Call me a JoJo fanboy (albeit an anime-only one at this point), but I can’t get enough of the series. It’s wacky and over-the-top, but still heartfelt with high drama points to go along with the insanity. A few weeks ago, I discussed Stardust Crusaders and Jotaro Kujo versus Joseph Joestar. At the end of that piece, I mentioned that I’d revisit Jotaro after completing the fourth part of the series, Diamond Is Unbreakable.
Well, I finished the season about three weeks ago and enjoyed it the most out of the four parts already completed.
Yes, even more than Battle Tendency. Cue Joseph Joestar in three, two, one…
Araki doing slice-of-life mixed with murder mystery spliced with JoJo shenanigans was a perfect harmony. Sure, it was weird to go from manly men posing and beating the hell out of each other by breathing heavily, to Around The World in 80 Days with Time-Stopping Vampires, to a dude with a pompadour that’d make Ryu from Shaman King jealous. But, my fears were assuaged when I saw Crazy Diamond (not “Shining Diamond” as the dub/subtitles call it) break down a wall, a bottle, a rock, and a few baddies–then put them all back together again at Josuke’s discretion.
However, we’re not here to talk about why DIU as a whole was better than its three predecessors. Not today, anyway. We’re here to talk 20-something Jotaro and his MJ-looking jacket.
Seriously, dude has swag.
To put it shortly, Jotaro is much more well-rounded here. The eleven-year in-story gap between SC and DU helped Jotaro mature a lot. We saw this begin towards the end of SC, but during DIU, it’s even more prevalent. During DIU, Jotaro’s a friggin’ marine biologist who helps run a multi-billion dollar foundation (RIP Speedwagon), helps repair the relationship between Joseph and his bastard son–and main character of DIU–Josuke, and thinks out battle strategies while punching people during stopped time and quipping (the “yara yara daze” even makes even more sense here, considering the slightly less end-of-the-world story).
With this version of the character, I see why people often rank Jotaro as their favorite JoJo. He’s less of a jerk and more of a well-rounded man. If puberty (and possibly daddy issues of his own) hit Jotaro like a ton of bricks in the first seventeen or so years of his life, manhood hit him like a megaton bomb.
Plus, dude’s a super-genius badass who’s equal parts Yoda and Luke Skywalker.
He’s less “I’m going to murderize DIO more so because he pissed me off, screw avenging my family” and more methodical in his approaches to problems. Sure, Jotaro still has moments of beating the beejeezus out of someone. This is a series with “manly-man” shonen roots, after all. However, here, the character is allowed to breathe and grow beyond typical shonen protagonist tropes. He’s still a prominent character in DIU. It’s just that he’s more like Avdol (Black Anime Lives Matter), the wise older man to the hotheaded protagonist with a heart of gold.
It could also be that he feels more of an obligation to destroying evil Stand users since coming in contact with DIO. Either way, I love the shift in the character.
The mentoring he provides Josuke (such as during the “Rat Stand User” episode) helps the junior JoJo get out of his head and evolve his own tactics. He becomes less reliant on beating the hell of people with Crazy Diamond and/or parlor tricks (sort of like his old man) and becomes damned strategic, especially during his final battle with the series’ main antagonist. Josuke also becomes more accepting of his father through Jotaro’s help. To be fair, they also bonded over the invisible baby, but Josuke wouldn’t have even been willing to talk to Joseph without Jotaro.
Jotaro also acts as a father figure/mentor to Koichi, helping the diminutive Stand user grow more confident in his abilities to the point where Koichi’s saving Jotaro’s skin a time or two. Koichi always had the potential to be great (we saw that in early episodes/chapters). But, by the end of the series, he’s also out of his head and stopping the Big Bad from time-warping (yes, there’s another time-warping villain, but that is his tertiary ability).
All in all, Jotaro is more of an enjoyable, likable character here and helps add more astuteness to the Joestar Group this time around. That’s, of course, not to say we didn’t have smarty-pants buttkickers before. One of the best things about the series is that even the manly-men are usually calculating and precise (yes, even Jonathan and his Hamon). However, to see Jotaro’s transition into the character he is by the end of DIU is a glo-up worth noticing in this crazy, noisy, bizarre town.