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Classic rock and ‘JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’

Flamboyant men, bomb-ass music, and breathing so good that you summon ghosts

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If you don’t know by now, I’m a nerd. If you ever get the absolute pleasure of talking to me in person, you’ll learn that I have a strange obsession with trying to figure out how to drift anything besides a car, almost exclusively play fighters, monks, rangers, and rogues in Dungeons & Dragons, and that I have an absolute love for the lore of “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind,” despite having never watched it myself. 

For today, we’re going to focus on that little gem of culture I mentioned called “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” (JJBA), and how important classic rock is to that show. 

If you’ve never heard of JJBA, strap in. The show is a wild ride that follows the story of the Joestar family and their eternal blood feud with Dio Brando, the adopted brother of Jonathan Joestar, the main character in part one of the series. In part one, Dio murdered Jonathan’s dog, became a vampire, then murdered Jonathan’s father. After hunting Dio down, Jonathan defeated him, but Dio survived by having his head cut off before he could melt in the sun. Dio then had a minion sneak his still-living head onto a boat where Jonathan and his wife Erina were, killed everyone, then attached his head to Jonathan’s body after the boat exploded. And this is considered relatively quaint for the entire eight-part series. 

Despite how wildly inconsistent and wonky the show is, the one thing that is entirely constant throughout is the writer Hirohiko Araki’s obsession with rock music. Character’s names, abilities, and random quirks are all either direct rip-offs of rock songs and bands, or allude to them in some way. 

To celebrate Araki’s obsession with classic rock, and my obsession with JJBA, I made a playlist consisting of some of the random references throughout the show.

Naturally, the first song on the list is the outro song from the first part of the series, “Roundabout” by Yes. You’ve surely heard this song. It slowly faded in and out of meme culture over the past several years because of JJBA’s hilarity and over-the-top nature. The intro of the track is 45 seconds of guitar melody buildup, then quickly shifts into a funky bass line that leaves the listener reeling back from the experience.

The next song on the list that I am obligated to talk about as a music nerd from Seattle is “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix. In the show, the song is used as a name for a character’s Stand, or manifestation of their ability to breathe perfectly. The Stand Purple Haze is used by Pannacotta Fugo, an ally of Giorno Giovanna, the main character of “JJBA: Golden Wind.” 

Besides the name, the Stand and the song have one thing in common: their face-melting ability. Anyone infected by the Stand’s poison turns into a puddle of goo within 30 seconds, and in all honesty, the song does the same to its listeners. Hendrix’s killer guitar shredding is in full force, and even after I’ve listened to the song for what feels like the millionth time, I’m still left in awe as the wailing of the strings fade out as the song ends.

The last song I wanted to take a look at is “P. Control” by Prince. While this song is never mentioned explicitly, it inspired some of the best musical moments in “JJBA: Golden Wind,” “cazoni preferite” by Daisuke Hasegawa, popularly known as the “Torture Dance Song” within the fanbase.

In the show, some of the main characters dance to the track as a form of torture against the head of their decapitated, but living enemy. Don’t ask, I have no idea why.

“P. Control,” on the other hand, is a quick ballad about a woman who has real control over her life and body. The song opens with a hard-hitting synth bass wave, then transitions to Prince rapping to a boom-bap style beat that shifts into an absolutely iconic chorus consisting of two words: “p*ssy control.”

I highly recommend you all check out JJBA. It’s a perfect watch to de-stress from winter quarter. While I personally love the show, I still don’t take it seriously. Watch the show with an open mind, and be prepared to laugh at how over-the-top it is.

Reach Development Editor Kyle Bender at Twitter: @ATOMICpandaBOMB 

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