The latest announcement didn’t shock everyone, but it has to feel great that JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures (JJBA) will be part of Toonami in Oct. My initial reaction of joy is due to the hurdles JJBA has gone through in the past couple of years. It has been, for lack of a better term, “bizarre”. Last year it didn’t look like JJBA would be introduced by T.O.M and SARA (mostly because of the company who acquired the rights to the show). Thanks to a couple of things changing, now casual fans will be able to see what anime fans have been talking about since 2012.

So what changed that now allows Toonami to air this franchise? I’m not privy to all the juicy details of how this worked out, and things looked pretty grim last year. Remember this? At the time there were two major roadblocks JoJo would have to clear. The first issue came to light when Right Stuf’s CEO Shawne Kleckner stated that Jojo wasn’t selling well on their website. This was probably because fans didn’t care for the packaging of the product (to be fair, it was selling okay on Amazon at the time). When looking at the product, it certainly seemed like a dull release. Still, hearing that a popular franchise was faltering was not a good sign that Warner Bros. would continue to pick up more seasons of JoJo and dub them. They obviously would need to make a profit on this project, and signs indicated that it wasn’t going as well as some had expected.

Adding on to that, Warner Bros. was allegedly asking for a fortune from Toonami to air it (probably to make up some lost revenue in disc sales). Knowing how popular the franchise is, I’m betting that Warner Bros. figured they could ask Toonami for any price they wanted, since both parties knew what they had in JoJo. But it wasn’t selling like hotcakes, which could have created a stalemate between the two sides. With those two obstacles, things didn’t look positive for JoJo. It made me believe not only that JoJo wouldn’t get a chance to air on Toonami, but that there was a lingering possibility that Stardust Crusaders (and future seasons) wouldn’t get picked up to be dubbed  for home media release. I wanted this anime project to succeed so more fans in the U.S could experience the wacky fun that is JoJo.

Fast forward to today and the rivalry between the Joestars and Dio will blow up on the small screen, thanks in large part to VIZ Media. While I believe it was announced beforehand, I recall the company making an announcement at Anime Boston that they had picked up the (remaining) rights to JJBA. That instantly changed my outlook on the series getting to broadcast on Toonami. Here’s a company who knows how to treat an anime property that fans really appreciate. VIZ Media already owns the rights to the manga, so going after the anime just makes sense. What’s funny (or weird) is that VIZ Media only has the Blu-ray rights for JJBA, since Warner Bros. still owns the DVD rights. Finding this out led me to question why Warner Bros. only wanted the DVD rights—but their loss is VIZ Media’s gain. All of this made me think about how this franchise is still being handled bizarrely.

Another strange turn involving JJBA is that I’ve heard rumblings that the cast might have changed a little from the Warner Bros. dub. So far there hasn’t been a cast announcement, other than it being confirmed that Patrick Seitz will be Dio once again. It was the phrasing of that sentence that made me uneasy about the original dub. “VIZ Media also confirmed that the Blu-ray Disc release will include an English dub featuring Patrick Seitz as Dio, but didn’t confirm if the company is redubbing the series or if it is using Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s dub”. Does that mean others might not be? Also, VIZ Media still hasn’t released a statement about the dub cast, which also makes me wonder if there will be changes. I’d find that wasteful, considering the previous dub did an excellent job, from the acting to the script writing and everything in between. Why would VIZ Media throw money at producing a new dub when the previous one is great?

Maybe there’s an issue with using that dub because of  Warner Bros.’ ownership of the DVD rights (as mentioned before). That could mean that VIZ Media will have to create their own version for the Blu-rays. Of course, VIZ Media could simply just have all the voice actors reprise their roles and act as if it was the result of a standard audition, as silly as that sounds. But what if the cast has been changed? I wonder how fans would feel after getting used to the existing version. I wouldn’t be happy about the changes, and would feel crushed if the Warner dub was lost in oblivion. It was very well done, and I think to change it would be a huge slap in the face, given all the time it took to dub parts one and two of JJBA. I don’t know if this casting change has happened or not, but because there’s so little information out there, I’ve been left to speculate as to why.

Despite what some people previously believed about VIZ Media, I always felt that they wanted to have more shows than Naruto Shippuden on the block. It’s just not as easy as giving Toonami shows to air without any repercussions. Sometimes other providers might offer more money, or Toonami might say thanks but no thanks on a series. VIZ Media has stated (back at Anime Boston) that they would love to have their shows air on Toonami, as do all the companies in the U.S. It’s not a simple thing for that to happen as frequently as some fans demand.

Apparently, nothing can ever be normal when dealing with JoJo. Whether it be in anime, manga, or real life, everything involving JoJo always seems bizarre. Even with those lingering questions about the series, fans are nevertheless excited to see JoJo get a chance to air on television. It’s a fun show that Toonami fans should be excited to learn more about. Of course, I am hoping that if this run of Part One and Part Two performs well that it will lead to Stardust Crusaders (season three) also making a dub premiere (after episode four) on the block. There’s a reason JJBA was one of the most highly requested shows. It’s popular and has a very loyal and outspoken fan base. It should perform admirably on Toonami, which in turn, will make fans very happy.

C.J Maffris is an editorial writer for He stroke a pose after hearing the news that JoJo would air on Toonami and hopes many other fans did as well. Feel free to follow C.J on Twitter to talk all things JoJo @SeaJayMaffris