(from left to right: Gyro Zeppelli, Jonathan, Giorno, Jotaro, Joseph, Jolyne, Johnny, Josuke, and Gyro Zeppelli)
After 25 years, Hirohiko Araki's long-running Shonen Jump (now Ultra Jump) series JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is finally receiving a full-blown TV series. JoJo has only seen two animated adaptations in the past, an old multi-volume OVA series utilizing material from Part 3, and a Part 1 movie that was never released outside of theaters due to the creator being displeased with the quality.
Rather than simply adapt one part, the announcement claimed that all 8 parts would be animated, from start to finish. For those of you new to the series, that includes...
Part I: Phantom Blood: Starring Jonathan Joestar the first entry in the series is a Victorian Horror story, greatly influenced by Fist of the North Star as well, involving the young man doing battle against his childhood foe, and the central villain of the series, Dio Brando.
Part 2: Battle Tendency: An Indiana Jones-style adventure through America and Europe. Joseph Joestar, Jonathan's grandson, finds himself involved with a Nazi plot focused on weaponizing ancient humans known as "The Pillar Men".
Part 3: Stardust Crusaders: The most popular part by far, with the manga, fighting game, and OVA released in America unlike the other parts, it introduces the main draw of the series, the super-powered spirit guardians known as Stands. Dio's back and it's up to Joseph Joestar, and his own grandson, Jotaro Kujo, to stop him! The most light-hearted part, Joseph and Jotaro embark on a trans-Asian/African journey towards Egypt, battling against countless Stand-using mercenaries on the way, in order to put a stop to Dio.
Part 4: Diamond is Crush: What happens when moody teenagers find themselves blessed with Stands? Well Joseph's illegitimate son, the pompadour-wearing Josuke Higashitaka, is about to find out as he deals with a mass outbreak of Stand Users in his hometown of Morioh. And things take a turn for the worse when an elusive serial killer is thrown into the mix. A cult favorite, it lacks the globe-trotting scale of the other parts and instead focuses on a closed-off setting that feels closer to home.
Part 5: Vento Aureo: Giorno Giovana's dream is to be a Gangster Star...and with his life-giving Stand Gold Experience, that dream is a reality! Allying himself with a local gang specializing in Stand Users, Giorno finds himself involved in an civil war within the Passione Group stretching throughout Italy and he searches for the boss' true identity. But things take a turn for the interesting when Giorno's team is asked to guard the boss' daughter, Trish Una.
Part 6: Stone Ocean: Jotaro's daughter, Jolyne Kujo, finds herself framed for a crime and imprisoned in the gigantic Florida prison complex known as "Green Dolphin Street Prison". And if you thought prison life was hard on its own, this prison is a hot-spot for Stand Users all out to destroy the Kujo family under orders from the enigmatic White Snake.
Part 7: Steel Ball Run: A series reboot taking place in an alternate universe, it's the age of America's Western Expansion and a cross-country race known as "The Steel Ball Run" is underway! A young paraplegic man known as Jonathan "Johnny" Joestar crosses paths with Gyro Zeppelli, master of the art of utilizing mysterious Steel Balls, and briefly experiences the feeling of his legs once more. In order to regain this feeling, Johnny enters the race alongside Gyro in hopes of learning the secret of the Steel Balls. But the race has a secret objective...
Part 8: Jojolion: A young amnesiac man awakens after the Tohoku Earthquake in the town of Morioh, an alternate reality from the one in Part 4, and meets a young girl. His name is unknown, but two things stand out about him: his Stand, Soft and Wet, and the fact that he has four testicles. To make things worse, he happens to be named "Kira"...the name of a serial killer that terrorized Morioh in another place and time.
Nothing is known about the anime adaption, however, except that it will start in Fall 2012 with Phantom Blood. No animation studio (who can mimic the style successfully?), voice actors, or episode length has been announced. My guess is that Parts 1 and 2 will probably be around 13 since they're shorter, and all the other parts will probably be 25 or so episodes, roughly half a year. Anyway, it's exciting! And considering how Araki blocked the release of the Phantom Blood movie, it's assumed that he may be enforcing quality control on the production.
Hopefully the series will be simulcast by Crunchyroll, as a dubbed release is HIGHLY unlikely. This series is a nightmare for legal reasons, as characters and Stands are blatantly named after well-known musicians, bands, and fashion labels, and Araki doesn't like to change them.
(one of the characters in Part 1 is literally named Robert Edward O. Speedwagon)