Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Supernatural, Shonen
Age-Appropriateness: 15+ (Violence, some gore, profanity, brief partial nudity)
Platforms: Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll
TheAwersome Rating: 7.9 / 10 (So very much everything all the time)
Premise: In 1868, Dario Brando saves the life of an English nobleman, George Joestar. By taking in Dario’s son Dio when the boy becomes fatherless, George hopes to repay the debt he owes to his savior. Dio, unsatisfied with his station in life, aspires to seize the Joestar house for his own. Wielding an Aztec stone mask with supernatural properties, he sets out to destroy George and his son, Jonathan “JoJo” Joestar, and triggers a chain of events that will continue to echo through the years to come.
TheAwersome’s Thoughts: While that’s technically the premise up there, it doesn’t begin to explain at all what Jojo’s IS. Jojo’s is an extremely over-the-top presentation of a lot of dramatic, sexy-posing men, and it is a beautiful thing. As far as animation goes, it feels like something between an animatic and a fully animated feature. A lot of the “feel” of the manga is retained, especially noted with the Katakana “sound effects” on certain frames (think the equivalent of Adam West’s Batman TV series including the “Bam!” “Piff!” words, etc.). Color scheme will frequently go psychedelic when someone is in deep thought or coming to a dramatic realization. Between the dramatic dialogue and narration, it almost feels like listening to an old-timey Radio show a la Lone Ranger.
Another key identifying aspect of Jojo’s is the ever-present references to Classic Rock. In Part 1 alone we have characters named Robert E. O. Speedwagon, a duo named Dire and Straitzo, and Zepelli. Part 2 gives us such gems as Esidisi, Santaana, and Loggins.
TLDR: A truly melodramatic experience far stranger and different than anything you’ve seen before, in which anything goes.
While you might have previously had no idea what “Jojo’s” is, if you’ve been on the internet in the last decade you have not been immune to its influence. Perhaps most notable is the “To Be Continued” meme, which originated with the ending of each episode into the ED which features “Roundabout” by the band “Yes.”
That and the poses. Land sakes the poses.
I can definitely understand not “getting” or being able to get into this show. It’s extremely over the top in a very old-timey comic book/80’s Saturday Morning cartoon kind of way. Dramatic dialogue and monologue are very common, as are varying tropes of what it means to be a “true man,” a “true warrior,” a “true gentleman,” etc. There’s also a good handful of random “power-ups” that either save the day or make the enemy that much more threatening that come out of nowhere, so you have to remind yourself that this is about the Experience™ and not really the plot. That being said, it does pull in the surprise feelings here and there.