utsumi kenji

Bungou Stray Dogs (文豪ストレイドッグス)

The newest Spoon.2Di Vol. 13 (Amazon Japan | eBay) poster for Bungou Stray Dogs ambitiously captures that epic fantasy feeling, complete with butterflies! Magazine exclusive art work by key animator Hiroko Utsumi (内海紘子).

Fun fact : Both animated versions of Daniel J. D’Arby are voiced by Hokuto no Ken veteran voice actors who played major villains in the show. In the OVA, it was the late Kenji Utsumi, who played Raoh and Kaioh (and also Joseph Joestar in the JoJo Drama CD). In the anime, it’s Banjo Ginga, who played Souther. I wonder if that was intentional or not from David Pro. If so, that is pretty cool.

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Did you know that the 1993 OVA wasn’t the first media to adapt JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure ? A Drama CD series produced from 1992 to 1993 was the first to give voices to the Stardust Crusaders. It’s got three volumes of two episodes each, and this is is the third volume : “DIO’s World”, which is a retelling of the final fight between Jotaro and Dio. 

It’s got an all-star cast who went on to become legends and ended up playing a part in future JoJo productions : Kenji Utsumi as Joseph Joestar, Shou Hayami as Noriaki Kakyoin, Ken Yamaguchi as Jean Pierre Polnareff and Akio “Snake” Otsuka as Mohammed Avdol. Jotaro Kujo is voiced by Kikoyuki Yanada, and I believe this is the youngest he has ever sounded in any media, and it’s fitting considering Jotaro is only 17. But when he gets pissed off, he gets REALLY FUCKING PISSED OFF. But the star of the show in this Drama CD is Dio, who is played by none other than the God of Seiyuus himself, Norio Wakamoto. Even though some will say that he sounded already too old for the part (just like Tanaka Nobuo in the OVA), we all know that everything he voices turns to gold, and in true Wakamoto fashion, this is the most insane incarnation of Dio in existence. Just listen to the part when Dio sucks Joseph’s blood : now THIS is a high Dio.

Since this is a retelling, there are some differences from the original story, such as :

- Jotaro seems to fall unconscious for a while after being hit by Dio’s knives.

- Polnareff has a longer fight with Dio after Jotaro’s fall and puts up a valiant resistance, but of course, gets overpowered in the end.

- Back in Japan, an agonizing Holly feels Joseph’s death, though she doesn’t know what’s happening.

- Dio actually uses his Phantom Blood powers twice during the fight : first, I think he uses his freezing powers to try and get away from Jotaro and reach Joseph’s body. Then, near the very end of the fight (after getting back up to his feet after Jotaro’s time stop), he uses the Space Ripper Stingy Eyes after blinding Jotaro with his blood. Jotaro seems to counter it with Star Platinum, probably getting a hole in his hand, just like Jonathan Joestar. After that, Dio stops time one last time and challenges Jotaro to finish the fight with one single blow. Of course, the fight ends the same way as the manga. There are other Phantom Blood references through Dio’s dialogue, such as more “WRYYYYYYs” and “Hinjaku, Hinjakus”, thoughts about Jonathan, Dario Brando and the Stone Mask, and a dying Dio realising that once again, he forgot that the men of the Joestar family possess exploding power when they’re in a pinch.

- I’m not sure if I understood that correctly, but I believe that Dio also mentions Enya’s Bow and Arrow, which she used to awake Dio’s Stand, The World, referencing Diamond is Unbreakable.

- The ghosts of Avdol, Iggy, Kakyoin and Joseph appear next to Jotaro after his victory.

Each volume is an hour long, but it’s well worth a listen.

I made posts about the other two volumes here and here.