Posted on 22 May 2014 with categories: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure

This is where this arc gets weird. We’re still in adventure modus, however in these two episodes Jotaro not only meets some of the most bizarre Stand users, it’s also done in the most camp way possible. You can see a clear difference with the first two seasons of Jojo: there it was all about the ridiculous poses that the characters made. This season is all about poker faces: the most ridiculous things happening and the characters don’t even flinch.

Or take for example the point where, just after defeating a stand and being left in a small boat, one of the characters decides to comb his hair to get it in perfect model again. Jotaro gets stabbed in the shoulder by a giant fan and doesn’t even seem to feel it, or just lights up a cigarette or whatever (censoring THAT? Really?), or coming up with the most ridiculously cool plans like it’s nothing.

And then we have this giant horny ape that controls an entire container ship. Jojo is always about contrasts: combining two huge opposites with each other. This time it’s Jotaro’s pokerface with some completely outrageous stand users.

It’s such a monster of the week, however so far it’s done things right: it’s not boring yet and these two episodes definitely brought in some much-needed variety. I like the adventure part of this series a lot (you hardly see that in modern series anymore: an actual journey). Episode 07 also had some weird horror elements. Overall I liked it a lot.

Posted on 8 May 2014 with categories: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure

Jojo really is not kind to its females. Every time a hint is even dropped to a girl kicking ass here, it comes with this weird plot-twist that undermines any fighting potential of them. In this arc, it’s the rule that says that your stand will kill you if youaren’t strong enough. And so, Joseph’s daughter has turned into a damsel in despair.

This show has a cute little habit that especially became apparent in this third arc: the way in which it points out the obvious. Like for example, a character does something that’s very simple and clear to understand, and then a bystander yells out in overwhelming astonishment literally what just happened for the audience. It gives this touch of cheese to the fights that in these three episodes were very enjoyable to watch.

So yes, enjoyable, but at the same time I also have to be critical: when it comes to the emotional punches delivered in the opening episodes, the third arc of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure so far is the least impressive. It packs less emotional power. As for why… my guess is that this comes down to a few different reasons.

This third arc tells the stories less with its gut, and more with its brains. It reminds me of the overly logical shounen series with ridiculously complicated powers that don’t really amount to anything. It’s not as bad here though, but the first two arcs showed characters who were just thrown into a situation they didn’t understand and were forced to figure out what happened though sheer manliness. Here, characters are already in complete control of their powers and the battles therefore end up revolving around people throwing trump cards around until one of them runs out. That’s also interesting, but different. This doesn’t show the raw emotional power of the first two arcs’ openings, so it will have to deliver in some other way down the line.

Posted on 17 April 2014 with categories: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure

We can never quite get rid of magic fights at a school, now can we, Jojo. Ah well, I forgive it this time, just due to how hilarious it looks seeing these ridiculously bulky men walk around pretending to be high school students. It’s just so over the top, and yet Jojo sets itself apart from the other show about bulky men by focusing on the details, like serving tea, attacking with ballpoint pens and involving plenty of people who don’t have special powers. This alternation between ridiculously strong and weak builds tension, and that’s something that Jojo already figured out in its first season, and most other shounen have quite a bit of trouble with.

Also, Jojo: 2 minutes of recap at the start of an episode is not cool. Right now this show is fine because the stuff it recaps is awesome, however it should take note that if this show were ever to go slightly downhill, that would become an extra nail in its coffin. I noticed it especially with Space Brothers.

But yeah, this episode was really excellent. I now remember again why I can’t watch another action series anymore. They all just pale in comparison to what this show has to offer. The action knows exactly how to elicit adrenaline. The build-up of tension is just perfect and they bring out energy perfectly. Action in other series just pales in comparison unless you get something really good like Shingeki no Kyojin, so I’m totally not considering good action a reason to watch a show anymore.

One strange thing that I did note about this episode was that the powers of the villain were a bit vague: first he was like “I have painting powers!”, but after that he switched over to body control, and then he had giant plasma beams. That’s not necessarily bad though. The big problem that a lot of shounen series make is that they give a lot of villains one gimmick and nothing else, while making the main character the most well-rounded of the bunch (heck, even Kill la Kill did that at times…). This guy just too has a bunch of different talents that he uses.

And speaking of the devil, I’m just going to say it: I’m enjoying these first two episodes much more than what I did with Kill la Kill…

Posted on 12 April 2013 with categories: Anime Reviews, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure



There are a lot of ways to adapt something. Shounen battle series tend to very quickly fall into a very dull variation of that: really slow pacing that goes on forever with long boring drawn out battles that all look like each other. David Production looked at them, and just said “we can do better!”

They grabbed one of the most popular shounen series that hadn’t been fully adapted yet and gave it a kickass treatment that just screams epicness that fits the story perfectly. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure on its own is already a completely crazy story, but this anime actually throws in everything it has to amplify this insanity. The voice actors all yell out their lines with an incredible amount of passion and energy, the animation is full of weird and over the top poses and trippy colour effects, the soundtrack is completely epic with many different tracks (including even dubstep), the pacing is incredibly fast, yet nothing feels rushed. All dedicated to make the adrenaline rush as high as possible.

The plot of this series is basically a bunch of incredibly muscly guys punching zombies to death. That could have been so dull so fast, but beyond the incredibly over the top execution, the actual contents of the action scenes are really creative and fun to watch. This show knows how to keep itself fresh: every character is varied and unique (and really likable by the way, the best being Joseph and Stroheim), every villain has different powers and methods of fighting, and this show loves to use all sorts of props and powers to remain interesting. This series in particular loves to give huge powers to very tiny and weak things, to prevent things from being just one superpower after the other. It keeps fights with random goons really as short as possible, so that it can focus on the characters who actually matter.

Of course, this series is not for everyone. It is for those looking for over the top action, and in terms of shounen action it pretty much offers the best you can get. Having said that though: it is pretty simplistic at times. Some characters are quite one-sided and only work because the presentation is so good. Don’t expect the most complex character-development here, but instead huge heaps of energy and manliness.
One-Sentence Review: An excellent adaptation, full of incredibly over the top shounen action with a very creative plot and really likable, albeit simple, characters.
Suggestions:
Baccano
Shin Mazinger Z
Full Metal Alchemist – Brotherhood

Posted on 11 April 2013 with categories: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure

Oh Jojo. What an ending. I did not expect what would happen here at all. Perhaps the ending was not as impressive as with Psycho Pass or From the New World, but still this is every way in which a shounen series should end. You hear that, other shounen series? Watch this for how endings should be done!

Still, the climax of this show was so over the top that it just could not have been made today. It’s just so completely bloody random to suddenly have the volcano erupt this giant rock into the stratosphere that blows Cars into outer space. It’s completely impossible and really inconvenient, but in terms of creativity and as a plot twist it just made for the perfect over the top ending. Yeah it makes no sense, but this is so much better than just the characters sending beams to each other until one side dies. Plus there is the irony: the perfect human being on earth is completely useless outside of it.

It was also really fun to just see this series take the piss out of aftermaths, and poking fun at so many tropes before they even existed. Joseph hooking up with Suzie Q was hilarious, and how many times have we seen an actual divorce here? I can count the amount of series with divorces on one hand (Noein, Xamdou, Zone of the Enders, uhhh…).

Bringing a character who was thought dead back to life is a dead horse. But I can forgive this show for it by how it did this, and how much it poked fun at this.

So, as for any possible continuations. The ending of this episode was a sequel hook, nothing more. Until we see an official confirmation it is not clear whether the producers can gather enough money to make it. Now, as for the actual chance that they will succeed in this: I’d say it is pretty damn good. Take a look here and here. A little bit of math shows about 22109 sold DVD and blu-ray copies. That’s a lot!
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 31 March 2013 with categories: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure

Okay, so I thought that this was the final episode so I was ready to go all out. And then at the end of this episode there was this “To be continued”-message. Yeah, I was confused. But boy, am I glad, because it means that there will be one more episode of Jojo. They managed to squeeze one more into the airing schedule. David Production also did this with the Armed Librarians. And seriously, these guys have with this earned a spot amongst my favorite production companies out there. The way they handled this adaptation was just fantastic.

I loved the final battle against Cars, because it was more than “let’s just send a huge beam towards the angry monster until it dies”. No, instead Joseph managed to hijack a plane and turned this into a cat and mouse chase. Future action series should really take this episode as an example for their penultimate episodes, because this: the fight had so many interesting things in it. I also loved the small details again, like the meat eating squirrel.

And Stroheim. God, I love this guy. He’s completely one-dimensional, but his theme song ever since he became the terminator is just awesome, and he always appears at just the right moments, doing the craziest things surpassing even Joseph in this. Last episode was already glorious when he apparead with his squad of lamp-weilding guys, but in this episode… to think that he had been hiding in the plane for hours, waiting for the right moment to arrive.

All of the main villain of this series so far have had their dying moment: an episode dedicated to their final trump when they’re near death: Dio had his head, AC-DC was reduced to a brain, and Wham also had his episode dedicated to his final moments. They really seem to be doing the same to Cars as well, but knowing this series, they probaly are intending this one to be special. And it will be between Cars, Joseph and Stroheim on a burning volcano. Oh my god, so much manliness.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 28 March 2013 with categories: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure

And here are the penultimate episodes of Jojo. And seriously, I loved the fights here. The creators really went to the extreme, while keeping true to their philosophy of putting huge over the top powers on one hand, and really delicate things on the other. One one hand you have Stroheim yelling like crazy, while weilding what is basically a giant lamp as a weapon. And the duel with Cars was also really good in how it used Lisalisa in such a painful position as a hostage.

Surpringly, the least interesting part of these two episodes was where Speedwagon started to explain what happened to Joseph’s parents. It’s not that it didn’t have any good points (I liked how one of the smarter minions of Dio worked his way up as an aviation commander in the Royal Air Force), but come on. You’re about to punch Cars to death. Don’t break up the momentum with that. Thankfully the actual finale promises to be epic.

My only gripe: Lisalisa didn’t really get a chance to stand in the spotlights, did she? I mean all other major characters got their chance to show off, but she has the bad luck to be immediately just brought to an inch of her life. Give her some credit, man. If she’s a ripple master, let her show this off!
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 15 March 2013 with categories: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure

I must say: this fight was AWESOME!

Using chariots definitely was something different from the usual standard fight scene, and the creators spiced it up even more by turning just about everything into a weapon, from conventional crossbows to horses, cannonballs and pillars. The best thing was how it kept using surprise after surprise in order to push the fight forwrad. This isn’t your standard action, this is the action that remains interesting!

It’s going to be a real shame when this series finishes, because it has definitely set the bar really high for the future shounen series. Possibly only Hunter X Hunter should be able to come close to this level of entertainment, but when it comes to series that are purely about fighting…. it will be incredibly difficult to top this.

You can notice how this series was originally a manga: there are tiems when characters are about to hit something, and yet these scenes take ages because some characters need to be able to finish their dialogue (this timing problem stands out much less in manga format). This is something that often irks me, but the creators really managed to be able to solve it with their raw passion and energy here. Also something tells me that the creators here are big fans of Osamu Dezaki…
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 5 March 2013 with categories: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure

I love how this show just treats random goons for 5-minute distractions, rather than people who are meant to delay the plot for entire episodes. For a minute I was afraid that this entire episode would be dedicated to that spike guy, and yet they just walk past him. It’s juuuuust enough for Wham to recover a bit, and nothing more. After that this show went back to Cars and Wham: the ones who really matter.

Sure, they didn’t fight for the rest of the episode, but that didn’t matter. The interaction between Jojo, Lisa, Wham and Cars was what was important, and as a set-up episode I really enjoyed this. The irony of Jojo having killed Lisa’s foster father also really worked well.

Plus: the chariots. The guys just brought in these giant chariots in order to have a duel together. Yay for variety! This series really puts in effort to spice things up here.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 26 February 2013 with categories: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure

Awww. This show already has an awesome soundtrack, and to think that it has one of the best tracks saved for this episode. This episode was all about Ceasar, and as the episode went on it became pretty clear what was going to happen, but for what they attempted to do, the creators succeeded.

So the death of a major character. Another thing that has set Jojo apart is that really anyone can die, and they once again show this with this episode. It was over the top as usual, and the music really helped. The creators also made his death quick: no dragging on for ages, he was just hit once really badly, and that’s it. He did get to make a very elaborate farewell speech though, but it was well done with all of the symbolism there.

Wham was also a great guy to do it with dragging Ceasar inside the building with weird powers. Byusing them to block the sun they found a new twist to his powers. And it all happened in just one episode. Eat your heart out, Naruto.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Shoutbox

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  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 1. 2014 02:56 AM)
    @Realist: =< Ah I see, was asking around just in case it was worth watching.
  • ninjarealist
    (Saturday, Nov 1. 2014 02:42 AM)
    @Emma I haven’t seen that one, no.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 1. 2014 02:25 AM)
    @Realist: Have you seen only lovers left alive by Jim Jarmusch?
  • afgm
    (Saturday, Nov 1. 2014 02:05 AM)
    @Syndrom: Don’t strat too hard…
  • ninjarealist
    (Saturday, Nov 1. 2014 01:00 AM)
    @Emma Very true. But a lot of people don’t realize or acknowledge that.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Oct 31. 2014 08:24 PM)
    Death billiards getting an announcement like that, I’m pleased with the news but am surprised by it. It was the best of those shorts that have been cropping up in recent years.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Oct 31. 2014 05:39 PM)
    Well well well….Death Billiards is getting a full anime. The short was a great and does have potentail. I like. I like a lot.
  • Syndrome
    (Friday, Oct 31. 2014 04:23 PM)
    Ok, fourth episode of Psycho Pass was really good. I was afraid of what this second season would looks like, I’m strating now to get hyped.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Oct 31. 2014 02:25 PM)
    @Realist: Stereotyping is intrinsic to human beings in too many ways, so much so that even when a “safe”, “attractive”, “normal” looking person is caught out they still become surprised at the revelation, even if they admit that stereotyping is wrong.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Oct 31. 2014 02:14 PM)
    I think I’ve got a good handle on Yamaguchi Mikoto as an author now, I also read the first volume of Mayonaka and as I thought, it began deceptively and that maybe there wouldn’t be too much to it, but turns into something surprising, far more interesting.

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