Although it is the one that is lasting the longest, and the most popular for obvious reasons, the anime adaptation of david production of ‘JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’ is not the first attempt there has been.
the sleeve of hirohiko araki It had other animes before, most notably with the OVAs that adapted the ‘Stardust Crusaders’ arc in such a way, but at the time an attempt was made to start the franchise with a movie.
Dio, the invader who comes to destroy your movie
Back in 2007, Studio APP., who had already handled the direct-to-video series a few years earlier, launched into a more ambitious project with a 90-minute film that would adapt ‘Phantom Blood’the first arc of the manga.
This part of the story kicks off many of the conflicts we will see later, especially the feud between Dio Brando and the Joestar family. When Dio is orphaned, George Joestar fulfills the promise he made years ago to watch over him, so he takes him into his home and raises him with his son, Jonathan Joestar.
The problem comes because Dio has his own plans to take over the Joestar fortune and makes Jonathan’s life a real hell. Not only that, but a mysterious mask comes into play that turns Dio into a vampire and gives him demonic powers with which he could eradicate humanity.
This first part is much shorter than the rest, and in fact in the David Production anime it barely amounts to nine episodes, but logically, for it to fit into a movie format, very significant cuts and changes to the story had to be made.
Some concepts that would later be important in the long term, such as the Hamon and how it works, were not fully explained. There was also no time spent explaining Dio Brando’s true motives for causing all this chaos and ruining Jonathan’s life, which takes away a lot of background from his character. Many other details, such as more depth to the relationship between Jonathan and Erina Pendleton, were omitted.
the lost legacy
So with all these cuts, apparently a lot of the plot didn’t work and According to reports at the time, the ‘Phantom Blood’ movie did not have good reviews, or in any case had mixed reactions.. Many fans complained about the changes in the story, such as the omission of Robert EO Speedwagon, one of the fandom’s favorite characters. According to other reports, Araki himself said that the film was a little “different”, but that he had enjoyed it.
In this point, this adaptation of ‘Phantom Blood’ has come to be considered “lost media“, although with the images we can get an idea of what it would have looked like. Although it is further away from Araki’s style, graphically the film had a very good finish and had an impeccable cast of voices. So It seems that the big flaw was the accelerated pace of the plot and the change in tone with respect to the original material.
In any case, the film hit it hard at the box office and more or less everyone tried to pretend it never existed. After a short run in theaters in Japan, ‘Phantom Blood‘ has never been released in physical or digital format, and basically we have proof that it existed because of the promotional material and some restored trailers that have managed to survive on the web.
The most surviving amount of footage other than this material is a “pilot” teaser discovered by the YouTuber Mangomation on a DVD he bought at auction, where you can watch several key scenes from the story in excellent quality.
The closest thing that survives to the film is a 16 minute montage made by Erik Zamoraa student at the Academy of Art University of California, where he combined the different materials he had found, including footage, storyboards and soundtrack.
Luckily, the ill-fated film did not finish burying the possibility of an anime of ‘JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’, since In 2012, a more faithful adaptation of the manga would arrive, which would end up giving the final kick to the anime series. and which has told the story of the Joestar from its beginnings with Jonathan to its descendant in the 21st century, Jolyne Cujoh.