Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Part 2 – Battle Tendency Volume 3 Release Date: 18th February 2016
Author: Hirohiko Araki
Last time most of the write up for Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Part 2 – Battle Tendency Volume 2 ended up trying to explain just what Jojo is all about. That isn’t an easy task, something I quickly found out, and it only gets stranger with each volume release. If you like battle manga with pop culture references, strategy, body horror, and fabulous character designs, Jojo is for you. I guess that’s all it took in the end.
This volume carries on the battle against the Pillar Men, only this time we get to see the villains make some real head way against our heroes. It’s the point in which everything goes from bad to worse, with goals achieved, people killed, and a taster of just how much of a menace the main villain Kars is. It doesn’t do anything to out there when it comes to the Shonen battle formula, but one could argue that Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure helped establish such a formula. This was doing the rounds weekly in Japan about thirty years back.
When it comes to volume releases of something, it’s hard to talk too much without speaking too much about the things best left for the reviewer to discover. And it isn’t really possible to treat it like a sequel to the last volume, establishing what’s changed, how things develop and such, because these chapters were all part of one thing, churned out weekly with little time to really sit down and make such changes. It’s best to talk about those type of things when comparing parts, rather than comparing bundles of chapters.
But what can be said is the fights continue to smarten up, Joseph Joestar continues to come up with bizarre strategies, and secondary characters get their moment to shine, especially in this volume, with back story given to Caesar Zeppeli, enhancements made to everyone’s favourite Nazi, and each of the Pillar Men getting some battle time, all pushing the heroes till they come close to breaking. It’s amazing to think just how coherent the series stays between volumes, no matter how far the scales are upped. Many series often end up feeling too bloated, drop tactics in favour of explosions, and generally get stuck in some endless war, causing more distress to the readers than the villains and heroes who are fighting it out on the black and white pages.
For a volume which generally focuses on leading the characters to the final act, it manages to balance everything that has made Part 2 such a violent joy to read. No characters are forgotten, no battles descend into back and forth tedium, it doesn’t drag it’s feet, and most importantly, things are still bizarre. I guess that’s all you need to know.