Hirohiko Araki’s hit 30+ year JoJo series is iconic and appealing for reasons that can qualify as its own article. It has creative action sequences, quirky poses, and the anime adaptations just have the right sound. As for what can apply both to the anime and manga, the series has some really memorable and cool lines! For today’s JoJo article, we’d like to explore some of the best lines from JoJo.
5. Kono Giorno Giovanna Ni Wa, Yume Ga Aru (I, Giorno Giovanna, have a dream) -Giorno Giovanna
Kicking off this list is Giorno’s proclamation as to why he wants to join Passione, Italy’s top mafia. So it may plagiarize Martin Luther King, but this is used under a different context. It shows how motivated Giorno is with his goals, and that he’s someone with principals that is willing to make the right sacrifices. When someone says they have a dream, it means something real and they’re willing to do what it takes to do it. It just shows how universal these words have to people of all backgrounds who want to make a difference.
4. Tsugi no serifu wa … (Your next line is..) -Young Joseph
In Young Joseph Joestar’s adventure in part 2, one of his key traits is being able to predict what his opponent is going to say next. And what’s the crazy thing? THEY ACTUALLY END UP SAYING IT! Tomokazu Sugita, his seiyuu, convinces you that the character is a cocky trickster, but when push comes to shove, he can talk the talk, and walk the walk. This particular line may not have any real life application, but it masterfully demonstrates the Young Joseph’s clever personality, and it perfectly distincts between the Young and Old Joseph because he doesn’t have this ability as he ages, but he makes it up with something just as impacting.
3. OH NO! -Grandpa Joseph
As opposed to saying “tsugi no serifu wa,” whenever Joseph finds himself in a comedic situation in his old age, he always screams “OH NO,” and there are instances he’ll use other English explicits in the Japanese version (when he could say an equivalent in Japanese such as “taihen” instead). The late Unshou Ishizuka, Grandpa Joseph’s seiyuu, knew how to capture this expression whenever he found himself comically startled. It’s more effective in the Japanese version because he was actually saying it in English, and from that perspective, gets the punchline across more effectively.
2. Yare Yare Daze (Good Grief) -Jotaro Kujo
In the official English versions, this is translated as “good grief,” which contextually works, but that’s just stealing from Charlie Brown. Like Ryoma’s “mada mada da ne” from Prince of Tennis, there is an exclusive context to how it’s applied, but there’s really no way to directly translate it to one exclusive phrase. Not only does it have the meaning of “good grief,” it also can mean something more generic like “oh, well” or something more extreme such as “WTF,” after seeing or experiencing something ridiculous.
Yes, Jotaro has cooler lines such as repeatedly screaming “ORA ORA ORA” when throwing punches, but “yare yare daze” just has this realistic application to it. If you find yourself reading Donald Trump’s tweets, or that your hamburger had pickles and onions on it (even when you requested to not have them), or passing the sight of how some idiot driver who’s looking at their phone after nearly causing an accident, you can just express your frustrations just by saying “yare yare da ze.”
1. KONO DIO DA! (IT WAS ME, DIO!) -Dio Brando
Dio, the first and third villain, has some of the coolest lines. One line notable line from the first story arc is when he scream “KONO DIO DA (IT WAS ME, DIO)” after he steals a kiss from Erina, Jonathan’s future wife. Yes, he also has “ZA WAARUDO” (THE WORLD), but that was mostly popularized by Isshin Chiba’s performance in the old Capcom fighting game. As to why we chose this line, it’s not because it became a meme, it perfectly conveys how classically over the top Dio is. Takehito Koyasu, Dio’s seiyuu, just does a great job of delivering an old sense of villainy that is now considered comedic by today’s standards, but appropriately makes his presence known.
Like Jotaro’s “Yare Yare Daze,” it just feels openly applicable in real life (or maybe not), and the temptation is there! When you do something and want to claim that you were the one that did it, it’s just one of those go to phrases to proclaim your accomplishments. If you find yourself doing something that people thought someone else would do first, all you gotta say is “KONO (insert your name here) DA” to let everybody know you did it first like Ray J.
As to why we explored this from a Japanese perspective, in our opinions, JoJo is just one of those series that should be viewed in Japanese. Considering how international audiences find the Japanese language exotic, the Japanese also find other languages exotic and the performances of this series does a great job of conveying that. When you listen to certain English words in the Japanese version, their delivery makes you think of how exotic the English language is from their perspective, and the Japanese accents appropriately emphasizes the mystique (such as how Dio says “ZA WAARUDO”), or adds that spice of humor (such as Grandpa Joseph’s swearing in Engrish) to such battle cries. If you hear it in an English dub, all of those qualities just feel lost and won’t convey the same feeling since such words are already native to the English language and won’t convey the emotions. So, what are some of your favorite lines from JoJo? Have you seen the series in other languages? If so, what are they like?