JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Influence and Inspiration

There is a time-lapse video of how Araki built some official art of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, where we can find many characteristics of his procedure that stuck out, but the most intriguing thing is his reference element.

Hirihiko Araki, Japan’s one of the most famous mangaka(manga creators), is vastly known for his remarkable work JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (1987- present). Many may ask what has been his inspiration since. It would be hard to name one single thing or person as he has been taking inspiration from many things such as the whole pop culture, fashion, 80’s manga, and many more. He once sought to himself to bring something in the manga world that had never happened before, and without knowing, he created a brand, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.

Hirihiko Araki’s Early Life:

Araki was born On 7th June 1960 in Sendai, Japan. Growing up, he stated, he used to spend most of his time alone in his room, reading manga- Ai To Makoto.

In 4th grade, he drew his first manga, and after getting praised by one of his friends, he decided to make this his future career. But during the early ’60s, being a Mangaka as a conventional career path was often looked down upon by everyone. So, he kept on practicing art behind his parents’ back.

During the first year of high school, he submitted his first creation. But it was declined along with many other submissions. Eventually, he received his first recognition for his manga- Poker Under Arms, as a runner-up to Tezuka Awards.

Inspiration from Manga:

source – Wikipedia

It is not foreign to anyone that Araki’s art style is different from other anime. And it is also true that the art style changed through time. Araki once stated that the main inspiration of his character design is Kenshiro from Fist of North Star. The likeness between Kenshiro and Jojo’s main character at the beginning of the manga is remarkable, even down to his apparel and fighting style. But as Araki’s series progressed over the years, the design of his characters started to alter aesthetically.


JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is heavily influenced by Western media, art, and culture.

Influence of Renaissance Sculpture:

Araki encompasses a scramble of anatomy, and significantly of however he brings out his characters seems not simply the sinew and muscle of Fist of North Star but conjointly the sculptural works of Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni.

There is a time-lapse video of how Araki built some official art of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, where we can find many characteristics of his procedure that stuck out, but the most intriguing thing is his reference element. He used journals, his hand-drawn reference materials, and an artbook called Michelangelo: Complete Works by Lutz Heusinger.

Influence of Paul Gauguin:

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
source – tumblr

Paul Gauguin was one of the famous French artists, vastly recognized for his post-Impressionist work and his help in initiating the Primitive style. In one interview, Araki stated that he was very fond of Gauguin’s work ever since he was a child and used his Impressionist and Post-Impressionist as an inspiration for JoJo’s. But the main thing that inspired Araki most about Gauguin’s work was the usage of color-blocking vibrant methods of utopian color.

Influence of Pop and Rock Music:

The heavy influence of Pop and rock music is pretty noticeable as Araki named his many characters and stands after a few rock bands such as Robert E.O. Speedwagon, Dio, Kars, Esidisi, Wamuu, and Santana.

After JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure anime came out, it was eventually possible to integrate music directly. And just like that, the first season(Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency) used Roundabout by ‘Yes’ as its ending song, and it will forever be attributed with the anime.
Like this, season 3(Stardust Crusaders) Walk Like an Egyptian by Bangles has its ending.

Influence of Fashion:

Besides Michelangelo, Gauguin and Pop, and Rock bands, another thing that has a significant impact on Araki and his art is his love for fashion. It was highly noticeable since Part 1- Phantom Blood. Even though Part 1 took place in Victorian England, each character had a very unique clothing style. As the series takes off and the timeline comes closer to the present timeline, the appearance gets more and more bizarre and innovative.

source – Pinterest

In 2013, Araki was asked to work together with GUCCI on their spring fashion collection and it was called GUCCI X JOJO.

In many interviews, Araki had stated his love for fashion magazines like Versace, Moschino, and Vogue magazines. Not only from the models and apparel, but Araki took many insights from their illustrations as well. Araki adopts the works of many but one of the artists referenced the most was Tony Viramontes.
Antonio Lopez’s fashion portraits also greatly inspired the works of Araki. According to him, it was the classy individuality of his works.

Even though we exactly don’t know what the future of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure holds, given the importance and variation of tales Hirohiko Araki has told us, the extraordinary style he carries to those stories, and the love of the audience all over the world he achieved, it seems likely that we will get many more of JoJos and their eternal tale and hazardous destiny.

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Written by Mainak

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