Last December, Netflix released the first 12 episodes of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean. Stone Ocean is Part 6 of David Production’s adaptation of the critically acclaimed Japanese manga by author and artist Hirohiko Araki. It follows the star-studded lineage of the Joestar bloodline; a family of remarkable individuals who find themselves in the possession of incredible powers, strong and fun personalities. Embarking on adventures that are deadly, insane, and of course, bizarre. Part 6 follows Jolyne Cujoh, a strong-willed young woman framed and wrongfully imprisoned in Florida’s Green Dolphin Street Prison; a massive maximum security prison full of powerful friends and foes.
So with all that said, you might be wondering, “so, this is Part 6…should I start here?” Well, no and yes. Part 6 builds on a number of aspects of the universe that were established in earlier parts. Some in ways that are incredibly gratifying. Luckily, every previous part is currently available on Netflix as well.
To get the most of Stone Ocean, and to see some of anime’s zaniest characters, consider at least checking out the other parts in order. They might be up your alley – but even if one isn’t, don’t let that stop you! One of the many, many appealing things about this series is the brilliant versatility of this multi-part structure. It allows for Araki to explore a vast amount of characters, plots, settings, and genres, all of them vastly unique. It can lead to globetrotting adventures, small town murder mysteries, mafia turf war dramas, and in the case of Part 6, deadly prison escapes.
Part 6 boasts one of the strongest opening arcs in the anime’s history, and perhaps the most interesting main “JoJo” yet with Jolyne. As far as protagonists of this series go; she’s one of the oldest, the first female main character, and the daughter of a previous protagonist. In a series filled with over-the-top characters as the norm, Jolyne stands out as a refreshingly relatable and human character, especially as the main protagonist. I will always stand by the other main JoJos as entertaining and fun leads; this is the first time that internal struggles have taken center stage. She might be up against enemies wielding powerful abilities, but she’s still just a teenager struggling with betrayal, a troubled youth, and a tense but heartbreaking relationship with her father. Not that any of this makes her any less competent or cool, thankfully.
Like most characters in the series, Jolyne is abruptly drawn into danger; not just into the Green Dolphin Street Prison but also the world of “stands”; physical embodiments of the users soul and will with unique abilities. Armed with hers, a teal blue stand she names “Stone Ocean” (Stone Free in the original translation), she is well-equipped to deal with all of the threats that Green Dolphin Street Prison; its resident stand users, can throw her way. She has the unique and deceptively strong ability to unravel herself like a string to give herself enhanced range and maneuverability, in addition to overwhelming strength.
Stands and the battles between their users are the highlight of the JoJo’s franchise. Their powers can range from stopping time and shrinking down their enemies to redirecting airflow and creating zipper-like portals. Even the simple-seeming stands have complex rules and require creative thinking on the part of our heroes. The fights are long, inventive, exhilarating. Each one is different from the last with higher stakes and varied win conditions.
So, before the second batch of Part 6 episodes drops on Netflix, consider using that time to catch up on the series. Or perhaps even revisit some older parts. If you’re new, you may find yourself hooked by the unique brand of action and humor like so many others have as the series has expanded in popularity.