Jojo’s Bizarre Manga Translation: “MudaMuda” or “NoUse”?

Jojo’s Bizarre Manga Translation: “MudaMuda” or “NoUse”?

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Hirohiko Araki’s cult classic manga is enjoying a revival of sorts lately. The anime is streaming on Crunchyroll, and the first two story arcs, Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency were recently picked up for publication by VIZ Media.

But translating an iconic series like Jojo’s is not without its challenges. What started out as an observation over an unusual choice of Japanese-to-English manga translation turned into an extensive conversation and debate about adapting Japanese comics to appeal to both new readers and long-time fans.


  1. Interesting discussion Deb. Viz actually used “mudamuda” in Stardust Crusaders first though. I never agreed with them trying to do this series out of order, but now that that whole arc has been on the market for years now, wouldn’t it make even less sense to suddenly translate it into “NO USE” or whatever in these versions?

    Also, it’s funny to see the arguments rooted in “tradition” on both sides- the tradition of translation orthodoxy vs. Jojo series tradition.

    As far as alienating people goes, overall industry trends are already doing a great job of that even without having to take specific translation choices into consideration. Just like in Japan more and more moe and otaku oriented titles are flooding the market. When titles like Monster Musume are topping best seller charts, how can people who aren’t manga readers even feel comfortable looking in the manga section?

  2. Leaving “Muda Muda” deliberately untranslated has been super common in official JoJo media and dates back as far as the localization of Capcom’s late 90’s JoJo fighting game, where plenty of other moves were scrubbed of similarly recognizable things.

    I can’t say whether it’s a good thing or not that it’s popular to leave it untranslated for what’s effectively a pop culture meme, but to blame it on fan translators entering the industry seems a bit misguided.


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