JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hirohiko Araki. It was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1987 to 2004 before being transferred to the monthly seinen magazine Ultra Jump in 2005. The current story arc, JoJolion, started in 2011. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is currently Shueisha’s second largest manga series with its chapters collected into 120 tankōbon volumes and counting.
The JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure manga has over 100 million copies in print, making it one of the best-selling manga series in history, and has spawned a large media franchise that includes several novelizations and video games, action figures, a jewelry line, and even snack foods. From 2003 to 2005, Super Techno Arts released both OVA series in North America. Viz Media released a translation of the third part of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure in North America from 2005 to 2010, but began publishing the series from the beginning in 2015.
Written and illustrated by Hirohiko Araki, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure began serialization in Weekly Shōnen Jump in its combined issue #1-2 of 1987, which was published on January 1, 1987. The chapters are collected and published into tankōbon volumes by Shueisha, with the first released on August 10, 1987. The series is broken into arcs or parts, each of which stars a different descendant of the Joestar family. During Part 5, which takes place in Italy, the series’ title was occasionally written in Italian as Le Bizzarre Avventure di GioGio. After volume 63, each parts’ tankōbon have started the number count back at one; see Stone Ocean, Steel Ball Run and JoJolion. The series was switched to the magazine Ultra Jump in 2005, during Steel Ball Run, with the chapters now published monthly. JoJolion, the current arc, began on May 19, 2011. A sōshūhen edition that aims to recreate the manga as it was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump with color pages, promotional text, and next chapter previews, began being published in October 2012. That same year, the first three Parts of the series were digitally colored and released as digital downloads for smartphones and tablet computers. A hardcover re-release of the first three Parts, including colored pages from their original serialization, was collected under the title JoJonium between December 4, 2013, and March 4, 2015.
In the early 1990s Viz Media had planned to release an English-language version of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure in North America as “The Strange Adventures of Jojo“, evident by an advertisement in their newsletter at the time, Viz-In. It is suspected the plans were canned after Baoh, another series by Hirohiko Araki, sold poorly. The series was brought up again for talks in 2002, for release as individual monthly chapters. However, by this time, that publication format for manga was becoming less popular in North America.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure finally received a North American release in 2005, in the graphic novel format, similar to its Japanese tankōbon. However, it is only of the series’ third part, Stardust Crusaders, which is the most popular and well-known. Originally published bimonthly, the volumes were later reduced to a quarterly release. The first volume was released on November 8, 2005, and the last on December 7, 2010. Viz’s release changed the names of several characters due to copyright concerns and included some censorship, with scenes of animal violence redrawn by Araki himself. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has also seen domestic releases in Italy by Star Comics, in France by J’ai Lu and Tonkam, Taiwan by Da Ran Culture Enterprise and Tong Li Publishing, and in Malaysia by Comics House.
In 2013, Viz revealed that they planned to release the third part digitally and expressed interest in further material of the series, however, they explained the difficulties due to the numerous blatant references to real-life musicians and fashion designers. Viz Media began publishing the JoJonium edition of Phantom Blood digitally in September 2014, with a three-volume hardcover print edition that includes color pages following throughout 2015. They then licensed the four-volume part 2 Battle Tendency, which they began publishing digitally in March 2015 and in print in November 2015. Viz began re-releasing Stardust Crusaders in the hardcover format in fall 2016. At Anime Expo 2016, Viz Media announced they will be publishing part 4 Diamond is Unbreakable.