In 1987, manga publisher, Shōnen Jump, published a manga series titled, “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure” which opened in manga stores in Japan. The series chronicles a family generation of The Joestar Family. A story arc focuses on a family member set in a specific time period. “Phantom Blood” is the first installment of the franchise focusing on Jonathan “Jojo” Joestar who comes face fo face with Dio Brando. Both their fathers have a deep connection which made both Jojo & Dio crossed paths as enemies.
The manga spawned more follow ups including “Battle Tendency,” “Starship Crusaders” and a story arc titled, “Jojolion” is still ongoing since 2011. It also expands merchandise ranging from shirts, video games, (most notably Jump Force) collectibles just to name a few items. An anime adaptation of the series officially aired in Japan since 2012. The show later aired in America in 2016 on Adult Swim as part of Toonami’s block.
Today’s review doesn’t contain no SPOILERS. I’ll let you guys and gals on a head start in case you’re interested in getting to know the franchise from the very beginning. By the way, this will be a short review, due to the fact nine episodes racked up Phantom Blood’s structure.
Magical & Hex Aspects
Magical: Veteran voice actor Johnny Yong Bosch (Ichigo from Bleach) did a decent job for his voiceover performance as Jonathan “Jojo” Joestar. For those who don’t know who Johnny is, he’s Adam Park (Black & Green Ranger) from “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.”
Phantom Blood has a total of nine episodes. Which means it won’t take a long time
Animation looks gorgeous. Every single detail is polished bringing the world, characters, costumes, environmental locations and color palettes to life.
Action Sequences kept my blood pumping. Speaking of blood, the show is gory. If you have a weak stomach, be prepared. I bring a bard bag if I were you. Don’t let your kids watch it. This ain’t “Hamtaro,” it’s an anime only grown up can watch.
Phantom Blood takes place in England in the late 19th Century spanning from 1880-1888.
Opening of the first episode establishes The Joestar Family’s generational adventures.
Jojo learns mystic abilities in order to defeat his adoptive brother Dio.
Dio Brando’s appearance is based on Roy Batty from “Blade Runner.” Dio’s last game is a reference to Marlon Brando.
Dio’s motivation is to obtain power in order to fulfill his father’s legacy to destroy The Joestar Family’s reputation.
Some characters are named after famous rock bands/musicians.
Robert E.O. Speedwagon’s name is a reference to the band R.E.O. Speedwagon.
Famous individuals like Jack The Ripper & Queen Elizabeth tie into the story.
Jojo’s mentor Zeppeli is named after Led Zeppelin. Except the letter n is removed.
A mask plays a pivotal role. It holds the key to obtain vampire abilities.
An ability called, “Hamon” factors in for Jojo to combat Dio.
The official ending theme is Yes’ “Roundabout.” I first heard of the song since I used to play the “Rock Band” video games.
Hex: I couldn’t find nothing wrong with Phantom Blood. It deserves an Extra Point without suffering from any con whatsoever.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood is a strong beginning for The Joestar Family. Some of the things I’ve listed as much as I can, indicate Phantom Blood is worth a watch. If you’re eager to watch the first story arc, I strongly recommend it. Trust me, you are gonna enjoy it.