JoJo’s strange localization history continues to cause problems for American fans to this day

The manga industry has seen a significant shift in the past few years with digital distribution becoming more popular. This has allowed manga to be localized more easily, and some major titles are released in English within hours of their Japanese counterparts. However, there are still some series that suffer from delayed releases, and one such series is JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. The American release of the manga is years behind the Japanese release, and this has had a significant impact on the series and its fandom.

The strange history of JoJo’s localizations began in the early 1990s when Viz Media acquired the rights to the manga. Viz planned to bring the series to America under the localized title, The Strange Adventures of JoJo, but this never came to be. Viz continued to explore the idea of localizing JoJo, and in 2002, they considered releasing the series as a comic book. However, this format was experiencing a lull in sales, so the idea was shelved once again.

Americans would only get their first taste of the JoJo manga when Viz started serializing Stardust Crusaders in 2005. However, the brand went quiet again in 2010 when its run ended. Viz noted in interviews that, while they wanted to localize more of the series, American copyright law made it difficult. Thus, the series wouldn’t re-enter American serialization until 2014, when Viz returned to the start of the story and started serializing Phantom Blood. Since then, Viz has continued serialization, though, due to it starting much later, the American manga releases are years behind their Japanese counterparts.

This delay in American releases heavily reduces hype for the series, as non-Japanese fans get spoiled about upcoming plot points via social media. This makes it very hard for fans to maintain intrigue and for the series to generate excitement, since fans already know what’s going to happen. Additionally, this lack of hype means the franchise loses out on a lot of free promotion, resulting in lower sales for each localized volume.

Moreover, this gap and the manga’s confusing localization history make it much harder for new fans to break into the series, especially for those fans coming from the anime adaptation. It can be tricky to deduce what chapter to start from and whether said chapter is currently available in a localized format, which is doubly true for those fans looking to purchase a physical version, which lag even further behind digital releases.

While it’s understandable that Viz faces difficulties in localizing the series due to copyright law, it’s clear that the company (and other localizers) have learned from their struggles. Publishers are now working to bring titles to America more quickly, thereby allowing them to develop larger and more mainstream fandoms. The story of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’s localization history shows the power of being proactive and taking risks when it comes to localizing, as there’s no telling what series will become the next big thing.

In conclusion, the localization struggles of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure have had a significant impact on the series and its fandom. While digital distribution has made it easier than ever to read manga, series like JoJo still suffer from delayed releases, which reduce hype and can make it harder for fans to get into the series. However, publishers are working to bring titles to America more quickly, and it’s clear that localization companies have learned from their past struggles. Hopefully, this means that more fans will be able to enjoy JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure in the future, and the series will continue to grow in popularity both in America and around the world.

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Dio Brando,Giorno Giovanni,Jean Pierre Polnareff,Guido Mista,Jotaro Kujo

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