We get a first look at some of the actual footage, as well as visuals of the key players in the JoJo live-action movie. Does it live up to expectations?

There’s no denying that JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has been one of the most successful manga franchises of all time. Now in its eighth story arc and still ongoing 30 years since its inception, the comic series has recorded sales of over 100 million copies.

In September last year, we reported that the series’ fourth story arc, Diamond is Unbreakable, was getting a live-action movie adaptation to be released this coming summer. Now, at first thought, it may seem surprising that such a popular manga hadn’t been turned into a live-action film after all these years. Considering how unique the series is both visually and plot-wise, however, you have to admit that producing a live-action JoJo film is bound to be a seriously daunting if not near impossible task — at least if you want the movie to look half decent. (If you’re not familiar with the series, the characters mostly look like Greek statues and use supernatural powers that are visualized in outrageously fantastical forms, so anyone who thinks a JoJo film won’t be incredibly challenging to make is only deluding themselves.)

For such reasons, the reaction from JoJo fans in Japan to a live-action movie has unfortunately been overwhelmingly negative since the announcement was first made, and also after the first image of actor Kento Yamazaki portraying Josuke Higashiakta, the teenaged protagonist of Diamond is Unbreakable, was released in January this year.

Since then, official images of the other key characters who will be in the movie have been released, along with a short trailer containing footage from the actual film. Let’s take a look at the pictures.

▼ Popular actor Ryunosuke Kamiki, who voiced the protagonist of the mega-hit anime Your Name, plays Josuke’s usually mild-mannered yet tough and reliable friend Koichi Hirose.

▼ Here we see Josuke’s goofy but powerful buddy, Okuyasu Nijimura, being played by actor Mackenyu, who is also known as the son of action star Sonny Chiba.

▼ Masaki Okada, who is also appearing in the Gintama live action movie this year, plays Okuyasu’s ruthless older brother, Keicho Nijimura.

▼ Actress and model Nana Komatsu, who recently appeared in Martin Scorsese’s Silence, plays Yukako Yamagishi, one of the girls from the high school that Josuke, Koichi and Okuyasu all go to. And if you think she looks lovely, you might want to think again, because … well, let’s just say she has some unhealthy obsessive tendencies.

▼ Takayuki Yamada, who has appeared in other live-action adaptations such as the Gantz  films and the Arakawa Under the Bridge TV series, plays the despicable villain Angelo, the very first enemy Josuke encounters in Diamond is Unbreakable.

▼ And here’s Yusuke Iseya portraying Jotaro Kujo, Josuke’s older nephew and one of the most popular characters in the entire JoJo series. Iseya is also no stranger to live-action adaptations, as his past work includes appearances in the film versions of Ruroni Kenshin, the Kaiji series and Ashita no Joe (Champion Joe)

▼ And this is what Kento Yamazaki looks like as Josuke, which we’ve shown you previously when the image was released in January.

▼ They’ve also come out with an official poster of the movie featuring a close-up of Josuke.

And we finally have a trailer with actual footage from the movie! It’s quite short, but it gives us a first look at the characters from Diamond is Unbreakable in motion. The concept of the trailer is that something bizarre is happening in the town of Morioh, where Josuke and his friends live, and we certainly can’t argue with that.

What do you think? Unfortunately, after seeing the released images, the majority of Japanese JoJo fans still seem to think the whole project is an absolute travesty, so much so that some people are begging fellow fans not to go see the movie so that whoever is in charge will decide not to make any sequels. (Yes, the film has been titled JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbrekable Chapter 1, so the plan is apparently to make further chapters.)

So, are the pictures really that bad? Okay, the quality and details of the costumes aren’t exactly perfect, but we think some of the images are passable, particularly for the characters of Yukako and Jotaro. What really could make or break this movie is how they show the various characters’ superpowers, which are visualized in different semi-physical forms called “stands”, and we haven’t seen any of those yet.

It’s definitely a huge challenge, and while Japanese netizens seem pessimistic about how the movie will turn out, we hope the cast and crew can give us some decent-looking stands, because if they can’t do that, then we really could end up with a movie not worth seeing, and we don’t think that’s something any JoJo fan would want.

Source: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbrekable Chapter 1 official website, Twitter/ @jojomovie_jp