11:00 - 16th May 2013, by NEO Staff

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

It's been one of the most popular manga series in Japan for more than 20 years, but JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has barely seen a frame of animation - until now. The strangest fighting series of all time finally gets to show what it's made of, in its first full-length anime series!

In Victorian England, a bitter feud is underway - but only one party knows it. The Joestars are the country's finest, a group of genteel aristocrats with a familial code of conduct exemplifying manners, grace and honour. The Brando family is headed by a cruel, drunken thief named Dario who, by chance, tricks his way into favour with the Joestars. Upon his all-too-suspicious death, his son Dio is adopted by the prestigious family - and sets about making his new 'brother' Jonathan's life a living hell.

Despite Jonathan Joestar's - JoJo for short - best efforts to be a true gentlemen, Dio is determined to undermine him at every turn, worming his way into the family's graces to steal the estate for himself. Apropos of nothing, Dio bears a personal grudge against JoJo, ruining his reputation amongst his friends, and going so far as to molest the one girl who shows JoJo any affection. It's a chance encounter with an ancient Mayan mask that brings Dio's evil to the surface though, turning him into a vampire-like monster with terrifying powers. As Dio begins to haunt the streets of London, JoJo rises to the challenge of tackling his ersatz brother after learning a very unusual 'Ripple' form of martial arts from an itinerant master named Zepelli. Little does anyone know that this marks the beginning of a sibling rivalry that will last for generations and spread around the entire world...

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is the long-awaited adaptation of Hirohiko Araki's manga of the same name. It sticks closely to Araki's original vision, starting at the very beginning, and celebrating every eccentricity the saga has to offer. Brilliantly overwrought drama, outlandish character designs, and visually impressive battles make for captivating viewing, and director Hayato Matsuo's wild use of wild colour make the show look unlike anything else currently airing. Although presently slated for 26-episodes, we can only hope it prompts a longer run that brings the rest of Araki's weird opus to life!

This is an extract of a longer feature which originally appeared in issue 106.

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