Image source: ワーナー ブラザース ジャパン on Twitter

The first new live-action JoJo movie is out in theaters now. We got a chance to check it out. Here are some of the changes that we noticed.

[Note: This article contains major spoilers to the fourth arc of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and the live-action film JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable Chapter 1.]

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is an expansive series that spans across multiple generations. There is an ongoing manga series, multiple anime series, and now a live-action film adaptation based on the fourth arc, Diamond is Unbreakable.

The story takes place in the fictional town of Morioh where a young man, Jōsuke Higashikata, gifted with a supernatural ability called a “Stand”—an ethereal manifestation with special powers—is embroiled in a mystery surrounding a strange bow and arrow that is used to turn people into Stand users.

Obviously, as an adaptation, there are various changes made in order to try to fit what is already a lengthy story into a nearly two-hour film. While there are numerous minor changes, here are some of the major differences that we noticed.

Image source: 映画『ジョジョの奇妙な冒険』公式 on Twitter

In-depth Angelo

One excellent change is in the character of Angelo, the initial antagonist. In the original series, we are shown very little of who Angelo is. He is pretty much a paper cut-out bad guy. A two-bit thug with a supernatural power and a thirst for murder. The live-action movie takes the time to fill the viewer in on Anjūrō Katagiri’s—aka Angelo’s—past. We learn that Angelo’s first murder was his own father, not only giving us some insight into what made him into the serial killer he became making him a more interesting character, but also establishing an underlying theme throughout the movie about the bonds between fathers and sons.

Image source: 映画『ジョジョの奇妙な冒険』公式 on Twitter

Dio? Who’s Dio?

As mentioned above, Diamond is Unbreakable is the fourth arc in the JoJo series. Arcs one and three—Phantom Blood and Stardust Crusaders, respectively—feature as the main antagonist, Dio Brando, the nemesis of the Joestar family. Dio is an iconic character of the series whose influence is felt throughout pretty much all of the various arcs.

In the fourth arc, his primary influence is in the Stand user-creating bow and arrow. Dio was suspected to have owned the bow and arrow at one point. The bow and arrow were entrusted to one of his underlings who traveled to Morioh. That underling’s sons, the Nijimura brothers, serve as two of the initial antagonists of the fourth arc in the original story. Dio’s death is what also what turns his underling into a deformed creature—the driving reason for the Nijimura brothers to use the bow and arrow to try to find/create a stand user who can put their father out of his misery.

The live-action movie seems to go out of its way to avoid making any mention of Dio. In fact, aside from the appearance of Jōtarō Kūjō—the protagonist of arc three, Stardust Crusaders—there is no mention or reference to anything about the previous arcs whatsoever. This makes sense as the movie is trying to be a standalone piece, despite its source material being a middle chapter in an ongoing series. However, it does lead to a lot of unanswered questions that could prove confusing if you aren’t familiar with the source material.

Image source: 映画『ジョジョの奇妙な冒険』公式 on Twitter

The Big Bad

As an overall story, the original Diamond is Unbreakable can be rather unfocused at times. Where the previous arcs in the manga tended to have their primary antagonists established fairly early on, the fourth arc tends to meander quite a bit before the existence of its final boss is even alluded to. This is likely because the weekly serial manga format is often an ongoing process where things can change drastically from week to week.

The live action movie is able to tighten up and streamline the story in a lot of ways by switching things up and having the main baddy perform a kill that was done by a different character in the original. We also see the story laying some groundwork and establishing connections by mentioning an old murder case that Josuke’s grandfather always regretted not being able to solve that was likely done by the arc’s main antagonist.

Overall, the movie is fairly faithful to its source material. Obviously, there are various other minor changes that come with the adaptation of a story into another medium, as well as tweaks to account for the time constraints—like the introduction of the character of Yukako Yamagishi early on who didn’t appear in the original series until after Jōsuke’s showdown with the Nijimura brothers. Still, the movie does a fine job of bringing JoJo into the real world. Although, personally, it could have used some more characters making stylized/dramatic/iconic poses throughout.

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 currently in theaters in Japan with a global release in some form on the way.

Anime News Newtwork Feed