In each volume of JoJonium, there is a section in the back of the book containing an interview with Hirohiko Araki discussing the character featured on the cover. These interviews act as small biographies outlining the creation process of said character and Araki's thoughts at the time.
The pages also include a picture of the character, their profile, and a one question Q&A regarding the character design choices of the cover illustrations.
- 1 Volume 1 (Jonathan Joestar)
- 2 Volume 2 (Will Anthonio Zeppeli)
- 3 Volume 3 (Dio Brando)
- 4 Volume 4 (Joseph Joestar)
- 5 Volume 5 (Lisa Lisa)
- 6 Volume 6 (Caesar Anthonio Zeppeli)
- 7 Volume 7 (Kars)
- 8 Volume 8 (Jotaro Kujo)
- 9 Volume 9 (Joseph Joestar)
- 10 Volume 10 (Hol Horse)
- 11 Volume 11 (Enya the Hag)
- 12 Volume 12 (Noriaki Kakyoin)
- 13 Volume 13 (Muhammad Avdol)
- 14 Volume 14 (Daniel J. D'Arby)
- 15 Volume 15 (Iggy)
- 16 Volume 16 (Jean Pierre Polnareff)
- 17 Volume 17 (DIO)
- 18 References
Volume 1 (Jonathan Joestar)
|“||The title of the series is JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, but first and foremost, I actually wanted to draw Dio. Good and evil, white and black—Jonathan and Dio function as symbols and are foils of one another. The series had the potential to go on, so in my mind, I wanted to create a "first Joestar" that could function as a symbol of purity and dignity rather than a unique, fresh character—that's why it was hard to come up with him.
There are limitations on how I could write the character because he was a "symbol of justice," so he may be a little on the boring side. I solidified his character as I went. Jonathan is passive, reacting to Dio's various attacks, and this leads to him discovering his way of life. Perhaps this is linked to me as an author, growing along with my character as I drew him. Just as Jonathan was unsure as to how to live his life, I was unsure where to take the character. Maybe I grew as an author a little with Jonathan as he trudged on through his hardships.
In Part 1, during the seven years after Danny's death, Jonathan gets very muscular. This change was made with the upcoming battle between him and Dio in mind. I thought his physique needed to be able to withstand the constant onslaught from this point on. In addition, when this part was originally being serialized, it was the era of "muscles" on the silver screen—guys like Schwarzenegger and Stallone. Schwarzenegger, for example, could never be stopped by an amount of gunfire right? I wanted Jonathan to have a similar look to him—a look of unstoppableness. Weekly Shōnen Jump also has a history and tradition of main characters evolving and growing.
I also wanted Jonathan to exude an aura of strength like in Karate Baka Ichidai after doing martial arts training alone in the mountains. As a child, I loved karate manga—you would see all kinds of supernatural strength, like punching electrical poles and having the birds on the wires drop down or someone trying to stab another person with a knife, only to have the knife bend. In actuality, martial arts does have a certain mystique to it, such as strengthening punches with breathing techniques. I wanted to include supernatural things like that in JoJo, and I believe that the Ripple is inspired by my love of karate manga.
Did Dio and Danny make up?
Volume 2 (Will Anthonio Zeppeli)
|“||Mr. Zeppeli was named after the rock band "Led Zeppelin." They are top-tier musicians to me, so I felt I had to reference their name with this character, albeit it's really a shame I used it so early--kind of like playing the Joker right at the beginning of a card game. Therefore, I had to resolve myself to that when I debuted Mr. Zeppeli. It's also important how the name sounds; there are a lot of "J" names in the series like JoJo, Jonthan and Joestar that are similar, so I wanted to balance out the names with a "Z" like Zeppeli. I made sure to do the same thing with Speedwagon.
Mr. Zeppeli teaches the Ripple to Jonathan and leads him on his quest to destroy the stone mask. I like teachers who are silly and make you wonder whether or not they're missing a screw up there. Like in Jackie Chan movies, the master's always a drunkard--so how can he be so strong? Same thing in The Karate Kid. Their outside appearance may be a little off, but it's what's underneath that is deserving of respect. These characters have charm because of the gap between their exterior and interior, and because you can't judge them by their covers. Mr. Zeppeli may look weak at first glance, but he's actually strong, even though I dressed him like a magician and gave him the mustache of a snake oil salesman. His mustache was actually inspired by those worn by the painter Salvador Dali and Osomatsu-kun's Iyami.
However, the mustache requires a lot of courage to pull off in a shonen magazine. Mainly because it makes the character look older and untrustworthy, no matter the type of mustache. As for Mr. Zeppeli—while he serves as JoJo's master, it's not like he's an old man far older than JoJo. He's also the lead supporting character. I might have turned readers off with him, so it took courage. He's a type of character that I haven't really used in any of my other work, but one that I wanted to use for the reasons I mentioned above. Thinking about it now, it may have been a "gamble" or "adventure" on my part. Back then I probably figured, "Eh, it's JoJo, it'll work out." It is a Bizarre Adventure, after all.
Lastly, to my credit, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure came out BEFORE the Japanese TV drama series Bizarre Stories in This World. Let's get this straight.
Could the sphere on his cane be...?
Volume 3 (Dio Brando)
|“||I mentioned this back when I was talking about Jonathan, but Dio was actually the one I wanted to draw most for Part 1. How far can a man's ambition drive him when he takes it to the ultimate extreme? That's what I wanted to depict. I wanted his name to sound cool when paired with JoJo's, so I ended up going with Dio, which means "god" in Italian. I always hear theories about how I got his name from the Dio Scooter, but that's not true! I'll just put that out there, along with the Bizarre Stories thing from last volume.
In regards to how he contrasts with Jonathan, I wanted to tackle how you represent the ultimate villain as depicted against a symbol of justice. How exactly would he fall into that role of "villain"? People always love to compare who's stronger or who's cooler. You've got Godzilla versus Mechagodzilla, Schwarzenegger vs. Stallone... I wanted there to be that sort of contrast or struggle between Dio and Jonathan.
Additionally, FBI psychological profiling was a hot topic around the time that I wrote this. Why do serial killers do what they do, scientifically speaking? I was inspired by that when I was working on Dio. Guys like that are true scumbags, rotten to the core. Yet, I've always sort of thought that they're actually incredibly strong for being table to commit such crimes. Why do they go so far? Do they do it just to see if they can? The "control" aspect of it interests me as well. There was a famous case in America where a man trapped several women in a room and brought them out, one at a time, into another room to kill them. All of these women were waiting, together, for their turn to get killed. I can't imagine what their mental state was like at that point... Thinking rationally, you wonder why they wouldn't try to make a break of it, or why they wouldn't try to band together and overpower the killer? There has to be some way to resist. However, if you look into the process by which people control others, you start to see what's effective. There are many ways, including instilling fear, but I always found the act of controlling others strangely fascinating.
That's why Dio wasn't simply a strong villain, but a character that controls others and had admirers that served him. As an antagonist, it makes it suspenseful for the reader, as they wonder how he can be beaten. During serialization, I actually hadn't prepared a weakness for Dio. It's the best kind of suspense when you are on edge. How will they overcome him if Ripple doesn't work? The stronger the enemy, the better. It was hard coming up with a way for him to be defeated, though.
Why is Dio naked?
Volume 4 (Joseph Joestar)
|“||Joseph Joestar was the one who took up the torch from the original JoJo, Jonathan Joestar, to become the main character of the second generation. Looking back on it, it seems that a lot of fans feel as if the two of them look rather identical. The thing is, when this was originally being serialized, it was unprecedented to have a main character die in a Weekly Shōnen Jump story. "The manga has the same title, but it now has a different main character" - it was difficult to think of a way to overcome the reader's perception that it had turned into an entirely different manga altogether! That's why I decided to keep Joseph's appearance the same as Jonathan's but change his personality. Now that the series is up to Part 8, though, I wish I had differentiated the appearances of the protagonists of Parts 1 and 2 a bit more (laughs).
As mentioned when discussing Jonathan, Dio is the black to Jonathan's white--rather passive and perhaps a bit uninteresting as a main character. Joseph, on the other hand, is easier to perceive as being proactive, and I felt like that worked. As I wrote Joseph's tale, it was more as if he was in control of how the story progressed, so I think he ended up being more of an "adventurer," if you will. In comparison to the gentlemanly Jonathan, Joseph is constantly looking to win in confrontations or games and will do insane things without hesitation. In more crude terms, he has the personality of a swindler. This isn't only to create a contrast between him and Jonathan, but also because I wanted the focus to shift from the physical battles of Part 1 to more cerebral confrontations.
Back then, as an extension of my other work, Magic Boy B.T., I wanted to make Joseph a shonen manga character that bends the rules as he fights. Essentially, have him use the playbook of a swindler to win using cunning and logic. I also didn't want him to be the type of character who wins with bravery and perseverance, so it was easier to flesh out his personality with lines like "Your next line is..." where he ends up reading the actions of his opponent ahead of time. To put it simply, Joseph is more of a muscle-bound B.T. I put some Stallone into B.T. and added some cheerfulness for good measure to make him more of a jolly fellow.
Joseph is the character that connects the Joestar bloodline to Parts 3 and 4. I made Jonathan die for the storyline in Part 1, but I didn't even consider killing off Joseph. If i had known JoJo would go on until Part 8, I think I might have changed his visual design a little bit.
Why does Joseph have a hat and goggles?
Volume 5 (Lisa Lisa)
|“||In today's terms, you'd call Lisa Lisa a sadist character. (Laughs)
Lisa Lisa the Ripple teacher. For the second JoJo, I had a female character play the part of the Ripple master. This idea originally stemmed from me wondering what it would be like for a female to follow up the original Ripple master, Mr. Zeppeli from Part 1. There actually weren't too many female characters in JoJo's at that point, but she works well paired with Joseph and Caesar, doesn't she? There are times where I simply think, "no...a guy or an older man just wouldn't work here" and pick characters based on the balance of the group. The first obstacle with Lisa Lisa's character was her name. Back then, if you picked a non-Japanese name for your character, it was a challenge to get the audience to remember it. That's why I picked Lisa Lisa--I had hoped that like with "JoJo", a repetitious name would help. It also phonetically resembles Japanese to some extent.
When this part was originally serialized, the girls that showed up in Shonen manga were all cute types--essentially the stereotype of "a man's ideal girl." Readers weren't looking for a realistic portrayal of women, but instead, the type of girl that giggles during a conversation with heart marks appearing next to her. That's why I think a warrior-type character like Lisa Lisa felt fresh. Mr. Zeppeli in Part 1 was a very gentle character, and to contrast with that, I made her what you would call a "sadistic" character today. There was a girl in my neighborhood who would tutor me toward the end of elementary school. She was incredibly smart and it was very intimidating for me! Not that she was a sadist or anything (laughs). I think I was inspired by that moment, that exhilarating "nervousness" that I felt around my female tutor. It's normal to see strong women these days, but back then, it was unheard of in shonen manga, not to mention society in general. It was exciting to challenge people's expectations through the medium of Weekly Shōnen Jump by having a woman train the main character so he can get stronger.
In addition to functioning as someone's master, people also weren't used to seeing a woman fight. When displaying the strength of a character, for example, if it's an old man, there could be a backstory where he spent his youth doing harsh training therefore he was able to learn the techniques and become a master. That would explain why he can catch a fly using chopsticks...but for a woman, there needs to be something more substantive to back it up. In a match, common sense dictates that the physically stronger would win, but I realized that if you add supernatural abilities into the mix, a woman can fight on even footing with a strong male opponent. In other words, if the battle is between those with supernatural powers, physical appearance has nothing to do with strength. The Ripple is Lisa Lisa's supernatural ability. The idea of "looks being irrelevant in super natural abilities" is what led to the introduction of Stands in part 3.
What inspired the look of the Pillar Men?
Volume 6 (Caesar Anthonio Zeppeli)
|“||For Part 1, I wasn't able to draw the friendship aspect of a rival pairing. Jonathan and Dio didn't really have that sort of relationship. That's why I had Caesar, who inherited the Zeppeli bloodline, appear along with a Joestar. Weekly Shōnen Jump is a shonen magazine after all, so I wanted to include something that portrayed friendship in a positive light. Caesar's trademark is, of course, his bandanna with the triangle marks on it. Even now, I still strongly associate this design with Caesar--not necessarily because Caesar wore it, but because I like the way the colors contrast on the bandanna.
This is going off on a tangent, but I like to play on "bizarreness" even when I draw in color, so I pay a lot of attention to how I combine colors with one another. For example--aqua and pink, blue and white. Those combinations are my secret weapons--they give quite an impact even when looking from a distance. I'm sure you think color pages use all kinds of different colors, but there many times where I only use two colors plus a few more muted ones. It's really helpful for me to use markings like this one where I can combine alternating colors.
Both Caesar and Joseph are Ripple users that inherited the bloodlines of their grandfathers. When I decided to draw these characters, I already wanted to associate their supernatural Ripple ability with their last names. In other words, I wanted each user to have a different Ripple, each with its own unique design. That's why I gave Joseph the "trickster" style of Ripple he has, and Caesar his bubbles. Bubbles pop easily, so many of you may think of them as being fleeting. I had not only read a lot of shonen manga, but a lot of books as well, and I was never a huge fan of the main character getting some sort of unbeatable, ultimate weapon. He may be stronger than before, but you feel like it's essentially over at that point. I like equipping the characters with weapons with faults and have them try to cover for them through strategy, and I feel like it's more fun to write something where you deal with the different merits and demerits that each of them have. I feel like Caesar's bubbles were a perfect representation of his fate and the burden he was carrying. I was able to play with the visual aspects of them as well by having him morph the round bubbles into discs for his Cutter, or use them as lenses. There are infinite possibilities that can come of a spherical shape like a bubble. I consider that to be a very important aspect of JoJo. Both Gyro in Part 7: Steel Ball Run, as well as Josuke in Part 8: JoJolion inherit these spheres, and my stance on that hasn't changed from when I originally drew Caesar.
What is the reason behind Caesar's pose?
Volume 7 (Kars)
|“||The first thing I wanted to consider when writing the characters of Kars and the Pillar Men was how they would surpass Dio. We're talking about an Ultimate Being, so you first have to consider the fact that those who put on the stone mask become vampires, thus surpassing humanity. Therefore, I had to take things up a notch to the level of gods. That's why I based the four of their appearances (including Santana) on Roman statues, Egyptian sphinxes and Japanese nio statues--to give them a strange physical beauty as godlike figures in organic form. The reason Kars' ability, the Brilliant Bone Blade, was a Light Mode was because I thought a shining blade was appropriate for a godlike technique. At the same time, I wanted to visually express to the readers that defeating Kars would be impossible.
I think the Light Mode: Brilliant Bone Blade reminded a lot of readers of Reskiniharden Saber Phenomenon from my previous work, Baoh: The Visitor. While we're not speaking of scientific development per se, there were aspects of Kars' quest to become the epitome of biological evolution that overlapped somewhat with Baoh. Visually speaking as well, as a mangaka, I really enjoyed drawing a technique where flesh and blade merge like that. In my opinion, taking those two completely different materials--flesh and blade--is something you can only do in manga. For example, the movie Terminator 2 had an enemy that could morph his arm like memory alloy into a metal spear, but that's not what I was picturing for this. The blade I wanted to draw was something more organic, more skin-like. I think I was able to convey what I wanted to because of this medium, black-and-white manga! I can freely draw things that can't even be done with Hollywood CG. Besides Kars' technique, there are several ways I feel like I'm helped out by manga as a medium. Both then and now, I never forget how thankful I am for manga.
Lastly, there are likely some of you out there that think Kars might come back to Earth at some point, but as the creator, I actually drew this with the intention of him never coming back again (Laughs). The line about him "deciding to stop thinking" was something that came to me naturally when I was thinking about what you would do if you were journeying through space and you became unable to return. The fact that he cannot fulfill his wish to go back--no matter how much he wants to while time continues ticking on--may be the harshest punishment possible for Kars as the Ultimate Being. That's why, unless I can come up with a logical reason for him to come back, like maybe him developing a compass-like ability, or crashing down on some other civilization, that final scene will be his last one.
Why does only Kars get a turban?
Volume 8 (Jotaro Kujo)
|“||The idea to make the main character of Part 3 a Japanese person had been in my head since the beginning of Part 1. JoJo was originally planned to have three parts. It would pass through different eras to the modern age, where the main character would leave Japan to go and finish things. I thought that’d be a fitting way for it to end. But I didn’t want to make it a ‘tournament-style’ manga, which were very popular in Shonen Jump at the time. That’s when I got the idea to make it like a road movie, similar to Jules Verne’s “Around the World in 80 Days.” In later years, when a certain TV comedian traveled across Eurasia on a TV show, he followed a similar route. Just like how I coined the “Bizarre Adventure” term before the “Bizarre Stories of the World” TV show, I’d also like to say here that JoJo used that route first. (Laugh)
Jotaro was modeled on Clint Eastwood, who I really respect. Jotaro’s pose with his finger out, which has become really popular now, came from one of Eastwood’s poses with a .44 magnum. Jotaro’s “Yare yare daze” quote also came from one of Eastwood’s lines, which went something like this: “Bank robbery? Gimme a break…” I took a lot of inspiration from the roles that Eastwood has played, right down to details like these. Perhaps because of that, Jotaro seems a bit mature compared to other shonen manga main characters. I think Joseph was a better fit for the Jump style of main character. But to me, Jotaro is a true hero. To me, heroes are solitary. They don’t seek value or praise for doing what they believe is right. In other words, their justice goes unrewarded. Sometimes, going down the just path makes them end up alone. Basically, I think heroes aren’t supposed to have allies. Jotaro never opens his heart and keeps his feelings inside because he’s a lone hero. Even after defeating enemies, he never goes wild and gets happy. He just says “Yare yare daze.” That’s all he needs.
As of now, Jotaro is a representative character for JoJo. I based all the visual design of all later JoJos off of him to make sure that they would all be unique and different from him. It all came from the bizarre sensibility and fantastic among the everyday that was born from the idea of a young man in a school uniform traveling through the desert. And Jotaro isn’t just wearing a normal school uniform, but one with a chain on the collar, and two belts. I thought carefully about how to make him seem like a delinquent without ruining the balance. One image that comes to mind when you think of delinquents is how some boys attach chains to their wallets and hang them down from their pants. But guess what? Jotaro’s chain came first as well. (Laugh)
Where did Star P’s pose come from?
Volume 9 (Joseph Joestar)
|“||Readers often tell me they want to see previous characters appear again. Personally, though, I don't really like that method of delivering nostalgia to people. There has to be a reason for them to appear again, otherwise it's no good. Joseph had a clear motive. He'd happily stand up to an old evil in order to save his daughter's life, as long as his body's in working condition. Also, JoJo is the story of the Joestar bloodline. Therefore, I didn't have any qualms about putting an old JoJo (Joseph) in Part 3. Fifty years after the battle with the Pillar Men, when I was thinking about making him fight again, I was worried that I might have to make him retire halfway through, especially as the serialization went on.
The first role I gave Joseph was that of navigator. I thought a previous JoJo would be the perfect person to pull the story from the battle between the Joestar family and DIO, Ripple vs. Stand, and the overall flow of the story from the world of Parts 1 and 2 into Part 3. But he's already had his time to shine, so I made sure to make Joseph not look like a main character would. Jotaro was the main character of Part 3, so I wanted to make that clear and not confuse the readers. Luckily, 50 years had passed since Part 2, so I was able to completely change Joseph's appearance without any problems. (Laugh)
Joseph's Stand is Hermit Purple. It's a support ability that uses thought photography and thought hearing. He used to be a main character, but the reason I didn't give him an attack-based ability was because of his role as the navigator. He was their access to the world, the navigator they needed, and the line that allowed them to gather data. Basically I had an image of telephone lines and network cables. If he connects to a camera, he gets pictures, if he connects to a TV, he gets video... I transposed the image of that 'line' onto vines. The image of the vine is also connected to Joseph's Ripple ability. I've always wanted to make pictorial visualizations of supernatural abilities since JoJo began. Stands were based on this concept just like Ripple was, so when I thought about putting Joseph back in the story, I needed to decide how I would visualize Ripple as a Stand. Ripple is life energy that travels through the entire body through a special breathing method. Therefore, a concrete visualization of it would be some sort of wire wrapped around the entire body, like a vine. If Jotaro's group time traveled to the world of Part 2, they would probably be able to see "Hermit Purple" wrapped around Joseph just like in Part 3.
Where does the purple in Hermit's Purple come from?
Volume 10 (Hol Horse)
|“||Part 3 was built like a road movie, similar to the Mito Komon drama. The Joestar group goes on a journey and visits different places where they run into Stand users with different abilities. In order to bring out the personalities of the different Stand users, I needed to think about how to introduce them, and how the story would flow. Since it's a long manga, I need to make sure the readers don't get bored with it, so I always take care to balance my storytelling. The same is true with Hol Horse. I designed him in a way so that he would be completely different from Strength, Ebony Devil, and Yellow Temperance, the previous Stands, in both appearance and ability. Would he fight alone or with a partner? Since there had been a chain of one-on-one battles, I decided to bring out a Stand user duo next. The reason Hol Horse and J Geil appeared there is simply because I was following the rules I had set. What if I had made Hol Horse appear at a different point? Depending on the balance, he may have become the shortest lone gunman in existence.
When Kakyoin and Polnareff both appeared, they were under DIO's control, but I had planned for them to join the party. This wasn't the case with Hol Horse. But he ended up becoming an enemy character who made me feel that it might be okay to let him join the team. He's an outlaw gunman, an essential element of the Westerns I love, and he's got a unique atmosphere to him, so I thought it'd be a waste to get rid of him so soon. I also liked his personal philosophy of preferring to be #2 opposed to #1, which is similar to Kira Yoshikage from Part 4. I also drew him once with Jotaro and the others, as if he was part of the team, and I had him appear numerous times after the initial battle. But in the end, I decided that if he joined the group, it would ruin the balance. Character-wise, he's too similar to Polnareff in both looks and personality, and his Emperor ability would be hard to deal with. I also didn't put many limitations on the Emperor ability, in terms of range and bullet count. In Part 5, I only allowed Mista to fire 6 bullets at a time, but Hol Horse's bullets were also a part of his Stand... So as long as he was still conscious, it could fire as many bullets as he wanted. If I had gone any further with his ability, anything would have been possible. The way he aims and fires at his enemies is also too similar to Kakyoin's Emerald Splash. In the end, judging from the personality and Stand ability angles, I decided it would be better to leave Hol Horse as an enemy. And so, their next ally ended up not being human at all: a cute little dog named Iggy. Balance-wise, this was perfect. (Laugh)
Hol Horse seems really similar to Gyro from SBR!
Volume 11 (Enya the Hag)
|“||Who taught DIO about Stands? That question is how I came up with Enyaba. I drew Stand names from Tarot card names, and I had this vague image of a witch-esque fortuneteller in my mind. And if I was to make that character an enemy, then I wanted her to be a scary old woman. Horror movies, which I consider my teachers and textbooks, always have scary old women in them, after all. Just like how vampires appeared in Part 1, JoJo is always deeply connected to horror movies, and this influence is especially apparent in the villains. I'm pretty sure I put all the standard elements of horror movies' scary old women into Enyaba. She waits to ambush them with a blade hidden in her hand, and despite how frail she looks, she can somehow run really fast. (Laughs) They're running with all their might, yet when they look back, they see her standing right behind them. That's really scary!
The same is true for her Stand, Justice. There are many horror movies that deal with an unknown virus that comes to attack the human race. Justice is based on that type of idea, in that it's a Stand that spreads out through the town, which was expressed through its mist. Incidentally, I think that Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, and the Mummy are the three most important designs from the horror world. Just look at the Mummy's wrappings. Why is he all wrapped up so meticulously? It's so charming, and I sense a type of romance when I see it. Her son J. Geil's Stand, Hanged Man, is based on the Mummy with a little Merman essence mixed in. They're both straight out of the world of horror.
Looking back, I can remember that I really enjoyed drawing Enyaba, precisely because she was filled with the horror elements that I love. But I'm not sure if she was a fitting enemy for a shonen manga. Making a shonen manga main character go up against an old woman is very risky, and I didn't feel like Enyaba would be popular among the readers. (Laughs) Despite how much I personally liked her, the essence of her character was all about drawing the horrors and strength she possessed as not only a female, but an old woman. And there's no doubt that she became a fitting player in the JoJo world, which centers around Stand battles. Like I explained in Volume 5 when talking about Lisa Lisa, I realized that by adding the idea of supernatural abilities into my battles, it wouldn't matter if the fighters were women or children who may not necessarily look physically strong. Stands were a level above Ripple in terms of that idea. Enyaba is an old woman, yet she has a Stand that can take over an entire town... Including her own visual appearance, Enyaba is a very important character in terms of expressing the spirit of Stands to the reader. Lastly, I think that Enyaba is as mentally strong as anyone who can stop time, considering how she was mentally powerful enough to control a town's worth of corpses.
Why did you give her "Justice" even though she's an enemy?
Volume 12 (Noriaki Kakyoin)
|“||I thought up all five of the Joestar troupe - Kakyoin, Jotaro, Joseph, Avdol, and Polnareff - as a set. I decided on the right balance from the start so that their appearance, personality, fashion and Stands did not overlap. For me, it was very important for their silhouettes to be recognizable. Still, my editor at the time told me, “From this silhouette, no one has a round shaped head so everyone must be pretty straightforward”. I thought to make Kakyoin the thin, somewhat sensitive one of the group.
Even though Kakyoin is the only Japanese in Part 3 besides Jotaro, I wasn’t specifically particular about his nationality. What was most of note was his name. I always think of both the first and last names together as a set. His last name, "Kakyoin", I took from a place in my hometown of Sendai. It’s a place that I always passed through on my way to Sendai Station so it’s a name of a place very dear to me. And so, I made 典明 (Note: Kakyoin’s first name which can be read as either Noriaki or Tenmei) the first name to go along with Kakyoin as a last name. Officially, it has become "Noriaki", but I’ve always called him "Tenmei". Actually, I left this reading of his name as a signature in Enya’s hotel guest book. I made the main character’s name 'Kujo Jotaro’ so I gave Kakyoin his name after I pondered how it will sound and the proper balance of the characters in his name but… my editor made "Noriaki" go off on a journey with the Joestar troupe. When I saw that his name was different in the comics, I was a little surprised, but I guess this is like when a kid gets his friends to call him "Noriaki" even though his parents named him 'Tenmei.'
Although I wasn’t particular about the fact that Kakyoin is Japanese, I purposely made him the foil to Jotaro. The reason why I made Kakyoin Jotaro’s first actual opponent in a Stand vs. Stand battle is because I wanted to convey to the readers the concept of a long range and short range Stand. As a long range Stand, I decided to depict Kakyoin’s 'Hierophant Green’ stretching out in strands so that both Jotaro and Kakyoin’s differences can be easily comprehended when compared to 'Star Platinum.’ I had many ideas of how to depict long range attacks, but in order to not have it turn into anything goes right from the start, I was careful to emphasize that Stands equal manifests and stands next to the user.
I didn’t really have a chance to draw it in the comic, but Kakyoin is a high school student that goes to the same school that Jotaro does. During this journey, you can sense that although they become friends, there is still a sense of distance. But I wonder how it would’ve been like if they didn’t have their Stand abilities as common ground...Considering their personality types, they probably would not have become friends (Laughs). I bet Kakyoin would’ve become better friends with Josuke from Part 4.
Did you consider not giving Kakyoin a gakuran to make him contrast more with the main character?
Volume 13 (Muhammad Avdol)
|“||I made Avdol the sub-leader of the Joestar group. He was the assistant to Joseph, the 2nd JoJo and navigator of the group. I wanted him to be someone that everyone could count on, due to his strong sense of duty and loyalty. Since his job was to prove that Joseph was telling the truth when he told Jotaro about how DIO had come back to life, I wanted him to have some kind of past with DIO in Egypt, so I gave his hair and clothes ethnic touches.
At the time, lots of people, including me, were interested in Egypt, as the 'birthplace of civilization,' so I think Avdol's appearance really fit with the times.
I killed him once in India, because I'm always trying to keep readers from getting bored with the same pattern. I also wanted to add some reality to the story by having someone get sacrificed. I thought it'd be great to add in an episode where they lose a team member. I didn't intend to erase him forever, though.. But I thought it'd be too easy if he came back to life immediately, so I wanted to prepare a flashy comeback that readers would be able to accept. When I draw JoJo, I never plan out the small things. In the end, I managed to bring Avdol back just before they reached Egypt, but I never planned that beforehand. It was just an idea that came to me while drawing. Now that I think back on it, since I killed him once, I probably should have made him more important in the story. Of course, these thoughts all come to me after I've already finished the story. Making the story center around Avdol would have been very adventurous at the time (Laughs); Even in the character popularity polls, I don't think he was ever in any of the top spots. Everyone just wanted to see Jotaro fight... Also, drawing Magician's Red was a bit of a struggle for me.
Being able to control flames is something that people always put in movies and manga, and in the end, it's just about burning things up, so it end it becomes a pretty all-powerful ability. I think in terms of JoJo, flames and poisonous gas have become off limits for me. If I had made a story centered around Avdol, I probably would have explored his relationship with his father, his upbringing, and his family. I'm pretty sure it'd become a mature story that wouldn't really fit in Shonen Jump. (Laughs).
Did Avdol get younger?
Volume 14 (Daniel J. D'Arby)
|“||When I started drawing Part 3 and began working on battles between Stands instead of Ripple, I decided that I wanted to draw some battles that weren't physical. Like I discussed earlier with Hol Horse, I interspersed one on one battles with team battles throughout the Joestar group's war against DIO's assassins, and tried to put a lot of variety into each different ability. I had drawn 'gambling' battles before in Mashonen BT, but I wanted to draw another one with Stands in the background. That's what gave birth to D'Arby.
I believe that gambles are something that people embark on by staking both their souls and their pride. The money, chips, and coins that are used at casinos are just representations of souls. So having D'Arby remove the souls of the people who lost was a natural conclusion to me. Of course, due to his Stand, I was able to actually draw it happening. (Laughs) In gambling, you either win or you lose. So D'Arby, who embarks on gambling all on his own, exhibits a powerful mental fortitude and cunning hat rivals even Jotaro himself, which gives D'Arby a demonic aura.
D'Arby and the Joestar group engaged in several gambles. Basically, anything goes when it comes to gambling, so I like thinking up different ideas. One of my favorites involves animals. It's hard to predict what animals will do, isn't it? That makes them perfect for gambling, but precisely because it seems like there's no way for someone to cheat with animals, I bet that someone actually is. It was also important to find a gambling game that fit with the JoJo world. Poker is popular, and everyone's played it, and the key to winning is bluffing. The most important thing is to see just how much you can fool the opponent psychologically, and how calm you can stay, so I thought it'd be perfect for the showdown with Jotaro. It was fun drawing the battles with D'Arby, so before the final battle with DIO, I introduced his younger brother Terrence. Just when the readers thought "Aww, poker AGAIN!?" I brought out the video games. Baseball, racing... I was able to try a few different ideas, just like I did with gambling.
Now that I think about it, I feel like the D'Arby brothers and the Oingo Boingo brothers launched JoJo into yet-uncharted territory. In other words, it proved that battles can be drawn in many different ways. The gambling battle between Jotaro and D'Arby became the gambling battle between Josuke and Rohan in Part 4, and then became the beetle showdown between Josuke and Jobin in Jojolion. With Jojo's battles, you can have physical punch-outs AND psychological trickery. And it all started with this D'Arby battle.
Who was turned into a soul chip!?
Volume 15 (Iggy)
|“||In JoJo, I put a lot of importance on "depicting all of creation." Whether it's a physical phenomenon, or a creature, JoJo is about expressing many different things through visual means. So adding an animal to the Joestar team made perfect sense to me. As I was drawing Part 3, I really wanted to give them a pet, so I started thinking about what animal would be fit for their journey... And I decided it was a dog. I believe that the dog is a symbol of loyalty and friendship. Cat lovers probably want to ask "What's wrong with a cat?" But I just have a feeling that a cat probably would have betrayed them at some point. (Laughs) Cats will play with you, but they aren't your friends. Just like how D'arby used one as his pawn when he was cheating, I usually put cats on the enemy side.
Just like Polnareff and Kakyoin, Iggy joins the group during their journey, and it wasn't something I had planned from the beginning. Of course, I also hadn't thought up a Stand for each Tarot card yet. It may seem perfect that Iggy's Stand is The Fool, but at the time I was drawing this, it was the last Tarot card left aside from The World. I also thought there was a possibility that I could use The Fool as an enemy Stand. I had to make a quick decision there, but I love the visuals of The Fool so much that I'm glad Iggy managed to stick around for as long as he did.
When I design Stands, I take hints from aboriginal masks, clothing, and dolls. I then fused animal and machine parts to give it a unique, odd design. Stands were originally meant to be fusions between life and inorganic things, so these sorts of combinations pop up a lot. The Fool is based on a dog fused with a Native American mask and tires. The Fool is the epitome of what I had always imagined Stands to look like.
Even though I love looking through animal encyclopedias, Iggy was the first time I made an animal a main character. It was also my first time drawing animal battles, so I did research using Takahashi Yoshihiro's "Ginga -Nagareboshi Gin-." As I continued drawing Iggy, I became attached to him, and thought that maybe I wanted to get my own Boston Terrier. But I decided against it due to my work schedule. If I had gotten one, I'd want to play frisbee with it. Seems like you wouldn't be able to play much with a Chihuahua or a Toy Poodle. (Laughs)
The Fool has tires for legs. Where did that idea come from!?
Volume 16 (Jean Pierre Polnareff)
|“||When you think about characters who grew on the most on the journey to defeat DIO, the first one who comes to mind is Polnareff. He went from a lone wolf who only cared about getting revenge on his sister to one of the allies who supported the Joestar group to the end. It was a lot of fun drawing his growth through his battles with Stand users on the way to Egypt. For better or worse, Polnareff's lines always stand out, so readers may think he gets a lot of screen time. Jotaro is the main character, of course, and Joseph is the navigator. Polnareff was the best answer I could come up with for a personality and visual appearance that would still be able to stand uniquely apart from those two. He makes up for what the two Joestars can't do... So he may have always been special to me. (Laughs) For example, when he's with Jotaro and Joseph, Polnareff becomes a character who can both tell jokes and act serious. Polnareff's the one who always falls into enemy traps and has bathroom trouble on the journey. If that had happened to Jotaro, it would have made him seem too careless, and the story would have gotten off-kilter. That's why I had no choice but to put in Polnareff as much as I did. Compared to Kakyoin and Avdol, Polnareff is a light, straightforward man who goes out of his way for others, and tends to stick his nose where it doesn't belong. Thanks to that, he got a lot of screen time. Also, whenever I drew him, his silhouette always seemed to be a lot more imposing than his other allies. I based his memorable hairstyle on foreign models and sort of powered up Stroheim's hairstyle from Part 2.
Since he got so much screen time, he also got a lot of battles. Devo, J. Geil, Alessi, and Vanilla Ice... He fought a lot of DIO's men, and I was always worried that I might have to make Polnareff lose, or even kill him. Within his battles I saw the unique excitement of not knowing who's going to come out of this alive, similar to with "The Magnificent Seven." Polnareff grew precisely because he conquered so many do-or-die situations.
Lastly, about the name Jean P. Polnareff. My three favorite French people are Alain Delon, Jean Paul Belmondo, and the singer Michel Polnareff. So I was influenced by their names. And back then, the first French name that came to my mind was Jean Paul. There's also a famous chocolatier named Jean Paul Hévin, so I'd probably feel the same way now.
He doesn't usually wear a jacket, why is he wearing one here?
Volume 17 (DIO)
|“||DIO—the archenemy of the Joestar family. Given that I was bringing back a character who had been at the bottom of the sea for a century, naturally he would have changed during the time he was down there—his malice ever growing. I wanted to make DIO feel like a final boss, and given that readers were really looking forward to his reintroduction, in order not to let them down, I not only put a lot of thought into his appearance, but his mind-set and thought process as well—in particular, how DIO would view his relationship to the Joestar family and the destiny they shared as an evolution from what it was in Part 1.
What is the destiny that DIO has to face? It's not to face off with Jotaro, the descendant of Jonathan. It's something invisible to the eye that lies behind their bloodline. It's what gives the Joestars their allies, the Hamon, Stands, and their uncanny luck... that's what I define as the Joestars' "destiny," and instead, what DIO is destined to do is to quash that and surpass it. As such, he doesn't view Jotaro himself as his archenemy—rather, DIO only views him as an obstacle to overcome in order to fulfill his destiny after his hundred-year slumber. In the end, DIO wasn't able to achieve his goal, but it's fun to imagine what things would have been like if he had been able to defeat Jotaro. I'm sure he would have beaten down anyone who he thought had the potential to challenge his position at the top of the food chain. Even after defeating Jotaro, perhaps someone else would inherit his will. After all, DIO had already experienced that once before. However, DIO is more of the reactionary type, so he probably would have continued to take root in Egypt and wait for his prey to come to him.
I had been working with DIO's character since Part 1, so I would often try and put myself in his shoes and imagine myself as a vampire. Those who put on the stone mask have to take the lives of others in order to keep on living. During the part where DIO is chasing after Joseph and Kakyoin, I wrote a scene where he takes a moment to marvel at the sight of cars. One would have to be an immortal vampire to experience something like that, so I actually found myself feeling a bit envious of him. If you slept long enough, for example, you could see a country instantly change from a monarchy into a democratic society—experiences that the average person could never have. As long as you had humans to feed on and you remained in good health, I think it would be pretty fun. Do vampires even get sick to begin with? (laughs)
Speaking of DIO, I'll never forget how my editor suddenly ended up in the hospital right when DIO and Jotaro were in the midst of their final battle. I remember panicking because Part 3 was rapidiy approaching its end, and it's not like I could stop and wait for him! He would always give me really good specific feedback on things like Stand designs. "This one is too similar to something you've already done, so try and differentiate their silhouettes a bit more." It was tough working without him. What's that? Did he give feedback on the design for DIO's The World? Hmm... I'm not sure about that one (laughs wryly).
You already drew DIO naked for Part 1. Why did you do it again?
In Parts 1 through 3, besides DIO, there are other examples of me drawing characters like this, such as the Pillar Men. However I stopped doing it as much after I changed the setting to be a bit closer to home for Part 4 onward.