ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Part 4—Diamond is Unbreakable,’ Volume 6

Reading Time: 3 minutes

JJBA, Diamond is Unbreakable, Josuke, Araki

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Part 4 — Diamond is Unbreakable Volume 6 is created by mangaka Hirohiko Araki and published for western audiences by Viz Media through Shonen Jump.  Volume 6 brings readers right into the middle of the showdown between enemy stand user Yosikage Kira and the team of Koichi and Jotaro.

Araki’s strength, in not only Diamond is Unbreakable, but in all parts of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (JJBA), is his ability to create tension within a fight. Kira is the most difficult enemy they have faced in Part 4 with his stand Deadly Queen (originally named Killer Queen based on the Queen song, but it can’t be used because of American Copyright laws). It has two abilities, one of which is that it can turn anything it touches into a bomb, and the other is that it can send a remote bomb towards an enemy and will keep tracking the enemy until it makes contact and explodes.

Jotaro has one of the most powerful stands in all of JJBA and even he cannot keep up with the strength of Deadly Queen. As the fight continues, Araki’s art never feels claustrophobic or messy. With Araki’s hyperrealistic style, he inks his characters heavily.  Action sequences are when he blurs the lines and adds in a stippling effect with lots of air. The contrast shouldn’t work but for JoJo, it feels completely natural.

As this fight goes on, Araki adds characterization for our villain. In previous parts, Araki has always chosen to make villains evil for evil’s sake. However, Yosikage Kira is different. Within volume six, Kira delivers a monologue to Jotaro and Koichi about his motives. He states that he only wants to live a normal life, a life filled with ease and peace. He expresses his annoyance that in the last 20 years, he’s been able to murder beautiful women in the town of Morioh without ever stressing about being caught.  What is terrifying is that Araki chooses not to disclose why Kira is fascinated by hands at all. As viewers, this serial killer is only identified with his obsession to keep his life secret and quiet. I really appreciate, as a long time fan, that Araki is trying to grow as a writer and choosing character growth over good vs. evil tropes.

As this fight comes to an end, Araki illustrates a fist-fight between Koichi and Kira. It is very rare that Araki does not indulge in fancy, stand fights. However, his lettering and trademark Japanese kanji for “menacing” cover this combat. It is bloody, brutal, and devastating to see precious, school-boy Koichi get his face beat in by Kira. It really does feel like this is the end for our heroes but Jotaro and Okayasu make it in the nick of time. The way that Araki as a mangaka is able to balance art, writing, and tension is phenomenal in this story arc.

Unfortunately, the same doesn’t ring true within the two other arcs featured in Diamond is Unbreakable Volume 6. One of these arcs revolves around Kira’s dad. This sequence ends in another stand fight. It does provide a little bit more context for Kira as a character, although not much. The last sequence is a deviation from Kira that focuses on highlighting Rohan Kishibe, the famous mangaka that lives in Morioh, doing stealth work. However, it brings us another stand-user fight.

After such a dramatic and bombastic showdown between Kira and the Morioh gang, these other two fights feel a little bit lackluster and regurgitative. However, I love being able to read more character interactions between Josuke, Okayasu, and Rohan, and Araki draws some really fun outfit changes for Rohan and a side-character that I really love. Though this is at the expense of meandering away from the overall plot and feeling like filler.

Diamond is Unbreakable Volume 6 features one of my favorite fights in all of JJBA. The two story arcs at the end seem weaker in comparison to the rest of the volume. However, they are not bad at all and they do offer a fun and nice deviation away from the central plot. Though Volume 6 does fall into the trappings of typical shonen manga with an enemy-of-the-week formula, it does not detract from the overall continuation of this murder mystery. Every volume of Diamond is Unbreakable holds up to my high standards and is thoroughly enjoyable. Despite my critiques, Diamond is Unbreakable Volume 6 is still visually stunning.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Part 4 — Diamond is Unbreakable Volume 6 is available everywhere now.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Part 4—Diamond is Unbreakable Volume 6
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TL;DR

Diamond is Unbreakable Volume 6 features one of my favorite fights in all of JJBA. The two story arcs at the end seem weaker in comparison to the rest of the volume. However, they are not bad at all and they do offer a fun and nice deviation away from the central plot.