Yare Yare Daze. Let’s continue our JJBA coverage by reviewing the most popular incarnation of Hirohiko Araki’s series: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders.
Background Of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders
Hirohiko Araki’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders ran in Weekly Shounen Jump from 1989 to 1992. A total of 152 chapters were published, which were later compiled into 16 volumes. In 1993 and 2000, Stardust Crusaders received a series of OVAs by Studio APPP which covered parts of the manga. However, David Productions created an anime reboot of the series, covering the manga entirely. (This is the series we will be covering.) There were two seasons dedicated to Part 3 of JJBA. The first season aired in 2014 while the second aired in 2015 (each season had 24 episodes). Stardust Crusaders follows the third JoJo, Jotaro Kujo.
Plot of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders
Taking place in 1987, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders follows the third JoJo, Jotaro Kujo. Jotaro (JoJo) is the grandson of Part 2’s JoJo, Joseph Joestar. 50 years after Battle Tendency, Part 3 begins in Japan with Jotaro in a jail cell. He refuses to leave due to an “evil spirit” haunting his body. He claims this “evil spirit” hurts people, so he won’t leave until it’s safe.
Holly Kujo, Jotaro’s mother and Joseph’s daughter, calls her father and asks for help. Joseph goes to Japan with an associate named Mohammed Avdol who also possesses an “evil spirit”. Once there, they convince Jotaro to leave his cell. They explain that what he has is not an “evil spirit” but a powerful apparition created by his life energy called a “Stand”. Joseph also reveals why the Stand’s sudden appearance is no coincidence.
Joseph retells the story of his grandfather, Jonathan Joestar. He talks about Jonathan’s battle with Dio in Part 1. Their last battle took place on a sinking ship, and Jonathan ensured they both went down. However, unbeknownst to everyone, Dio survived by placing himself inside a coffin. He stole Jonathan’s body and used its energy to maintain himself for over 100 years.
Through Jonathan’s body, Dio links to the Joestar family, causing their Stands to awaken. JoJo and Joseph can control their Stands due to their fighting spirit. However, Holly slowly starts to kill her since she is gentle. To save her, Team JoJo must travel to Egypt to kill Dio. This search takes them around the world, facing Dio’s henchmen who are also Stand users. They have 50 days to defeat Dio to not only save Holly but the world itself.
Characters Of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders
There are multiple characters within JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders. Therefore, this article will only cover the main players.
Jotaro Kujo (JoJo)
Jotaro Kujo is the third JoJo of the JJBA franchise. He is the grandson of Joseph Joestar (the second JoJo). He lives in Japan with his mother Holly Kujo, who is Joseph’s only daughter. JoJo portrays a rebellious attitude: getting into fights, disrespecting his mother, teachers, and any other authority figure around. To put it lightly, if Joseph was the exact opposite of Jonathan then Jotaro would be on another spectrum.
However, despite his loner attitude, Jotaro portrays the traits inherent in every JoJo: the need to protect the innocent. When he finds out about his mother’s condition, JoJo prepares himself to fight Dio in order to save her. He is the type of character who expresses his emotions through his actions. Despite his cold exterior, JoJo has a moral compass that allows him to weigh the differences between bad and true evil.
While JoJo hardly ever shows emotions, he genuinely cares for his family and friends. He puts himself in danger constantly in order to ensure their safety. He also portrays a crafty characteristic reminiscent of his grandfather’s. His Stand goes by the name Star Platinum. Its power provides precision and incredible strength. JoJo mostly uses his Stand to pummel his opponents with waves of quick punches. However, the Stand comes with other benefits: speed quick enough to catch bullets, sharp eyesight, and steady hands for delicate procedures.
Like JoJo, Noriaki Kakyoin is a Japanese high school student. He was originally an enemy of JoJo’s group; however, after JoJo saves his life, he joins them in their quest. Kakyoin was placed under Dio’s control when he met him on a family vacation in Egypt. In order to ensure his loyalty, Dio placed a flesh bud into his head to control his mind. JoJo uses Star Platinum’s precision skill to remove the bud without harming his brain.
Kakyoin plays the role of chief strategist in the group. What he lacks in physical strength, he makes up for with his quick wit. He is also the team’s voice of reason. Whenever the group is in a dire situation, he is the first to rally them together. Despite his serious demeanor, Kakyoin is not above roughhousing with his fellow teammates, often showing a cynical side. His Stand is Hierophant Green. Its abilities allow it to travel farther than other stands and hide inside things. Hierophant Green can also shoot stone projectiles with its move emerald splash.
Jean Pierre Polnareff
Similarly to Kakyoin, Jean Pierre Polnareff was once a foe turned ally. He was also enslaved by Dio using a flesh bud to control him. He is a Frenchman with a high sense of honor. Once freed from Dio’s control, Polnareff joins JoJo’s crusade against him. He seeks revenge on the man who murdered his younger sister, who happens to be a henchman of Dio’s.
Polnareff is the clown of the group. He is always cracking
jokes or getting into situations that make him the butt of a joke. However,
despite being a child at heart, Polnareff knows when to gets serious. He is
always ready to fight to protect his friends in the line of danger. His Stand goes by the title, Silver Chariot. Its design is similar to a knight in armor. Silver Chariot always fights using a fencing sword. Polnareff’s Stand shows quick and precise accuracy in its movements, making it a useful ally in battle.
Mohammed Avdol is an Egyptian fortune teller who is an acquaintance of Joseph Joestar. He joins him on his journey to Japan and helps convince JoJo to leave his cell. He encountered Dio in Egypt and managed to escape becoming his servant by running away. (This is thanks to Joseph telling him about Dio beforehand.) He assists JoJo in his battle against Dio, mostly serving as the level-headed one in the group.
Despite how mature Avdol acts, he often gets roped into the rest of the group’s shenanigans. This causes him moments of embarrassment as he feels his character is above such moments. Nevertheless, he shows great concern for his teammates and is protective of them. He regularly puts himself in jeopardy just to ensure their safety. His Stand goes by the name Magician’s Red. It takes the form of a giant, red bird which has the ability to control flames and heat.
50 years after Battle Tendency, Joseph Joestar passes down the mantle of “JoJo” and the main character to his grandson, Jotaro. Now a reality mogul in New York, Joseph goes to Japan to assist his daughter, Holly, with her son. He hears news of JoJo seeing an “evil spirit” which he immediately relates to Dio’s curse awakening the Joestar’s Stands. When he realizes the curse not only affected JoJo but his daughter as well, Joseph steels himself to kill Dio to save her.
Joseph plays the role of provider in the group. He uses all of his connections with the Speedwagon Foundation to supply the group with resources and transportation during their journey. Despite his age, Joseph is still cunning and capable of defending himself and others in battle. His Stand goes by the name Hermit Purple. It releases thorns from Joseph’s right arm and allows for remote viewing through spirit photography. Essentially, Joseph needs to break an expensive camera using his Stand and it reveals an image of whatever he wants to see (i.e. clues to Dio’s location). His Stand is also capable of binding people and latching onto things through vines.
Introduced in Season 2 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders, Iggy is a dog recruited by Joseph to assist in the fight against Dio. Avdol and Joseph found Iggy on the streets of New York, evading dogcatchers. He is an antisocial animal who would rather leave his teammates’ fates in their own hands than help. He enjoys chewing on coffee-flavored gum as this is the only way to gain control over him.
Out of the entire group, Iggy gets along least with Polnareff. He often bites out portions of his hair and farts in his face whenever he can. However, despite his initially cold demeanor, Iggy eventually develops a sense of camaraderie with his group. While at first, he feels forced into this fight, he soon earnestly joins the battle against Dio. His Stand goes by the name The Fool, and it is capable of controlling sand. The Fool can sense movements within the ground which warns Iggy of any impending attacks. Iggy can create armor and different modes of transportation with his Stand as well.
After awakening from his 100-year slumber, Dio Brando wreaks havoc on the Joestars once again. Despite his defeat in Part 1, Dio manages to survive his battle against Jonathan by stealing his body and hiding in a coffin. When his coffin gets pulled out of the sea by treasure hunters, Dio uses the opportunity to seek refuge in Egypt. While there, he gathers a group of loyal Stand users to fight his battles as he gathers energy. For despite the strength he gains, Dio needs time for himself to grow accustomed to Jonathan’s body.
Like the Joestars, Dio gains a Stand. His followers claim that it is the most powerful Stand of them all. However, JoJo’s group goes into battle completely unaware of its power. His Stand’s image and power remain a secret until the end of Season 2 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders. For spoiler’s sake, I won’t say any more. However, just knowing that it really is a terrifying power to behold.
Unique Power Source In JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders introduces a unique, new power source called Stands. These Stands have become prominent figures throughout the rest of the JJBA franchise.
Stands replace the art of Hamon as the main power source in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders. Hamon has become obsolete this season as Stands are immune to its power. Depending on the user, Stands come in many shapes and have different powers. They represent the personality of their user.
Unlike the martial art style of Hamon, Stand users do not have to fight physically themselves. The Stand does all the fighting for them. However, there are drawbacks to this power. When a Stand takes damage so does the user. Also, a Stand’s strength relies heavily on the mental and physical fortitude of its user. From left to right, the image above shows Magician’s Red (Avdol), The Fool (Iggy), Silver Chariot (Polnareff), Star Platinum (Jotaro), Hierophant Green (Kakyoin), and Hermit Purple (Joseph).
Why You Should Watch JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders is by far the most action-packed part of the JJBA franchise. Every episode is full of battles and adventure. The scenery changes often since the group travels around the world. The characters are all likeable and bring something to the table. The series honestly feels like a road trip only with bloody battles and death around every corner.
It may take viewers some time to grow accustomed to the Stands since they are drastically different from Hamon. However, once they do, they will see how genuinely cool they are. Each new Stand allows Team JoJo to stay on their toes as they never know what they’ll be facing next.
As for the new JoJo, Jotaro Kujo, depending on whether or not you enjoyed the first two JoJos, he may take some getting used to. He is vastly different from Jonathan and Joseph. Unlike Jonathan, Jotaro is far from a gentleman or a crafty clown like Joseph. However, on his own merits, Jotaro is an intimidating protagonist. Viewers can tell that deep down he does care for others; he just has a funny way of showing it. Regardless of all the changes, Part 3 is a welcome addition to the JJBA franchise. One that all anime fans need to see!
To watch JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders, please visit Hulu and Crunchyroll. If you would like to purchase the anime, please visit Rightstuf (Season 1/Season 2) or Amazon (Season 1/Season 2). The manga version is available for purchase through Rightstuf, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. For more Animanga analyses, please click here.