In this week’s Import Report, we’ll be taking a look at a series that is literally a legend among the anime community. I’ll give you a few hints. It has vampires, ghosts with super powers, and super fabulous men. If the last one didn’t tip you off, then I’m pretty disappointed. Anyways, this week’s series is Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure! However, before that, we’d like to remind you that this is a bi-monthly column which will be looking into anything from Japan that deserves (or at least people think deserves) to be localized outside of Japan. At the end of the article, I’ll give the series a rank based on its chances of localization. The rankings will go from zero to three:
- 0: No chances
- 1: Slight chances
- 2: Moderate chances
- 3: Extremely likely
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is a shounen manga series created by Hirohiko Araki. The series was first published in 1986 in Weekly Shounen Jump. The series is one of the longest running manga series and contains 8 parts. Think of each part as a season. Each part contains a different protagonist, but all of them share one common similarity: the fact being that they are all members of the Joestar family and go by the name of Jojo.
The series first follows the story of Jonathan Joestar, the son of a British aristocrat. One day, his father adopts the son of the man that supposedly “saved his life.” The adopted son goes by the name of Dio Brando, and although he is accepted into the Joestar family as one of their own, his intent is clear that he plans on taking over it through any means possible. After coming into possession of an ancient stone mask, Dio transcends humanity and turns into a vampire. Jonathan Joestar learns the teachings of a martial art style known as the “Ripple” in order to defeat and punish his supernatural-turned rival.
Each part of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure goes by a different name. Here is their chronological order: Phantom Blood, Battle Tendency, Stardust Crusaders, Diamond Is Unbreakable, Golden Wind, Stone Ocean, Steel Ball Run, and Jojolion. The series received multiple anime adaptations. Stardust Crusaders received an OVA in the 1990s, while Phantom Blood received a movie adaptation that premiered on the 20th anniversary for the series. David Productions is currently adapting the entire series into an anime, and are currently up to Part 3.
Localization Rank: 2
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is another one of those series where I’m really puzzled about localizations. On one hand, the fan base is quite large, even outside Japan. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle will be getting released this Fall, and the manga for Stardust Crusaders has already been released. However, here’s the part that makes me unsure about the anime being localized: the series makes heavy references towards Western pop culture. There are characters named after bands like AC/DC, Green Day, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Because of stuff like this, the localizing companies had to change the names of characters in both the video game and manga. If the anime were to arrive in North America, the Japanese dub would most likely be excluded from it, which would displease many people in the Jojo fan-base.
Depending on how things go with the sales for the video game, we might see Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure in the West a lot sooner than we think. Rumor has it a localization is already in the works. However, like I said, it’s just a rumor. If you’re interested in giving the anime a try, you can watch it on Crunchyroll. They’ve recently obtained the simulcast rights for Stardust Crusaders, and they’re also in the process of uploading the past episodes for the first season.