The opening of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, created by Araki Hirohito, depicts a rather nasty ritual sacrifice by beheading. The man in the mask is Dio, an ancient and powerful stand user (explanation below), recently come back to take over the world. Somehow, he has influence over Joseph's daughter and has brought her very close to death. To find out what is causing the problem, JoJo's team has traveled to Egypt, where they have heard that stand users are causing trouble. Here, they face their first enemy.
Some things you should know about stands: the stand is an extension of the person. He has complete and total control of it. Plus, if his stand is injured, so is he. The stands are linked to the Tarot deck, and being a stand user is an inherited ability. In the manga, Joseph's daughter Holly has a stand but isn't strong enough to control it. You need a powerful will to be a stand user, and if you can't control it, your stand will consume you from the inside.
One thing you'll notice early on is how powerful the bad guys' stands are, especially compared to the heroes. One of the later evil men, for example, has the power to create a void space by turning his stand inside out. Being in its center, he can't be hurt by it, and there's no way to defend yourself except to run away. But you can't see him and he flies around faster than you can run - extremely powerful. A later article will discuss this further, once you've seen some villains in action.
Joseph Joestar (voice: Ohtsuka Chikao), on the other hand, has a pathetically weak stand. His Tarot is Hermit Purple. He can create thorn vines and control them. Offensively, he's only got a whip or strangling effect and moderate range. Defensively, he can encase himself in an invisible thorn field so that in order to hit him, you must hurt yourself. This use of his stand, called Hamon, is never used in the anime, but it is mentioned in the second to last episode. Mohammed Abdul's (voice: Kobayashi Kiyoshi) stand is quite a bit stronger. Magician Red is a red-feathered man with a bird's head that can create and manipulate the elemental force of fire. Guile, a street fighter - I mean Jean-Pierre Pontaleff - is the big dumb guy, and his stand, Silver Chariot, is a wizened old man inside a suit of armor with a foil. Speed and accuracy plus moderate range are his advantages - but he lacks the mental capacity to outsmart opponents. Kakyouin Noriaki (voice: Suzuoki Hirotaka) clearly has the most power of this team, but you won't see it until the later episodes. He creates a metal suit filled with a green liquid, called Heiroprant Green. The suit's elbows are connected to him by long thin tubes. This seems to be a water-based stand because it can unravel to take other string-like shapes. Even though he is connected to his stand, it can move great distances from him - but his offense is truly awesome. The Emerald Splash fires frozen ice or emerald-like chips at extreme velocity at precise targets. In episode four or five, you can watch him shred up downtown Cairo. Lastly, we have Kuujou Joutarou (JoJo) himself (voice: Kosugi Jurouta). Star Platinum is the name of his stand, and although it cannot move away from his body, it has useful abilities. Strength, speed, and heightened senses let him see several kilometers away with ease, leap tremendous heights, and punch repeatedly: "ORAORAORAORAORAORAAA!"
What's really good about JoJo's is the level of intelligence displayed by the characters. The first enemy they face does several really intelligent things and has them in a bad situation most of the time. The second guy uses many intelligent tricks to fool them, but best of all is JoJo outsmarting each of them. This is very unlike Araki's other work which we have shown, Baoh. Hope you like it as much we do!