Jojolion is the eighth part of the iconic JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure series and has been in publication in Ultra Jump for the last eight years. It’s set in an alternate universe version of Morioh from Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable, but updates the year to 2011 and stars a mysterious teen named Josuke Higashikata who suddenly appeared one day, half-buried in the ground and suffering from amnesia (and, for some reason, he has four testicles). Strange things have been happening in Morioh lately, and it’s up to Josuke and his new friend Yasuho to solve these mysteries while also trying to ascertain his own true identity.
This is already a strange premise, but then we’re introduced to the Rock Humans and the two different Rokakaka fruits and the hereditary Higashikata curse and the alternate universe version of Holly Kujo who looks like Lady Gaga and has brain damage that makes her think people are furniture... and at that point, most people are too overwhelmed to continue. But we’re here to tell you that Part 8, despite its insane storyline, is actually one of the best things Araki has ever written. Here’s why you NEED to read Jojolion.
The Stand Battles are More Creative and Brutal Than Ever
Jojolion’s immediate predecessor Steel Ball Run, as well as its spiritual ancestor Diamond is Unbreakable, featured some of the most creative Stand battles in the entire series. Johnny and Gyro’s race to “use up” their gifts from Sugar Mountain’s Spring, original Josuke’s high-speed chase to escape Highway Star, and the entirety of the final battle against President Valentine are all memorable because of how they use unique Stand abilities to deviate from the traditional beats of a shounen fight scene.
Part 8 takes this to an extreme, with almost every enemy Stand encounter requiring an unusual strategy to overcome. One of our favorites is Josuke and Yasuho’s fight against the Rock Human Dolomite, who uses his Stand Blue Hawaii to stalk Josuke with a contagious mind-controlling virus that uses bystanders as homing zombies (which might be an homage to the horror movie It Follows). Yasuho uses her information gathering Stand Paisley Park to pinpoint the immobile Dolomite’s location, where she threatens him with a steel pipe until he lets Josuke go. These protagonists don’t mess around for a second!
The Characters are Beyond Bonkers, But Also Realistically Emotional
It just wouldn’t be JoJo without colorful characters who flaunt their strangeness at every opportunity, and Part 8 certainly doesn’t disappoint on that front. The Higashikata family is particularly rich in quirkiness: the patriarch Norisuke is hilariously blunt about his feelings (once telling Josuke that “your Stand is like your asshole; you don’t just go showing it off to everyone else”), the oldest son Jobin challenges Josuke to a stag beetle battle for ownership of his Lamborghini, and the middle child Joshu is such a comical scumbag that he uses his Stand to steal girls’ underwear.
However, these characters still behave like real people when they need to. Jobin may be a childish weirdo, but he cares deeply for his son and is willing to do anything to save him from the Higashikata curse. Even the ditsy oldest daughter Hato (who thwarted her family’s trip to Hawaii by forgetting that it isn’t part of Japan and thus didn’t renew her passport) gets serious when her mother Kaato comes home and threatens her younger siblings. These shifts can be a little jarring, but somehow, they work.
The Mystery Plot is Richly Detailed and Suspenseful
Once you get past the undeniable strangeness that eating a special fruit will restore one part of your body while turning another one to stone and that a newer strain of the fruit will allow you to use another person’s body as collateral instead of your own, the mystery plot of Jojolion is actually really interesting to sink your teeth into. Who are these Rock Humans, who do they work for, and what do they truly want? What happened to Holly? Why does Josuke’s body seem to be a hodgepodge of two different people?
Even now that the manga is in its endgame, the story still doesn’t have a clear main villain. Most likely, the troubles the main characters face were caused by a number of separate entities, each working for their own desires and creating temporary alliances out of convenience. This is a much more realistic explanation of a grand mystery than it just being the work of one supervillain, so it’s a refreshing change of pace from other JoJo parts.
Jojolion is 91 monthly chapters long at this point, and it’s nearing its end as we speak. If you have any interest in this especially wacky (but fascinating) corner of the JoJo universe, there’s never been a better time to start reading. It can be confusing at first, but it’s absolutely worth it!
What did you think of our overview? Have you ever read Jojolion? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!