JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Volume 1 Review: Muscular Martial Arts

Martial arts in anime and manga is fairly common, to an extent you almost expect to see it in some form or another in almost any series. Yet few do over the top, yet basic brawls as well as JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure does. Between the literally larger than life characters and outrageous art style, it is no wonder the word ‘bizarre’ is in the title.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure takes place in London in 1880. The story follows the life and struggles of Jonathon Joestar, also known as JoJo. JoJo is part of a wealthy family and has a fairly decent life until the son of a family friend is adopted by JoJo’s father. This new addition, Dio Brando, proceeds to make JoJo’s life absolutely miserable in an attempt to steal JoJo’s inheritance. As this is going on, a mysterious aztec relic that turns the wearer into a monster causes further problems for the two ‘brothers’. While the story does attempt to explain why the mask is in the Joestar residence, it still feels rather forced to have it there.


It seems that the intent for the story is to have JoJo and Dio be sharp contrasts to one another. JoJo is a decent human being that is trying to do the right thing while building up more muscle than all the Gears of War characters combined. Dio is exactly the opposite, he is a pure spawn of evil that gets progressively worse over the course of the first volume. If things progress this way, JoJo will become some sort of paragon of good while Dio becomes something so vile that no fate would be too harsh or too brutal an end for him.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure uses an older art style, similar to the one used in Monster. However, Hirohiko Araki found a way to add his own style to it. JoJo and Dio are depicted as being ridiculously large guys that are so muscular that professional football players look small in comparison. Nevertheless, the illustrations are solid and very well drawn. During certain fight scenes, certain character movements seem to be overly exaggerated. I’m not sure if this is meant to look silly or if over exaggerated movements is what the author was hoping for. Also like in Monster, there are colored pages that use primarily shades of orange and brown. This did not look good in Monster, and it certainly doesn’t look good in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.

While it may not be as violent as Terra Formars, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure does depict some minor, yet graphic gore along with disturbing imagery. Reader discretion is advised. But overall, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure starts off pretty well with the first volume. I don’t know if I will continue reading the series beyond the first volume, but I’m confident that other readers will stay with this series. If you happen to be looking for an action packed manga filled with drama and ridiculous borderline caricatures for main characters, then you don’t want to miss out on JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.