Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure by Hirohiko Araki has become one of the most popular and well-received manga and anime of all time. There’s a reason I included it in my list of the best manga of all time.
With almost a thousand chapters, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is also one of the longest-running manga of all time. It comprises eight different parts, all of which feature their own protagonist, cast of characters, setting and plot.
It’s one of the most unique and creative series I’ve come upon and I couldn’t help but fall in love with it.
While I enjoyed all Jojo parts, some are better than others.
In this article I present to you my ranking of all the Jojo parts and which I think is the best one.
Table of Contents
- Part 1: Phantom Blood
- Part 2: Battle Tendency
- Part 3: Stardust Crusaders
- Part 6: Stone Ocean
- Part 8: JoJolion
- Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable
- Part 5: Golden Wind
- Part 7: Steel Ball Run
Phantom Blood is the very first Jojo part. While it can be considered a classic, it’s also the weakest part.
The first thing one notices is how similar it is to other manga of its time. The general style and art is very reminiscent of that of Fist of the North Star by Buronson.
This Jojo part is set in the late 19th century and follows Jonathan Joestar and his adoptive brother Dio Brando. It’s soon revealed that Dio’s after the family’s fortune and doesn’t shy away from terrible deeds to reach his goal.
When his plan fails, he uses a mysterious stone mask to turn himself into a vampire. From here on out, Jonathan sets out for revenge against Dio.
It’s a story of drama, betrayal and, of course, vampires.
The biggest problem with the first Jojo part is that it’s rather bland and formulaic. It doesn’t stand out amongst other manga of its time and especially not when compared to other Jojo parts.
Jonathan himself has much the same faults. He, too, is a rather bland character, and can be best described as a hero archetype.
The high point of this Jojo part was without a doubt Dio, who served as a pure evil, Machiavellian and entertaining villain.
Battle Tendency is the second Jojo part and features Joseph Joestar, Jonathan’s grandson.
This time, the story centers on The Pillar Men, a race of ancient super humans and the original creators of the stone mask.
Battle Tendency does everything that the Phantom Blood does, but it does it better and much more interesting.
The first difference is the protagonist. Joseph is much more interesting than his grandfather. He’s more of a trickster who uses ploys and psychology to defeat his enemies. This makes fights much more interesting because Joseph doesn’t beat his enemies by sheer force, but by outwitting them.
The problems of this Jojo part start with the supporting cast, who’s overall rather weak and uninteresting.
While the art style is better than in Phantom Pain and shows hints of the strangeness to come, it’s still rather uninspiring.
The antagonists, The Pillar Men, felt rather bland. They had their own motifs and ideals, but they were essentially nothing but super powerful human beings that needed to be stopped.
While Joseph was an improvement over Jonathan, he was also extremely cocky, to the point of being arrogant and even unlikeable. I also disliked his many tricks and ploys which were at best unrealistic cop-outs and at worst Deus ex machines.
While this Jojo part isn’t bad by any means, and it proves popular among many fans, but it just didn’t work for me.
Stardust Crusaders was the first big Jojo part and the one that put it on the map. Even today, it’s probably still the most well-known Jojo part out of all of them.
The main character, Jotaro Kujo, has likewise become the most popular Jojos of all time and has frequently appeared in other parts. He’s a mixture of Jonathan and Joseph, making him well-rounded and less bland.
The secondary cast, including Battle Tendency’s Joseph himself, are all likeable and feel much more important to the story than those in the earlier two Jojo parts.
The story takes us on a wild hunt from Japan all the way to Egypt for one reason alone: Dio is back.
Learning this, Joseph is hell-bent on avenging his grandfather and thus enlists the help of Jotaro, who’s recently developed a Stand.
Here we have the one element that changed Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures forever: Stands. Their importance to the series can’t be overstated, and they have been a vital part ever since.
As popular as Stardust Crusaders is, I feel it’s a bit overrated. The pacing’s a bit off, especially during the first half. Frankly said, this Jojo part takes a bit to get going. There are also a few plot points that could very well be cut since they added nothing to the story.
The art is again rather old-fashioned. It’s, however, an improvement when compared to Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency.
The last problem is the Stands themselves. As fantastic an addition to they were, one could tell that Araki was still testing the waters. Overall, they can be hit or miss in this Jojo part, especially in the earlier half.
Part 6: Stone Ocean
Stone Ocean is the first Jojo part to feature a female Jojo. Her name’s Jolyne Cujoh, the daughter of Jotaro Kujo.
She’s sent to Green Dolphin Street Prison for a murder she didn’t commit. It’s soon revealed that this is only part of a bigger plan by a disciple of Dio Brando.
The prison setting was an interesting choice and makes for a fascinating setting.
The mystery about Jolyne’s framing, the prison and Father Pucci Enrico was well-done and really kept you engaged.
Stone Ocean is, at least in my opinion, the weirdest of all Jojo parts, and it also features some of the strangest stands. The weirdest one amongst them is probably Weather Report.
The overall strangeness of the Stands, however, made for some great, dynamic and interesting fights.
Even the cast of characters is as weird as the Stands and very weird when compared to other Jojo parts. I thought they were a mixed bag. While I enjoyed some of them, like Weather Report, I also really disliked others like Anasui and Emporio.
While I enjoyed this Jojo part, I also had my problems with it.
The first was the prison setting. While I enjoyed it at first, I soon felt the story stagnated because it was always restricted to the same location. After a while, I even found it uninspiring, especially when compared to the settings of part four and five.
The last thing was the overall weirdness of the part. I’m usually a big fan of weird and bizarre ideas, but Stone Ocean often felt a bit too strange for even my liking.
Part 8: JoJolion
JoJolion is the most recent Jojo part. While it has recently finished, I haven’t kept up with it. That’s the reason its position in this ranking might change.
This Jojo part is once more set in the town of Morioh, but one that’s set in the alternative universe that Steel Ball Run was set in.
The story follows a different version of Josuke Higashikata, but only in name because he’s entirely shrouded in mystery. The story follows him as he tries to regain his memories. This makes him quite the unique protagonist, for he’s literally a blank slate with no background.
JoJolion was actually my very first venture into the world of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures and one I did by complete accident. What I discovered was weird as hell. I knew nothing about Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures, or Stands so it was a wild ride, reminiscent of a fever dream. I soon discovered that it was the eights part of an ongoing manga series and went back to read the entire manga from the beginning.
The art in this Jojo part is absolutely fantastic and as bizarre as we’re used from Jojo, maybe even more so as in other Jojo parts that came beforehand.
The story’s mystery’s engaging and it keeps you wondering just what the hell’s going on. As we read on, things only server to get stranger.
The Stand fights in this Jojo part were all extremely interesting and well-done.
Overall, I had a blast with this Jojo part so far, but I unfortunately haven’t finished it yet. What I read so far, however, didn’t really feel on par with the best Jojo parts out there.
Diamond is Unbreakable changed Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure forever and marked a departure from every established convention.
It’s not only the setting but also the art, the story, and the Stands that were different. This time, the story’s not about saving the world from megalomaniac villains. Instead, we’re confined to the small town of Morioh in Japan. Our main character Josuke Higashikata is a normal high schooler.
This Jojo part is a more intimate affair, centering on the events in a small town.
The side characters are also different from those in other Jojo parts. They are, mostly, normal people or other high schoolers.
The story starts out when Jotaro Kujo arrives in Morioh. He’s on the search for the Bow and Arrow, an artifact which can awaken people’s latent Stand abilities. Where this Jojo part really shines, however, is in its second half.
It’s here we get to know Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures’ most iconic antagonist, the serial killer Yoshikage Kira. He’s a fascinating and extremely well written character. He doesn’t want to conquer the world. Instead, he just wants to continue his quiet, normal life.
The biggest change, however, is in the art. Throughout this Jojo part, the art evolves and changes from the muscular frames that came before to bendy, effeminate fashion divas. It was a style that should come to dominate the series ever since.
Apart from the art, Stands also evolved vastly and became much more defined. Pure combat stands took a step back and were replaced by a large variety of Stands with weird powers.
The high point of this part, however, was, without a doubt, Yoshikage Kira.
It was a tough choice to decide between Diamond is Unbreakable and Golden Wind. Eventually, though, I put Golden Wind higher, simply for how amazing a Jojo part it is.
The first thing that’s interesting about this Jojo part is that it’s almost entirely removed from the rest of the series and only vaguely related to it.
Giorno Giovanna is a great protagonist. He’s the illegitimate son of Dio who wants to take over the Neapolitan mafia and become a ‘Gang-Star.’
Yet, it wasn’t him who I liked the most, it was the side characters who truly stole the show in this Jojo part, most of all, Bruno Bucciarati.
These characters are a ragtag group, all with their own quirks, motivations, goals and, of course, Stands.
The art in this Jojo part is fantastic throughout the board and while Araki stayed true to the style he developed in Diamond is Unbreakable, he perfected it. Many locations are all beautiful and one can truly see the Greco-Roman influences.
The high point of this Jojo part, however, are the fights. The Stand abilities are amongst the most creative, complex and interesting in the entire series. These make the fights extremely dynamic and interesting and some of them are amongst the best in the entire series.
There are only two points of criticism I have for this part. The first is the main villain Diavolo, who I think is introduced much too late and only appears near the end.
Another is that some Stands are a bit hard to understand. There’s of course Gold Experience, but most of all King Crimson which is a topic of much confusion amongst fans of the series.
Part 7: Steel Ball Run
Steel Ball Run is a favorite amongst fans and my favorite part of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. It’s the culmination of everything Araki’s created.
This Jojo part can be seen as a reboot of the series. It takes place in an alternate universe and features many alternate versions of well-known characters.
The story follows Johnny Joestar, an alternative version of Jonathan Joestar. He’s a paraplegic jockey who wants to partake in a transcontinental horse race through the United States. This horse race is called the Steel Ball Run race.
Before the race he meets Gyro Zepelli, another participant. After a duel in which Gyro showcases his weird powers, the Spin, Johnny regains the use of his legs. From then on, the two of them team up to win the race.
The stakes, however, soon rise when the real antagonist of this Jojo part is introduced. It’s Funny Valentine, the president of the United States.
Johnny and Gyro are fantastic characters, but many of the participants are great in their own right. The most interesting among them are Sandman and Diego Brando.
The art is outstanding and amongst the best in the entire series and manga in general.
What made this part so interesting, however, was the horse race. We weren’t just following the general plot, but also the race itself.
The Stands in this Jojo part are also amongst the best in the series and make for some fantastic, high-stake battles. Gyro’s Spin is also a great addition and serves as an homage to Hamon, a technique featured in the first two parts of the series.
Overall, Steel Ball Run is a fantastic Jojo part, and in my opinion the very best one.