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JoJo’s Bizarre Analysis 03 – How Dracula inspired Stardust Crusaders

An analysis of Part 3 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders showing the parallels between the novel Dracula and Stardust Crusaders.

Hello, welcome to “JoJo’s Bizarre Analysis”, a chronicle about analyzing various aspects of the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure series. In this chronicle, I will discuss various topics such as symbols, behind-the-scene details, or inspirations in JoJo. Please note that Hirohiko Araki will probably not have confirmed what I will claim in this chronicle. As such, consider it food for thought that is coming from my own intuition rather than an official statement.

Context

DIO’s curse affecting Holy

In Chapter 120 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: “DIO’s Curse“, the heroes discover that Holy Kujo has become sick and the fortuneteller Muhammad Avdol explains that Holy’s illness is due to her Stand and her connection to DIO. Thus, Jotaro Kujo and his companions decide to travel to Egypt to eliminate DIO and save Holy.

In the following section, I am going to show the tenuous but existing links between the gothic horror classic Dracula and Stardust Crusaders.

Similarities in plot

Dracula molests Mina, threatening to turn her into a vampire once she expires.
Illustration by JOHN COULTHART

If you’ve read the novel Dracula or perhaps watched one of its many adaptations, you may have found certain parts of its third arc to be somewhat similar to Stardust Crusaders.

Indeed, in Dracula, the eponymous vampire bites Wilhelmina Murray, the wife of the protagonist Jonathan Harker. He thus curses her to slowly die, at which point she will become a vampire. However, she also develops a psychic link with Dracula, which allows her to see through Dracula’s senses and guess where he’s hiding. This allows Jonathan and his allies to track Dracula across Europe until they corner him and slay the count.

There are several interesting parallels and nods that I see between the story of this gothic horror novel and Stardust Crusaders.

The most notable one, of course, is the plot itself. Although some key details don’t match, the structure is fairly similar between the two works. In both stories, the antagonist makes a person dear to the heroes ill and the heroes have to travel and track down the villain before the ill woman dies.

This interpretation is notably supported by Araki himself. The manga artist revealed in the November 2007 issue of Eureka Magazine that he initially envisioned Stardust Crusaders as a “JoJo story somewhat like Dracula“. The third act of Dracula is a tense chase across Europe that would fit right in with Araki’s style and the audience of Weekly Shonen Jump.

Other nods

Another plot point establishes a clear parallel between the two stories: In both cases, the heroes manage to track the main antagonist due to a psychic link. While in Dracula, the heroes track Count Dracula thanks to a psychic link between Mina Murray and the vampire, in Stardust Crusaders, the heroes use various psychic means to keep track of DIO. The first is Joseph‘s Stand, Hermit Purple, which allows Joseph to create psychic photographs. The second is the psychic link between the Joestars and DIO through Jonathan’s body.

Dracula walking through cobwebs in the 1931 film Dracula

Finally, there’s an interesting little nod to Dracula himself from the 1931 film adaptation. In Chapter 210: “Shooting DIO?!“, DIO suddenly teleports behind Hol Horse, who is astonished and remarks that DIO even managed to move without disturbing a single of the spider nets filling the dark library he was in. In the famous Dracula movie, the titular vampire also manages to pass through a thick wall of cobwebs just in front of Jonathan Harker’s eyes, hinting at his supernatural powers.

Stardust Crusaders is extremely rich in references to other horror stories, from living puppet Stands to Stands that attack you in your dreams. It is only fitting that it finds its root in the greatest horror story of them all.

About Dracula

Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish writer Bram Stoker. It is an epistolary novel with a gothic horror story.

The story first follows the woes of Jonathan Harker, a solicitor who travels to the Carpathian Mountains. He meets Count Dracula, an eccentric lord who has just bought a property in England. Soon, Jonathan discovers that his host is a monstrous vampire and finds himself a prisoner of Dracula as the undead monster tries to learn as much as he can about English culture. The story then follows the point of view of Wilhelmina Murray, or “Mina”, Jonathan’s fiancée. Mina finds herself embroiled in Dracula’s attack on her friend Lucy.

Following its publication, the novel Dracula was praised by critics. However, its popularity exploded with the stage version of the book. Afterward, the story was adapted many times and became a staple of modern culture, notably in the horror genre. In time, Dracula has become a staple of English literature, praised for its chilling horror and avant-garde subtext.

Posted in Analysis, Exclusives, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Stardust Crusaders

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