JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, Vol. 2

By Hirohiko Araki. Released in Japan as “Jojo no Kimyou na Bouken” by Shueisha, serialized in the magazine Weekly Shonen Jump. Released in North America by Viz. Translated by Evan Galloway, original translation and adaptation by Alexis Kirsch and Fred Burke.

I had worried with the last volume if I wasn’t going to like Jotaro as much as his predecessors, and indeed that still seems to be the case, though I’ve somewhat come to terms with it. Things are still “we must do as many cool things as possible”, but there’s a notable element of humanity missing from this new series, instead relying on set piece after set piece and slowly moving the story around the globe, presumably ending up confronting Dio, though he barely shows up here. I also noticed the first major “we have to change this or the band will sue us” adaptation fix, as Soul Survivor (a Santana reference, so clearly the translators did an excellent job there) replacing the Japanese Devo. (Couldn’t they just say Deevo or Divo or something? They did with Kars, after all.)

It’s always worrying when I’m discussing translation choices in the first paragraph of a review. JoJo’s is one of those series I decided to write full reviews for every volume, but that was much easier in the days of Jonathan’s histrionics and Joseph’s amusing banter. The trouble with Stardust Crusaders is that while it’s not exactly bad, there’s nothing to really grasp and think deeply about. It’s all surface. Now, to be fair, Araki does surface very well. There are some striking fights here, and some of the gory deaths are both horrifying and somewhat amusing, in the best JoJo’s tradition. But even when a major plot point does appear, such as Kakyoin supposedly still being under the influence of Dio, it ends up being a bit too confusing for its own good, as it turns out that the Kakyoin that’s betraying them is actually a spy. (Also, is he named Rubber Soul or Yellow Temperance? Was the name adapted out as well?)

We also pick up a bratty little kid along the way, which I don’t really have too much of an objection to – bratty kids hanging out with heroes is very much a shonen manga trope. I was rather annoyed when she randomly decided to take a shower in the face of ever-present danger, which seems to have been solely to have her be named when faced with such danger. She looks to be about 11 years old, so this was especially annoying. We don’t need that kind of fanservice. I’m not sure how long into the series she’ll last – she doesn’t even have a name to date – but she certainly seems to have taken a shine to Jotaro. As for everyone else, they pose, they shout, and I can’t even remember most of their names.

After spending its first two volumes influencing the majority of modern Jump manga, Stardust Crusaders seems to be coasting, confident that it’s popular enough not to worry about getting cancelled, and relying on violence, set pieces, and attempting to look cool. I miss the earlier style.

Did you enjoy this article? Consider supporting us.

Speak Your Mind