Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure needs no introduction. JOJOLANDS, Part 9 of Hirohiko Araki‘s world-famous JJBA series, was published the second week of February 2023, and will be the final installment of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.
We watch our protagonist, Jodio Joestar, in the state of Hawaii. Going into the series, that’s all I knew about JOJOLANDS other than it takes place in the alternate universe due to Jojo Part 6‘s ending. Jodio Joestar is said to be this universe’s Joseph Joestar’s son. However, based on what’s been published so far, Joseph has not made an appearance. He did, however, make an appearance at the end of JOJOLION.
With that said, I’m sure you’re dying to know what happens in Chapter 1 of JOJOLANDS, so let’s get started!
We begin our story with Jodio, age 15, sitting in the passenger’s seat of a vehicle. The person he’s riding with — a woman — is pulled over by a police officer because she was driving strangely. She is confused and asks Jodio if she was driving oddly, to which he replies, “Maybe you got too excited listening to Dua Lipa.”
We learn the woman’s name is Dragona, and she grows nervous waiting for the police officer to come back, scratching the steering wheel.
Araki decides to make reference to Covid-19 in this manga. When the police officer comes back, Dragona notes that he’s extremely close to her while talking and asks him to back up, stating he could have Covid. However, the police officer strangely says this:
The police officer demands Dragona step out of the car as he performs a search on her, and tells Jodio to stay in the car. However, things quickly go from weird to disgusting when he begins fondling Dragona inappropriately, even shoving his hand down her bikini bottoms.
Jodio steps out of the vehicle and other officers nearby tell him to get back in the car; however, it begins to rain something other than liquid. These droplets seem either extremly heavy or perhaps acidic? I’m not entirely sure; but this is the first glimpse of Jodio’s stand that we see in JOJOLANDS — he uses it to protect Dragona.
However, Jodio says some words here that clue us in to a bit more of Dragona’s history — he calls her ‘Aniki,’ or ‘Big Bro.’ Yes, you’re putting it together — Dragona is the first ever transgender person included in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. And not only that — she’s a Joestar, too. Jodio’s older sibling.
The next panel gives us a bit more clues as to Dragona’s stand. She displaces the eyes on the officer that was assaulting her with the wave of her hand, making it appear as if he is melting.
After they’re finished with the police, we see Dragona’s stand “Smooth Operators” begin to dismantle and change the license plates on the car so that they don’t get stopped again.
We hear a bit more of Jodio’s internal monologue. We learn that Jodio’s main goal is to get rich; and he does virtually anything to do that. Despite only being 15, Jodio is a notorious drug dealer in the area. They hide the drugs in things like food, stuffed animals, etc; and tell one another where to look to pick up the drugs so that they don’t get caught. (Completely different than Giorno from Part 5, amirite?)
The principal of Jodio’s high school is the ringleader, who gives them jobs. Jodio meets one guy on the bus who starts hounding him for drugs, and Jodio is forced to publicly ridicule and beat him a little bit so that others don’t catch on to his schemes. However, when he goes to get a job from the principal alongside Dragona and one other member of the drug ring, she informs him that the same idiot on the bus will be joining them on their new mission.
Their goal is to find and collect a diamond. Jodio is hesitant but states that if the principal wills it, it must be done, or else there will be major consequences.
We get one badass look of the 3 major stands introduced thus far before the chapter ends.
Opinions / Analysis
Wow. Wow, wow, wow. Not only was this story an insanely fun read, but it was also extremely easy to pick up and read with knowing limited knowledge of Part 7 Steel Ball Run and Part 8’s JOJOLION. Part 8 went on for so long, I must admit, that I can’t say I read every single chapter.
I like that Jodio is acting like a genuine 15 year old. One thing in Part 5 Golden Wind was that Giorno didn’t exactly feel 15 to me, he felt much older and much more mature. Jodio, on the other hand, seems completely different from Giorno — and that’s a great thing. I really hope for our protagonists to be individuals, not bound by the ‘Joestar’ surname.
I hope next chapter we see a bit more of Jodio and Dragona’s interactions with one another and a bit more of their personalities; so far, I love them both!
I have a horrible, horrible feeling that Dragona will die in this story. Calling it right now!
What do you all think of the first installment of JOJOLANDS? Are you excited? Hopeful? Let us know in the comments!
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