Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure was, for me, the anime/manga that really got me into anime. As many of you, I was introduced to the Japanese animation with Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon, Ranma 1/2, and years later, Death Note.
Although, my love for Death Note was incredible; before that, I thought all the Japanese anime and manga was about a guy or a woman fighting powerful enemies, and yeah, Death Note changed that idea my mind had carved, but it didn’t help me become an anime fan. Ironically, it wasn’t until years later that a lot of people—and I mean it, A LOT OF PEOPLE—spoke highly of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (an anime about fighting) on the internet; forums and anime websites put the series on a pedestal that made me curious.
Let’s skip the boring story about me becoming an anime fan. Let’s answer to the title. Who is the worst Jojo?
- Jonathan Joestar (Phantom Blood)
- Joseph Joestar (Battle Tendency)
- Jotaro Kujo (Stardust Crusaders)
- Josuke Higashikata (Diamond is Unbreakable)
- Giorno Giovanna (Golden Wind)
- Jolyne Kujo (Stone Ocean)
And just to clarify, I haven’t seen or read part seven or eight, and I don’t intend to. So this post only counts parts one through six. Steel Ball Run and Jojolion are out!
Every time someone has a discussion about “the worst Jojo”, most answers aim at Jonathan, the first Jojo. From a perspective, it is understandable, he is the first, and the author didn’t have the most awesome ideas like he does today. The magic called Hamon that was brilliantly used until Battle Tendency was good (the way it was used was genius), but it had its limits. And as for the story and character, we have the story of Jonathan, a goody-two-shoes that didn’t know how to fight and is a true gentleman, and villain that turns into a bizarre version of a vampire; the arc focuses in the rivalry between both and that’s it. The protagonist grows/develops really quick, he beat Dio down in the very first episode, when he was still a human. Dracula with esteroids.
Sometimes, a good idea is not put into words/manga/television as it meant to be. The studios have the power to change things before being aired or printed. It is a business, so they’re going to look for money, and the last thing they want to do is take risks with a new intellectual property. There are many reasons why the final product ends up different than the author’s original idea. I am not sure this is the reason Phantom Blood is “slow” (compared to the following arcs, because it is faster than other anime/manga series). But its originality, when you take in count that the arc is supposed to be a vampire story, with an over-the-top b-action movie, it is enough to make up for and ignore the weaknesses. Also, Jonathan, even though it happens too fast, the character grows; there’s a development in him…
At this point, we all know how the arcs in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure are divided, right? Every arc has a descendant from the previous Joestar. Phantom Blood features Jonathan, Battle Tendency features Jonathan’s grandson, Joseph. Stardust Crusaders Joseph’s grandson, Jotaro. And it goes on… with a few twists; let’s just say that even the Family Tree goes bizarre starting from part four.
Most of the protagonists have a lot of charisma, even Jotaro, the “bad” guy that has everything calculated and under control. He doesn’t change much during his arc (Stardust Crusaders) and the following in which he appears as a side character (Diamond is Unbreakable, Vento Aureo, Stone Ocean); but he’s a fan favorite for a reason, and we see some heart in the guy during his last appearance in the series.
So, he’s not even close to be the worst Jojo. I don’t know about you, but as much as I tried, and as much as the author had wanted VERY HARD to make the following Jojo important, just because he came from one of the most iconic characters from the series, a meme-lord, and the first villain. The whole Vento Aureo was more like a spin-off that would have been mediocre at best without Bucciarati and the other characters.
Giorno Giovanna is the worst Jojo. There’s no personality. There’s nothing that stands out other than the “revelation” of him being Dio’s son, a revelation that makes NO DIFFERENCE in the story. Just because a character is a 1/2 (if you’re a fan, you know what I mean by the “1/2”) descendant of an iconic character, DOES NOT make this new character a good character.
I am not sure, but starting from Vento Aureo, Araki had no idea what to do with the series. We need to admit, though, that he did a brilliant job with the stands; weird powers emanating from each, making all the fights based on strategy and intelligence rather than “power levels”. This is another thing that bugs me about Giorno; when he’s got the fight versus Bruno Bucciarati, his Stand, Golden Experience, was formally introduced, and it was weak, he punched Bruno’s face and it didn’t hurt him; however, he realized that he’d thought everything around him went slower, but when Golden Experience had touched him his mind worked faster, and that’s why he’d seen everything moving slower. Honestly, it is an interesting power, too broken, but genuinely interesting. Well, it seems Araki forgot about it because we never see that again; Golden Experience is still able to create life, and that’s it; even that ability to return the damage is gone for good.
As a character, he is just there, coming up with ideas out of nowhere most of the time. Indeed, there were situations where it was well applied, one example of a good use of his Stand was that episode when he turned several cars into frogs to confuse the enemy. Unfortunately, most of the times Giovanna is a living Deus Ex Machina. Especially in the final “battle”. This is where it got worse.
Diavolo is a villain that remains hidden until the very last few episodes. He is the leader of Passione and it is understandable to remain unknown. It makes that villain intimidating, and he is even more when you see it the first time as Doppio. You realize the guy is insane, his double personality disorder making him an unpredictable threat. And this is not even the beginning; his Stand, King Crimson, has the ability to see the future, erase time and move trough the erased part. One person as a Jojo fan, after the brilliantly done fight in part four of Josuke versus Kira, is expecting another with a better intensity level, or similar at least. I insist, Giorno Giovanna is a Deus Ex Machina. He arrived at the final showdown just to kill Diavolos once (get it?) immediately. The episode just took the time to make that arrow get in Giorno’s hands, but nothing else happened. We got this scene of Diavolos trying to use his Stand against the protagonist, and then, with the power of the arrow, Giorno’s Stand evolved to Golden Experience Requiem and countered King Crimson’s power. That’s it. No fight, only an overpowered character defeating the final boss; a Deus Ex Machina.
We all can agree that Jotaro got a new ability out of nowhere, indeed; the difference, again, is that AT LEAST we got a fight. Bland one, maybe, but A FIGHT! Giorno just arrived at the scene to defeat Diavolo.
Giorno Giovanna is a mediocre character. Giorno Giovanna is the worst Jojo.
Feel free to share your thoughts with me!