Anime Reviews: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure 2012 – Part I – Phantom Blood

Part I – Phantom Blood – Episodes 3–9

The Story
When Dio returns back to the mansion after his encounter
with a creature he unknowingly created, Jonathan is there waiting for him.
After Jonathan’s investigations all point out Dio as the one responsible for
making George Joestar ill, Dio turns to his final resort by doing what he did
earlier to himself: using the stone mask and George Joestar’s blood to become a
creature of the night: a vampire.

No longer human, Dio proceeds to wipe out nearly everyone in
the Joestar mansion as Jonathan fights Dio in what is to quite the battle of
wits and there is more to come in later episodes. Jonathan defeats Dio at the
expense of losing the mansion and the dead body of his father.

Shortly after his defeat, Dio comes alive and retreats to
heal his wounds. While recovering in the hospital, Jonathan meets Erina
Pendleton and the two get reacquainted. Later they meet William A. Zeppeli who
tells Jonathan that he came to Great Britain in order to find the stone mask
and destroy it. He tells Jonathan about the Ripple, a source of power that is
the key to defeating those who don the stone mask. He teaches Jonathan how to
harness the Ripple and soon he, Jonathan, and Speedwagon leave to find and
finish off Dio.

Along the way, they fight powerful adversaries like Jack the
Ripper, Bruford, and Tarkus, all under the service of Dio. Along the way,
Zeppeli meets his end as Jonathan, Speedwagon, and their new allies press
onward to defeat Dio.

Jonathan and Dio finally have their duel as utilizing all of
his Ripple energy, Jonathan defeats Dio indefinitely and peace returns. During
that brief peace, the stone mask was destroyed and Jonathan married Erina as the two set off on a
ship bound for the United States on their honeymoon.

Soon the ship they were on is taken over by vampires led
by the surviving Dio who has come to take Jonathan’s body for his own but
mortally wounds him. With his last dying Ripple, Jonathan manages to stop Dio
from succeeding with his plans by blowing up the ship. Erina and a baby she
saved were the only survivors that day.

The Review
What else can I say but that this was certainly about as bizarre
as Alice in Wonderland—only with manly men fighting vampires. I am going to
repeat that because that is what this series is really all about: Manly men
fighting vampires.

The more the Ripple was touched on ever since it was
introduced, the more believable it felt. Even if it was all fictional, it made
me wish I could learn something like that but then I would be forced to tangle
with vampires that would tear me limb from limb. Then again, the vampires would
tear anyone, Ripple user or not limb from limb if they could. Not a fun

Aside from the Ripple, what I really loved about this series
was that none of the battles were the same throughout. The characters all
learned to fight one another while outsmarting the other in just ridiculous but
believable ways. Like forming a hang glider out of dead leaves to fly across a
gorge or throwing a Ripple-infused rose at the eye of their enemy. Okay that
last one was not believable since the character who did that was only a head by
then but he made it work.

I was never fond of a character I liked dying and this
series makes no exceptions because it literally is out there to beat you down
if you get too attached to a character. Here’s a rule I go by: I do not get
attached to a character too soon after they are introduced for three episodes
unless I am sure they will make it through the battles alive. Zeppeli and
Jonathan pretty much break that rule later on. What JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
does is make you love a character so much that when they die, they die in some
really bad ways and when it happens, it hurts—it hurts a lot.

For a series that faithfully adapts to its original content
with a couple changes to it, the most solid job that stood out is the
narration. Another series that relies heavily on narration is Medaka Box, a
series I have put on hold for nearly a year and a half now. With JJBA 2012, the
narration really draws me into the plot and the characters. I just want to say
that the narrating is the best I’ve seen since anything of late. Thinking about
it now, it was done to avoid going over the page limit when JJBA was being
published in WSJ at the time. It’s done so effectively that it would be
sacrilege to not have the narration in later parts.

The Grade


I know what you’re going to say next. You’re going to say, “There’s a Part 2?” Yes, there is more than just Part 1, in fact, out of the two Parts I have seen, Part 2 is undoubtedly my favorite.

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