JoJo\'s Bizarre Adventure Vol. #02 - Mania.com



Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B+

0 Comments | Add

 

Rate & Share:

 

Related Links:

 

Info:

  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 1-59116-850-3
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

JoJo\'s Bizarre Adventure Vol. #02

By Jarred Pine     January 08, 2006
Release Date: December 06, 2005


JoJo\'s Bizarre Adventure Vol.#02
© Viz Media


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Hirohiko Araki
Translated by:Alexis Kirsch
Adapted by:

What They Say
Sabotaged by an enemy Stand-User, the heroes' plane crash-lands in the ocean, forcing them to continue their journey to Egypt by sea. In Hong Kong they are challenged by the deadly Polnareff, whose Stand Silver Chariot takes the form of a mechanical knight whose rapier travels faster than the speed of sound. But not all Stands have humanoid shapes. On a boat to Singapore, more enemies are waiting... and soon, despite all their powers, Jotaro and his friends find themselves helpless against a horror that is not what it seems...


The Review
Rekindling my love for convoluted 80s hero films, Jojo’s continues to deliver one of the more extravagant and unique manga on the market despite its age that is just a lot of fun to read.

Packaging:
The cover features the original illustration from the 14th volume of the Japanese tankoubon release (the content of this volume is from the 14th volume of the original manga series), with the background slightly different than the original. It is definitely nice to see VIZ use the original artwork here even though the designs are very dated and look completely different from other SJ titles. The colors are okay, not as crisp as I would like, but I do forgive it a little for the age of the title. The English logo attempts to mimic the original Japanese logo.

The print reproduction looks pretty good, especially when compared to other SJ titles from VIZ that I have read. I was worried that with the age of this title that the printing would have been too dark or muddied, but overall it is very crisp and smooth. There are no extras, but a one-page “Story So Far” summary is included along with the Joestar family tree and a few words from Hirohiko Araki.

Art:
The one aspect of Araki’s artwork that will stand out to most is the fact that it is an older style. His characters are very beefy, resembling that bancho/FotNS style that was more popular back when this title was written. That however, doesn’t really mean it is a bad thing, but the style is much different than most other titles on the market. Technically, I find the artwork to be quite stellar in many areas. The detail in the heavily ornamented clothing or backgrounds is all quite good for a weekly shounen title. Even though the men are beefy, there is quite an effeminate charm about them with their flowing hair and lavish clothing that make it quite clear why shoujo artists like CLAMP enjoy this work so much.

The Stand action sequences continue to be very exciting, with the Stand designs themselves being very imaginative and unique. The panel work features a lot of creative layouts with a lot of energy happening, although a few times I thought the artwork was getting a little too chaotic.

Text/SFX:
SFX are translated, but instead of using the standard overlays like other Jump titles, VIZ has subbed them with very small text next to the original SFX. This was a great decision by VIZ, as a lot of the SFX are really integrated with the artwork. I hope to see VIZ use this technique more in the future. One oddity though is that some of the SFX that appear in text bubbles are left as is with subbed translations, which left me scratching my head as to why these weren’t just simply replaced. It looks as though VIZ just chose one method for all.

I do enjoy the translation and adaptation work done here. The humorous hammy touch of the dialogue is kept intact, which a key point with this title. I also like how Jean Pierre’s dialogue is peppered with French words, reflecting his cultural background and really just helps bring out his character. I still don’t like how Jotaro’s often delivered line was translated as “Give me a @#$% break”. I’d rather they just put in the foul language or find something else, as I really don’t think it fits with the rest of the cheesiness of the dialogue.

Contents (Watch out spoilers ahead):
Back in the mid-to-late 1980s, there were two movies that I watched ad nauseum that I enjoyed immensely for their extravagant scenarios filled with flamboyant and boisterous characters--The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension and Big Trouble in Little China. Even though these two films borrowed heavily from other genre titles, I always had a hard time categorizing them and they’ve always stood out as two of my favorite escapist movies out there. While reading this second installment of the Joestar adventure, I’m finding myself feeling the same about Hirohiko Araki’s story that I did about these two previously mentioned films.

Nothing is simple and to the point in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. The ludicrous and grandiose settings, characters, and battles are probably the main reason why I enjoy this title so much. In this volume alone the Joestar Gang survive a plane crash thanks to Joseph’s piloting skills (is there anything this guy can’t do?) and have Stand battles in the Tiger Palm Garden (aka Haw Par Villa), underwater in the Hong Kong Sea, and on a giant ghost freight ship whose sole inhabitant is a Stand wielding orangutan that smokes and flips through porn magazines. If this sounds a bit ridiculous, that’s because it is and that’s exactly what Araki has set out to accomplish. His beefy characters spouting off hammy dialogue and camp one-liners involved in these larger than life Stand battles are all successful elements in creating this bizarre epic for those who enjoy these type of stories.

The one drawback of this story at this point is that it can maybe feel a bit repetitive for some with the constant Stand battles, as the story just seems to progress in order to get to the next one. The group has decided to travel to Cairo via a chartered ship rather than plane, to minimize casualties, which means that will allow for a lot more battles as the Joestar Gang make their way across the continents. At this stage though I’m willing to forgive the repetitiveness because it fits within Dio’s plans to send his seven powerful Stand users after the group as they make their way from Hong Kong to Singapore. Dio right now is all about destroying the Joestar family in order to free himself from the family’s fate being tied to his destiny. I am also personally just too distracted by the extravagance and humorous ham-n-turkey dialogue to even care about the tournament style battles, they are fun with enough small developments behind the scenes along the way to keep things interesting. There is one battle though early on that does serve its purpose in introducing another new member to the Joestar crew, the Frenchman Jean Pierre Polnareff and his Stand “Silver Chariot”, who is completely goofy himself and fits right in with this band of hulky misfits.

Comments
I admit I was a bit worried about whether the appeal from the first volume would carry over into this one, but I still find myself quite enamored with Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. It is excellence in extravagance, with enough hammy dialogue and beefy characters to feed a small nation. It is because the story and characters are so over-the-top that Hirohiko Araki’s family epic works. I really can’t imagine this delivered with a straight-forward, more serious tone. The outfits, hairstyles, character and Stand names, exotic settings, everything together just makes this manga a lot of fun to read.

At this stage I’m also very happy with the treatment of this title under the Shonen Jump Advanced imprint, which has featured some inconsistencies regarding the editing policies of its titles. There is quite a bit of gruesome violence here, from split skulls to dismembered tongues to skewered heads, and some bare-ass shots (both male and female) that are all left unaltered. There is also a spattering of foul language that is appropriate, although I still wish they’d do something different with Jotaro’s line.

Simply put, this is just a fun manga to read. I’ve read this installment a few times over already, and find myself chuckling and enjoying the title more and more.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES



Be the first to add a comment to this article!


ADD A COMMENT

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Please click here to login.

POPULAR TOPICS