In the past few years, the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure anime has become a cult hit amongst fans worldwide. This is in part due to the series having extremely imaginative fights, likable characters and over the top presentation. However, with its 132+ episodes of anime as of writing this article, it’s understandable why it might seem intimidating to newcomers. Like more long-running shows it is a significant time investment. However, with each part of Jojo (yes, the series has five animated parts so far) you get a new story covering a new genre, therefore it always stays fresh and never goes stale like so many other long-running anime. Also, if you don’t want to watch the whole series, but just certain parts, you can do that as well, as a lot of the times the stories aren’t crucially connected.
Part 1: Phantom Blood
If it’s the complete Jojo experience you’re after, then this should be your starting point. Phantom Blood is Jojo’s first part and is relatively short, coming at just nine episodes. The characters in this story arc are a bit two dimensional but they do have some charm. Dio Brando is a classical anime villain, evil to the bone. So much so that the first time he meets our protagonist he instantly kicks his dog right in the head. Jonathan on the other hand is the epitome of righteousness. He’s a gentleman, reliable and so altruistic, to the point that it sometimes becomes funny.
Although Phantom Blood has its bizarre moments it never really reaches some of the heights that later parts capture. It’s setting feels too campy to feel truly scary and its humor is not on par with future parts, however, it can be enjoyable and its nine-episode runtime saves it from becoming a slog to go through. All in all, this part can be skipped yet I don’t recommend doing so.
Part 2: Battle Tendency
Part 2 of Jojo is probably the series comedy peak. Seriously, this is the most hilarious story arc the series has to offer. Joseph Joestar, this part’s protagonist is a bigmouth loose canon that never plays by the rules. Accompanying him as his JoBro is another Hamon user named Caesar Zeppelli, the grandson of William Zepeli from first arc. The villains in this part are the ancient Pillar Men, they are basically buffed Mayan gods that love to strike intimidating poses. Oh, Part 2 also has Robo-Nazis, so definitely don’t miss out on it. This part is a great jumping point for newcomers as it offers everything the series is known for.
Part 3: Stardust Crusaders
Stardust Crusaders is by many considered the most iconic part of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure and the point where the series changes completely. “Hamon” is now replaced by “Stands” as the main fighting style. If you’re wondering what stands are, they’re basically creatures or objects that are a manifestation of one’s soul. If that sounds familiar, it’s because you’ve seen many anime-inspired by Stardust Crusaders before, like Shaman King, Yu-Gi-Oh and so many others. This part is also the longest in the anime adaptation so far clocking in at 48 episodes.
The story in this one follows Jotaro Kujo, Joseph’s grandson and certified badass. He and a group of misfits travel to Egypt to fight Dio, the villain from part one, in hopes of saving Jotaro’s mother.
Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable
Unlike it’s huge in scale predecessor, DiU changes up the pace completely. The whole story takes place in the city of Morioh and focuses more on each individual character, rather than being all about the protagonist. Considered by many to be the best part of the series, thanks to the amazing cast of side characters, the charming protagonist and absolutely chilling main villain, DiU is a part you would not like to miss.
Although part 4 can be considered a side story and a spin-off of the original trilogy, it is by far the best out of the arcs so far.
Part 5 Golden Wind
Golden Wind is the odd one in the bunch, as it has almost no ties to the stories before it. Even Giorno, the arcs main protagonist doesn’t act like the typical Joestar. The tone of this part is darker, with the story focusing on murder, drugs, gangsters and crooked cops. It’s one of the craziest parts of the series but it is definitely no place for newcomers to start.