According to my manga list that I haven’t updated in a very long time because I never read manga, it’s been 5 years since I’ve read Stone Ocean. Contrary to popular belief in the fandom, despite its one glaring issue that I think all Jojo fans agree with when it comes to the story, Stone Ocean still is my favorite Jojo part. It’s definitely the most fun I had when reading the JJBA manga, what with its different story setting, it’s cast of weird characters, the way the story circled back to the Joestar family, and of course our first female Jojo, Jolyne. And I just adore Jolyne. So I was hoping that Stone Ocean one day would get its anime adaptation. Things looked bright when Diamond is Unbreakable got announced, and I felt pretty confident when Golden Wind got its adaptation too. And here we are, and I am LIVING.
The story of Stone Ocean is this: We meet our main character of this Part, Jolyne Cujoh. She’s arrested following a hit and run with her boyfriend after they had killed someone with their car. Jolyne works with her attorney to claim her innocence in the event, and eventually we see what really transpired that night. She and her boyfriend Romeo were out on a drive and not paying attention, hit someone and killed them. Jolyne was about to call the police before Romeo stopped her and pleaded with her to hide the body so they can escape, and after his emotional manipulation, Jolyne goes through with it. Though the only person that was arrested for this was Jolyne and not Romeo. Thinking that she was going to get off with just a year in prison for accepting the plea deal, Jolyne is actually sentenced to 15 years for unknowingly killing the man they had hit when dumping his body in the swamp, because he actually was still alive when hit by the car. With her ability, she was able to find out that her “boyfriend” got away with everything and made Jolyne take the brunt of everything by paying off her attorney to frame her. And with that, Jolyne is transported to Green Dolphin Street Jail where her adventure begins.
The broadcast of the anime is very different this time around as 12 episodes of the anime were released worldwide on Netflix, where the anime I think is still showing one episode a week in Japan. I’m not sure what prompted this decision and I was worried if this was going to be a good idea. But this is Jojo, and this is Netflix, so I don’t think it’ll effect anything on the reception. Though I’m still not too sure how I feel about this model but I will admit, binging the episodes is going to be super fun.
At first because of my weird and busy schedule, I had decided that I was just going to do an overall review of all 12 episodes in just one post. But after watching a couple episodes and falling in love with the adaptation and remembering why I love this part so much, I decided that I’m going to have these reviews done weekly. I’m sure by the third week or so of my reviews, most people (including myself) are going to have finished Stone Ocean but whatever!
Stone Ocean is pretty different from the rest of the Jojo parts in a few ways. One, it’s very limited in its setting. Almost everything (so far) in the story is completely going to be set within Green Dolphin Jail. In other Jojo’s parts, it really does feel like an adventure as the characters freely travel from one place to another, sometimes one country after another. Sure in DiU it’s only set in Morioh but there were lots of locations. In Stone Ocean, it’s very much confined to the jail so for some people the events may seem limited and boring. But what fixes that are its colorful cast of characters that make things interesting, as is usual with each Jojo part. As well as all the mystery and whatnot but that reveals itself later.
Admittedly, this is probably the most bizarre of the Jojo parts (that I’m aware of). The Stand abilities, the characters, the character designs like Jolyne’s attorney, it’s all just very WEIRD. Araki really went all over the place with the designs and basically everything else, but I really love Jolyne’s design. She looks so cool but so cute at the same time, and David Pro again is just killing it with the animation and style. It’s very reminiscent of the manga but also adds that colorful flair.
Jolyne is a very interesting character. The biggest catch here is the fact that she’s Jotaro’s daughter. So again we continue with the offspring of past Jojos, and sadly again it’s not a good relationship. Jolyne has a good relationship with her mother as she asked about her multiple times and worried about her crying over her, but got much more irritated when it came to Jotaro, going so far as to throw the pendant he sent for her like it was trash. Their relationship is going to get delved into later on. She may not have a good relationship with him, but you can see the similarities in personality with Jolyne and Jotaro. Jolyne can be quite sweet, but she also has that aggressiveness from Jotaro. And also…well, the whole being troublemakers and getting arrested thing. She is more naive than Jotaro at times (her conversation with Hermes in the truck was funny), but they both share the same tough attitude.
With the pressure and stress of jail time, Jolyne also has to stress about her newfound ability. She’s slowly learning how to use it and understand it, and she certainly used it to get back at the shitty attorney and even send a threatening note over to him. Signed with her name…I don’t think that’s a good idea when the police see that but alright. There’s so much mystery to what her ability really is, what it can do, and why Jotaro specifically sent that piece of the arrow to Jolyne at this time. There’s so much to uncover, as well as what Jolyne is supposed to do now with her wrongful sentence.
This first episode was great. It did feel a little fast but I think like with Golden Wind where I also thought the first episode was pretty fast, I think they want to get the small things over with so we can get to the meat of the story quick. So far with just this first episode I’m loving every second of it, so I can’t wait to see how this adaptation will go.
One last thing I want to note, is Jolyne’s voice actress Ai Fairouz. I had been so used to Miyuki Sawashiro voicing Jolyne in the video games so I had wanted her to voice Jolyne again for the anime, but just like with the previous Jojo’s parts the cast was recast yet again. But learning Ai Fairouz’s story, of her being half Japanese/half Egyptian, learning Japanese through JJBA and always having such an attachment to Jolyne ever since she discovered the series when she was younger. Her dream to one day voice Jolyne…and her dream coming true. It’s such a sweet and unbelievable story and I’m so glad that she’s voicing Jolyne, and she’s doing an amazing job. I’m proud of her and of her up-and-coming seiyuu career!