Image source: maidigitv on YouTube
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is getting a series of live-action movie adaptations—the first of which is scheduled to be released in Japan this upcoming August. The series’ creator has some thoughts on this.
Hirohiko Araki the creator of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure took to the airwaves recently on a special TV interview with Japanese actor Shōsuke Tanihara. The interview itself was less than eight minutes long, but managed to cover some rather fascinating topics from the concepts behind JoJo to the upcoming live-action adaptation.
[Note: This article contains spoilers for JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.]
Talking the series that preceded JoJo, Baoh: The Visitor, Tanihara expressed amazement that such a series could have been released on Shonen Jump, a manga magazine that targets younger people. Araki responded, “It’s because Jump [is the way it is] that [Baoh] was released… Jump has a platform that accepts such things.” The spiritual predecessor to JoJo, Baoh was a series used the “power of life” as its main theme, focusing on what the ultimate organism would be. This theme can be seen in the first two parts of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, the Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency, in the depiction of the vampires and Pillar Men.
It was in Part three, Stardust Crusaders, and the introduction of Stands—psychic projections with various abilities that the characters use to fight with—that Araki switched from physical power to mental and spiritual power. “At the start of JoJo, I was focused on the body, but as time went on, I began feeling that the heart, the darkness inside people was truly scary.” Araki remarked. “The idea of Stands came from the idea to try to draw the heart/soul… If I could properly depict what couldn’t be seen in my drawings, I thought that would be very fitting for a manga.”
Moving onto the topic of favorite characters, Tanihara noted that his favorite character had been the dog, Iggy–and lamented on the character’s death. Araki also expressed regret on killing Iggy and wanted the character survive, but noted that the story itself dictated the death and that he had no control over it. “If you force [the story] something breaks.” Araki said. “First off, it would feel like I’d have sold my soul for the story. Also—I didn’t really want to say this, but—I didn’t like having characters that died coming back to life… It’s fine if they faked it, but I don’t like seeing a character literally die and then get resurrected. I don’t like manga that bring characters back by having some divine force give them their life back or things like that.”
As for Araki’s own favorite character in the series, the protagonist of part four, Diamond Is Unbreakable, Josuke Higashikata, was his personal pick. “Until then, I’d always made my protagonists cool heroes, but [with Josuke], it was the first time I’d depicted the protagonist as a friend.”
Speaking of Josuke, the upcoming live-action movie series will be an adaptation of Diamond Is Unbreakable. Asked what he felt when he heard they were going to make a live-action adaptation, Araki responded, “First, I wondered if they would be able to properly depict Stands. Also, [I wondered] if the actors would be able to portray the atmosphere.” Japan has a spotty track record at best when it comes to live-action adaptations. Expressing his thoughts on the upcoming movie, Araki said, “I’m both worried and excited.”
Araki did note his surprise when he saw the photos of the various actors in costume. “It’s surprising to see them so similar to the source material. I think it’s wonderful.” Looking at actor Kento Yamazaki in costume as Josuke, Araki remarked, “Maybe I should use him as a model for when I draw…”
Image source: 映画『ジョジョの奇妙な冒険』公式 on Twitter
The live-action JoJo movie, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable Chapter 1 is scheduled to hit theaters in Japan on August 4. There is currently no word on a Western release.