There are two things you need to know before continuing.
First, I highly suggest reading through the Anime Hajime Impressions: Benkyou – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Stardust Crusaders series. Doing so provides more context to what I will be talking about here.
Second, although I intend to discuss what I liked and disliked about this show, THIS IS NOT A REVIEW. I watched JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Stardust Crusaders in Japanese without any English subtitles.
I have confidence in my understanding of Japanese, but not nearly enough to write an official Anime Hajime review. Therefore, I fully expect to get details wrong. Please leave your thoughts about this series in the comments section below.
So, what were my impressions of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Stardust Crusaders?
Jotaro “JoJo” Kujo
- Voiced By: Daisuke Ono
JoJo is the delinquent grandson of Joseph Joestar and great-great-grandson of Jonathan Joestar. He is a skilled Stand User who wields Star Platinum.
I enjoyed the first season of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure immensely. It managed to tell a story that was equal parts gripping, tense, and exciting, as well as weird, silly, and all kinds of bonkers. The word “experience” comes to mind whenever I think of it.
In particular, it was the second half of the season, the “Battle Tendency” story arc, that I found to be incredible. There was a great mix of action, comedy, drama, and goofiness, and it got to the point where it was impossible to know what would happen next. And the glue that held everything together was the rich supply of larger-than-life characters, spearheaded by the unforgettable Joseph Joestar.
As a consequence of that, I was extremely nervous going into Stardust Crusaders. Although it interested me to see many “Battle Tendency” characters again, I thought the new crop of personalities had an impossible task before them. How could anything top what I had just seen? Or, more to the point, how would this new JoJo, Jotarou Kujo, hold a candle to the old one when Joseph would be right there?
It turns out my concerns were laughably unfounded. Stardust Crusaders blew its predecessor out of the goddamn water. Wow, this series was a ton of fun.
- Voiced By: Unsho Ishizuka
The grandson of Jonathan Joestar and grandfather of Jotaro Kujo. Joseph is a seasoned veteran and accomplished fighter. His Stand is Hermit Purple.
I suppose I should start with the area I was most concerned about – the characters.
Again, one of the factors that made the first season of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure so phenomenal was its cast. However, having now sat through Stardust Crusaders, it’s hard not to wonder, “Did I really like the last batch of characters that much?” How could such a notion be possible since people like Robert Speedwagon, Lisa Lisa, Caesar Zappeli, William Zappeli, and the Pillar Men have been so firmly supplanted?
It is difficult to imagine a JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure story without Jotaro and Joseph working together. Additionally, how can this franchise exist without the cool knowledge of Muhammad Avdol, the ever-loyal Noriaki Kakyoin, and the unsinkable Jean Pierre Polnareff? Heck, let’s include Iggy; I didn’t even like the dog half as much as everyone else, but he was still an unmistakable member of Team Joestar.
And it wasn’t just our heroes.
Dio was a much more intimidating villain in Stardust Crusaders than he ever was in the “Phantom Blood” story arc. I don’t know how Stardust Crusaders did it, but Dio’s reveal this season was an epicly badass, highly anticipated moment. That was a strange sensation since I already knew what the guy looked like.
- Voiced By: Kenta Miyake
A friend of Joseph Joestar, Avdol is an Egyptian Stand User who commands Magician’s Red. His knowledge of Stands is a massive help.
- Voiced By: Daisuke Hirakawa
Kakyoin is a teenage Japanese Stand User who was once under the control of the vampire Dio. His Stand is Hierophant Green.
Then there was Stand. Much like it was with the characters, Stand replaced its predecessor, Hamon, as the predominant fighting style of the franchise.
Incidentally, I keep saying “Hamon” because that is what it is called in Japanese. Since finishing JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, I have come to learn that “Hamon” translates to “Ripple,” which the English dub of this show obviously uses. I suspect I will continue to go with the word “Hamon” because it has become a habit at this point, but yes, I do know the difference.
Regardless, Stand became more memorable than Hamon because it felt more unique. Every Stand User in Stardust Crusader was their own threat; everyone brought something different to a fight. For example, if Team Joestar had to crush something, they would turn to Jotaro’s Star Platinum or Avdol’s Magician’s Red. If the group required speed, Polnareff’s Silver Chariot was better. Then, if they were setting traps or conducting an investigation, Kakyoin’s Hierophant Green or Joesph’s Hermit Purple, respectively, were needed.
This wide variety of Stands allowed their Users to be isolated obstacles. When enemies went after Team Joestar, they had to consider what each member’s Stand could do. Likewise, enemy Stands were dangerous for the same reason. The team’s position was typically harrowing since they often had to figure out what Stand they were fighting while they were fighting it.
Jean Pierre Polnareff
- Voiced By: Fuminori Komatsu
A French Stand User, Polnareff is searching for the person who murdered his little sister. His Stand is Silver Chariot.
- Voiced By: Misato Fukuen
Iggy is a small and irritable dog. Although he doesn’t look it, Iggy is a Stand User wielding The Fool. He joins the team as they trek through Egypt.
Speaking of Stardust Crusader’s villains, they were a factor we cannot ignore when talking about this show’s entertainment value.
In “Phantom Blood” and “Battle Tendency,” although there were minions, those story arcs’ main bad guy dominated the narrative. And since those two plotlines were significantly shorter than Stardust Crusaders’, that setup worked.
There simply needed to be more in this go-around (even though Dio was the villain in both “Phantom Blood” and Stardust Crusaders). As such, this season decided to use a more bad-guy-of-the-week style. In the past, I have used that term (or something similar) to describe a show in a negative light. Not this time.
Stardust Crusaders got around the cut-and-paste nature by making each Dio-sent assassin weird as hell. No two villains were the same. Therefore, no two fights were the same either. Team Joestar could never rely on a single strategy to get them through their journey. They had to keep adapting, and the show kept feeling fresh as a result.
Thus, I think the next question is, who was my favorite bad guy? The easy answer is Dio. But after him, it gets a lot more complicated. I can tell you this; there was never a fight I found boring.
- Voiced By: Takehito Koyasu
Dio is the Joestar family’s greatest enemy. His vampire strength makes him extremely tough to kill. On top of that, he wields The World Stand, making him even more dangerous.
To wrap this post up, was there anything I disliked about Stardust Crusaders?
I’m sure there were points I found annoying or tedious; every show has them. But are any of them coming to mind? Not really.
As I said earlier, Iggy wasn’t my favorite character. His introduction I found to be quite stupid, even by this series’ standards. Nevertheless, even Iggy had at least one epic fight in him, and his ultimate fate got a reaction out of me. So though I was not fond of Iggy as much as the rest of Team Joestar, he had a role to play.
Perhaps I would have more to say on this point if I had not watched Stardust Crusaders in Japanese. Maybe then I would have noticed some inconsistencies in the story, assuming there were any.
But for what I got, I was sad to see it end.
Anime Hajime Impressions: Benkyou – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Stardust Crusaders
I know there is more JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure out there. I might even check out the OVA version of this season. However, all those possibilities are for another time.
As for Stardust Crusaders itself, it is clear that when people talk about JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, they refer to this storyline.
Having already made this mistake once, the next installment has gigantic shoes to fill. Am I doubtful it can happen? I would be lying if I said no. Nevertheless, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has proven me wrong before. Who’s to say it can’t do it again?
Thanks for following along with me. If you’ve seen this series and feel I am mistaken in my descriptions, please let me know in the comments below. I wouldn’t want to put this show in an inaccurate light.
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For Anime Hajime, I’m Odyssey, and come back in October 2021 for the start of the fourth lesson of Anime Hajime Impressions: Benkyou, where we will be covering: