Thwip!’s Manga Monday – Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

What can I say about this manga?

First of all, “Bizarre” does not cover it.  Really, it should be named, “Jojo’s HOLY-FUCKING-SHIT-THIS-IS-INSANITY Adventures”

But it isn’t as catchy, or as short.

For those of you who have never heard of this series, it started way back in 1987, making it one of the longest running shounen manga and one of the oldest running manga in general (not the longest, just one of the longest). Hirohiko Araki’s manga about the Joestar family is essentially what 100 Years of Solitude would be if that novel had more punching and less logic.

Oh and if Marquez was immortal, cause Araki clearly is (seriously, he looks ageless).

For those of you who want to dip their toe into the series, you can check out the first story arc, which is by far the tamest…but that isn’t saying much, since it still essentially deals with crazy poses, vampires that can be defeated with the power of breath, and an Italian magician.

Each story arc stars a different member of the Joestar family (more or less, at one point the main villain of the series kind of steals the main Joestar’s body and he has kids, so…yeah…) as they end up in a series of escalating adventures that involve them acquiring crazy powers from turtles having a pocket dimension in their shell to a person being made up completely of string, to sentient algae.

None of it makes sense, but it draws you in with wonderfully weird art and oddly engaging stories.  The characters all run on the power of cool, but they still kind of draw you in and none of them are heroic in the typical sense, they just are who they are…

It is kind of a Sisyphean task to try to make sense of the series is about, ’cause it says so on the tin that it is going to be bizarre, and Araki seems to take each chapter (and not each story) as a challenge as to what craziness he can drop into it.

Once you start, you really get sucked into it, so be warned!

 

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