Anime Meta-Review


Jojo's Bizarre Adventure


By Date




Title Info

  • alias: JoJo no Kimiyona Boken
  • seen: 1-7 of 7
  • type: OAV
  • grade: worthy
  • genre: magic_war
  • Other elements of this title:
    • This title may offend the sensitive.
  • made: 1993
  • Review created: A while ago, i'll revise it eventually.
  • mod: none

Strange really, in english the title seems to suggest young children and playful fantasy. Fortunately the opening of a naked woman strapped to an altar being sacrificed fixes that fairly quickly. Apparently this relates to the origins of the bad guy, but it is never made that explicit in the anime. What is made explicit is that a bunch of tough hombre's are wandering around arabic style environments in a contemporary period. Each of these guys controls a magic alter-ego, called a `stand' that grants them certain powers. The stands, both for the good guys and the bad guys are very interesting since they have strengths and weaknesses in the way they work. In addition these stands seem to almost match or affect the personality of the user. Also cool is the fact that some stands enhance the user and some work independantly.

This flexibility is very important, because battles tend to revolve around finding the abilities, strengths and weaknesses of the enemies stand, leading to a suprisingly interesting tactical struggle. Indeed some of the combats are completely non-physical, being purely based on wit and strategy. This also means that combats tend to be of longer duration, easily able to fill an entire episode without padding. This leads up to the final battle with the bad guy who is both a scary guy with a scary stand and some very impressive moves. Also good is that his ability is not made obvious immediately, so we get to sense what it is like from the characters point of view.

That being said it must be acknowledged that this anime gets its rating within the `Magic Warrior' genre. If you can't take rough and tough (but not always intelligent) protagonists, lots of bluster and threatening, long fight scenes and somewhat unbelievable survivals, amongst oceans of blood, you probably wont enjoy this much. Watching one guy take a neck wound, gout a litre of blood, and then declare it a minor wound lets you know the score fairly early.

Within its genre however this is superb stuff, the atmospheric and original arabic environment, the clever magic and very different combat makes it interesting to watch. The combat is deadly and threatening, with the hero's taking multiple hits and fatalities. The animation is very solid, with the magic looking very good and the action using the environment well, for example using hostages and a car chase as well as a rooftop battle. One really nice touch is that the stand is only visible when you are looking from the context of someone who would be able to see it (ie. another stand user). If you like action anime with a good dose of combat you really should check this one out. Of course if you don't like magically enhanced assault and splattery you won't like this one either (I generally don't, but I recognize the competence here).

There's a Review at Anime Genesis which highly recommends the film and notes the "strategy and wits" as making the battles interesting. Lord Carnage likes it but is annoyed by one particular stand user who's not human. Both he and his offsider "Herself the Elf" note that this requires appreciation of the genre in this review.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:20 WST 2009