JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean, Now on Netflix
Atticus Leeds – Staff Writer
On December 1, 2021, the first 12 episodes of the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 6: Stone Ocean anime, produced by David Production, were made available for streaming on Netflix.
Unlike the previous parts, which were released for the West through Crunchyroll, and then later picked up by Netflix, Stone Ocean has been released to Netflix directly, with the dubbed version included (something for which fans previously needed to wait a long time). The first 12 episodes have been released thus far, and the rest are planned to release a chunk at a time, rather than one episode per week as it did previously, or all at once like most Netflix shows.
JoJo’s is a long-running manga and anime series written and illustrated by Hirohiko Araki, debuting with Part 1, Phantom Blood, in print in 1987, and on the screen in 2012.
Unlike most Japanese series which follow a single protagonist throughout the entire story, JoJo’s has a new protagonist for each part, each of them linked by family. Part 6 follows Jolyne Cujoh, a young Japanese-American woman imprisoned in a Florida penitentiary for a crime she didn’t commit.
In prison, Jolyne learns about her family’s heritage and the supernatural ability called the ‘Stand’ for which she is destined.
The ‘stand’ is a reflection of the user’s fighting spirit, often appearing as a spectral form, and is different for (nearly) everyone who possesses one. The abilities of a stand can range from very simple, such as conjuring fire as a weapon to quite metaphysical, such as the ability to age people rapidly according to their body temperature, and it is battles between those who possess these abilities that are the centerpiece of the action in recent JoJo’s.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is known for its complex and cerebral fight scenes between Stand users or those with other special abilities, and Part 6 took this to an extreme; it may even have gone a bit too far. The Stone Ocean manga was weakened because the medium of a comic was less than ideal for portraying the increased complexity of the fights, making some of them convoluted and tedious to read. For this reason, while by no means bad, Part 6 tends to be a less-liked installment among fans.
However, in animated form, I think the fights are far easier to understand, and the greatest weakness of Part 6 in the manga might become its greatest strength in the anime.
Scenes which were previously obscured by the manga’s format are now portrayed dynamically and breathtakingly in animation, and the part will only benefit more from this as the stand abilities faced by the heroes become more and more metaphysical. I will note that, unlike previous parts, Part 6 integrates some three dimensional models into a largely two dimensional animation style, a decision which might be controversial.
Although Stone Ocean stands up as a story on its own, as each part of JoJo’s is meant to, I suggest watching the rest of it too, simply because of the high quality of the entire series, and for a greater understanding and context of the events in Part 6. All parts are available, both subbed and dubbed, on Netflix and Crunchyroll.
Parts 1 and 2 can be slow for some people, so some prefer to begin with Part 3: Stardust Crusaders, before going back to watch Parts 1 and 2 as prequels. I should note however that the series is definitely for adults; it contains instances of gore and disturbing imagery, as well as some sexual references.