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JoJo: 5 Reasons Why You Should Read The Manga (& 5 Reasons Why You Can Just Watch The Anime Instead)

Despite JoJo’s Bizzare Adventures being around as a manga series for 30 years, the series has only recently become popular in the US thanks to David Production’s various animated adaptions. So far the first five parts of the long-running manga have been fully adapted.  While the animated adaption has brought the series to new heights of popularity, some fans insisted that you should still read the original manga.

RELATED:  5 Live-Action Adaptations That Were Better Than The Anime (& 5 That Didn’t Get It Right)

CBR will look into the differences between the original JoJo manga and its animated adaption to look for arguments for why one should read the manga or not.  This article will examine five reasons that fans of the anime should read the manga and five reasons why its okay to just watch the anime.

10 Read The Manga: Some Of The Best Parts Have Not Been Adapted

One point in reading the manga’s favor is that three parts have not seen an animated adaption. This point is furthered by the fact that two of these parts are considered JoJo at its best.

Stone Ocean has a lot going for it from being a straight sequel of Stardust Crusaders to featuring some of the most wonderfully bizarre stands in the series. The other completed part is Steel Ball Run that features the series best villain and a strong ensemble cast in a unique wild west setting.     

9 Just Watch The Anime: The Character Design Is More Consistent

The creator of JoJo’s Bizzare Adventure, Hirohiko Araki, is well known for his evolving art style that varies even within a single part. The series’ animated adaption usually tends to stick to character designs based on their appearance at the end of a part. This leads to characters in the anime looking far more consistent than their manga counterparts.

The benefit of consistent character design is most apparent in Diamond Is Unbreakable as much of the cast experience radical redesigns partway through the part’s manga version.  This consistent design leads to a more enjoyable viewing experience as radically changing a character’s appearance in the middle of the story can bring a viewer right out of it.

8 Read The Manga: Some Character Designs Do Not Translate Well

While the anime keeps the characters’ designs more consistent than the manga, some of Araki’s designs just do not translate well from the page to the screen. This bad translation can go from some costumes looking sillier in motion or some design quirk being more apparent animated than drawn.

RELATED: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: The 10 Most Stylish Outfits in the Anime

This issue is apparent with some of the more cartoonish characters like Shigekeyo Yanguu from Diamond is Unbreakable or Carne from Golden Wind looking more out of place animated than drawn. Characters being animated also leads to a design’s quirks being more distracting like Jotaro’s hat and hair not having a proper point of separation.

7 Just Watch The Anime: Expands The Story

A point in the anime’s favor is the fact that it often expands upon the story as originally shown in the manga. This can go from adding an expanded epilogue to fleshing out a character’s backstory.

Diamond is Unbreakable and Golden Wind’s most noticeable benefit from these anime-only expansions. In Diamond is Unbreakable‘s case, the anime has a larger epilogue that reveals the fate of the part’s surviving characters. The anime adaption of Golden Wind also improves its story by providing a longer look at the members of Team Bucciarati’s backstory.

6 Read The Manga: Some Characters Look Better Uncolored

Like most manga, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is originally drawn and printed in black and white. The animated adaption would later give the manga’s designs, a proper colorization.  While most of these coloring decisions are based on Araki’s preferences, there are times where a character’s colorization makes them look worse.

This problem with the anime’s colors is most noticeable in the Golden Wind adaptations. The anime’s coloration tends to go in a garish direction with a ton of bright colors that make some of the characters already silly costumes even more silly. A good example of this is Giorno Giovanna, who is a lot harder to take seriously with his costume being hot pink rather than black and white.

5 Just Watch The Anime: Better Story Structure

A benefit for adapting any series in which its source material is completed is that the adaption creators have a clear idea of the story’s direction. This is the case with JoJo’s Bizzare Adventure with there being many years between the mangas’ publications and its anime adaption. This delay between completion and adaptation helps the anime in that David Production knows the significance of various storylines and their conclusions.

RELATED: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: 10 Biggest Plot Twists That No One Saw Coming

Diamond is Unbreakable was helped by being adapted long after the original manga was published. Compare to other JoJo parts, Diamond is Unbreakable is more episodic in its structure with no overarching storyline and villain established until over halfway through.  

4 Read The Manga: Better Pacing

While the anime does an excellent job of expanding the original manga’s story, there is one problem that the anime has the manga does not. That problem is that the anime’s adaptations must deal with how current anime series are constructed that forces all the series to have to be a multiple of twelve or thirteen. This leads to some series to feel more compressed than they should be, or less interesting parts of the story being needlessly expanded.

The compression issue is more apparent with the animes’ adaptations of Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency. While these parts are the shortest in series, their adaption is more compressed compared to other parts. This leads to these parts to feel a lot more compressed and rushed in their adaption than other JoJo parts.

3 Just Watch The Anime: Great Soundtrack

One benefit of watching JoJo through its animated adaptions is the fact that it gives the series a score. This is an improvement over the manga in that a soundtrack can help to improve a scene by helping to draw emotions from the viewers that could not easily down with a blank page.

RELATED: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: 10 Biggest Plot Twists That No One Saw Coming

There are many good examples of songs from the anime’s soundtracks that help to improve a scene. A good recent example of this would “Giorono’s Theme”, a piano-driven piece that tells the viewers that things are about to go in the heroes’ favor or a villain is about to get a well-deserved beatdown.

2 Read The Manga: More Consistent Art Quality

While the anime does keep a more consistent look for the characters, there is one way the manga is better on the quality front. That being that the manga does not have the issue of artistic quality varying from episode to episode. The manga instead tends to keep the same level of artistic quality throughout apart.

The anime’s problem with quality control can be best seen in the adaption of Diamond is Unbreakable‘s original TV airing with character sometimes appearing very off-model or inconsistent.  This artistic quality issue is most apparent in the first appearance of Kira’s stand that looks badly drawn, draining away any tension from the scene.

1 Just Watch The Anime: The Fights Are Better Animated

One way that the anime improves upon the manga is the fact that many of the series’ fight scenes look better when animated than just being a series of still panels. This is a fact can easily be seen with how David Production adapts the tendency of the main character’s stand to go on lengthy pummeling sessions towards various villains.

The most triumphant example of this would be Giorono’s famous seven-page beatdown of Cioccolata in Golden Wind. In the anime, this scene is only improved when the animation paired with the soundtrack as discussed earlier making this scene feel even more triumphant after a long violent fight.

NEXT: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: 10 Corny Things That Only This Franchise Can Get Away With

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is strong in both its anime & manga counterparts. But which aspects of both mediums are better & worse for this series?

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