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First Thoughts: “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable” – Shine On, You Crazy Diamond!

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Here we go, the part we’ve all been waiting for! DIO is dead, the Tarrot Cards have been ripped to shreds, Old Man Joseph is off having affairs, and Jotaro Kujo is now a Marine Biologist. Everything you thought was insane about the previous installments of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure can be tossed out the proverbial window, because what’s coming up is crazier than anything we’ve ever seen before. Things are changing, baby! No longer will Stands be named after Tarrot Cards, so if you thought Tower Of Grey was too odd of a name, then you better prepare yourself for the incredibly original Red Hot Chilli Pepper; a name only one letter away from a copyright lawsuit.

We’re no longer following the Juvenile Delinquent Jotaro Kujo, instead this part will focus on a character the likes of which we’ve never seen before; a Juvenile Delinquent…with a heart of gold. This new Anime will not feature a mangey mutt, nor a senile old man, but instead it will play host to some of the more interesting characters you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting; a cereal killer with a hand fetish, an invisible infant, and two powerful rats. If you’ve yet to figure it out, then maybe I’m being too vague, or perhaps you’re just not powerful enough to withstand the intense aura of these words and it is rendering your brain utterly useless. Regardless, what you should know is that the Anime adaptation of Hirohiko Araki’s Diamond Is Unbreakable has just begun…and it’s beautiful!

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Koichi Hirose is, for all intents and purposes, a normal boy. One fateful day, on his way to class for the very first time as a high-schooler, he runs into an interesting duo of men, one of which happens to be an older but younger-looking Jotaro Kujo, and the other his youthful uncle. Soon, after a literal run-in with Mr. Kujo’s manhood, Koichi meets the strange yet kindhearted Josuke Higashikata; just the man Jotaru Kujo had travelled to Morioh Town to meet.

The Two look on as our hero, Josuke, is confronted by a group of teenagers with torment in their hearts, and fire in their eyes. After breaking and subsequently healing the nose of the gangs leader after he almost killed a wild turtle Josuke was using to help quell his fear of aquatic reptiles, it is revealed that Josuke is indeed a member of the Joestar family, though with a different last name thanks to the wandering libido we know as Old Man Joseph.

Sometime after the marriage between Joseph Joestar and Suzie Q and that of the birth of their first child Holly, the old man decided that it was time to travel, and no I’m not referring to his trip to Egypt in order to find DIO. He decided that the lifestyle of an ageing father was not one that suited him well, so he took a trip to the fictional Morioh Town, which is somewhere in Japan, to sow his wild oats.

Those oats then grew into an interesting tree, a tree we know now as Josuke Higashikata. Jotaro Kujo, who has taken time off from his job as a Marine Biologist, has come to Morioh Town not only to tell Josuke that he is the bastard child of Old Man Joseph, but that there is a ruthless killer loose in the town. After warning him about this man and explaining to Josuke that a long talk must be had about the Joestar lineage, Jotaro allows the boys to attend their first day of class and retreats back to his five-star accommodation for what I can only assume is an afternoon of staring violently into the distance, pondering.

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On their way back from school, new best friends Koichi and Josuke talk about the troubles of life, and how it’s super crazy to, all of the sudden, find out about a long line of relatives you never knew you had thanks to a cheating father that didn’t have enough common decency to hang around after he knocked up your mother. You know…standard teenager stuff. He decides in this moment that he doesn’t care much for the Joestar family, and that he’s going to somehow avoid his nephew, Jotaro Kujo, until he catches the killer and leaves town forever, no questions asked.

His peace doesn’t last too long though, as the duo walk past their local convenient store they notice somewhat of a commotion: It seems as though a crazed mugger has held up the store, taking hostage the only worker in at the present time. After the felon calls out Josuke from a crowd of people, exclaiming that his hair is silly, our hero decides that it’s time for this criminal to go down, because…you don’t talk smack about the hair, okay!? Josuke hates that!

After using his Stand, Crazy Diamond, to punch through both the man and the woman being held hostage, the audience begins to understand just what king of ability this young man has; he can heal things…or reverse specific fragments of time, which is more fitting for those of the Joestar bloodline. Within a flash, he heals the gut wound of the innocent woman and reveals that the knife the robber was previously holding is now sitting nicely in the pit of his stomach, just where Josuke wanted it to be. A disgusting, water-based Stand reveals itself from the gullet of the now seized man, and warns Josuke to watch his back.

Now that Josuke has exposed himself as a Stand user, the mysterious murderer who is clearly in control of this disgustingly, slimy Stand will be gunning for him from now on. The episode ends with Jotaro and Josuke having a jovial chat on the phone about officially become one of the Joestars when a man in a funny hat who is most obviously the murderer turns up at the Higashikata household. We’ll have to wait until next week to figure out what happens next! The murderer gets destroyed by Josuke, that’s what happens next. Despite what the episode wants you to believe, this is not the murderer who serves as the bad guy to the series, it’s a second, less-frightening murderer. Don’t get it twisted.

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Yeah, this already sounds a little too outrageous, right? Well, it IS called JoJo’s BIZARRE Adventure, so if you were expecting a more tame take on the world of JJBA, then I’m not sure you’re watching the right Anime series. Within a single episode, Diamond Is Unbreakable has shown the audience that whatever footing in reality that the last JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure storyline had has now been lifted, and this arc will take place entirely in a realm of pure insanity.

Diamond Is Unbreakable leans heavily into the fact that JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is loved because of how outlandish it is. The fact that Josuke will only fight when his hair is insulted, despite being such a tiny example, is exactly the reason people adore JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, and Diamond Is Unbreakable is being set up to be as eccentric and extravagant as it could possibly be, and if you ask me…I think that’s a fantastic thing! The only thing lacking when it come to Stardust Crusaders was that it still had remnants of sanity, well that sanity is all but dried up in Diamond Is Unbreakable, and that’s the best route this series could have taken!

Unlike Stardust Crusaders, Diamond Is Unbreakable takes place not on a wild trip across the globe but in a small town where I can only assume a lot of interesting shenanigans will take place. I love a series that has a clear definition of location, making the environment something of a character itself, and Diamond Is Unbreakable absolutely has what it takes to develop something of that kind. It also seems a great deal darker than that of it’s predecessors. While DIO spend most of his time killing and, I assume, having sex with mostly unwilling men and women (Yes, I bet he laid with men too), it was never brought to light, and apart from all the innocents he killed over time, nothing compares to that of a story revolving around a cereal killer located in a small town. It’s essentially an old horror film, and yet it has all the charm of a Shonen story. What more could you possibly want?

This point applies just to people like me, but I also love the overarching Juvenile Delinquent theme. Josuke clearly takes after his nephew (man, that feels weird to type) and plays host to an interesting fashion sense alongside a short temper that has him constantly getting into fights. I’m a huge fan of the Juvenile Delinquent sub-genre, and it looks as though Diamond Is Unbreakable is setting up to feature a lot of my favorite aspects from said genre, so I can’t help but feel excited for what’s to come next. Stands AND long coats? How could I possibly hate this!?

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Backing up all of this is an incredibly vibrant style of animation that stays as high a quality is it possibly can from the very first scene up until the very last. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has always had a jazzy visual style, but it has only ever gotten more and more eccentric with Diamond Is Unbreakable being the most interesting-looking iteration to date (not including the Manga). Much like the previous seasons of the Anime, Diamond Is Unbreakable still features an art style similar to that of original Mangaka Hirohiko Araki’s at the time of illustrating this arc, and having some incredibly vivid colours to back up a wondrous illustration style is all this series needed to reach perfection. Considering it’s  “punk-ish” soundtrack and it’s amazing Japanese voice cast, it’s hard not to become infatuated with Diamond Is Unbreakable.

To say the very least; Diamond Is Unbreakable not only lived up to my expectations, it absolutely obliterated any ideas I had in my head and replaced them with something even better. When I first started watching this long-running Anime series, I though it was Stardust Crusaders that would sweep me off my feet, and while that’s exactly what the arc did, Diamond Is Unbreakable set me back down…and swept me up again! This time pommeling me into the ground, and healing my broken body so it is more beautiful than before. Thus is the power of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, and thus is the power of Diamond Is Unbreakable. I have…nothing else to say. The proof is in the pudding, and this pudding is as sweet as it can be.

Watch JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable through Crunchyroll’s Anime streaming service now: Click Here

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