JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Chronological or Release Order?

Introduction to Watching JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

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Hello and welcome, fellow anime enthusiasts! Are you ready to embark on a bizarre adventure like no other? If you're new to JoJo's Bizarre Adventure or a seasoned fan looking for a new way to watch, you've come to the right place! As a dedicated fan, I'm excited to present to you the ultimate guide to watching JoJo’s: chronological vs. release order.

There's no denying that JoJo’s is one of the most beloved anime franchises out there, but with multiple seasons and adaptations, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Fear not! I'll be breaking down the advantages and disadvantages of both the chronological and release order, so you can make an informed decision on how to experience the thrilling and eccentric world of JoJo’s!

If you are new to anime, we highly recommend checking out our Anime 101 beginners guide for essential insights before diving into JoJo’s! This guide is especially beneficial if this is one of your first anime experiences, as it will enhance your enjoyment and understanding of the series by familiarizing you with anime's unique characteristics and cultural aspects.

Before we jump into the discussion about chronological vs. release order, let's take a moment to familiarize ourselves with some of this beloved franchise's different names and abbreviations. As you may have noticed, JoJo's has a lot of different titles and names that fans use to refer to the series. From the protagonist's name to the different story arcs, keeping track of it all can be overwhelming. So, let me break it down for you and introduce you to some of the most commonly used names for JoJo's Bizarre Adventure!

  • JoJo's - The protagonist's name and the start of the title, JoJo's is the quintessential way to refer to this iconic anime. It's the perfect shorthand for the bizarre and beloved series.
  • JJBA - An acronym for JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, JJBA is a common shorthand used by fans who just can't get enough of this wild ride.
  • JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken - This is just the Japanese name for JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. It's an important one to know for those who want to stay in the know about all things JoJo's.
  • Phantom Blood - The first story arc in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Phantom Blood introduces us to the world of JoJo's in all its weird and wonderful glory. While it's not as commonly referred to by its arc name, it's an important starting point for any JoJo's fan.
  • Battle Tendency - The second arc of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, (Ofter also called Sentou Chouryuu) is often only referenced by the most dedicated fans and is less commonly used in mainstream discussions since it takes place in the same season as Phantom Blood.
  • Stardust Crusaders - One of the most popular arcs in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Stardust Crusaders is a fan favorite and the third arc in the series. With two full 24-episode seasons, it's the perfect blend of epic battles, quirky characters, and iconic moments.
  • Diamond is Unbreakable - This is my personal favorite JoJo's arc! Diamond is Unbreakable is the fourth arc in the series and features some of the franchise's most memorable characters, battles, and stand abilities. You're in for a treat if you haven't experienced this arc yet.
  • Golden Wind - With an amazing soundtrack and the unforgettable "Il Vento d'Oro" song, Golden Wind is a feast for the senses. This is the fifth JoJo's arc and delivers all the action, humor, and drama that fans have come to expect from the series.
  • Stone Ocean - The sixth and most recent arc in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Stone Ocean introduces us to the first female protagonist in the franchise. It's a bold move that pays off, delivering a fresh perspective and exciting new adventures in the JoJo's universe.

What is JoJo's Bizarre Adventure?

Buckle up, because we're about to take a wild ride through this iconic anime series's history, characters, plot, and genre! But don't fret, we'll be sure to keep things spoiler-free so you can enjoy the show at your own pace. And if you want to get to know the characters on your own terms, don't worry, we'll give you a heads-up before we delve into their stories!

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has a long and fascinating history that is worth diving into (but we’re just going to touch the surface)! The manga first debuted in 1986; even after 30 years, it is still ongoing! It is written and illustrated by Hirohiko Araki, who started the manga series seven years after his debut under the pen name Toshiyuki Araki. This magnum opus has become one of the best-selling manga series of all time, with over 120 million copies in circulation! One of the things that makes JoJo's Bizarre Adventure unique is the length of each arc, which can vary quite a bit. The earlier arcs are shorter, with Phantom Blood only having 44 chapters (5 volumes), while Diamond is Unbreakable has an impressive 174 chapters (18 volumes). The length of each chapter also varies, which explains why it takes Araki so long to complete them. The most recently completed manga arc, JoJolion, ran from 2011-2021, totaling over 4600 pages!

A captivating image featuring three realistic panels from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure manga. Kira from Part 4, Dio and JoJo's intense confrontation from Part 3 in vibrant color, and a striking JoJo from Part 5 showcase the exceptional artistry that brings these iconic characters to life.
Source: JJBA Manga

Araki's style is quite distinctive, and he prefers to maintain a realistic style that was much more common in famous animes like Legend of Galactic Heroes during that time period. He has mentioned being influenced by classical art pieces and Western paintings, and he took inspiration from role-playing games, similar to Dungeons and Dragons, for the characters' skills and abilities. These influences are evident in arcs like Stardust Crusaders, which feature characters with unique and intriguing abilities. JoJos has also become super influential in modern-day culture; many songs and movies relate to JoJos.

So far, there have been two anime adaptations. The first one was produced by Studio A.P.P.P, which is the older OVA adaptation. The second one, currently in progress, is by David Production, which has produced all the recent adaptations. While both adaptations have their strengths, they have different pacing, which we'll explore later.

How JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Uses Rotating Protagonists to Tell a Generational Story

Skip Minor Spoilers

Hey there! Before discussing the characters, genres, and plot, let me give you a heads-up. If you're worried about spoilers, this is your chance to click that skip button. But if you're ready to dive in and learn more about the unique and fascinating individuals that make up the Joestar family, then let's get started!

Araki's fascination with the concept of generational heritage is a defining aspect of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. The story centers around the Joestar family, a clan with a long history of supernatural abilities and heroic deeds. Araki wanted to explore how the traits and experiences of one generation can be passed down to the next, and how this can affect their personalities and outlook on life. To achieve this, he introduced the concept of "Rotating Protagonists" - a unique storytelling approach where each series arc features a different Joestar family member as the main character. This allows the audience to witness how each protagonist copes with their unique challenges and how they grow and evolve throughout their journey.

At the start of each arc, you will be introduced to a new Joestar family member who inherits the nickname "JoJo". From the brave and stoic Jonathan Joestar in Part 1 to the cunning and resourceful Giorno Giovanna in Part 5, each JoJo has a distinct personality and set of abilities that make them stand out from the rest. This rotating protagonist gimmick gives JoJo's Bizarre Adventure unparalleled variety and excitement. Each arc feels fresh and unique, as the story shifts to a new setting, time period, and genre.

In the early parts of the series, Araki used a fighting technique called Harmon breathing, which involved using breathing techniques to control one's own energy and enhance physical abilities. This technique is somewhat similar to other shounen fighting techniques seen in shows like Demon Slayer. However, in the middle parts of the series, Araki introduced a new concept called Stands. Stands are supernatural entities that represent the manifestation of one's fighting spirit and are unique to each individual. They are like a personal guardian spirit that can assist the user in battle, providing them with a wide range of abilities and powers. This addition to the series is what many people think of when they hear "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure", as Stands have become one of the most iconic and recognizable aspects of the show.

Gintoki, the protagonist of Gintama, hilariously mimics a JoJo Stand, striking a distinctive pose while referencing the iconic Stands from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, capturing the comical crossover and playful spirit of both series in this entertaining screenshot.
Source: Gintama - Episode 131

Exploring the Genres of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is a series that masterfully blends various genres to create a unique and thrilling experience. Mystery is a central theme that runs throughout the series, and it's something that creator Hirohiko Araki himself loves. This sense of mystery is often conveyed through the unknown, putting the characters in situations that challenge them to think outside the box.

Of course, JoJo's is primarily an action series, but it's not just about constant explosions and brute strength. The fight scenes are well-crafted and often require the fighters to use their inner intellect to devise a strategy to win. This adds depth to the characters and helps make the fight scenes more engaging.

Adventure is another major genre that's prevalent in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. The Stardust Crusaders arc is a prime example of this, as the characters go on a long journey to accomplish their goal. Along the way, they face many obstacles and challenges that test their abilities and their bond with one another.

Supernatural elements also play a significant role in the series. The Harmon Breathing technique, Stands, and vampires are just some of the supernatural aspects that are explored throughout the series. While not every arc features vampires, they are an important part of the lore and could be considered their own genre.

Drama, organized crime, and comedy are also present in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. While not always the focus, they add depth to the story and help create an engaging and exciting, multifaceted world.

Meet the Colorful Cast of Characters in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure introduces a new protagonist for each arc of the story, each with their own unique personality and abilities. In this section, we'll introduce you to some of the major characters you'll meet on this wild ride!

A powerful depiction of Jonathan Joestar, the noble and heroic protagonist from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, radiating strength and determination, with his muscular physique, gentlemanly attire, and unwavering resolve shining through in this striking image.
Jonathan Joestar

First up, we have Jonathan Joestar, the protagonist of the first season. He's a towering 6.5 feet tall with striking blue hair and works as an archaeologist. Jonathan is an honest, kind, and selfless man who always puts others first and considers the impact of his actions on those around him.

Dio Brando holds a tray with a glass of water, his calculating gaze hinting at his cunning nature, while the anticipation of his malevolent deeds lingers, captured in this intriguing image from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
Dio Brando

Next, we have Dio Brando, an important character in the series and Jonathan's adopted brother during the first arc. Unlike Jonathan, Dio only cares about himself and doesn't think twice about hurting others. He's malicious and cunning, stopping at nothing to achieve his goals.

Robert E. O. Speedwagon, a prominent character from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, dons his signature checkered hat, his charismatic expression and rugged appearance embodying his adventurous spirit, loyalty, and unwavering determination, as captured in this iconic image.
Robert E. O. Speedwagon

Last but certainly not least, we have Robert E. O. Speedwagon. Some fans might even say he's the best waifu or the love of their life! Speedwagon is a fantastic recurring character who becomes good friends with Jonathan. He's a loyal and dependable ally, always ready to lend a hand when needed.

Get ready to meet even more memorable characters as you journey through the world of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, since the ones we mentioned are just the tip of the iceberg!

Understanding the Chronological Order

Ah, the age-old question: to watch anime in chronological order or release order? It's a debate as old as time (or at least as old as the internet), and JoJo's is no exception. But fear not, my fellow anime enthusiast, for I am here to guide you through the confusing world of JoJo's viewing order!

First, let's get one thing straight: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has two anime adaptations that stick to the original storyline. Unlike some other anime, like Fullmetal Alchemist, where one of the adaptations deviates from the manga, both JoJo's adaptations try to stay true to the source material. However, only one of the adaptations goes into enough detail to truly capture the essence of the manga.

Now, let's talk about the two orders: chronological and release. Watching JoJo's in chronological order means starting with Part 1: Phantom Blood by David Production and watching all of their releases to date, including their rendition of Stardust Crusaders.

On the other hand, the release order starts with Studio A.P.P.P's renditions of Stardust Crusaders (OVA) and Phantom Blood (Movie) before moving on to David Production's versions.

Let's dive a little deeper into the release order of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. It's important to note that Studio A.P.P.P.'s rendition of Stardust Crusaders was released in two parts that were out of order. The 1993 version of Stardust Crusaders is technically the second part of the arc, while the 2000 version is the first part of the arc. This means that if you watch in release order, you'll start with the latter half of Stardust Crusaders before moving on to the first part of the story.

Additionally, the 1993 version of Stardust Crusaders lacks much exposition and skips over some of the fight scenes later included in the David Production rendition. On the other hand, the 2000 release does provide the viewer with some of the knowledge and context missing in the 1993 version, making it slightly easier to understand the story. It's also worth noting that the first arc, Phantom Blood, wasn't released until 2007. So, if you choose to watch in release order, remember that you'll be starting with the latter half of the third part of the series and missing some important information.

Pros of Watching JoJo in Chronological Order

Are you ready to dive into the world of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure? Watching the series in chronological order is the perfect way to get started, and I'm here to tell you why.

Get a deeper understanding of the story: Who doesn't want a clearer understanding of the story? Watching JoJo's in chronological order is like wearing glasses for the first time - suddenly everything is crystal clear and you can see the story unfold as it was meant to be. No more confusion, no more missing pieces. Just pure JoJo's goodness!

Experience the series as the creator intended: With the David Production version, you'll get the same experience as the manga readers - and who wouldn't want that? It's like being part of a secret club that only the coolest people get to join. Plus, you'll be able to impress your friends with your insider knowledge and understanding of the story. (Just don't try to argue with the manga readers, they’ll still have the one up on you!)

Experience an uninterrupted plot flow: Watching JoJo's in chronological order gives you an uninterrupted plot flow that will keep you hooked from start to finish. You won't have to worry about missing any important details or getting lost in the story. It's like riding a rollercoaster - you'll be on the edge of your seat the whole time, feeling every twist and turn.

Get a better understanding of the timeline: Do you want to experience the full-time progression of JoJo's? Of course you do! Watching in chronological order will give you an enhanced experience of the story's progression, making you feel like you're living in the world of JoJo's. It's like going on a time-traveling adventure without ever leaving your couch.

Cons of Watching JoJo in Chronological Order

Okay, so let's be real: watching JoJo's in chronological order is the ultimate way to experience the story. But, like anything in life, it has a few tiny cons worth mentioning. So, let's dive in!

Pacing: The biggest issue you might run into is the pacing of the first arc. Don't worry, though - you're not alone! I know a few people who have started Phantom Blood (the first arc) and didn't finish it. It's only 12 episodes, but it can feel slow compared to the rest of the series. However, Phantom Blood is important to the overall story and progression of JoJo's, so stick with it! Trust me, the best parts of the show start on episode 13 with Sentou Chouryuu, and you won't want to miss out.

Spoilers: Now, I know we're all wannabe JoJo fans here, so I won't spoil anything for you. But, let me just say this: the intro to Phantom Blood is a bit of a double-edged sword. On one hand, it's super catchy and memorable. On the other hand, it spoils the entire arc’s plot! You heard me right - it's like a step-by-step guide to what will happen in each episode. So, if you're someone who hates spoilers (like me!), I recommend skipping the intro to the first arc. Don't worry, every other arc has amazing intros that won't spoil the same way Phantom Blood's does. (Each intro does include minor spoilers! You have been warned.)

Pros of Watching JoJo in Release Order

So you're thinking of watching JoJo's in release order? You may have heard that it's for the hardcore fans, but don't let that discourage you! Even if you're new to the world of JoJo's, there are a few reasons to give release order a try. In this section, we'll explore some of the pros of why it might be worth it. Get ready for some immediate action, mystery, and the chance to compare adaptations!

Embrace the mystery: If you're new to the JoJo universe, watching in release order will leave you with a lot of unanswered questions. But that's part of the fun! You get to figure out the story as it unfolds without getting bogged down by boring exposition. Plus, you'll be on the edge of your seat as you try to unravel the mysteries.

Action from the start: The release order doesn't waste any time getting to the action. With minimal exposition at the beginning, you'll be thrown right into the thick of it. And if you just can't wait to see the best parts of the show, starting with the 1993 version might be the perfect way to get your fix.

Compare and contrast: Watching in release order allows you to compare the two versions and see the differences in adaptation. You'll appreciate each version's little details and changes and gain a deeper appreciation for the storytelling.

Choose what to skip: If you decide to watch the chronological version after, you have the option to skip the parts you've already seen. While this includes the first 12 episodes of season 1 and Stardust Crusaders, I wouldn't recommend it! The chronological version offers more detail and doubles the length of the Stardust Crusaders adaptation, so it's definitely worth a watch. That said, you could also skip parts of the release order and watch them in the chronological version!

Cons of Watching JoJo in Release Order

While watching JoJo's Bizarre Adventure in release order is not the best option, if you're considering it, it's important to know the drawbacks of this approach:

Lack of Exposition: The immediate action is a plus, but it comes with a downside. The story's explanations don't come until the 2000s release, and even that is somewhat lacking. You'll find yourself with gaps in your knowledge of why things are happening.

Shorter Series: Some might see the shorter series as a pro, but it's definitely a con. The release order version of Stardust Crusaders, for instance, is only 13 episodes, whereas the chronological version is a whopping 48 episodes split into two parts. By watching the release order, you'll be missing out on a significant amount of content.

Designed for Manga Readers: These early adaptations were created with manga readers in mind, resulting in many stand battles being omitted. The show focuses mainly on the main plot points.

Plot Points Changed: To account for the shorter length, several plot points have been altered, such as the way characters are introduced, how battles are resolved, and the absence of certain jokes (and the addition of new ones).

Choosing the Perfect JoJo’s Viewing Order

So you're ready to start watching JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, but which order should you choose? Fear not, my fellow JoBro! Here's a quick rundown to help you pick the perfect viewing order:

Watch the release order if you:

  • Want to dive right into the action and don't mind missing all the details
  • Don't care about spoilers and want to enjoy only the main points of the story
  • Love comparing different adaptations and spotting the differences
  • Want to skip certain parts of the chronological order

Watch the chronological order if you:

  • Want the full experience of the show, from start to finish
  • Prefer to avoid spoilers and enjoy the story as the creator intended
  • Don't mind the slower start in Phantom Blood
  • Want to appreciate the character and plot developments throughout the series fully

Still unsure which order to follow? Here are some potential options to consider:

A watch order graphic for JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, recommending the chronological order, with images of each season displayed in the correct sequence. Alternative watch orders are also provided, allowing users to explore different viewing options based on personal preference and storytelling preferences.
Unleash the bizarre! JoJo's Bizarre Adventure watch order guide.

As an avid JoJo’s fan, I highly recommend watching the chronological order by David Production. It's the perfect way to experience the full story without missing out on any of the memes or epic moments that make this series so beloved.

How to Watch JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

It's important to note that streaming availability may change over time, so it's always a good idea to double-check before starting the series. Regardless of which service you choose, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is an exciting and unique anime that's sure to entertain!

USA: With options like Netflix, Hulu, and Tubi, viewers in the USA have a few different streaming services to choose from. However, it's important to note that each service only has the first 5 seasons of the show, except for Netflix which has all 6. Funimation is also an option, but they only have the first 3 parts of the series.

Canada: Netflix is a great option for Canadian viewers, as they can watch all 6 seasons of JoJo's on the platform. Additionally, it's worth noting that the first two seasons are listed together under one season, making navigating easier. Crunchyroll is another good option, having the first 5 seasons.

United Kingdom (UK): Fans in the UK can catch all 6 seasons of JoJo's on Netflix, similar to viewers in the USA and Canada. It's worth noting that the first two parts are combined in the listing.

Australia: Similar to the UK, Australian viewers can catch all 6 seasons of JoJo's on Netflix. While Crunchyroll is also available, they only have the first 5 seasons.

India: Netflix is a great option for viewers in India, as they can watch all 6 seasons of JoJo's on the platform. Like other countries, the first two seasons are listed together under one season. Crunchyroll is also available, but they only have the first 5 seasons.


Throughout this journey, we've explored the exciting and bizarre world of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. So, if you're looking to embark on a JoJo adventure, here's our final recommendation: start with the David Production rendition of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood, which was released in 2012. This will allow you to experience the story in the order it was intended to be told and will ensure that you completely understand the plot and the characters. However, if you've already seen the series and are looking for a new way to experience it, feel free to try watching it in Studio A.P.P.P’s release order.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is an epic tale filled with action, drama, and some of the most memorable characters you'll ever encounter. Whether you're a die-hard fan or a newcomer to the series, I hope that this guide has helped you navigate the JoJo’s universe and find the best way to enjoy this unforgettable journey.

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Article by:Bleeus

Bleeus is a veteran weeb and anime lover. He has watched over 300 different shows in the last 3 years and loves to test his anime knowledge.

Fun Fact: He is a big Legend of the Galactic Heroes fan, contributing the majority of our LoGH Trivia Questions.

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