JoJo’s Unusual Localization Journey Continues to Impact U.S. Fans Today

U.S. Fails to Understand JoJo’s Weird Localization history Fans Today

Viz struggled at first to localize JoJo manga, and today fans still feel the effects.

It’s now easier than ever for manga readers to access digital distribution. The popularity of manga has increased and digital distribution means that many major titles can be translated into English within hours of Japanese chapters arriving in Japan. However, this is not true for the cult favorite JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. The American release is often years behind. Japanese fans are eagerly awaiting part nine ( The JOJOLands), while American viewers are just beginning to view part six of Stone Ocean. JoJo’sutterly ridiculous localization history is partly responsible for this odd situation. These effects still affect the series and their fandom.

JoJo’s Localizations and Their Strange History

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure manga debuted in Japan in 1987 with part one, Phantom Blood. It was then serialized in Weekly Shonen Jutsu Jump. Viz Media acquired rights to the manga in the early 1990s. The plan was to bring it to America with the localized title The Strange Adventures of JoJo. However, Viz Media pursued the idea of bringing JoJo America.

Viz thought of releasing this series as a comic book in 2002. Viz previously used this format for Dragon Ball. Viz abandoned the idea once more after the format suffered a dip in sales. Americans would be able to taste the JoJomanga for the first time in 2005 when Viz began publishing Stardust Crusaders. But the brand went silent again in 2010 after the series ended. Viz mentioned in interviews that although they wanted more series to be localized, it was difficult because of American copyright law. Viz did not allow the series to return to American serialization until 2014, after which Viz began serializing Phantom Blood. Viz has continued serialization but, because it started later, American manga publications are years behind their Japanese counterparts.

American Fans Issues

JoJo is a popular and vocal anime, but it does not have the mainstream popularity of its counterparts, partly because of localization decisions. American releases are delayed greatly, which reduces the hype. Non-Japanese fans get spoilers via social media about upcoming plot points. This makes it difficult for fans and the series not to create excitement. Fans already know what’s about to happen. In addition, the franchise misses out on free promotion which can lead to lower sales of each localized volume.

This gap in the manga’s localization history and its confusing nature make it harder for new readers to enter the series, especially for fans who have already seen the anime adaptation. It can be difficult for new fans to figure out which chapter to start with and whether that chapter is available in a localized format. This is even more true for those looking to buy physical copies, which are often slower than digital ones. Although it is not impossible, this will make people less interested in the series.

It’s easy enough to sympathize with Viz’s situation. While it might be tempting for Viz to hurry through the backlog and skip ahead to the next series, this could harm the brand. Skipping ahead would make it more difficult for people to read the series, and make the story feel disconnected for those reading it. Rushing production will hurt sales because many fans won’t be able to purchase multiple volumes in a short amount of time.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure story shows how it’s possible to take risks and be proactive when it’s time for localizing. There’s no way to know which series will become the next huge thing. While Viz can’t be held responsible for Viz’s struggles with copyright issues, it’s clear the company (and other localizers), has learned over the years. Publishers are working to get manga to America more quickly due to higher demand. This allows them to create more popular fandoms.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *