JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood (partially found anime film based on manga; 2007)
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood was a 91-minute film released on February 17th, 2007, that was based on the first part of Hirohiko Araki's long-running manga series JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. It was produced by Studio APPP, with Junichi Hayama serving as director, sound design by Tom Myers of Skywalker Sound, and an end theme/promo song titled "Voodoo Kingdom" by Japanese hip-hop band SOUL'd OUT. The film itself was made in celebration of both the 25th anniversary of Araki's career as a manga artist and the 20th anniversary of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
The film was teased as early as 2004 at the Tokyo International Anime Fair. Bandai, who co-produced the film, acquired the license to make JoJo video games, which they still hold today, in order to make a game for the PlayStation 2 based upon the Phantom Blood manga to help generate excitement for the film. The film's first proper teaser was unveiled at an event promoting the PS2 game, attended by several cast members and even Hirohiko Araki himself; This teaser would later be included on a pre-order exclusive bonus DVD with the PS2 game. The website for the PlayStation 2 game was online until late 2019 however it can still be accessed via the Wayback Machine
Phantom Blood was only ever publicly shown in Japanese cinemas, with its last known screening taking place on the 9th of April 2007, and was not seen again after leaving theatres. The reason for its disappearance is not known, but many speculate it was a combination of poor reception, and Studio APPP losing the JoJo license the following year due to a religious controversy surrounding their 2000 OVA based upon the series' third part, Stardust Crusaders.
Notably, the shell of the film's now-defunct official website can still be accessed via The Wayback Machine, although most of the site's content appears to be inaccessible. The website can still be accessed today with the same link, but be warned as it is now an NSFW Japanese site and does not feature the same contents someone would think.
Since concluding its run in theatres, the film has not been made available in any form. The PS2 game's teaser trailer and a theatrical trailer once downloadable from the movie's website were the only footage available for some time. A workprint of the film's first 16 minutes with music only, provided by the film's composer, were used as course material for sound design projects at the Academy of Art University at some point, with one student uploading his assignment to YouTube in 2012, making a significant portion of the film viewable to the public once more.
In 2022, during an interview with Junichi Hayama, he was asked about Phantom Blood:
"In 2007, a movie adapting the Phantom Blood part of Jojo's Bizarre Aventure was released in Japanese theaters. This movie has never seen any release outside its theater distribution. You worked on it as a Character Designer and Animation Director. Is there a reason why this movie never had any home video release?"
Junichi Hayama: "I don’t want you to see me angry and pissed off, so it is better if I don’t answer this question."
2004 Tokyo International Anime Fair Preview
In addition to the film itself, a two-and-a-half-minute test animation was played at the 2004 Tokyo International Anime Fair. It was also lost for a time before being found in an eBay auction by a YouTuber by the name of Mangomation. Mangomation then won the eBay auction and has since made the test animation public on September 14th, 2019. It featured characters and scenes, not in the final film, including the infamously-removed Robert Speedwagon, and the animation did not reflect the final film whatsoever.
- The Bottle (lost unreleased one-shot manga from mangaka Hirohiko Araki; 1978)
- GioGio's Bizarre Adventure (lost build of cancelled English localization of PlayStation 2 action-adventure game based on manga; 2002-2003)
- SOUL'd OUT's Voodoo Kingdom, used as Phantom Blood's ending theme.
- JoJo's Bizarre Encyclopedia page on the film.
- The now-defunct link to the website for the tie-in PlayStation 2 game. Retrieved 17 Aug '19
- An archive of the website for the tie-in PlayStation 2 game. Retrieved 08 Nov '20
- Japanese blog describing a screening of the film on the 9th of April 2007 Retrieved 17 Aug '19
- Archive of the film's official website (only partially accessible), via The Wayback Machine; 08 Jan 2007. Retrieved 09 Mar '15
- Interview with Junichi Hayama. Retrieved 16 Aug '22
- Blog post with a detailed description of the 2004 preview. Retrieved 17 Aug '19