JoJo’s Mediocre Adventure

I’ve seen a whole bunch of “Best Anime of 2013” lists placing JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure at or near the top. Come on, 2013 wasn’t that bad. JJBA, while fun and stylish, has too many shitty fights to keep it from being great. Seriously, I haven’t seen this many shitty fights in a shounen anime outside the opening arcs of One Piece.

Final Grade: +

Many bloggers don’t know any better because they’re too elitist to watch shounen anime unless they can jack off to the sakuga. There’s a lot more to fights than how shiny they are. What about strategy and sensibility? What about fighters relying on skill instead of luck? What about fighters using anywhere close to their full potential? What about bad guys who care more about winning than gloating? What about fighters having a sense of urgency, as if screwing around endlessly actually has consequences? What about good guys not named JoJo having any chance of winning a fight?

I shall now classify the fights in JJBA as great, good, mediocre, or shitty. Spoilers abound. Note: This includes only the fights between major characters. Fights like Dio vs. some random Englishman he turned into a vampire don’t count, though it’s probably safe to assume they’d fall under the shitty category.

Great Fights:

JoJo II vs. Straits (Part I): Best fight of the show by far, tense build-up, quick action, clever tricks (except the mirror thing), characters fighting with a sense of urgency, over-the-top action that’s exciting rather than stupid

Good Fights:

Caesar vs. Wham: Cool power-up, characters fighting with a sense of urgency, Caeser triggered his death flag by running off alone, once again a good guy not named JoJo is incapable of winning a fight

JoJo II vs. Wham: Fun setup, lack of urgency excusable due to the setup, more over-the-top exciting than over-the-top stupid

Mediocre Fights:

Kid JoJo vs. Kid Dio: Unremarkable tactics but Kid JoJo was supposed to suck at fighting anyway, first episode otherwise excellent

JoJo vs. Human Dio: Simple, lackluster fight to establish grown-up JoJo’s increased power level

Zeppeli and JoJo vs. Jack the Ripper: Weak opponent, tutoring fight, nothing special but no reason it should be

Zeppeli and JoJo vs. Dio: Illustrates Dio’s ice powers and establishes relative power levels, never a complete fight with Dio running away and leaving the rest to his underlings

JoJo vs Dio: Overconfidence and stalling, the most conveniently placed fire in the universe, redeemed by a good number of moves and countermoves

JoJo vs. Dio’s Head: Dio not an arrogant dumbass for once, cheap laser move, JoJo keeps on talking and moving even though he can’t breathe, general trolling of Dio quite amusing

JoJo II vs. Caesar: Not supposed to be a serious fight, pretty fun, one good trick

JoJo II vs. Immortal Cars: No way in hell JoJo should’ve won this fight, too much luck and enemy incompetence, still exciting despite Cars’ complete and total failure in every way imaginable

Shitty Fights:

JoJo vs. Speedwagon: No strategy, weak enemies

JoJo vs. Awakened Dio: JoJo underpowered, Dio overconfident, too much screwing around, JoJo has the longest belt in the universe

JoJo vs. Bruford: Lame tactics, Bruford should’ve won easily, ripped off Sonic the Hedgehog

JoJo and Zeppeli vs. Tarkus: Tarkus rightfully destroyed JoJo and Zeppeli, gets overconfident and failed to confirm the kill, Zeppeli a total disappointment

JoJo II vs. Straits (Part II): Seemingly strong enemy resorts to cowardly bullshit, predictable attacks, weak final attack

JoJo II and Stroheim vs. Santana: Santana stands around doing nothing for most of the fight, fails to rubberize/contort himself while chained, Stroheim talks forever before opening the door, fails to open the door, the most conveniently placed axes in the universe, suddenly Santana remembers he can contort again

JoJo II and Caesar vs. Cars, AC/DC, and Wham: Wham has the most convenient counterattack for bubbles in the universe, Caesar is a colossal failure, once again a good guy not named JoJo is incapable of winning a fight, ball trick ok, too much enemy gloating, overconfidence leads to eventual downfall

JoJo II vs. AC/DC: Where did JoJo get canola oil from? The element of heat made no difference, too much talking, one good trick

JoJo II and Caesar vs. Suzie QC/DC: Too much standing around, woman won’t fight because she’s naked (this is why Queen’s Blade is so much better), Caesar being gullible, everyone generally being a dumbass

JoJo II and Stroheim vs. Cars: Stroheim fails over and over again, cliff battle ok

Lisa-Lisa vs. Cars: Lisa-Lisa is a huge letdown, once again a good guy not named JoJo is incapable of winning a fight

JoJo II vs. Cars: The strongest character in the show is reduced to a trap-setting, hostage-taking wuss, brute force should’ve easily won, Cars fails to use his foot scythe to cut the rope

The median fight in this series falls right between shitty and mediocre, a.k.a. shittiocre. It speaks volumes about the shittiocrity of the fights when the best episode of each arc is its first episode. JoJo I’s Bizarre Adventure is no better than a ~. If not for JoJo II’s charisma, I’d probably rate the whole series a ~. Let’s hope Stardust Crusaders keeps its shit together.

UPDATE: I’d be remiss not to mention the badass ending fade-in. Probably the most enjoyable part of the show.

25 Replies to “JoJo’s Mediocre Adventure”

  1. Ha! I avoid falling under that “many bloggers” by putting Jojo on my top “2012” list. Technicalities FTW!

    On a serious note, David Production better use the money they made from this show to actually animate the fights in the next season.

  2. I definitely enjoyed the flash and craziness of the battles in JoJo, but the battles in Stardust Crusaders on are generally better. There’s more variety in the powers for both the heroes and villains, which also leads to fun mind games when the heroes have to puzzle out the exact nature of what they’re up against before they can counter it. Also, the sidekicks aren’t total jobbers like they are in the first couple of parts. Stardust Crusaders is basically a boss rush in manga/anime form, if that’s also to your taste!

    • I expect great things from Stardust Crusaders if for no other reason than Jotaro’s no-nonsense character design. But yes, better sidekicks and bosses would be much welcome, especially if they result in contemporaneous fight scenes.

  3. well, at least we can agree on what the best fights in the series were. One correction though

    “JoJo vs. Bruford: Lame tactics, Bruford should’ve won easily, ripped off Sonic the Hedgehog”

    This manga started serializing late 80s, which is where the first arc ran it’s course. Sonic the Hedgehog wasn’t around till 1991. Still laughed when I noticed the similarities.


    • Attack on Titan would be so much better if all the titans kicked the shit out of Mikasa and Armin while taking extended breaks to brag about their superhuman strength. Then Eren would show up and hack his way to victory with balls or ropes or balls on ropes or something.

      At least you like Hajime no Ippo and Hunter x Hunter. Can’t call you an elitist.

  4. Hmm. I’m still on episode10 of JoJo’s. It hasn’t really clicked with me, the fights are mostly just flashy and the conversations are very silly/dramatic.

  5. I expected to come here and defend Jojo’s though I’m here and not too sure how to defend this show. I just know I love it.

    I don’t think I’m a fan of the show for the fighting as much as I’m there for the characters.

    I agree on so many levels that some of the fights simply fall flat but there’s something charming about the show. And that charm is what has me shaking with excitement for Stardust Crusaders (JOJOs 3)

  6. I actually found Jojo and Stronheim vs Santana to be a great fight. I think creating a fight is less about it being realistic and more about something else. It doesn’t need to be consistent if the author provides some coolness. Most epic legends throughout history didn’t make any sense yet we all know them to be awesome.

    That being said, I cannot judge the anime because I didn’t watch it. I only read the manga and follow the abridged series, which both excel.

        • They’re the exact opposite of JoJo’s fights: well-planned, intricate, fighters use their full abilities and potential, enemies actually care about winning, and the sidekicks aren’t worthless.

          • Well, truth is, I enjoy both Jojo AND HunterXHunter. It’s not about being an elitist, I like well done shonen. As you said, HunterXHunter has excellent fights, possibly the best in a shonen anime, ever. Jojo simply isn’t about that, it’s fun because of its silliness and not being serious in the least. What’s mediocre is something like Bleach, whose fights make hardly more sense than Jojo’s but that thinks it’s being all serious and dark and cool. In Jojo the point is not “will they beat up the villains”, but rather “what kind of pot-fueled idea will they come up with to justify Jojo beating YET ANOTHER villain”? Also I tend to excuse its “protagonist syndrome” because of the age of the source material.
            Plus Dragonball has the same problem but it’s great SHUT UP HATERS DRAGONBALL IS AWESOME.

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