I’ve been a fan of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure for the longest, back before the anime was a thing when scans of the manga were still riddled with horrible translations. I’m eternally thankful it did get a spark of popularity, thanks to the anime.
It brought the series back to the forefront, not only in Japan but also bringing it life in the West. We finally got translations that were official and, more importantly: good. This surge has created fantastic communities and new opportunities for fans to experience the series they love. This includes things like books, video games, and of course, figures.
One of the best figure manufacturers is Good Smile. They’re a Japanese company that makes a great line of figures called Nendoroids. They’re done in this adorable chibi style and come with plenty of accessories for all your customization needs.
Better yet, they’re some of the most affordable figures you can get on the market, especially for their quality. My heart leaped through the roof when I heard they were making a line of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Nendoroids. They didn’t just make a few, either; they’ve made a lot covering every part that’s got an anime so far. However, with so many figures to choose from, it can be hard to find the right one, which is why I made this guide!
I’m evaluating the Nendoroids by three different metrics:
- Quality – What “Quality” means is more than just the detailing of the Nendoroid. This addresses things like the surface details of the Nendoroid and how well it recreates what we’ve seen in the show. Things like not defining muscles or the colors being off, specifically.
- Accessories – One of the main things that make Nendoroids so good are the accessories they include because they help bring the figure to life. In this category, I’ll be factoring in things like the faceplates included, alongside the arms and whatever items the Nendoroid can hold in their hands.
- References – Since Nendoroids are based on source material, Nendoroids must be a good representation of the source material. This means the accessories or poses shouldn’t be chosen at random. The more I can pinpoint a pose to a specific scene or moment, the better the reference.
Now let’s get the guide started!
First Point Upfront
The best Nendoroid figure you can buy is the Nendoroid DIO. He’s a very iconic and important character in the series, and this is his most iconic appearance.
The Nendoroid has many good things, like the accessories taken from the story. The inclusion of his knives and the stop sign he used to try and lop Jotaro’s head off is impressive. My favorite part is that if you buy it through Good Smile’s online store, you get a shadowed-out faceplate.
Nendoroid Jotaro Kujo
It’s no wonder why Jotaro is the most popular of all the protagonists. We’ve already long crossed the point where Stands are more prominent than Hamon, and he’s headlined the part where they were introduced. Sadly, his figure doesn’t match up to the legend of the character.
It’s so bare-bones for a Nendoroid, only coming with one accessory that isn’t a faceplate. You don’t even get a display plate of his Stand: Star Platinum. The closest you get to that is an accessory for the Stand-rush effect, but it just looks out of place when Star Platinum is nowhere to be seen.
There’s nothing wrong with the way the Nendoroid looks. It’s a good representation of Jotaro’s design from Stardust Crusaders, despite Nendoroid’s chibi style. The problem arrives when you see the utter lack of accessories.
You get one thing. One thing! It’s not even that good of an accessory! Just a Stand-rush effect that doesn’t look very good without the Stand to go along with it. I can’t praise the faceplates, although that’s not Good Smile’s fault. Jotaro had few expressions, so the variety was intrinsically limited.
There are two good references I spotted when examing this Nendoroid. The least of which being Jotaro holding his hands in his pockets.
It was something he did often enough that I couldn’t place it in any particular scene. What’s cooler is that we got Jotaro’s iconic point. It was inspired by Clint Eastwood and is the go-to pose when for the face of the entire Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure franchise, which has to count for something.
Dio Brando is one of the most iconic villains in anime and manga, and a lot of it is due to his role in Stardust Crusaders.
An evil enigmatic entity that characters treat like a god, saying his name in all caps to sell the point. When DIO is finally revealed with a sleek new design and the most intimidating Stand we’ve ever seen, it sells that DIO transcended everything, but does his Nendoroid live up to the hype?
I think it’s better than the Jotaro Nendoroid shown above, but it still retains the most significant issue. That being the lack of a stand. I still can’t fathom why they were omitted.
DIO is one of the best-looking Nendoroids. The colors on him pop with fabulous vibrancy. His faceplates were taken straight from the show. You have a serious expression, a smiling expression, and a malevolent smile expression that all work perfectly with the Nendoroid.
Among those, you also get three accessories. One is the aforementioned Stand-rush effect which doesn’t look too good without the Stand, but you also get the knives DIO threw at Jotaro and the street sign he was going to use to chop Jotaro’s head off. They’re pretty good choices for accessories, so I can’t complain.
The accessories you get with this Nendoroid make it my favorite. You get the knives from DIO time stop alongside the stopsign DIO was going to decapitate Jotaro. I didn’t expect them to include the latter because it’s a moment that’s often overlooked. The best accessory also contains the best reference, that being the shadow-DIO faceplate. You only get that as a bonus for buying it off Good Smile’s website!
The references in this Nendoroid are more limited than I would’ve liked. Two poses feel very generic, with DIO standing there with his arms crossed. While that is a pose from the source material, it’s not particularly interesting.
The ones I like are linked to accessories like DIO holding the stopsign or the knives. The punch effects allow you to make the pose from when he and Jotaro had that first stand-rush in the streets of Cairo.
Nendoroid Jolyne Cujoh
Would you believe I said Stone Ocean got a lot of flak when it first came out? It was a bold move for the series, acting as a way to start with a clean slate for the next part. The recent adaptation of the part into an anime has done a lot to clear that up and cement Jolyne as an iconic character.
I think this Nendoroid does manage to live up to her importance in the franchise. The Nendoroid looks good and has some fantastic accessories. It comes with a pair of handcuffs and a miniature Jolyene wearing a rat costume from her battle with Goo Goo Dolls.
What I like are the arms you get with it. One shows Jolyene shooting string from her fingertips, and another shows string hanging down. It’s an excellent way to show her power without including the Stand.
There’s so much to love with this Nendoroid. They are excellent, from the accessories showing Stone Free’s powers over strings to the inclusion of things like rat-Jolyne from her fight with Goo Goo Dolls. Even the faceplates that come with the Nendoroid are fantastic.
There’s a non-plussed expression, an angry expression, and a confident smile. If you’re lucky with second-hand resellers, you may find a Nendoroid with preorder bonuses. A Stand-rush for Jolyne and a special plate themed after the heart on her shirt. Good Smile pulled out all the stops with this Nendoroid.
Overall, Jolyne’s very mixed in the references department. She has some good poses but also some mediocre ones to bring the total score down. Her pose with her handcuffs is the weakest among the bunch because it doesn’t reference anything specific.
The same could be said of her two poses using Stone Free, which is cool, but I couldn’t place them to anything specific. However, her battle pose is on-point!
Nendoroid Joseph Joestar
Very often, I hear people say that Phantom Blood was hard to get through. It’s only in Battle Tendency that people fell in love with the series, and I get why. Joseph Joestar is a breath of fresh air. He was heroic but cocky and self-assured, with the habit of outwitting his opponents rather than a test of strength.
Unfortunately, this Nendoroid does a so-so job of capturing that spirit. The main draw of this Nendoroid is the faceplates that come with it. Instead of the usual three, you get four. The one that interests me most is the screaming expression from the opening Bloody Stream from the Battle Tendency anime!
There’s nothing wrong with the Nendoroid’s appearance. By any standards, it looks good. The real problem arises from the sheer lack of accessories. The only prop it comes with is Joseph’s clacker balls. Not even the Red Stone of Aja, the main McGuffin that everyone in Battle Tendency is fighting for, is present.
The closest we get is a decal on a unique display stand that was a preorder bonus, alongside an extra faceplate of Joseph wearing the Hamon-training mask.
This Nendoroid is positively loaded with references to the source material. There’s the classic “oh my god” face that Joseph is known for, alongside the pose from when he introduced his clacker-balls.
You also get some wonderful poses from across the series, like Joseph’s fighting stance and one with his hand on his face. The one I like best is taken from the opening of Battle Tendency with Joseph screaming toward the sky.
Nendoroid Josuke Higashikata
Did you know Diamond is Unbreakable is Araki’s favorite part? I can understand why. The town of Morioh-Cho gives this lovely, homely feeling to the entire thing, which carries over into the Nendoroid. Some of the surface details are lacking, like the ruffles on Josuke’s hair and how plain the jacket looks.
I do like the variety of accessories that come with it. You get a pink-colored punch effect for Crazy Diamond, Josuke’s comb, a lottery ticket, and his bag. I like the last accessory the most because it can be posed to recreate the final panel of the manga as we wave goodbye to Josuke.
I won’t say this Nendoroid looks terrible, but I will say that more could have been done to make it look better. The jacket looks basic with few details, and the hair looks weird when viewed from the top. The accessories, while nice, aren’t particularly stand out either.
The faceplates that come with the Nendoroid fall into the same category. You get a neutral, happy, and angry expression, so you get what you’d expect. This figure is hard to rate because while there’s nothing wrong with it, nothing about it catches my interest. It’s just overwhelmingly average.
This Nendoroid is loaded with references! You can recreate one of the poses from Diamond is Unbreakable’s anime opening, although the pose is off due to how short Nendoroid’s arms are. However, this Nendoroid comes with a few other poses that are spot on.
One has Josuke brushing his hair and Josuke with his “winning” lottery ticket. My favorite pose among the bunch is the pose from the final page of Diamond is Unbreakable, with Josuke’s hand on his hip as he carries his bag.
Nendoroid Dio Brando
Considering Dio is one of the series’ most iconic characters, it’s not surprising he gets two Nendoroids. This one is taken from his appearance in Part 1: Phantom Blood. While his appearance in part 3 is more iconic, I prefer this one.
It has the air of old blood aristocracy, which inspired the metaphor of the vampire, to begin with. Even Dio’s character seems created for the metaphor. A person who chooses to thrive at the expense of all others. Like when he poisoned Jonathan’s father, feeding off their goodwill for his own gain.
This is one of the better-looking Nendoroids Good Smile offers. I’m most impressed with the level of detail on the clothing. It’s impressively layered with the purple cloth, the leather vest, straps, and even Dio’s scarf, giving the Nendoroid depth.
The downside is that the purple coloring of the clothes is slightly off from what we see in the show. It’s a bit brighter than it should be. Everything else about the Nendoroid’s appearance is spot on.
Dio has three faceplates, two of which I really like and one I find lackluster. Thankfully the other accessories more than make up for it. Dio comes with a rose from one of his famous monologues, but the stone mask is much cooler and is marked with blood.
There’s even a bodiless Dio head with veins trailing hanging from the neck. The preorder bonus for the Nendoroid was a smaller stone mask Dio could hold, which is more than worth seeking out.
The accessories this Nendoroid comes with pack it to the brim with references. The rose is taken from one of Dio’s monologues after he becomes a vampire, and the severed head is taken straight from the end of Phantom Blood.
One of the faceplates is Dio making his iconic “wry expression,” which combines well with the wearable stone mask. If you can get the smaller stone mask from the preorder bonus, you can pair it with another one of Dio’s faceplates to recreate the scene from Phantom Blood’s opening.
Nendoroid Jonathan Joestar
Jonathan Joestar is the man who started it all. While his straight-laced, goody-two-shoes personality keeps him from being my favorite Jojo, it’s important in the greater narrative of the series.
He’s why no matter how immoral our protagonist seems, like Giorno, a member of the Italian Mafia, or Jolyne, who steals a car, we know that they’re ultimately good people. Anyone who shares the blood of Jonathan Joestar can’t help but stand on the path of righteousness.
He shaped our expectations for the entire series just like this figure should shape your expectations for a good Nendoroid.
The detailing on this Nendoroid is minimal, but that’s due to Jonathan’s rather basic design. I appreciate that you can see Jonathan’s abs through his shirt, but the lines are so minor I had to squint to ensure they were there. The most impressive detail of this Nendoroid is its hair.
Rather than being a uniform blue color. There’s a gradient to it where the tips of his hair get lighter. It’s a lovely way to recreate one of the stylistic choices from the Phantom Blood anime that I think pays off for the Nendoroid.
Jonathan’s pretty light on accessories. You only get two that aren’t arms or faceplates. One is the sword of Pluck and Luck, and the other is a Hamon effect that can be placed over Jonathan’s fist. While nice, these accessories are minimal in their usability with the Nendoroid. Jonathan’s either holding the sword or not or using Hamon or not. There’s just not much you can do with them.
The references in this Nendoroid come by way of Jonathan’s various poses. They’re all battle poses from the anime. My favorite of the bunch is the one with Jonathan’s hand near his face from the opening of Phantom Blood.
The problem with this is that all poses are battle-related, so the Nendoroid needs more variety, and all the poses blend together in your mind.
Kars was a very different villain when compared to Dio from Phantom Blood. He was a cold, calculating villain, obsessed with obtaining his version of perfection. It contrasted nicely with our protagonist, Joseph, who was a goofy, fun-loving guy.
When he finally achieved his goals, it was an unforgettable scene that set the stage for the ultimate lifeform. This Nendoroid does a good job of living up to that hype.
Despite Nendoroid’s chibi style, this one manages to capture Kars insanely well. His torso is sculpted with well-defined muscles, and his long flowing hair manages to look like hair. The faceplates you get look phenomenal too. You have Kar’s neutral expression, one where he’s licking his lips, and the final is Kars laughing maniacally. All three faceplates are taken from moments in the show and work with other accessories to recreate those moments.
The accessories you get with the Nendoroid stand out from other Jojo Nendoroids. You get two kinds of bracelets for Kars’ Brilliant Bone Blades, although they’re painted a metallic silver rather than their proper blindingly white color.
There’s Kars’ headscarf, which manages to look good enough. The accessory I like the most is the tiny squirrel that can replace Kars’ hand. If you manage to find one with the preorder bonus, you’ll get a Red Stone of Aja for Kars to hold
The references in this Nendoroid are a mixed bag. Some of the poses are generic and don’t reference anything in particular. However, the ones that do reference something are really good. Kars’ most iconic pose is included, where he flashes his Brilliant Bone Blades.
The other refers to when he finally becomes the ultimate lifeform and turns his hand into a ravenous man-eating squirrel. They’re two really good references that this Nendoroid can’t do without.
Question: Where’s the Best Place to Buy Nendoroids?
Answer: The best place to buy Nendoroids is definitely Good Smile’s store. They offer a consistent price lower than you’d normally find. If that doesn’t work, you can always try Amazon as a second choice, but the prices will be higher. And if that doesn’t work, but you want that Nendoroid, eBay comes in third.
Question: Which Nendoroid Would Make the Best Gift?
Answer: The DIO Nendoroid would make for the best gift. DIO is an incredibly popular character from the series. He’s one of the most iconic antagonists from anime and manga. The Nendoroid also meets basic standards and exceeds them, thanks to the accessories included.
Question: What is Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure?
Answer: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is a Japanese comic series written and drawn by Hirohiko Araki. The story follows the Joestar bloodline as they tackle problems brought about by Dio Brando’s discovery of a stone mask. Rather than being one straightforward plot, it’s broken up into parts, each following a different member of the bloodline as they go on a rather bizarre adventure.
Jojo Nendoroid: Conclusion
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is a legendary series for a good reason. It has something for everyone. A classic horror adventurer, a worldwide odyssey, a mafia story, and even a horse race. And throughout those parts, the writing and art remain fantastic. It becomes so easy to fall in love with those characters and so tempting to buy a figure.
Sadly, the sheer abundance of figures on the market makes it challenging to find the right one for you. And that’s not getting into the sheer abundance of Nendoroids. Despite Good Smile’s usual standards, they vary in quality, so I hope this guide can help elucidate those problems and find the right Nendoroid for you. Thanks for reading!
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