- Episodes :26
- Genre :Action, Adventure, Horror, Fantasy, Mystery, Comedy
- Airing Date : Oct 2012 - Apr 2013
- Producers :David Productions
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (No Spoilers)
Based on the long-running smash hit by Araki Hirohiko, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure in manga form presently has over 100 volumes (and is still in serialization in its eighth story arc upon publication of this HCW), being one of the very few titles to make such an achievement. After 25 years of being a hit manga, in its purest form (Araki-sensei has stated he only wanted an anime under the conditions that it stays faithful to the manga), the series has finally received the anime adaptation long time loyal fans have been demanding for decades. As stated in other previous JoJo related articles, its popularity stems from its unique cast of characters, its creative combination of high-octane and cerebral action, its numerous pop culture influences, its psychedelic use of colors, and all its presentation of its unusual use of poses.
In anime form (upon uploading of this featured HCW), JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure presently spans from the late-1880s (the Phantom Blood story arc) to 1999 (Diamond is Unbreakable), the first four story arcs from the manga. Each story arc features a main character of the Joestar family bloodline, and their first and last names would both have a “Jo” in it, making the title JoJo (with some exception to Higashitaka Josuke but the explanation to that is saved for another time). But for today’s Honey Crush Wednesday, we will cover one unique character that spans three story arcs, Joseph Joestar.
Joseph Joestar Bio
Voice Actor: Sugita Tomokazu (young Joseph), Ishizuka Unsho (old Joseph)
The young Joseph serves as the main character of the second story arc, while the elderly Joseph serves a strong supporting role in the third, and has a passive supporting role in his twilight age in the fourth story arc. Having lost his parents while still just a baby, he was raised by Erina Joestar, his paternal grandmother, and Speedwagon one of his grandfather’s best friends from the first story arc. Unlike his ancestors who were raised to be perfect gentlemen, the young Joseph is an old school hooligan. However, he naturally has the power to use Hamon but considering what happened to his father and grandfather thanks to Dio and his old surviving henchman, Erina does not want him in the fight that took away his father and grandfather. But fate would have its way and Joseph would have to fight the Pillar Men, ancient vampires who wish to take over the world.
Fifty years later in 1987, Joseph serves as a core supporting character for his grandson, Jotaro. Thanks to Dio’s resurrection and taking possession of Jonathan Joestar’s (the main character from the first story arc and Joseph’s grandfather) original body, all members of the Joestar family develop the ability to use astral warriors called Stands. Unfortunately, his daughter Holy is not physically capable of using her Stand so he recruits Jotaro and other allies to go to Egypt to stop Dio and save her. Over ten years later in 1999, audiences learn that Joseph has a son out of wedlock, Higashitaka Josuke, who he meets for the first time due to circumstances going on in his hometown of Morioh-cho.
Joseph Joestar Highlights
1. He Can Predict What You Will Say (and Do) Next
The prime Joseph exhibits unique abilities to predict what an opponent can do next. In battle, he always tries to stay one step ahead of the game in order to gain an advantage. In his first battle against Strazio, he uses a mirror as a visual distraction as a means of defense. Strazio attacks the mirror image of Joseph only to be counter-attacked by him.
In Joseph’s battle with Esidisi, one of the Pillar Men, Joseph uses a string (with the anticipation it could be cut) in order to get in range to charge a Hamon attack at him and gain the victory. However, his predicting abilities goes as deep as knowing what his opponent is about to say and the crazy thing is, the character actually says it! Unfortunately, this quality of his disappears along with his age. In all instances he uses this ability, it worked 100% of the time.
2. He Is the Only Character that Can Use Hamon and A Stand
In the first two story arcs where vampires are the villains, in order to combat them, the main cast has to learn a form of energy manipulation through breathing called Hamon, which is as strong as sunlight. By the end of the second story arc, Joseph would learn that his teacher, Lisa Lisa was his long lost mother, Elizabeth Joestar. She demonstrates that she is a Hamon master throughout her run in the series. Thanks to a combination of his natural talent and intense training, he finds creative ways to use these abilities in his fight against the Pillar Men.
However, Araki-sensei was pressured by editors to change up the series in order to make it more distinct from other macho Shonen titles of the late-1980s when the series made its debut. Taking inspiration from the psychic battles in the X-Men comics, he came up with the idea of Stands in order to make the battles unique and his promise delivers ten fold. The elder Joseph has a Stand ability called The Purple Hermit, taking its name from the Hermit tarot card. The nature of this Stand ability is that he extends purple vined-thrones from his body and it allows him to attack from distances or for him to move efficiently between distances. Though the Hamon is mostly non-existent in the Stardust Crusaders story arc, in the battle against Dio, Joseph manages to grip Dio with his Purple Hermit and emit a charge of the Hamon through his Stand to do some damage.
3. His Engrish Reactions
Though mostly emphasized in his old age in Stardust Crusaders, if there is one thing that makes Joseph an enjoyable character in that stage of his life are his Engrish reactions when watching the show in its original Japanese. Hardcore fans of JoJo who urgently recommend the series are likely to suggest enjoying it in Japanese due to the performance of Ishizuka Unshou (who you may also recognize as the voices of Jet Black in Cowboy Bebop) as Grandpa Joseph.
Throughout the series whenever something goes wrong, he tends to scream "Ohhhhh Noooooo" in a manner both English speakers and non-English speakers alike, will find hilarious for his masterful delivery. But his Engrish reactions don’t end at "Oh No"! He also throws in other English expletives which shall not be mentioned here, you'll just have to watch the series and find out for yourself!
4. He's an Amazing Strategist
Another trait emphasized in his youth is that Joseph is an amazing strategist. While Araki-sensei emphasized on brute strength in the first story arc, he wanted to concentrate the fights on wits. As stated earlier, Joseph has amazing abilities to predict what a person can say right before they actually say it. But it’s his sharp mind that makes him dangerous. When desperate times call for desperate measures, not only does he have the mind to make crazy strategies, he’s got the balls to pull them off. In his final battle against Kars, Joseph’s plan to defeat him goes to extreme measures by luring him to a volcano and using the laws of geophysics to boost them beyond the atmosphere, and use other rising debris (and even his own severed hand) to push him beyond the gravitational pull of Earth to forever float in the void of space.
Unfortunately, age catches up to Joseph in Stardust Crusaders and his abilities have rusted as shown in his gambling game against D’Arby and when he tried to fight Dio using his Hamon charged Purple Hermit attack. It comes to show that father time catches up with everybody. Thankfully these qualities are passed on to his son and grandson but demonstrate creativity with their own distinctions.
5. His Longevity
Unlike his father and grandfather who fall in their early twenties, Joseph gets to live to be a grandfather. Not only that, he manages to narrowly escape death not only once but twice. At the conclusion of both the second and third story arcs, many assumed he perished in battle. At the end of the second story arc, almost nobody could find his body and was thought to be dead to the point that a funeral was held for him! Thankfully, he shows up in time to crash his own funeral to announce he was alive and well, and just needed to time to heal up (and Suzi Q, his mother’s attendant forget to tell everyone he was ok). He goes on to marry Suzi Q and starts a family.
Then in the final battle with Dio, Dio drains him of his Joestar blood in order to power up his body. He took much of Joseph’s blood to the point that he could have been a skeleton. The series goes as extreme as showing his spirit leaving just to say farewell to Jotaro! After Jotaro defeats Dio, he takes the blood from Dio’s body to give back to Joseph and uses his Stand, Star Platinum, to get his heart beating again. Upon his revival, he goes as far as demonstrating his humor by pretending to be possessed by Dio just to mess with Jotaro showing that he is still playful in tense moments.
Very rarely in fiction, let alone animation, do audiences get to see a character live a complete life. Crayon Shin Chan is forever going to be in kindergarten. Conan Edogawa is mostly stuck as a child after 700 plus episodes. Chibi Maruko-chan has been a third grader for twenty years! In other instances, characters just age two to five years like in Naruto Shippuuden. Though Goku in Dragon Ball grows up to be a grandfather, he doesn't physically age that much and actually becomes stronger through Super Saiyan Blue.
With Joseph, audiences get to see how the character changes in his stages of life. At 19, he’s wild, reckless, and yet clever. At 79, he is careless and senile but fans still find reasons to love him. The fact fans get to see this character age and how he develops is a real treat. At heart, he’s still an adventurer and a part of him wishes he could still be that young man, but he also finds appreciation in being a family man.