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Part 2: Battle Tendency

Battle Tendency takes place 50 years after Phantom Blood and tells the story of Joseph Joestar and the origin of the stone mask. This part is probably where Jojo finds its footing. It is still one of my favorite parts and has one of my favorite Jojos. It improves on part 1 in nearly every way and starts moving towards the style of later parts while still retaining many of the aspects that made Jojo’s unique.

Part 2 succeeds mostly because of its characters. Joseph is a much more interesting protagonist than Jonathan. He is funny and clever but still strong and brave. His battles become a contest of wits rather than two guys wailing on each other with crazy powers. All of the supporting characters are also developed very well and although the new villains are not as interesting as Dio, they are still very fun to watch. All in all, it makes for a part with great battles and very entertaining characters that still tells an interesting story and retains of all of the positive aspects from part 1.

Of the few problems that could be said about part 2, the biggest is probably the strong focus on Joseph. He can certainly carry the series by himself but it sometimes feels as if the other characters don’t get to shine as much. Another complaint could be about the part’s short length. Perhaps if it was longer, the other characters would have been able to do more. Those are minor complaints however and this part really shows one of the Jojo trends of Araki improving on the previous part’s flaws with every subsequent part.

Spoilers after the break.

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Part 1: Phantom Blood

Jojo’s first part is perhaps its weakest, but bad for Jojo is still better than most of the crap out there. Phantom Blood tells a relatively simple story. When his father passes away, Dio Brando is adopted as the brother of the rich English gentleman Jonathan Joestar. However, unbeknownst to Jonathan and his father George, Dio is plotting to take Jonathan’s place as the favored son and steal the Joestar family fortune! Of course, as a shounen story, this leads to much more punching than that description would imply.

Phantom Blood excels primarily on the strength of the relationship between the protagonist and the antagonist. Despite Jonathan being a very simple character and Dio being a fairly unsympathetic villain, few other shounen manga establish a strong connection between the hero and the villain and that serves to both make them memorable characters as well as increase the drama surrounding the events of the series. That is one of the reasons why Dio is such a beloved character. He has a constant physical and emotional presence, something that most shounen villains lack.

This part’s primary weakness is its length, leaving little time for character or plot development outside what happens at the start. From then on, it becomes a series of fights which are easily outclassed by the fights in all other parts. Its weakest point is around the middle, between the interesting backstory and the surprising climax. However, it is a classic good versus evil story that sets up the events for all other parts. Good, not great, Phantom Blood is Jojo’s simplest part.

Spoilers after the break.

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Thoughts on Bizarre Adventures

Last season was the conclusion of the first part of the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure anime adaptation (covering the first two parts of the series). Having been interested in the series for a while I decided to watch it. With its over the top violence, flamboyant poses, nonsensical and constantly changing color schemes, and cheesy but strangely well-developed characters named after bands, it’s hard to tell if Araki is a genius or a lunatic. What I’m trying to get at is that I loved the show and decided to read the manga, so I have been feverishly reading and researching Jojo-related things for the past few weeks.

Having just finished part 5 (and having heard of its many problems), I felt like I must have missed something. I was stunned at how much my opinion differed from many others. So, at a friend’s suggestion, I have decided to post my thoughts on each part as I finish them to share what I like about them and maybe learn what others think as well. So, if you have any interest in in Jojo, stay tuned over the next few weeks as I complete my bizarre adventure.

Rachel's Blogothing: The Inevitable Skyward Sword Post


I talked about doing this for a long time because I really wanted to structure and organise why I thought Skyward Sword was a flawed Zelda but, like most people who will see or read this, I didn’t really care. What changed? dunno, just bored and procrastinating on actual work I guess.

Note that…

The inevitable reblog.

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