There you go again Mr.Araki, getting me invested in something I never thought I’d really care about.
First it’s the Jojo series as a whole and now it’s character design.
I recently watched a 2 hour long documentary about Queen after getting into their music recently. I also got into Jojo this year. And what a coincidence, Jojo author Hirohiko Araki is a big Queen fan. He included their songs as names for Yoshikage Kira’s stand powers, who gets quite a lot of screen time. Araki has named his characters like this since Battle Tendancy (see Whamu, Esidisi and Kars) but in this particular instance it runs deeper than just a name. Araki seems to have modeled a lot of Yoshikage Kira after Queen and Freddie Mercury in particular.
First let’s take a look at his stand Killer Queen (a song from Queen’s “Sheer Heart Attack album)
Pretty cool design, it gives off this dangerous vibe but the purple-pink colouring makes the design slightly effeminate (like a lot of Jojo designs). Effeminate….wait a minute……..
That’s Freddie Mercury in the “I want to break free” video! The pink-purple colour, the black skirt, the manly yet effeminate vibe, the two have a lot of similarities. Not convinced? Let’s continue.
Killer Queen’s secondary power is called Sheer Heart Attack (confusingly not on the album Sheer Heart Attack but News of The World which was released 3 years later)
Take it as either the album or the song. On the album Killer Queen was actually released as a two sided record with another song titled flick of the wrist. Which is of course funny because Sheer Heart Attack severely fucks up Kira’s wrist. And if you wish to go with the song then a look at News of The World’s track listing has Sheer Heart Attack followed up by All Dead, All Dead. It’s probably a combination of both.
OK, OK. You could could argue that that’s a coincidence but this last one I just know is without a doubt intentional.
When Kira changes his appearance to hide his identity but is then found out by Hayato, he gets pierced by the stand arrow and gains a third ability, Bites The Dust. With his newfound confidence he decides to change his hairstyle by slicking it back.
Going from this:
Do you know who else once did something similar? Freddie Mercury. In 1980, tired of his old look from the 70’s Mercury cut his hair and slicked it back (and also grew a mustache).
Queen released two videos for singles they also released in 1980. They featured Mercury with his new hairstyle and overall look. One of the videos was for the single called Save Me. The other. It was for Another One Bites The Dust. Come on you can’t tell me that shit wasn’t intentional!
Maybe I could even go into how Kira is leading a fake life where he is married to a woman but that might be a bit of a stretch!
I think it’s fantastic that Araki works his pop culture influences into his work in subtle ways like this to go along with the obvious tributes. It really adds to that unique vibe Jojo gives off. And Queen are great, can you believe Don’t Stop Me Now wasn’t received well when it was released? How?! That song is the fucking best. Anyway…
I hope you enjoyed this post on Freddie’s Bizarre Adventure, if you did please follow the blog below.
Thanks for reading,