As we all prepare for the final adventure of Giorno Giovanna and Golden Wind with the upcoming fifth season's finale, we have to take a step back and look at just how different the series of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has become. Originally created by Hirohiko Araki, the series itself started with a story entitled "Phantom Blood", revolving around Jonathan Joestar and a figurative snake that has slithered its way into his family. Dio Brando, the villain of our picture, makes it his life's goal to destroy the Joestar family and decides to gain power in the best way he knows how: become a vampire!
Obviously, this first season, as well as the second in the form of Battle Tendency, is far FAR different than the ones that came after, starting specifically with season three, Stardust Crusaders. Each season follows a different generation of Joestars but the first two revolved around Jonathan and Joseph Joestar, two vampire hunters who harnessed the power of the "ripple" with no Stands to be found. The ripple was a strange ability that the Joestar family could use to produce an energy that was nearly identical to that of the sun, making for a perfect vampire killer.
So why the switch from a story revolving around vampires and ripples to seasons that focused on Stands? An interview with the publication AnimeLand back in 2003 with Araki went into his ideas behind both the styles of the seasons and the origins of these specific themes:
"AnimeLand: How did the idea of the "Ripple" and then "Stand" come to you?
Hirohiko Araki: For the Ripple, the idea was that of an indirect force, a force striking from a distance like in the water for instance: if I hit the surface of a calm water, I indirectly affect the surroundings thanks to the residual ripple. For its part, the Stand is something a Westerner may find difficult to envision. It finds its origin in Shintoism: the spiritual essence of our ancestors protects us, in fact each and everyone of us is permanently protected. Without being a Shintoist myself, I know the Japanese culture and philosophy well for being born into it, so I am influenced by them in my creative work."
As the series continued past the first two seasons, Araki recognized a need to physically demonstrate the abilities of both the heroes and the villains. With vampires and ripples, the series was somewhat hamstrung in just how "bonkers" it could be. While certainly Dio, Cars, and the Pillarmen made for fantastic villains, you'd be hard pressed to find something as ingenious as the designs and powers of some of the Stands featured in the later seasons. Araki's love of shintoism, which incorporated the idea that your "ancestors were always beside you" translated into the creation of Stands.
Now, with Stardust Crusaders and the subsequent seasons, a hero or villain's powers and abilities could be displayed physically through this ethereal figure laying dormant inside each character. A ripple and/or vampiric abilities just can't compare to a time skipping antagonistic Stand like King Crimson after all. Thus JoJo's Bizarre Adventure became the series which focused on Stands and Araki continues to attempt to create entirely new Stands with new abilities and ridiculous names.
What do you think of the differences between the early seasons of JoJo's Bizarre Adventures and those that followed? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and Stands!4comments
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind is the fifth part of Hirohiko Araki's series, and follows Giorno Giovanna, the son of former series villain Dio Brando, as he joins the mafia group Passione in order to change and reform them into reputable thieves and crooks from the inside. The anime adaptation premiered last October, and can be currently found streaming on Crunchyroll.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure was originally created by Hirohiko Araki for Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump in 1987. Currently the second longest running series in the magazine with over 100 volumes collected, the series tells the story of the Joestar family, who are each entwined in a destiny battling outrageous foes. The series has been split up into eight parts, with each part following a different generation of the Joestar family.