Comics Are Trying to Break Your Heart #151 by Drew Barth

Dolly Parton Reference

It’s finally a Wednesday… Finally here… Wednesday. And that means it’s a Jojo Wednesday this week. A bit over two years since the conclusion of the animated adaptation of Hirohiko Araki’s Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind, we’re finally at the premiere of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean. Although this one is a little different, with it being shown exclusively on Netflix, it is still nice to see Stone Ocean animated in all its batshit-road-trip-across-Florida-insanity

Stone Ocean is the sixth part of the long-running manga, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. The series as a whole is centered on the Joestar family and their bloodline throughout the decades—their battles, their deaths, and everything else that can happen around them. Stone Ocean follows Jolyne Cujoh, daughter of Stardust Crusaders’ protagonist Jotaro Kujo, and her incarceration in Green Dolphin Street Prison in Port St. Lucie. Jolyne, along with fellow prisoners Hermes Costello and a sapient colony of plankton inhabiting a dead woman’s body known as Foo Fighters, must unravel the mysteries of Whitesnake—a malicious force that can trap people’s memories and Stand abilities in physical disks. As mysterious as it is dangerous, Whitesnake has stole the memories and Stand of Jotaro Kujo and will attempt to kill Jolyne multiple times through surrogates to prevent her from taking back her estranged father’s discs. It’s a lot and this is maybe the first couple volumes out of seventeen.

From the bits and pieces we’ve already seen of the animated series, David Productions is going to be following the source material very closely—from the designs of Stands like Stone Free and Weather Report to the layout of Green Dolphin Street Prison itself. And because of that, there has always been an odd discussion surrounding these adaptations and that’s if someone should read the original manga first. And, normally, I would say yes. But despite Stone Ocean concluding in 2003, there has yet to be an official release of the manga in the US. The previous part, Golden Wind, only started getting its official manga releases in August, but there hasn’t been much of Stone Ocean just yet. And that’s definitely a shame as Stone Ocean was one of those pivotal moments in Araki’s development as a mangaka. The style we see him ending this part with is the style that has become his most iconic over the past twenty years with everything from fashion spreads to new covers for series re-releases. It feels like all of that started with this part of his manga, but we’re still not allowed to see it in English officially just yet.

As always, I’m going to evangelize Jojo as one of the best shonen manga ever released and this animated adaptation is likely going to continue my trend of evagelization. And for good reason. I’ve written previously about some of the major issues with shonen manga and Jojo’s supplanting of those tropes in favor of more sectional storytelling. I’m also excited for this entire series to be animated as it ends on a note very few manga have approached, but it’s something that many western comic fans will be very familiar with.

Get excited. Get free.

Drew Barth at Miami Book Fair in 2019.

Drew Barth (Episode 331 & 485) is a writer residing in Winter Park, FL. He received his MFA from the University of Central Florida. Right now, he’s worrying about his cat.