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Jojo’s Marginally Less Offensive Adventure

March 5, 2009

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned how a comic by the name of “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure” had had publication suspended, pending a redraw of certain apparently “offensive” scenes. It was off the market for about a year, and now the new versions have been released, which hopefully are non-offensive enough not to draw further wrath from the ever-tolerant Islam.

According to their webpage, not all volumes have been edited, only volumes 17, 20 and 27 of the original release set, corresponding to volumes 10, 13 and 17 of the Bunko version. Out of interest I picked up volume 17 of the Bunko set to see what had been changed, and since I haven’t seen it anywhere else on the net, I’ll help out those who came here via search engine by showing a quick look at what’s been changed.

I didn’t bother to re-read all the writing, but since I don’t remember reading anything even remotely related to Islam, I assume it hasn’t been changed. Only the pictures have. For the most part, the changes are pretty small. Here are the changes I noticed:

Page 43: old

Page 43: old

Page 43: new

Page 43: new

I will put the rest of the changes together into one frame – click on an individual image to enlarge it.Page 43 has two of our heroes escaping over the rooftops of Cairo. The building which they are using to escape, and the tall prominent building in the background are changed. The background bulding becomes some kind of completely incongruous steel beam framework, a tower which we will see again later (or another which looks very similar to it). Also worth noting is that the clouds and the characters themselves have also been redrawn.

Page 47 - old
Page 47 - new
Page 54 - old
Page 54 - new
Page 55 - oldPage 55 - new
Page 59 - oldPage 59 - new
Page 60 - oldPage 60 - new
Page 61 - oldPage 61 - new
Page 85 - old
Page 85 - new

The next modified image is on p47, where the tower they are swinging from is once again changed. It seems that the whole image itself has been redrawn, as closely to the original as possible, as it seems slightly different. Again, it’s noticeable in the clouds.

On p54, both the tower being destroyed and the tower in the background are changed to buildings which look slightly less holy. We get another one of those metal frameworks.

The main image on p55 seems to have been entirely redrawn, including the two towers and a vast reworking of the entire cityscape below. Dio’s clothes and Kakyoin’s pose have also slightly changed.

Pages 59, 60 and 61 bring us more of the same. However, the original books were drawn about 15 years ago. Over time, the author’s drawing style has changed, and here it is pretty clear, especially looking at the image of Dio in the foreground. The new style is much more crisp and stylised. The bat by the clocktower is also gone, and Kakyoin’s face has been replaced with a cross.

Page 85 just has the top part of the tower replaced.

The changes seem to be pretty minor. However, aside from the moral idea of having to rewrite your work to assuage a few whiners, there are a few other problems. First, the fact that the author’s drawing style has changed

over time. Obviously, he has tried to replicate the images pretty closely, but they are also quite different. When one of the new images is placed in a book sandwiched between two of the older pages, the difference becomes even more pronounced. There’s also continuity. For example, note the lack of Clockside Bat in pages 59-61. For what reason this young man was ommitted, I don’t know. But what I do know is that he makes a sudden comeback in the un-edited page 62.

Also, the tower that cross-faced Kakyoin is standing on is changed from the

more normal stone variety to the slightly less unexpected iron construction factory style. However, when he is knocked off it a few pages later, it appears to revert to its former stone self.

To a casual reader, I’d say that alot of these changes would largely go unnoticed. To that extent, the changes aren’t a big deal. But, to the fans, these changes are fairly obvious and jarring. And when a series has 100 volumes and counting, surely it’s a fair bet to say the fanbase is what’s keeping it going? One thing this series really has going for it is the artwork. And to have had some of it altered for such an unnecessary reason is just plain annoying.

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