JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is certainly a new style of anime for me. No high school fantasies of love... no dark future with mecha running riot in a technology-saturated world... no painful absurdity of a character that can change into other people by his own free will... (What the heck is happening with DNAČ?!?)
No. Here we have a wildly creative and very different show. The plot is lively and exciting, yet it retains some degree of intellectuality in its action and humor. From reading Gregory's original article introducing the series in the CJAS newsletter three weeks ago, I am convinced that these fine attributes will remain through the full course of the anime.
One aspect of JoJo's that is most appealing to me is the use of the Tarot cards to describe the stands of several of the characters. I was curious to see whether the choice of the Tarot held a deeper meaning for the character or for the stand, or whether it was a random selection devoid of significance. After consulting various and sundry sources, here are my findings:
Kuujou Joutarou; Star Platinum; The Star represents Hope and Spiritual Insight. These descriptors create a reasonable portrait of the leader of our small band of protagonists. He certainly displayed remarkable insight in the way he was able to maneuver to within striking distance of N'Dul. However, judging by his attire, he has a dark side that is not fully revealed in The Star. Perhaps his stand is the embodiment of only his lighter attributes. [You'll see JoJo's real power of mind in episode three - it's sooo awesome! -Ed.]
Joseph Joestar; Hermit Purple; The Hermit represents Divine Inspiration and Wisdom. The old man along on the journey may well represent wisdom from age. Without more character development here, I remain unconvinced of Joseph's Tarot.
Mohammed Abdul; Magicians Red; The Magus represents Wisdom, Skill, and Cunning. Mohammed seems to be the most intelligent of the lot. The trick with the bangles to lure N'Dul's stand to attack where the blind man thought he heard footsteps demonstrated remarkable cunning.
Jean-Pierre Pontareff; Silver Chariot; The Chariot represents Victory and Obedience; if ill-dignified, a Maintenance of Tradition with Violence. This guy always seems to go off half-cocked. I think that the "dark" interpretation of his card is more appropriate. The embodiment of his stand as a fencer in a suit of armor seems the perfect interpretation of a tradition of violence.
Kakyouin Noriyaki; Heirophant Green; The Heirophant represents Guidance from Above and Endurance. For lack of sufficient character development, I cannot make a guess as to the suitability of this Tarot. Given his current physical state (i.e. with his eyes slashed by N'Dul's stand), he will need to call upon his endurance to survive the rest of the journey. [In one of the later episodes, Kakyouin learns an important secret of the enemy and imparts his wisdom on Joseph, definitely guidance... -Ed.]
Iggy; The Fool; The Fool represents Ideas that Seek to Rise Above the Earthly Plane. Iggy may not be such a bad little pup. After all, he did return JoJo's cap (with the gum on it... I know, I know). It could be that he is simply not bothered by the same things that concern his five traveling companions. When N'Dul's stand got into the radiator of the truck, Iggy just hopped off the back and lay down in the sand to chew his gum. Didn't bother him too much. His thoughts were on a different level.
Dio; The World; The Universe represents Synthesis or Crystallization. Again, without more information, I cannot guess the relation between character and Tarot. It is possible that some long-planned scheme is just now coming to fruition for Dio. [Hmm. Synthesis and Crystallization, very interesting - the World's power is a secret that almost crushes the entire team, but I won't give it away except to say that the match is pretty good. -Ed.]