In 1999 an artefact only known as the Arrow is manifesting latent Stand abilities. And it is currently travelling throughout the suburban town of Morioh, Japan. High schooler Josuke Higashikata (illegitimate son of Joseph Joestar) and his friends are determined to seek out the culprits of a series of homicides affecting the town.
The murderer of Morioh Yoshikage Kira was defeated on a showdown, but managed to escape and takeover the body of a salaryman with a bored wife and a young child. While he recuperates and plots his revenge, Josuke and Jotaro look for clues in Kira’s house. What they discover is that Kira’s father, another stand user, is hiding in the house. After attacking and making off with the mysterious bow and arrow, he makes it his mission to protect his son by turning as many people as possible into stand users themselves. Whilst Josuke and company find themselves with their hands full with dealing with this excess of stand users, little do they know that Kira is nearby – and these new stand users are causing problems for him, too.
One thing that I’ve never really understood about Diamond is Unbreakable lies somewhere in the translation. Ever since the beginning of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure there have been a sizeable number of overt references to existing art, media and pop culture which tend to echo Hirohito Araki’s artistic influences throughout the development of JoJo – from Robert E. O. Speedwagon (REO Speedwagon) and the Zeppeli family (Led Zeppelin) in Phantom Blood to Steely Dan, Vanilla Ice and Kenny G (characters named after real life artists of the same name) in Stardust Crusaders, these are all things that have kept their translation. Diamond is Unbreakable is no different for having these cultural references but they have changed the names slightly. From Josuke and Koichi’s stands Crazy Diamond (taken from a Pink Floyd song) and Echo (also Pink Floyd) being called Shining Diamond and Reverb. Is there some European copyright infringement going on? Is someone worried they’re going to get sued? Likely, in my opinion. But I can’t help but get annoyed at the constant discrepancies between what the Japanese voice actors are saying and what the translations say.
That’s not to say that JoJo doesn’t continue to have its fair share of drama. The storyline of Yoshikage Kira is full of tension and high stakes and Josuke and the crew are trying to track down this slippery Morioh murderer and his formidable stand Killer Queen. When Kira takes over the body of a local man and starts to draw this man’s family into his evil doings, Hayato, Kira’s host body’s son, seeks to prove that the man in his father’s body is a sinister serial killer. Just when the gang think that they’ve got this evil man cornered, they discover another ace up Kira’s immaculate sleeve that keeps him one step ahead of the game. This season’s big-bad, although not quite Dio Brando, has his own brand of twisted evilness that he has carried with him ever since he was first introduced, carrying around and caressing a woman’s disembodied hand and murmuring to it like a lover. Since then, I knew he wasn’t going to disappoint.
This series continues to be full of iconic art and plot lines that are quintessentially JoJo. The psychedelic colour palettes used when a battle ensues between stand users continues to be something I look forward to. The comedy genuinely makes me laugh and Okuyasu continues to be my favourite. The supporting characters such as Rohan Kishibe and the return of Jotaro (and even Joseph Joestar plays a bit part, although he is terrible old now) are strong enough to have their own story lines and you genuinely become worried when they’re put in mortal peril (things get a big Game of Thrones-y) such as when they come face-to-face with Yoshikage Kira himself. Every episode from the very beginning does justice to the title of the franchise as everything that happens can truly be described as a bizarre adventure. You won’t get to see a story be told or drawn quite like it.
JoJo continues to move from strength to strength. With every arc there’s something different to see but there are threads that tie every generation together and strengthen the story. I can’t wait to see what Vento Aureo is like when hopefully it is released next year.