JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: the manga editor explains why the series was a late success in France

Pascal Lafine, editorial director at Delcourt / Tonkam editions, reviewed the late success in France of the series “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure”, whose animated spin-off “Kishibe Rohan” is now available on Netflix!

Jojo's bizarre adventure: the manga editor explains why the series was a late success in france
David Production

How is Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure a major Shonen Jump manga?

Pascal Lafine (Editorial Director Delcourt / Tonkam): JoJo is a bit exceptional because the story follows one family over several generations: we start in the Victorian era until today. So it’s a long saga, and “JoJo” comes from their names: Joseph, Jonathan… their first names start with a ‘J’, and the last name Joestar remains. The publication of the manga began in the 80s, during the heyday of Shonen Jump, when other major series such as Dragon Ball, The Knights of the Zodiac were started… It is one of the great river series of the time that have never stopped since their launch over thirty years ago.

The other particularity of Jojo is the change of tone that occurs in each of its arcs …

I think it mostly suits the tastes of the author at the time he designed them. It may seem surprising to you, but we find it in most long Japanese series, which reflects the era of these manga, the customs of Japanese society, going to the cinema… Take Dragon ball z for example, the story of Cell and the cyborgs is completely inspired by Terminator! Japanese authors are imbued with the works they watch, and the peculiarity of Jojo is that the concept evolves with each change of arc. The first story features vampires because these creatures were on the rise in Japan at the time, then we have an adventure story in the vein of Indiana Jones … Finally the only arch that is an exception is Diamond is Unbreakable (arc 4) because the story takes place in the city where Hirohiko Araki is from, and the character of Rohan Kishibe is actually himself, he is his alter-ego.

Why did the series take so long to be successful in France?

The late success of the series is explained first of all, because, unlike Dragon Ball Z, Knights of the Zodiac etc … the series was not broadcast at the time of Club Dorothée. In addition the series was first published by the publisher I Read (an edition widely criticized for its rough translation, editor’s note) and I didn’t get the rights to the show back until around 2006, simply because I’m a huge JoJo fan. But to give you an idea, when we started publishing with Golden Wind, we sold 1,400 copies in one year, and maybe even if I remember correctly, over two years. While these are now numbers that we reach in the space of a single week as soon as a new volume of JoJolion comes out in bookstores!

Can we consider Kishibe Rohan as a series in its own right?

We must not forget that Araki is an author who loves the short format. I remember for example that he had published the manga one-shot Under Execution Under Jailbreak : a character locked in a prison full of traps decides to stay in his cell; finally, he will spend his entire existence living in the apprehension of traps he does not know exist, leaving doubt on whether or not he could have escaped from prison. It looks like a story straight out of The Fourth Dimension! But his manga is full of various influences, and that’s why we can watch him for a lot of different reasons. For example, the Steel Ball Run arc reminded me a lot of that Hidalgo movie with Viggo Mortensen following a horse race in the American West. No one will make me believe that this film did not have an influence on his work!

Is there a particular order for watching Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, or can its arcs be viewed independently?

I am one of those who think that we can discover JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure in no particular order, especially because we published the series out of order, I even believe that we are the only country to have published the series out of order and by cutting in an arc. Thus, this allows anyone to start the series with the story they are interested in, since the arcs follow each other but are not necessarily alike. There is something for every taste !

Did Netflix play a role in Jojo’s success in France?

Netflix is ​​a springboard for audiences yes, we saw it with Alice in Borderland, but I would say that it is not a rule that works in all cases. So certainly when Netflix announced the launch of the first seasons last March, there was a big craze on social networks, I believe that one in two comments posted was related to JoJo! But as far as we’re concerned, the impact was felt more with the simulcast broadcast on Crunchyroll. For example, when the Golden Wind arc aired, sales of the manga immediately increased.

Related Posts

error: Content is protected !!