Craze on, you shining diamond!
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable – chapter 1 is showing in theaters right now. It is a live-action adaptation of the first arcs of Part 4 of the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure manga series, Diamond is Unbreakable. Jojo has been steadily growing in popularity in the recent years. It had always been a big deal in Japan but it didn’t hit the international mainstream until its anime adaptation in 2012 which catapulted its popularity to new heights. This live-action adaptation is but a continuation of the series’ massive success.
This movie is VERY faithful to its source material. Jojo characters (especially on part 4) usually have crazy (but stylish) hairstyles. I can’t even begin to imagine how the makers of this film designed the awesome hairpieces that the characters wore. They all looked impossibly stylish. The wardrobe was nothing to sneeze at either, granted most of the main characters just wore some variation of the Japanese Gakuran (male school uniform), but they still looked damn cool wearing them. Another thing of note is the amazing quality of the set pieces that brought the town of Morioh, the setting of the film, to life. Though the film took some liberties in the placement of some key story elements in the set, it was all executed well to make the scenes more dynamic and realistic.
A story is nothing without its characters and this film successfully brought them to life. The actors (especially Yusuke Iseya who played Kujo Jotaro), did an excellent job of portraying their roles. This is quite an achievement since Jojo characters tend to be quite hammy with their mannerisms and expressions.
A big part of the current Jojo lore is the Stand, a manifestation of a person’s willpower and mental strength. Stands in the Jojo series have took on impressive (usually muscular) forms. The film’s CGI is amazing to say the least, but fans of the series would be ecstatic to see that the film (from the poses to the ORAORAORAORA’S) did Stands justice.
Last thing to note is the film’s story itself. Most adaptations usually encounter problems with pacing because of the nature of the original work. The filmmakers curbed this by focusing only on the first story arcs of the manga. Moreover, the scenes were constructed in a way that made the story coherent even for people who didn’t read the manga or watch the anime (as an uninitiated friend of mine who watched it confirmed). The movie is good on its own but of course, you’ll get maximum enjoyment out of it if you’re a fan!
If the subtitle: Chapter 1 wasn’t enough of a hint, one can easily infer that this is the first of many more films to come, and judging by its reception, we should be expecting a follow-up sometime soon. I, for one, cannot wait for the next installment.