adaptation. Anyway, enough bellyaching about a 20+ year old story, as Stardust Crusaders is still an incredibly fun ride as long as you try and not think too hard about it all. I realize that saying ‘turn your brain off’ to watch a series might demoralize or lessen a series impact, but come on, it’s Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, you need to realize bizarre and craziness is around every corner in this series. There are still moments that show the comedic side of Hirohiko Amaki’s writing, like Joseph Joestar constantly screaming ‘oh my god’ in poor “Engrish” during certain scenes. Not to mention, the fact there is a Stand that can take shape of anything it wishes; it provides some comical, ludicrous moments.
I don’t mean to be so hard on Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Stardust Crusaders, as it was a splendid 2014 anime, and we can rest easy knowing Hirohiko Araki’s brilliance and storytelling will return January 2015. Jojo’s Bizare Adventure is a perfect series for newcomers, veterans, or someone just wanting to watch something that’s out of this world yet still enjoyable and entertaining. January 2015 holds the next cours to finish off the story of Jotaru and the Stands, but the wait until then will be hard. Luckily a bevy of shows are coming this fall season that should tide you over until the bizarreness returns. As always, Crunchyroll is your go-to for Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure episodes, and Geekenstein is the go-to for more anime reviews from the summer 2014 season. I’ve got a lot lined up, and prepared for the next two weeks, so keep your eye on the front page and anime tab as the summer season nears its climax!