Netflix Made A Major Mistake With JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean's Release

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure hit a major new level when Netflix decided to make it an exclusive to its streaming platform, with the arrival of Jolyne Cujoh within the story of Stone Ocean being highly anticipated amongst the anime community. However, during this year’s Anime Japan, many fans were taken aback when it was revealed that new episodes of the sixth part of the franchise would be arriving this fall, placing a spotlight on some of the cracks that come with the handling of the series by Netflix.

While we aren’t privy to the behind-the-scenes work that has been put into the series by either the streaming service of Netflix or David Production, waiting what is almost a year for additional episodes following the first twelve has been a shock to many, especially with the first dozen being released in a batch in December of last year. Waiting so long to return to the series, which more than likely won’t be ending over the course of its next twelve episodes landing in the fall, is seeking disappointment from the fans at large. What could have cushioned the blow when it comes to Netflix’s role is either releasing all the episodes at once or giving in to fan demands when it comes to the reinstatement of what many refer to as “JoJo Fridays”.

There’s just something about releasing episodes of a story on a weekly basis that is able to capture the attention of viewers, which is something that the likes of Disney+, Hulu, and Crunchyroll have definitely seized upon in the past. Wandavision became one of the biggest series of the COVID pandemic era as each week left audiences hanging, thanks to its storytelling and biting cliffhangers. For JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, the series is what many will call a “monster of the week” show, normally tending to focus on a new Stand user appearing in each episode and presenting a dilemma for the starring Joestar to overcome. A weekly schedule allows fans of the series to digest the events that just took place, to discuss them within a community, and the series becomes stronger as a result of that as viewers can act as a marketing apparatus for said series while adding additional fans to the discourse who might want “in on the action”. This seems lost with Netflix’s decision to release Stone Ocean in large chunks, especially considering many fans might have watched/binged the premiere episodes all at once.

If you’re a JoJo fan, you might think Jolyne having to wear the skin of a rat after being shrunk to the size of a doll by a Stand named Goo Goo Dolls is the craziest thing you would see from the series, but it’s one of many, MANY instances that might feel watered down by digesting a dozen episodes in one go. Recreating “JoJo Fridays” as an event would only benefit Netflix and it would have certainly helped soften the blow when it comes to the long wait period between episode batches. The manga model will normally work well when it comes to Shonen stories, for example, released on either a weekly or monthly basis, keeping fans interested and perhaps, more importantly, keeping the discussion active.

Now to be fair, not every anime that Netflix releases needs to have a “JoJo Fridays” mentality, as the likes of Baki Hanma, Beastars, and Castlevania have worked well in releasing full seasons, but therein lies the rub. Stone Ocean doesn’t necessarily have well-defined ending points for where these batches can draw to a close when it comes to its stories, and while the final scene certainly hinted at some more machinations from Pucci, Jolyne’s story could have used more of a hook for hinting at her future. The fact that we got a storm of poisonous frogs dropping from the sky and nearly killing the daughter of Jotaro was a fantastic final foray, but its one that needed more conclusion to Jolyne’s introduction to the world of anime.

How would you handle Netflix’s original anime series in the future? Do you want to see the return of JoJo Fridays down the line? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and the world of the Joestars.

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