Shonen is the most popular subgenre of anime. From One Piece to Naruto, a boy and his friends duking it out for the fate of humanity remains an inexhaustible well of popular storytelling. In this episode, The Human Instrumentality Podcast tracks the genre's meteoric rise in the 80s thanks to Dragonball.
But that's just an appetizer. The real meal is a lengthy discussion of the singularly weird and wonderful shonen masterpiece that is JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Satoshi Kon's brief but memorable directorial debut in the original 90s JoJo's OVA gets a highlight, but Kon is really a footnote in the series' saga. Ian and Joseph discuss creator Hirohiko Araki's background, then go all in on superpowers named after classic rock bands, the Jungian meaning of tarot cards, and the curious sexiness of incredibly ripped anime boys.
Recap - History of Shonen: 0:00
Shonen Analysis: 9:00
Recap - JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: 41:56
Jojo's Analysis: 41:56