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)

Posted on 23 February 2013 with categories: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure

It’s episodes like this that finally show me why there have been no attempts at a full Jojo series before aside from a few OVAs: it’s just so damn hard to animate. In this episode there were quite a few moments of characters talking in mid-air, and having entire dialogues over a span that should have just taken up a bunch of seconds. Without the incredible over the top style of this series, it ust would not have worked at all.

But really, the fight in this episode was awesome. The voice actors in particular were really having a great time yelling all of their lines in fashion that was as overblown as possible. Even the narrator was yelling at the top of his voice. I love just how much testostherone there was in this episode.

The one striking part in this episode was that pendant sliding off the cliff, that indeed felt like it took ages. One moment characters were fighting and yelling over the top, the next they were running like crazy after this tiny gemstone in this hilarious fashion, all while narrating everything that was going on. I know that I’ve often complained about shounen series explaining way too much, breaking up the pacing. In this case, it didn’t. The explanation and the buildup fitted perfectly and you just keep waiting here for the series to pull its next twist while the characters explain as fast and loud as possible.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 12 February 2013 with categories: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure

First of all, I was warned about last week: do try to avoid looking at this week’s episode title.

It contains a pretty big spoiler. It’s a bit strange to have this one slip through, because this series seemed to have an excellent production team that has proven to be flexible, so I wonder why nobody who saw it thought “wait, that will spoil the surprise, let’s do something else”.

But first, brains. At the start of the episode I thought that Jojo will have to fight some kind of bizarre pair of walking brains with tentacles, but in the end the fight got once again pulled to the bizarre when he actually took over one of the maids. Brainwashing in anime is nothing new, but the way in which this was done. Seeing her body get nearly torn apart definitely added a different dimension to that, and once again it was a really intense fight.

I also loved the big spoiler of this episode. You should not read this if you haven’t watched the episode yet, but seriously. The way in which they revealed Stroheim as some kind of terminator was hilarious. I kept wondering why they kept hiding his face, but yeah. His new character designs rock.

This show loves to play with its characters: the tough guy suddenly breaks down into uncontrollable tears, the cute maid gets completely disturbing, the sadistic nazi becomes a terminator. I really wonder whether the creators are also planning such huge contrasts for the rest of the cast. I really hope so. Don’t spoil this please, the fun is in finding out whether this is really true.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

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  • Friend
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:43 AM)
    @Ninja ah. I’ve always done the script, story, and directing by myself, which is probably why i think novels are easier XD
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:33 AM)
    That’s just my personal philosophy though. There’s nothing that irritates me more than people who insist that there’s only one way to do good writing. Everyone should develop their own philosophy.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:31 AM)
    @Friend But with a novel it’s all on you and your editor. For me, what makes novel writing so much harder is that you have to put so much more attention into the quality of your descriptive prose. In a screenplay you can just write the description and action in a concise way. In a novel you have to write, polished, top-tier prose for the entire length of the book.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:29 AM)
    @Friend But having said that, I come from the school of screenwriting that says a screenplay is just a starting point for the director, actor, editor, cinematographer, etc. to build a real shooting script off of.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:26 AM)
    @Friend I have actually written novels, screenplays, and stage-plays as well, so I feel like I have a decent understanding of the differences in terms of what goes into them. But from my perspective it’s harder to write a great novel.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:24 AM)
    @Emma I agree that movies tend to be more emotionally-involving, but I think that’s just because there are a lot more of them and so it’s easier to find good ones that are well-written enough to really make you feel emotionally-involved. That’s always been my interpretation.
  • Friend
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:20 AM)
    @ninja I dont know if you’ve ever written a script, but it’s pretty hard. There’s the story, script, screen composition, acting, music, lighting, and a WHOLE plethora of other factor when writing a film, as compared to a novel.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:15 AM)
    @Realist: I think that may be to do with that I can get more emotionally involved with a movie too and that they are quicker to watch and more consummable too. But your right though while I prefer certain things I will watch/read anything out there from anywhere.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:11 AM)
    @Emma I’m kind of surprised that you prefer one over the other. You strike me as the type of person who appreciates all forms of fiction.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:08 AM)
    @Realist: Also alot of anime/manga are going to be series rather than a single volume or a movie. There is more to cover when writing about a series and find to write about, takes a bit longer too.

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