How JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Became One Fan’s Reason to Live

Pictured: Hirohiko Araki x Gucci exhibition photographed by Shoko Muraguchi

Last month, a game journalist’s life was threatened for reporting a delay to the highly anticipated No Man’s Sky. In the midst of the anonymous threat was a confession: “It’s the only thing I live for, and you go and write that bullsh*t about a delay.”

Content warning: discussion of suicide.

Now, to be clear, threats are never okay – but that confession probably struck a chord with a lot of people. Having nothing to look forward to is a recipe for despair, and clinging to something you want to see happen, rationally or not, can be a lifeline when you don’t see a lot of other options. Comic book writer Matt Fraction wrote about that strategy back in 2013, in a post about his own experiences with depression.

Get help. Now, today, tonight, whenever – get to a phone and find a doctor that can try to help you heal, that can try to recolorize your world again, that can help you start caring again. All you need is that one tiny thing, that speck, that little grain of sand. the World Series, AVENGERS 2, Tina Fey’s new show, the first issue of PRETTY DEADLY, some slice of the world you’ve never seen, some drink you love, who the f*ck will love your dog like you do if you’re gone, what if jabrams KILLS it on the new STAR WARS, the hell are you doing for Halloween, you ever feed a dolphin with your bare hand?…i don’t care what or how dumb but i promise you somewhere in your life is that one fleck of dust that can help start you on the road back. That’s all it takes.

(In addition to Fraction’s advice, if you’re having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or look for a similar service in your region.)

On Kotaku’s Talk Among Yourself community blog, user Governor Explosion shares a story of how the over-the-top anime series Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure served as just that sort of lifeline — that one fleck of dust that started them on the road back.

While I marathoned Season 1 in something like a week or two, it was really Stardust Crusaders and Battle in Egypt that kept me going during that period of work where between the unusually warm heat, the chaos at work, the dread of not knowing whether or not my grandfather would be okay or not, and the headaches that were so bad and so constant that I wondered if I was hallucinating the whole damn thing, and if I should just commit suicide so that I’d stop being such a burden to my parents and bosses.

But then there was this tiny voice inside my head that went, “But don’t you want to see what kinds of hilarious shenanigans Polnareff is going to get up to next? Or how Avdol and Kakyoin outsmart yet another villain? Don’t you wanna see Jotaro do something ridiculously cool, hear more of Joseph’s comedically over-reacted Engrish, Iggy hasn’t even shown up yet, and you still need to see the whole thing where DIO stops time and does the whole thing with the knives and the steamroller…” And that’s what kept me going. I never got a chance to tell my grandfather this before he passed away, but the fact that Joseph Joestar had the same kind of goofy attitude and beard as my grandfather did, it really helped me a lot. I could envision myself as Jotaro, stone-faced in the face of adversity, and my goofy grandpa would be there backing me up and cracking jokes along the way.

One important part of a safety plan is keeping track of your reasons for living. Those can be profound, and they can also be simple, like the next new Star Wars, that big video game you want to play or the adventures of Jotaro Kujo, Joseph Joestar and all the other JoJos.

The JoJos, the rest of your safety plan, the help of a professional, and help through any crisis from a suicide prevention line, that is.

[Talk Amongst Yourselves]
Help us give hope at events around the world. Support Take This on Patreon!