JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean Part 1 Review - IGN (2024)

The first 12 episodes of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean are now streaming on Netflix.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is absolutely legendary. It's been running strong since its Japanese debut in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1987, with the manga divided into eight parts (and one on the way in the form of JOJOLANDS). It's since spawned four complete anime seasons and an OVA as well as countless novels, manga spin-offs, cross-promotions with designer brands, and more.

Now, it's welcomed its fifth anime adaptation, Stone Ocean, starring another brand new "JoJo" as its protagonist: Jolyne Cujoh. After the deliriously good Golden Wind, the series' fourth season in 2018, the first 12 episodes of the most recent JoJo installment do not disappoint. This is one part fans have been waiting patiently for, and it comes at you hard and fast, much like the flurry of punches and the "ORA ORA ORAs" from fan-favorite Stand Star Platinum.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: The Most Bizarre Stands

Jolyne Cujoh (Fairouz Ai) is a prisoner at Green Dolphin Street Prison in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The year is 2011, a bit of a time jump from Golden Wind, and this part feels a bit more modernized, accordingly. She finds herself there, wrongly imprisoned and seeking justice. It's hard to do this, though, when just about every part of the system is turned against you. Luckily, she has friends in high places, like her father: Stardust Crusaders' Jotaro Kujo (Daisuke Ono). Though there’s some bad blood on Jolyne’s part, with Jotaro playing the part of the absentee father, there’s still an important family bond between the two that will be explored at length over the course of the series.

While imprisoned, Jolyne comes to find that she, like the rest of the Joestar lineage, has a special Stand ability, or the personification of one's soul made real: Stone Free. Unfortunately, not so long after getting acquainted with Stone Free, Jotaro is severely incapacitated in a way that Jolyne is going to need some outside help to rectify. It turns out there’s a malevolent Stand acting out at Green Dolphin Street Prison, and it’s after Jotaro. But why is it suddenly targeting him?

This dilemma (and the one that put her in jail in the first place) is a fantastic premise, and one that you’ll be thrilled to see unfold. It’s especially exciting in terms of new Stands. Unlike Jolyne’s father's all-powerful Star Platinum, which can stop time and pummel just about any enemy to a pulp, Stone Free allows Jolyne to unravel her body into string, which allows for some extremely interesting combat. She can also use the string to communicate with others like she's using a tin can telephone, create barriers, slice enemies up, steal items, and more. It's an intriguing change from the previous protagonists' Stands, and it only serves to empower Jolyne further as a hot-headed, determined young woman who'll stop at nothing to save her father from a terrible fate.

While in prison, Jolyne meets a swath of strange inmates, like a woman named Gwess (Momoko Taneichi), who uses her Stand to shrink people and then stuff them into animal carcasses, putting Jolyne into a small mouse body in a bid for the pair to make their escape. There's also Ermes Costello (Mutsumi Tamura), one of Jolyne's constant allies, with a Stand that allows her to duplicate objects by way of a removable sticker. F.F. (Mariya Ise) has a much more complicated backstory, but they're essentially their own Stand, with a fairly disturbing toolset.

Stone Ocean is a masterful adaptation of the manga.

Jolyne and her motley crew work together to pinpoint what’s going on with the Stand user and their powers while in the prison, and with the help of a shadowy young man clad in baseball gear who seems to disappear into thin air as well as a Stand user who can control the weather, she seems set to take on someone who wants to change the entire world...and “achieve heaven.” If that sounds ominous, that’s because it truly is.

Through only 12 episodes, Stone Ocean manages to weave a satisfyingly strange mixture of emotion, inventive plots, and some of the most interesting Stands seen in the entirety of the JoJo anime continuity yet (perhaps for well, Diamond is Unbreakable). They absolutely fly by, leaving you on the edge of your seat to see how the next seemingly impossible situation will be resolved or reversed.

Though each season of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure thus far has introduced a new generation of Joestar (or those connected to the bloodline), hence the JoJo name, they've all been an important part of the overarching storyline. It's a long -- truly bizarre (the title doesn’t lie!) -- adventure that you'll really need to have been here from the beginning to appreciate, but this part is extremely important in ways that won't become apparent until the series comes to an end. If this is your first ride on the JoJo roller coaster, you should absolutely go back and experience the other seasons as well.

Readers who have been keeping up with the manga with every new chapter release will find it hard to wait for each episode drop for this reason. But with such a strong start, at least, there's no need for concern that Stone Ocean can't totally knock the rest of its interpretation of its source material (which is basically line for line the same as the manga so far) out of the park. And to all the new viewers, rest assured: it’s only going to get even more fascinating from here.

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Stone Ocean is a masterful adaptation of the manga, with a fantastic opening sequence, lush animation, and the weirdest Stands yet. It’s a redemption story with a JoJo who, like the rest of the family, isn’t about to take anything that happens to her lying down. Whether you’ve been here since Phantom Blood or you’re just jumping onboard to see what this JoJo business is all about, Stone Ocean is a ballet of blood-pumping weirdness and edge-of-your-seat drama that’ll keep your eyes glued to the screen.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean Part 1 Review - IGN (2024)
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