Full of gigantic hair, bulging muscles, and rapid-fire poses more grandiose and ridiculous than the next, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has always been big. A single glance at both Dio Brando and Jonathan Joestar in the first episode of Phantom Blood immediately lets the viewer know just what they’re getting into. At 12 years-old, Dio and Jonathan are already hulking giants who appear closer to the age of 25. Even a pre-vampiric Dio is appropriately menacing, with his comparatively smaller-scale dastardly deeds framed by hyperbolic commentary, dramatic poses, and visible onomatopoeia.
Until Diamond is Unbreakable, this first episode of Phantom Blood — the introduction to the most recent anime adaptation of JoJo’s as a whole — is the last time we see JoJo’s in the small scale. Events quickly spiral into mystic masks, vampires, massive power creep for the series’ protagonists from one generation to the next, and exotic foreign locales.