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Have you had time to check out JoJo's Bizarre Adventure yet?

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Yes, I saw the first episode. It's... very weird. The animation style is very odd, as well as the character designs. It's honestly like someone from Japan took what westerners think is weird in anime and cranked it up to 11.

It definitely suffers from the same timing issues I see in a lot of foreign media. The dialogue is full of telling, and I really don't like it.

The magic is interesting, stand users and all. But everything around the magic isn't right, so it doesn't really help.

Posted January 19th by mariomguy

The animation style is very odd, as well as the character designs.


I think that the character designs and the animation style (particularly the mind-bending palette changes) are one of the great strengths of the series. The manga-ka actually did some work with Gucci - he's an amazing designer.

It definitely suffers from the same timing issues I see in a lot of foreign media. The dialogue is full of telling, and I really don't like it.


Well, that's...

The magic is interesting, stand users and all.


Wait, did you start with Part 3? The Stands aren't in Part 1. There's a timeskip between every Part, dude. That would explain all the exposition and why you're immediately lost. The first episode of Part 1 is not very weird at all.

Posted January 19th by nullfather

I really thought you meant the DreamCast game.

Posted January 19th by Q
Q
 

I think that the character designs and the animation style (particularly the mind-bending palette changes) are one of the great strengths of the series. The manga-ka actually did some work with Gucci - he's an amazing designer.

So, fashion-forward designers and character designers are very different.

Great fashion:


Great character design:


Um... Jojo's Bizarre Adventure:


A good character design isn't just something that looks cool: it ought to give you a glimpse into who this character is as a person. The design should be dynamic and flexible, yet striking. Jojo's style is striking, but the most stiff I've ever seen. None of the characters look natural, and the style isn't really doing anything for me. Even Miyazaki's wildest monsters appear more natural than the humans do in Jojo's Bizzare Adventure.



The first episode of Part 1 is not very weird at all.

You have a link?

Edited January 19th by mariomguy


The entire series is on Crunchyroll, one of the most popular anime streaming sites on the net.

I want to dig into your design points, but I'm at work right now.

Posted January 20th by nullfather

Great fashion


um

Posted January 20th by S.o.h.
S.o.h.
 

Well, in Gucci terms. Very overly elaborate and dissonant style. It sure as hell works better on a catwalk than permanently ingrained in a character design.

Posted January 20th by mariomguy

OK, it's kinda hard to even take your criticism seriously when you watched one episode in the middle of the series and had no idea what was going on, but let's try.

So, fashion-forward designers and character designers are very different.


Even if there were a substantial difference between designing for fashion and designing for shounen anime characters, you absolutely would not be able to prove it by comparing JJBA to How to Train Your Dragon. While I'm sure that it is a very decent kid's movie and that the designs work for what they're trying to do there, there is nothing even vaguely indicating that this comparison has anything to do with the situation.

Take MLP as an example. I watched two episodes on your recommendation. While I disliked the general style and themes, I would not even think of saying that the character designs are weak. In my post about it, I merely said that it's too simple for my taste (big surprise for a kid's show). But simplicity doesn't mean weakness or inappropriateness. The character designs in MLP do exactly what they're supposed to do for that product - and the character designs in JJBA do exactly what they're supposed to do for this product.

A good character design isn't just something that looks cool: it ought to give you a glimpse into who this character is as a person.


OK...I agree with you. Araki does as well. You really have no place to talk about how the characters are represented when you watched one episode in the middle of the series, have no idea what the overarching themes or development is like, etc.

The design should be dynamic and flexible, yet striking. Jojo's style is striking, but the most stiff I've ever seen.


What do you mean by this?

None of the characters look natural


They're not supposed to. The later JJBA characters are more akin to professional wrestlers than anything else - they are larger than life, supernaturally vibrant, unbelievably striking.

I find it very hard to understand how you shit on other stuff for being way too realistic and dreary, but JJBA characters don't seem natural enough for whatever personal goal you're trying to make them meet. Also, you went right into the thick of it instead of letting the style slowly creep in over time.

It sure as hell works better on a catwalk than permanently ingrained in a character design.


Does it?

This is a shounen manga. This isn't MLP or a Nintendo game. Keep that in mind. Also keep in mind that Araki's has made pieces that have hung in the Louvre, designed outfits worn by Gucci models and literally written a textbook on the theory and practice of creating manga. His skill for character design borders on the genius. He did exactly what he wanted with JJBA and he was entirely successful. This is why thousands of people at anime conventions put tens of thousands of hours into cosplaying his characters...

Anyway, I urge you to check out Part 1. The characters slowly become more flamboyant and the plot more complex over the course of entire arcs. Jumping in the middle like you did is a recipe for disaster.

Posted January 20th by nullfather

how did he end up watching a mid show episode?

I saw the first two episodes and decided the animation style wasn't for me. I've heard great things about the series.

Posted January 20th by S.o.h.
S.o.h.
 

how did he end up watching a mid show episode?


I imagine that he just watched the first episode of the most popular part, Stardust Crusaders. The stands don't even appear until then, so that's the earliest it could have been.

Posted January 20th by nullfather

The character designs in MLP do exactly what they're supposed to do for that product - and the character designs in JJBA do exactly what they're supposed to do for this product.

But... they don't, really, and that's the point. MLP's designs are simple, but easily recognizable and identifiable. They're expressive and natural, not off-putting. Jojo's Bizzare Adventure is just... static. I much more appreciate the art direction of the world than its characters. The animation is very limited.

I wasn't so concerned about the style, I was talking more about the characters not feeling natural.

What do you mean by this?

See the emotions Katara expresses in this scene. She appears as a real, natural person. So does the firebender. You don't get this from Jojo's Bizzare Adventure, at least not in the episode I saw.



His skill for character design borders on the genius.

As a manga, I imagine it must be impressive. Striking designs always look great on flat pages. But as an animation, even with the limited animation style of Japanese anime, you still expect characters to talk and move and more or less behave like humans. But the designs are so extreme they steal attention away from everything else. The weird bodice and hairstyle grabs all the attention, and even the characters that are not so overdone don't appear very natural, either.

Posted January 20th by mariomguy

I'm going to keep this short and sweet: you don't like JJBA at first glance and it is OK for you to have your personal opinion. However, you trying to make presumptuous claims about what JJBA succeeds or fails at after watching one random episode is laughable at best. I did not presume to make such claims even after watching the two specific episodes that you recommended to me. Using vague buzzwords in an attempt to criticize the design of characters when I don't even know what characters you're trying to criticize is fuckin' weird. We can start having somewhat of a real discussion if you can tell me what episode you watched, the specific characters you're talking about, etc.

Posted January 21st by nullfather

OK, so it's actual criticism. It might be vague to you, but to people who understand art and character design it's not. Anime is both more detailed and limited, so by nature bold and striking designs matter more than fluidity, but it's hard for some people to jump to that.

I watched the first episode of Jojo's Bizzare Adventure: Golden Wind. Turns out there are many series...
https://www.crunchyroll.com/jojos-bizarre-adventure/episode-1-golden-wind-777705
I'll try watching the first series and compare them. But a lot of the stuff I'd probably have to say about this series is what I'd say about anime in general.

Posted January 21st by mariomguy

OK, so you watched the first episode of the most recent season. When you check out part one, let me know.

Posted January 21st by nullfather

OK, I saw another series, unfortunately still not the first :| I saw the first two episodes of the 2012 series.
https://www.crunchyroll.com/jojos-bizarre-adventure/episode-1-dio-the-invader-652081
This one is MUCH better. Yes, there's still a buttload of telling, and it's all totally unnatural. But this time the story is focused on two characters, a rich boy, and the son of a man believed to save the life of a wealthy English aristocrat. The son is a horrible person who just wants the wealth for himself. I'm a sucker for stories focusing on a few characters with a strong sense of purpose and good use of framing.

Unfortunately, I could fill a book with the things that could be done better. Core anime (not Pokemon, not Miyazaki, just raw adult-oriented anime) has a very specific style, and you see it here in spades. Limited animation, helpless girls, grotesque fight scenes, strange magic, and some very unusual sense of respect and adoration. If you like these things, great! Here's plenty of it. If you don't, then it may be off-putting. But the biggest fault is how extreme and unnatural the story starts out. It rounds out in the second episode, but it's a lot to fight through before you can really enjoy it. Once you do, it's entertaining.

Posted January 21st by mariomguy

Cool. I'll rewatch episode 1 tonight and get back to you.

Posted January 21st by nullfather

I finally got home and read this on my laptop instead of my phone, so I noticed that you said first two episodes and not the first. I don't have time tonight, but I have plenty tomorrow (and I'll be rested as well). I'll get back on this then. Anyway, a quick point.

OK, I saw another series, unfortunately still not the first :| I saw the first two episodes of the 2012 series.


The 2012 series is the right one. There was also an OVA adaptation of Part 3 (Stardust Crusaders) way back in the '90's, but it was nowhere near the quality or faithfulness of the later adaptation.

There is only one anime version of Part 1 (Phantom Blood) - the 2012 version.

Posted January 22nd by nullfather

OK, I'll continue seeing the 2012 series. I'm interested in where it's going.

Posted January 22nd by mariomguy

OK, finally sitting down to cover the first two episodes. Things have been really annoying for the last couple of days. Anyway, some points that I want to address:

I'm a sucker for stories focusing on a few characters with a strong sense of purpose and good use of framing.


I'm glad that you appreciate the character writing to some degree. Dio is one of the most vibrantly toxic sociopaths I've ever seen in media, and quite possibly the best anime heel outside of (maybe) Griffith from Berserk. JoJo, while mostly just a solid hero, has a little more complexity to his motivation than "doing the right thing". As seen in the scene with Erina and the bullies, JoJo doesn't just want to do the right thing because it's right; he wants to do the right thing because he wants to be seen as a gentleman. He's not very refined, despite his upbringing, but he knows that his father expects more from him and he tries to do that in the ways he knows how to: standing up to bullies, not backing down even if he loses, etc.

I'll try watching the first series and compare them. But a lot of the stuff I'd probably have to say about this series is what I'd say about anime in general.


If you like these things, great! Here's plenty of it. If you don't, then it may be off-putting.


I really appreciate your more even-handed take in these statements. It shows a certain ability to maintain perspective and an acknowledgement of the differing values of other people.

However, I think that your criticism in these quotes is a little overbearing:

Yes, there's still a buttload of telling, and it's all totally unnatural


There is an amount of telling instead of showing. But it's not like it's a golden rule to always show instead of tell. If you have examples of something, you don't need to document every second of it. You need to portray it to the audience. After a certain amount of showing, they get it.

The only time that I find it even noticeable in these two episodes is at the beginning of the second episode after the seven-year timeskip. It's firmly established that nothing interesting happened in those years because Dio, having realized that his anger would lead him to expose himself, instead laid low and acted like there was no animosity between him and JoJo. And the guy giving the narration was literally the football announcer playing up the two stars of the game by referencing their teamwork and the fact that they were about to graduate.

Would you tell me that you'd rather see the decade of Dario Brando driving Dio's mother to death, or Danny's burned body?

But the biggest fault is how extreme and unnatural the story starts out.


...it really doesn't. It starts out as a very grounded story about the rivalry between two young men. The only supernatural thing that happens in the first episode is the stone mask moves a couple of times.

Despite that, I think that you have some very sound critical views as well:

Unfortunately, I could fill a book with the things that could be done better. Core anime (not Pokemon, not Miyazaki, just raw adult-oriented anime) has a very specific style, and you see it here in spades.


Adaptation from manga to anime is an ornery process. While JJBA has a great team that does generally high-quality work, they still essentially have to invent half of the content - they have to get everything from one panel to the next. They aren't all innovators of Araki's caliber, so JJBA is not quite as unique as an anime as it is as a manga. However, after letting you settle in in the first half of the episode, they start bringing in palette changes, psychedelic visuals, etc. There's some interesting stylistic breaks going on even in the first episode.

With all that being said, I would still like to know more about the relatively vague terms you've been using to describe JJBA. What do you mean by "limited"? What do you mean by "static"? Etc.

Posted January 23rd by nullfather

Dio is one of the most vibrantly toxic sociopaths I've ever seen in media, and quite possibly the best anime heel

Um, I don't quite understand how ridiculous he acts. He goes straight to toxic sociopath too sharply and abruptly, it makes no sense. But it does set in motion the rest of the show.

But what I really like is the structure and setup, as well as framing the entire show by starting with one death of a very wealthy woman, but the baby survived. That really pulls you in and grips you. This show focuses then on two characters. It's a real highlight.

As seen in the scene with Erina and the bullies, JoJo doesn't just want to do the right thing because it's right; he wants to do the right thing because he wants to be seen as a gentleman.

I like that, but I wish they showed it more than simply telling us.

There is an amount of telling instead of showing. But it's not like it's a golden rule to always show instead of tell.

There are some moments when it's easier to just say something about a character, but major plot points and character choices are TOLD. Even thought processes are TOLD. The telling piles on like crazy!

Adaptation from manga to anime is an ornery process. While JJBA has a great team that does generally high-quality work, they still essentially have to invent half of the content - they have to get everything from one panel to the next.

So, then it should've been adapted to a movie, not a show. There's not enough star content to fill a show. I didn't even think it could be padding because it was so obviously overdone, I thought it was deliberate.

With all that being said, I would still like to know more about the relatively vague terms you've been using to describe JJBA. What do you mean by "limited"? What do you mean by "static"? Etc.

Limited animation: characters don't move, and then their mouths open and close from the side. Contrast with Disney's style of constantly using fluid motion.

Static: I used this term for Golden Wind to describe the overdone character design and restricted expressions. Unlike a simpler design which would be more dynamic and allow for greater expression (think Chihiro in Spirited Away, or Kiki in Kiki's Delivery Service), the characters in Golden Wind seem to have one expression or represent one idea throughout.

Posted January 24th by mariomguy

Um, I don't quite understand how ridiculous he acts. He goes straight to toxic sociopath too sharply and abruptly, it makes no sense. But it does set in motion the rest of the show.


It makes sense to me. Raised by a cruel and angry father in a rough city, no positive influences in his life, only developing the skills of survival and manipulation. There's no big jumps in reasoning there.

I like that, but I wish they showed it more than simply telling us.


...they did show it. In that circumstance and every other one where Johnathan has the chance to do what he does. For the first example, he clarifies it to Elena (which allows the audience to pick up on it if they didn't otherwise). It's not like he recites it every time he does something similar.

There are some moments when it's easier to just say something about a character, but major plot points and character choices are TOLD. Even thought processes are TOLD. The telling piles on like crazy!


When major plot points are verbal confrontations, that's fine. When internal dialogue clarifies a decision that you may not have followed along with or shows a sudden revelation or internal struggle, that's fine. Again, you're trying to take a hard-lined stance when the fact is that when it works, it works.

Do you have direct examples of what you're talking about here and how you would do it?

So, then it should've been adapted to a movie, not a show. There's not enough star content to fill a show. I didn't even think it could be padding because it was so obviously overdone, I thought it was deliberate.


That's...absurd. The pacing and/or detail would be unbelievably screwed if it was compressed down to a couple of hours. You're taking what I said about simple technical facts about adapting manga to anime and bending that to say that it's "padded". Please don't. It's not padded; it's realized in a moving medium and thus is afforded dramatic timing. But, if you wish, please watch the rest of Part 1 and then tell me how in the hell it could be condensed into a two-hour movie while retaining the quality that it has.

Limited animation: characters don't move, and then their mouths open and close from the side. Contrast with Disney's style of constantly using fluid motion.


I understand what you're saying here and I appreciate the skill that it takes to work completely off-handed like that. While I think that the animation team that JJBA had was more than adequate for the general style, I also think that it would have been really interesting to see JJBA rendered with the completely original verisimilitude of a dedicated animation team.

Posted January 25th by nullfather

Do you have direct examples of what you're talking about here and how you would do it?

Oh boy.

So, when he goes defending the girl for the first time, instead of saying he'd only enter fights he can't win is not because of her, but because he is a proper gentleman and runs off, he should ask if the girl is OK, and after she replies "I'm fine," says "Good," then walk off. We can easily assume the rest.

It's small things like this that occur repeatedly, over and over again that makes it distracting. There is a good story underneath all that extra telling, but the extent to which it has to be brought out can be too much for some people. I appreciate the story, but I do wish the execution was more concise.

That's...absurd. The pacing and/or detail would be unbelievably screwed if it was compressed down to a couple of hours.

Think about the amount of content in a properly condensed movie: Beauty and The Beast was only 92 minutes long! Finding Nemo was 100 minutes flat. Singin' In The Rain was 103 minutes, though the Broadway melody sequence took up 8 minutes and could easily be cut. You can tell a very compelling story in the length of a film easier than padded out to a series. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind was a rather lengthy 118 minutes but sums up Miyazaki's manga with plenty of room to spare.

While I think that the animation team that JJBA had was more than adequate for the general style, I also think that it would have been really interesting to see JJBA rendered with the completely original verisimilitude of a dedicated animation team.

Some examples of more dynamic characters:
Locomotion - Glen Keane's Duet:

Emotion - Inside Out, Dinner Scene:


I can provide anime-specific examples if necessary, but this is what I mean by smooth and dynamic. The animation in all these is all-natural, unlike Jojo's Bizarre Adventure which is much rougher.

Posted January 28th by mariomguy

So, when he goes defending the girl for the first time, instead of saying he'd only enter fights he can't win is not because of her, but because he is a proper gentleman and runs off, he should ask if the girl is OK, and after she replies "I'm fine," says "Good," then walk off. We can easily assume the rest.


In what way could we easily assume the relatively narrow discernment between acting heroic for someone elses' sake and acting heroic for your own sake from that? That does not communicate the distinction at all.

You can tell a very compelling story in the length of a film easier than padded out to a series.


Pointless claim, as JJBA isn't "padded".

I can provide anime-specific examples if necessary, but this is what I mean by smooth and dynamic. The animation in all these is all-natural, unlike Jojo's Bizarre Adventure which is much rougher.


Why are you responding to me as if you're still trying to argue with me on this point?

Posted January 29th by nullfather

There are some moments when it's easier to just say something about a character, but major plot points and character choices are TOLD. Even thought processes are TOLD. The telling piles on like crazy!

Of the little anime I've watched, this seems to be a recurring theme and something that turns me off to giving any anime a serious watch. It feels like every single thought or action has to be explained to the audience in excruciating detail. It's tiresome.

Posted January 29th by The Bandit

That does not communicate the distinction at all.
Well, I'd rather have him actually talk to the girl for a bit, but that would require changing the direction of the entire episode.

Pointless claim, as JJBA isn't "padded".
So, half the show is internal dialogue...

Posted January 30th by mariomguy

So, half the show is internal dialogue...


It's not.

Posted January 31st by nullfather
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