Saturday, March 20, 2010
Save Jojos Bizarre Adventure from cancelation!!!
When the 2d fighting game of Jojos Bizarre Adventure came out, I bought it just because of the genre it was, but when I played it for a while, it had a profound and inspiring effect on my imagination and I was definitely changed by it. It had some of the most weird and wonderfully absurd ideas I’ve ever witnessed and the visual style was very personal and idiosyncratic.
I found out that most of the stories, characters and ideas in the game were taken from the third series of an epic comic that has been running in Japan since the late eighties and is currently on its seventh series.
The American Viz editions of the third series will finish at 16 volumes by the end of this year and unless the sales pick up dramatically in that time, the series will be cancelled and it will be a very long time before anyone ever considers translating and printing the fourth series and onwards. This CANNOT happen.
The popularity of manga and anime in the west has evolved into something really horrible in a lot of ways, because a lot of the key franchises from Japan that got people interested in Manga in the first place have been seriously neglected in the past decade. In the eighties and nineties a lot of what was attracting people to Japanese art and entertainment was instense, visceral and insane. The Japan of Shinya Tsukamoto, Takashi Miike, Strange Circus, Crazy Lips, Melt Banana and The Boredoms. Now, so much of what is imported is inane, generic, predictable and often lacking any distinctive qualities at all, somehow that stuff sells really well.
If you were living in the start of the nineties and were told that there would come an enormous explosion of manga imports, you would probably assume that Devilman and Fist of the Northstar would be among the first to be completed. To this day neither of those has been even halfway translated into English print, yet they were very important to getting the interest started. I don’t think Go Nagai has had any single one of his stories completed in English yet he is a very important manga giant. Shigeru Mizuki too.
There was briefly a nice amount of great horror work from Hideshi Hino, Junji Ito, Kazuo Umezu and Suehiro Maruo, but all that has dried up now and many of their great works are still unavailable to us. Clearly people are not buying the good stuff.
Show support for the more interesting side of manga and maybe that will fight away the generic crap and give manga the reputation it deserves and have a positive influence on the comic industry in general.
If you want wonderful glam rock homoeroticism, abundant funny music references, vampire hunters in Egypt, tarot card imagery, violent wine spitting, decapitated heads fighting with their last breath, zipper portals, tidal waves of cars, maniacs in fridges with killer puppets, fighters wielding fishing rods, perverse orangutans and fantastic artwork, BUY JOJOS BIZARRE ADVENTURE!!! Jojo is enormously influential and a lot of the kids reading the current new generation of manga don’t realise how much their favourite stuff takes from Jojo. . Jojo is one of the top ten most popular manga series in Japan and it has a healthy following in Italy and France, don’t make America and Britain look stupid by saying “that looks too weird and camp for me”. Just buy them.
I’m going to post this message any relevant place I can and I’d appreciate it if every Jojo fan or anyone sympathetic to this cause spread the word around and make some noise about this, I cant do this by myself.
Viz page for series 3