David Productions, which produces the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure anime adaptation, is filled to the brim with people who care deeply about the manga’s 30+ year history and lore. How can we tell? They hide little easter eggs all over the place for longtime fans to find!
Since both the creators and viewers of the anime have the entire story at their fingertips in manga form, episodes from earlier parts can reference later events or tie threads together that were only tangentially related in the source material. Let’s take a closer look at our 5 favorite secrets that you may not have noticed in the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure anime!
5. Battle Tendency’s OP is hiding a secret stand
Joseph Joestar—a.k.a. the anime world’s Bugs Bunny—is the only hamon user to also appear in the later parts that introduced stands. So he’s in a unique position of having both hamon powers and the stand Hermit Purple, which he combines together to devastating effect in Stardust Crusaders.
But the spiked thorns of his stand can be seen as far back as part 2 in the anime, where they appear during the opening sequence Bloody Stream. When the art shifts from 3D to heavily stylized 2D near the beginning, the shifting background behind Joseph contains shadows of Hermit Purple fading in and out of view. It’s a subtle reference, but one that fans of this flippant JoJo very much appreciated.
4. Golden Wind teases a much later arc in an early episode
The last story arc of Golden Wind, known as Rolling Stones, chronologically takes place just before the very first arc. So while Giorno is stealing luggage from Japanese tourists, the rest of the gang is busy hunting down a stand user with some strange connection to Bucciarati.
Funnily enough, episode 5 of the anime references this arc with a short exchange between Fugo and Abbacchio about needing a rental car because “a certain someone destroyed our last one.” Mista crashed their car during a tense moment in the Rolling Stones arc that took place a few days prior, so it’s neat to see this callback (call forward?) in the anime.
3. The stand arrows appear in Stardust Crusaders
Where do stands come from, anyway? The answer could be any number of things depending on which part you’re reading, but part 4’s explanation is that special arrows create stands when they pierce a person’s skin. If the person is deemed worthy of possessing the power, they’ll survive the injury. These arrows came into Enya the hag’s possession shortly before part 3, although this was retrospectively added into the timeline and therefore wasn’t shown during the part itself.
In episode 42 of Stardust Crusaders, the bow and arrow appear mounted on the wall of Dio’s mansion during a scene when Vanilla Ice meets with Dio. This little secret is both a fun easter egg for manga fans and a small plot element that helps tie the series timeline together.
2. Star Platinum’s design echoes a much older hero
Have you ever noticed that Star Platinum’s design looks a bit... familiar? That massive body, those fingerless gloves with studs and wrist straps, the waves and spirals that remind you of a power long forgotten? Yes, it’s Jonathan Joestar! Araki has never confirmed that Jotaro’s stand is a sort of reincarnation of his great-great-grandfather, but the resemblance is uncanny. Star Platinum’s undulating hair and golden tiara also remind us of Bruford, the noble knight who gave Jonathan his sword of luck and pluck.
This reference isn’t exclusive to the JoJo anime, but David Productions definitely makes it more noticeable. Their redesign for Jonathan’s final outfit during part 1 replaces his capped sleeves with shoulder armor that looks strikingly similar to Star Platinum’s gold pauldrons (which were originally a reference to Fist of the North Star). You can see these design callbacks in other stands as well, such as Gold Experience’s waist straps and helmet that resemble Dio and his stand The World from part 3.
1. Alive on the left, dead on the right
It’s no secret that Araki likes killing beloved main characters—so much so that we wonder if he does it just to make us suffer. And even when we know ahead of time that a character won’t survive to the end of their part, we still cry when we see their death in the anime. So, seemingly just to rub it in, the anime opening themes will sometimes slip in a sly shot that reminds us which of our favorites are on the chopping block.
Three different openings feature moments that place characters who live on the left and their doomed comrades on the right. End of the World (part 3’s second opening) zooms in on Jotaro from a staircase and the position of the other Crusaders reflects their fate. Chase (part 4’s second opening) does something similar with a still image of Yukako and Aya split down the middle with a dotted line, and Fighting Gold (part 5’s first opening) continues the morbid tradition with its panning shot of the gang members’ faces looking to the sky. Even though pouring salt in manga readers’ wounds is a little evil, we still appreciate the subtle foreshadowing.
Sifting through every little secret reference is fascinating and shows just how much the David Productions staff cares about doing this adaptation justice. We can’t wait to see what clever new easter eggs they’ll hide in future episodes!
What did you think of our list? Did you catch any of these secrets when you watched the JoJo anime? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!