Who Are The JoJos?: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood Review

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (JJBA) continues transitioning into the anime world with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 5: Golden Wind. As one of the longest running manga, JJBA separates itself into arcs, introducing new adventures, villains, and most importantly, “JoJos.” However, just who are the”JoJos” in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure? Let’s begin with the series that started it all: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood.

In a special article series, The Daily Fandom will cover each of the anime seasons of JJBA. Ultimately, these articles will review each arc of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure leading up to Golden Wind.

Background Of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

Beginning publication in 1987, mangaka, Hirohiko Araki, created JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure which originally serialized in Weekly Shounen Jump. The series is still publishing (now in Ultra Jump magazine) and has accumulated 122 volumes so far.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a series separated into arcs. Each arc follows a new plot, villain, and protagonist or “JoJo.” There are eight arcs: Phantom Blood, Battle Tendency, Stardust Crusaders, Diamond is Unbreakable, Golden Wind, Stone Ocean, Steel Ball Run, and JoJolion.

Background Of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood

The first arc, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood, follows the first JoJo, Jonathan Joestar. This arc received five manga volumes dedicated to following his adventure. It became a TV anime series in 2012 produced by David Productions. The series had 26 episodes with the first nine covering the Phantom Blood Arc.

The Plot Of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood takes place in England during the Victorian Era. The story begins in 1880 and follows the main character, Jonathan Joestar (JoJo).

As the only son to the Joestar Family, Jonathan works hard to embody the image of a gentleman. However, one day his father, George Joestar, adopts the son of a man who saved his life, Dio Brando.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood
Viz Media’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood, 2012

After living in poverty, Dio makes it his mission to climb the social ladder and take the Joestar fortune. In order to do this, he bullies and tortures JoJo his entire childhood. Eight years later, in 1888, JoJo and Dio have grown into men. Dio is close to succeeding in taking the Joestar fortune, but JoJo manages to foil him.

In order to exact revenge, Dio puts on an ancient stone mask which transforms him into a vampire. His plan is to create enough servants to take over the world and reign as the most powerful being. It is up to JoJo to defeat Dio and save the world.

The Characters Of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood

The following section will cover the main players of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood.

Jonathan Joestar (JoJo)

Jonathan Joestar (JoJo) is the main protagonist of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood. As the only blood heir to the Joestar Family, he strives to become a gentleman worthy of his family name. His life flips upside-down, however, when his father adopts Dio Brando, the son of the man who saved his life.

At first, Jonathan attempts to befriend Dio, but Dio makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with him. Jonathan undergoes Dio’s bullying which ranges from having JoJo’s friends turn against him to lighting his dog on fire. What makes the situation worse is that JoJo’s father shows clear favoritism towards Dio. His father claims Dio represents the gentlemanly spirit more than JoJo.

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JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood
Viz Media’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood, 2012

After enduring Dio for eight years, Jonathan grows into a gentleman and studies archeology. His main research revolves around a stone mask his father and deceased mother purchased around the time of his birth. At this point, Dio and JoJo seem to have developed a friendship. However, this is all a ruse set up by Dio to steal the Joestar fortune from JoJo. He is secretly poisoning JoJo’s father and plans to take his fortune once he passes.

Luckily, JoJo figures out his scheme and stops him before he succeeds. In order to exact revenge, Dio puts on the stone mask. He kills JoJo’s father and uses his blood to activate the mask which turns him into a vampire. Jonathan undergoes Hamon training in order to face Dio and stop his plans for world domination.

Dio Brando

Dio Brando is the main antagonist of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood. He is the son of Dario Brando, a man who once “saved” the father of Jonathan Joestar. (In reality, Dario just happened upon the carriage accident JoJo’s father was in.) After his father passes away, Dio goes to live with the Joestars as an adopted son. However, he sets his sights on the Joestar fortune as he grew up in poverty and doesn’t want to go back.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood
Viz Media’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood, 2012

In order to secure the family fortune, he tortures JoJo daily. He does this in the hopes that he will psychologically break him, making him ineligible for inheritance. He lives with the Joestars for eight years. During that time, he begins to poison JoJo’s father in order to get the fortune as soon as he dies. However, Jonathan finds out about his plan and stops him.

Fearing that he will soon face arrest, Dio accidentally discovers the power of the stone mask — its ability to turn its wearers into powerful vampires. Dio kills Jonathan’s father and uses his blood to activate the mask and turn himself into a vampire. Once he succeeds, he begins turning people into his vampiric-zombie slaves. His plan is to rule the world as the leader of his zombie race and turn everyone into his servants.

Robert E. O. Speedwagon

Speedwagon is a thief who lives on the infamous Ogre Street. He meets Jonathan here while he is trying to find an antidote for the poison Dio gave his father.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood
Viz Media’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood, 2012

At first, Speedwagon attempts to rob Jonathan. However, after seeing JoJo’s mercy and kindness toward him and his men, Speedwagon becomes his loyal friend. He assists JoJo in his fight against Dio, serving mostly as moral support.

Baron William A. Zeppeli

Baron Zeppeli is JoJo’s Hamon instructor. He trains JoJo in the ways of Hamon and aids him in his quest to defeat Dio.

He was once an archeologist who traveled the world with his father, researching different civilizations. However, one night at sea, after researching a site in an ancient Aztec civilization, Zeppeli awakens to a shocking scene. He discovers his crew members killed by a man in a stone mask.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood
Viz Media’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood, 2012

Eventually, he jumps off the boat, but the stone-masked man chases him. When the sun rises, the masked man dies, and it turns out to be Zeppeli’s father. From this point on, Baron Zeppeli makes it his life’s mission to destroy the stone mask to prevent more tragedies.

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Erina Pendleton

Erina Pendleton is JoJo’s childhood friend and love interest. During their childhood, Jonathan found sanctuary with Erina from Dio’s constant bullying. They grew very close as children; however, Dio split them apart by forcefully kissing Erina. Feeling guilty, Erina stops spending time with JoJo.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood
Viz Media’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood, 2012

However, eight years later, after his first battle with Dio, the two reunite. Erina works as a nurse and assists in nursing Jonathan back to health. She is one of Jonathan’s main motivations in wanting to defeat Dio in order to keep the world safe.

Unique Power Sources In JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood features two opposing powers that motivate the hero and villain. Despite the age of the series’ source material, these two powers are still quite unique.

The Stone Mask

The stone mask is an ancient artifact from the Aztecs. The Aztecs used the mask in order to reach their full potential. The stone mask activates through having blood smeared on it. Once someone puts it on, the mask releases spikes which embed themselves into the wearer’s brain. These spikes release a wicked energy that awakens latent abilities in the brain.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood
Viz Media’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood, 2012

The wearer of the mask becomes a vampire who is dependent on the life force (blood) of others. They acquire super strength, invulnerability, and immortality. However, along with all the benefits, there are side-effects. The wearer of the stone mask disintegrates in sunlight and is weak against the power of Hamon.

Hamon (Sendo/Ripple)

Hamon is a style of martial arts which requires steady blood flow and breathing to create energy. The stone mask and Hamon are two sides of the same coin. Where the stone mask takes life to give power, Hamon gives life and power to its user. The closest thing to relate the energy to is sunlight. This is why it is so effective against the vampires and zombies created by the stone mask.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood
Viz Media’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood, 2012

The user of Hamon can heal their wounds quickly and numb pain. They are able to administer Hamon into animate objects and control them from afar. While they can conduct Hamon into inanimate objects, they cannot control them or the energy’s course. Hamon also gives them the ability to stand on water.

Reasons To Watch JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood is a series that anime fans old and new will thoroughly enjoy. The first nine episodes of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Season One introduce fans to the embodiment of the “JoJos.” While each JoJo has their own style, the one component each possesses is the need to do right.

The anime perfectly adapts the series for current audiences. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures Part 1: Phantom Blood provides unique action sequences and animation that will captivate viewers. David Productions beautifully animates the manga with colorful backgrounds and blood-pumping action scenes. From the emotional sacrifices to the ridiculous poses, Part 1 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure truly is an exciting ride.


JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood is available for viewership on Crunchyroll, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. If interested in a copy of the anime, visit Rightstuf and Amazon. To purchase the manga version, see Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Rightstuf. For more animanga reviews, click here.

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