While the series isn’t so widely known in the west, “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure” has been a national phenomenon in Japan since it’s inception in the 80’s, and with its recent anime adaption, it has made waves around the world. “Jojolion” has been in serialization since May 2011, and 2020 will likely see the fateful finale of the eighth bizarre adventure in the franchise.
It is a tale of tragedy and despair, but also of comedy and friendship, bolstered by the bizarre aesthetic that author and artist Hirohiko Araki is known for. This adventure focuses on an amnesiac man with star-shaped birthmark who was discovered after a terrible earthquake, and the underground sales of an unknown alchemical fruit.
Chapter 94 was released Jan. 18 and has dramatically raised the story’s tension as the climactic confrontation between heroes and villains comes to a head. It’s been a long time coming for sure because the series has been running monthly for the last nine years, rather than weekly as it had been in previous parts.
This chapter was an interesting one, as we’ve finally received an explanation to the enigmatic Stand ability used by the story’s final villain Satoru Akefu.
Up until now, we’ve only seen this character’s shadowy back. As we’ve been informed this chapter, that has actually been an artistic choice by Araki. Turns out, that is the entire gimmick behind his power.
Once you see this character’s back, he can cause any number of unforeseen disasters to prevent you from pursuing him, and this has been shown to be incredibly deadly.
The explanation came at the perfect time, with the lives of the protagonists on the brink. Each of them is scattered and in mortal danger at this point, and the item everyone is fighting over is in the villain’s grasp.
However, the setup for this climactic scenario is essentially the same one that carries every single part in the “JJBA” series.
It has devolved into the protagonists being in a seemingly hopeless scenario, where their abilities simply cannot overpower the villains. The issue with this setup is that fans of the series are able to easily predict the outcome, despite the supposed hopelessness of the scenario.
I could find myself eating my own words in a few months. Araki may be a little trickier this time, but everything about this chapter screams predictability.
Now that we know exactly how the villains power works, the hopeless situation will turn into one where some of the protagonists may die, but Jojo and at least one of his friends will figure out a way to outsmart the villain.
Artistically, this chapter didn’t have many interesting panels. The most notable were probably the cover page which featured a closeup of Yasuho’s Stand, the mid-chapter shot of Yasuho’s dismembered arm and the final panel that revealed the form of the MacGuffin. Despite being notable, they weren’t anything special either.
That isn’t to say that the art was bad, but it was of the exact same professional quality that you’d expect from Araki and nothing better. If Araki put his mind to it, he could far exceed the average that you’d except to see in every chapter. His art was featured in the Louvre after all.
All in all, this chapter was simply a middle of the road set-up chapter that sets the stage for the series finale. It wasn’t legendary, but it wasn’t forgettable either, just somewhere in the middle.
“Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures: Jojolion” will be on short hiatus but will return in the Ultra Jump April issue.