With the arrival of the third story arc of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Stardust Crusaders, we were introduced to the idea of Stands and Stand battles that have made the franchise so popular among anime fans, but we would be remiss if we didn't revisit the insanity of the first arc of the series in Phantom Blood. Introducing us to the first protagonist of the series in the Joestar clan, Jonathan Joestar was a stalwart hero who used some new found powers to take the fight directly to Dio Brando, his former friend who wanted the Joestar wealth for himself.
What did you think of the first season of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure? Could you ever see the series returning to a time where Stands aren't the main focus? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and the world of the Joestars!
It Was A Family Affair
The first few episodes of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure were most definitely absent of Stands, but were also absent of the idea of vampires and Hamon, the energy that was used by Jonathan in his bid to stop the nightmarish reign of Dio Brando. Instead, what we witnessed was Dio's insane attempts to take the Joestar fortune by slandering Jonathan's good name, punting his dog into a garbage burner to burn it alive, and even going so far as to kiss Jon's girlfriend to be the "first kiss she ever had". It's in this opening salvo that we see just how deliciously evil Dio was, long before he became a vampire.prevnext
Hamon Replaced Stands
Jonathan Joestar never got his own Stand, when he was alive anyway, instead vying to learn how to harness the mythical energy known as "Hamon". The energy was the perfect foil to vampires, managing to kill most of the blood suckers that it was used against. With the power being centered around the user's breath, battles would normally play out so that the villains would attempt to find a way to steal Jon's breath in their fight. As both vampires were pushed aside and Stands became the focus of the franchise, Hamon went the way of the dinosaurs, used once or twice in Stardust Crusaders by Joseph Joestar.prevnext
The Victorian Era
The likes of Stardust Crusaders, Diamond Is Unbreakable, and Golden Wind mostly took place in eras considered "modern", where they focused on the regular world and the basic level of technology that we know today, but Phantom Blood taking place in the late 1800s gave everything a far different feel. The clothing, mannerisms, and overall aesthetic of the first season because of this does feel far different from everything that comes after it, with even the story of Jonathan's grandson, Joseph, taking place during the era of World War 2.prevnext
Remember When Dio Could Freeze People?
We're not talking about when he could freeze time using the power of the Stand dubbed "The World", which he may have inherited from the Joestars by taking over Jonathan's body, but the time when he could literally freeze anything he touched and encase it in ice. Acting as a perfect counter attack to Hamon, Dio himself, as a vampire, was able to freeze his opponents, murdering one of the students of the hilariously named TOMPETTY. Interestingly enough, he never used this ability during Stardust Crusaders in his fight against Jotaro and company, though this could be because of his new body or simply because the World's time freeze was more than enough.prevnext
Fights Were Far Different
Stand Battles in themselves are battles of wit between two combatants whose inner power is manifested by beings that "stand beside them", and while Phantom Blood did base its battles around the idea of matching intellects of opponents against one another, but usually pitting hamon against vampirism. Jonathan Joestar's fights against Dio and his minions would usually have the protagonist finding new ways to incorporate his energy power into the environment around him, and do a service to the franchise as a whole in establishing how battles, Stand or otherwise, would play out.prev