By: Gwynn Van Houten
For long-time manga readers and fans of the classics, the name JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure probably rings more than a few bells. JoJo’s has been a global phenomenon since its debut in 1986, and the mangaka, Araki Hirohiko, is practically a household name among Japanese comic readers. The first six parts of this modern (and eccentric) epic follow the descendants of a noble family, the Joestars, in their struggle against the malevolent vampire Dio and the havoc he and his followers leave behind. The latest two arcs take place in an alternate universe, featuring similar concepts and characters but a new array of challenges. (The one constant is that the main character of all eight parts is nicknamed JoJo.) The series spans 114 volumes and counting, with a word count higher than Shakespeare’s combined works.
JoJo’s has won numerous awards for its enticing approach to the action genre, presenting a mixture of hyper-macho martial arts and supernatural powers. Part 3, Stardust Crusaders, introduces an idea that Araki has referred to as a “goldmine”: stands, or manifestations of a character’s fighting spirit that take a unique shape and grant the user a power that matches their personality and talents — super strength and speed, the power to stop time, turn inorganic objects into living things, convert people’s memories and abilities into CDs, or transform yourself and others into dinosaurs (yes, really) — Araki’s imagination knows no bounds. Additionally, the series is infamous for its usage of Western rock artists as the namesake of many characters and stands. In no other series will you read about a character battling “King Crimson” or “Red Hot Chili Pepper”.
Following the critically-acclaimed adaptations of the first three parts by rookie studio David Production, fans have waited earnestly for the announcement that the fourth arc of the manga, Diamond is Unbreakable, has been greenlit for an anime series. Behind Stardust Crusaders, Diamond is one of the most recognizable and beloved parts of the series, inspiring a multitude of spinoffs as well as parodies and memes (many based on an especially terribad English translation of the manga). It contrasts with the globetrotting nature of previous arcs, focusing on the mysteries plaguing a city inspired by Araki’s hometown, Sendai.
On October 24, fans’ prayers were answered when Warner Bros. uploaded a brief YouTube video announcing that Diamond is, indeed, in production. However, the video gave little insight, but announced that more details will be given on November 19 via the series’s official website. Thankfully, the JoJo’s official Twitter has already given some promising news, including photos from Sendai (for reference, it seems) and a strong suggestion that the voice actors from the PS3 game JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle and upcoming title Eyes of Heaven will be returning to the franchise for the show. Some may recognize one of the main character’s Japanese voices as Levi from Attack on Titan and another as Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist.
For all the hype accompanying it and the animating talent David has proven itself capable of, Diamond is Unbreakable will be a smash hit. To catch up on the series, be sure to watch the first three seasons or read Phantom Blood, Battle Tendency, and Stardust Crusaders and stay tuned for more details.
Yesterday, the staff and cast for the anime were revealed in Dengeki G’s Magazine. It was also mentioned that the premiere will be in April 2016. A promotional video will be shown at Jump Festa on December 19-20.
Much of the staff from Stardust Crusaders will be returning. However, the voice cast is almost all-new, and is as follows:
Yuuki Ono as Josuke Higashikata
Yuuki Kaji as Koichi Hirose
Wataru Takagi returning as Okuyasu Nijimura
Takahiro Sakurai as Rohan Kishibe
Daisuke Ono returning as Jotaro Kujo