If a series so well known for its musical inspirations didn’t have an amazing soundtrack, it would be a certified tragedy. But luckily for us, the producers of the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure anime adaptation pulled out all the stops and crafted original music that fits each part and character perfectly.
Today, we’re counting down our five favorite songs from the anime soundtrack. We’re leaving out the opening and ending themes, since trying to rank those in a definitive order is so subjective that it’s almost pointless. These soundtrack songs are memorable because they strengthen moments of the anime so well that now we can’t read the manga without humming the tunes in our heads. Ready your playlists and join us!
5. Fukutsu Mushin no Sakebi (Jonathan’s theme)
Phantom Blood has an atmosphere of Gothic horror and Victorian melodrama that just doesn’t exist in the later parts, mostly thanks to its emphasis on vampires and gentlemanly heroism. Appropriately, our protagonist Jonathan has a theme that embodies the grandiosity of his journey as well as his own selfless personality – Fukutsu Mushin no Sakebi.
This sweeping orchestral piece plays during several battles, most notably the final clash against Dio in episode 8 of the first series. The swell of brass and strings that accompanies Jonathan’s flaming punch finisher gives the moment a sense of incredible triumph, and then simmers down to acknowledge that he feels horrible for killing his own brother. It would be too overdramatic for any other main character, but the song fits Jonathan perfectly.
4. Noble Pope (Kakyoin’s theme)
Kakyoin started out as a brainwashed villain, having been swayed to Dio’s side through insidious manipulation. But once he’s set free of that life, the Japanese teenager turns out to be quite the expert tactician himself. His theme, Noble Pope (which is occasionally used for Polnareff as well), uses a heavy electric background and high strings to bring his most epic moments to life.
The song plays during his last stand against Dio, making the 20-meter Emerald Splash seem even more heroic. Of course, that also means that it gives viewers a false sense of victory right before Dio turns him into a cherry donut, but the upbeat tone reminds us that Kakyoin figured out The World’s time-stopping ability and warned the others just in time. Noble Pope shows us that his death wasn’t in vain.
3. Canzoni Preferite (the torture dance theme)
As soon as the Golden Wind anime was announced, the fandom was abuzz with speculation about one very important thing; how is the torture dance going to be animated? Narancia, Mista, and Fugo’s spontaneous choreographed dance routine while burning a captured enemy’s eyeball with concentrated sunlight is one of the most bizarrely hilarious moments in the series, so the adaptation needed to be sublime.
And it absolutely was! Episode 7 gave us a feast for the eyes and ears, with psychedelic visuals and a much longer dance sequence. The music to accompany it is a track called Canzoni Preferite (Italian for “favorite song”), inspired by Prince’s song Pussy Control. Its funky beat and instantly memorable lyrics elevate the scene from just entertainingly weird to an ascended level of coolness that captures the entire feeling of Golden Wind in just one minute.
2. Killer (Yoshikage Kira’s theme)
You won’t find many criminals like Yoshikage Kira. He’s a serial killer who murders women and keeps their severed hands as his “girlfriends”, but you’d never guess that from his appearance. He looks just like any other well-to-do businessman and prefers to live an unassuming life, intentionally going unnoticed so that he can fulfill his dark urges in peace.
His theme, Killer, is essentially the man’s personality played out as music. Most of the track is careful and quiet, with an ominous melody that slinks along with cat-like grace. Then, out of nowhere, the entire orchestra erupts into a bombastic wall of sound that represents Kira’s true self. During his introductory scene in episode 17, the intense tonal shift hits right when the girl he’s escorting turns out to be a freshly chopped off hand. Without knowing anything else about him, this reveal and musical sting tell us everything we need to know.
1. Awaken (the Pillar Men’s theme)
How do you write a leitmotif for a trio of 10,000-year-old Aztec vampire-eating superhumans with massively muscular stretchy bodies and clothing that can only be described as Meso-American stripper chic? With dubstep, of course!
The Pillar Men’s introduction in episode 14 of the first series is certainly something to behold: Wamuu bursts out of the wall, effortlessly kills a gaggle of Nazi soldiers by knitting their fingers together and draining their blood, and then awakens his masters from their stone sleep. Awaken provides a mixture of ancient war cries, grandiose electric riffs, and modern hip-hop beats to let viewers know that the Pillar Men aren’t just fabulous, they’re a real threat.
We also love tunes like the beatdown themes, Overdrive, and Il Mare Eterno Nella Mia Anima, and so many more. The soundtracks have yet to disappoint, and we hope that continues through every part of the anime.
What did you think of our list? What are your favorite JoJo songs? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!