There seems to be this odd hatred for Stone Ocean that I really don't understand. Personally, i love this part, but it's certainly not flawless.
Story: So, we can start right off with the weakest part. And i'll tell you, having the story be the worst part of the manga, is never a good thing. Though that's not to say it's bad, because it most definitely is not. It has a strong premise with an interesting location, and lots of interesting twists. Some fights really didn't hit home, and you can see araki had to change allot of his ideas while writing(note Anasui's initial appearance) which led to quite a few inconsistencies. But I'd still say the story had allot of great moments, like when Jolyne and F.F. were playing catch. Allot of people really hated the stand abilities in this part, which I can semi get behind as many of the abilities were inconsistent made little sense and were rarely used to their full ability. Some enemy stands were laughably horrible, and some fights managed to be only enjoyable because of how overly brutal they were. However I do have to give credit where it's due and say that despite it being very underpowered Jolyne's web is a really great idea, as it has so many possibilities and creative uses. The second half is where the story gets good in my opinion. The thing that turned most people off to part 6 is definitely the ending. near the end things just get balls to the wall insane, clearly araki was on a time crunch so he had to rush the ending. And oh the ending.. it's one of the most out of no where, punch you in the gut, mindfuck endings i've ever seen. I honestly can't decide if it's absolute genius or what the hell were you smoking, Araki?
Art: The art is good as alway. It has realistic body proportions and is very detailed. Interesting great designs for most the characters though Anasui is basically just diavolo in a hat and Jotaro looks just like he did in part 4 but with significantly worse fashion taste. I love the stand designs here. Muscles are drawn strangely drawn, that's not a problem however. Sometimes the characters can look a bit funny, but it's still great.
Characters: characters are the most important part of a story for me, and well, i love the characters. They are all unique and colorful in their own way. There are really no side characters, so i'll just go right into the main characters. Jolyne is the best girl, period. Seriously though, she has great development, she goes from a lonely little girl with daddy issues to a kickass woman that can easily hold her own in a fight, even with possibly the most underpowered stands of any jojo. Hermes is a pretty good character, i may not have been the biggest fan of her character but i thought her backstory was interesting and she had some truly great moments. Weather Report is one of the better characters, he's a touch on the cold side but still likable and is really the only character all the other characters seem to like oddly enough. He has a cool stand but his backstory is... well i'm not too sure about it. Anasui is one of those characters you either love or hate. he seems to not give a single shit about anything or anyone except for Jolyne. Like I legitimately have no idea what this guy was thinking most the time. "Apocalypse? Now is the perfect time to ask for Jotaro's blessing!" I mean I still like him but it's pretty clear why he might be considered unpopular. Foo Fighters is the most wonderful plankton to ever grace this planet with her existence. Seriously, she is great, she's funny, quirky and adorable, just take my word for it. Emporio is a plot convince for the most part, he wasn't the most interesting but i did feel bad for him at the end. Jotaro is basically the same as he was before caring about dolphins more than his own daughter, he's like 40 but looks younger than he did when he was seventeen. all jokes aside I think he may have had some development and some really touching scenes with Jolyne. Pucci is an awesome villain. He the kind of villain that thinks what they're doing is right, when clearly, they're fucking everything up for everyone. I've often heard people criticize him as just another one of dio's minions that worships him and doesn't question anything he says, however this is very untrue because Pucci actually disagrees with Dio on several occasions and this is actually the reason Dio chose pucci to be his "friend", over someone like Vanilla Ice who listened to because he actually had a mind of his own. And was the first person Dio actually respected after Jonathan. As for the minor villains of this arc.... how do I say this... they sucked. Being serious, they're kinda like the villains of part three in that they have no real character or motivations of their own, well except for the sons of Dio, who were, well greato.
Overall id say the plot of stone ocean could have used some work but it's still far from bad and Jolyne is my favorite jojo if that means anything. I'd recommend this part if you've read/watched up to part three.(skipping parts is still a bad idea, just part 3 and 6 are directly linked like 1 and 3, 2 and 4, and 1/3 and 5)
Story- The Stone Ocean arc focuses on Jolyne Cujoh for a crime that she was framed for. What I especially like about this arc is that the author wastes no time getting to the main story bit, since the story really picks up at chapter 12. The goals are set up and we see Jolyne as the main protagonist take action.
Art- From what I can tell for Araki's art, he is trying to keep the same style, and throughout the story arc he succeeds at keeping it throughout the arc, which really says something with Jolyne and the color spreads. Out of all the Jojo arcs in Weekly Shonen Jump, I think Stone Ocean had the best artstyle.
Characters- I think the creativity with the stands was at its highest during this arc, even Araki himself felt he had reached the peak of his creativity. We have a stand that can turn into string, a stand that can duplicate objects with added effects, as well as many others. But enough about stands, let's talk characters. The first of which is Hermes, who I think made for a strong and loyal comrade, especially since she met Jolyne at the beginning of the arc. Foo Fighters was definitely a quirky character but I found myself liking her as the story continued. Annasui was definitely an oddball, but I don't think he was a completely awful character, although others may feel different about that. Enrico Pucci was definitely a good antagonist for this story arc, he wasn't hidden away like Kars or Dio, his character gets really developed as the story progresses, and his personality is a huge part in the story, like priest/warden.
Overall- I think what a number of fans didn't like was how controversal the ending was. Spoiler: It basically reset the entire universe. So I guess you could say the good guys lost, kinda? Basically Pucci won, kinda, but then he ended up dying to oxygen poisoning bullshit. It was rushed and basically cancelled. Araki was given 10 chapters to wrap up and finish the series, and it was information condensed. Which may explain why fans think the ending cheap. But because of part 6, Jojo got pushed out of weekly shonen jump and moved to Ultra Jump. As for the loss of the ending of part 6, it was like a gain for part 7 and 8. Part 7 would not have been as sensational had it been in weekly shonen jump. So I guess in an odd sense we can thank part 6. But it was refreshing to see in weekly shonen jump the villains winning or less since Pucci died as well. Jotaro gets bivacated by the stand, all of Jolyne's mains get killed, although Giorno was no where to be seen and he could have beaten Made in Heaven with Golden Experience Requiem but that's an obvious plothole. Here are some more thoughts about how Araki felt about the ending to his Stone Ocean arc with the link to it plus about Jolyne Cujoh as a character: https://www.youtube.com/redirect?redir_token=g01HSoZ_H8uNhWu-gIPUkFXANMp8MTUwNTkzNDMzNkAxNTA1ODQ3OTM2&q=https%3A%2F%2Fdrive.google.com%2Ffile%2Fd%2F0B-liTa9M14_ecEJLc1Z3enhrLTg%2Fview%3FpageId%3D100453036595643973776&event=desc
Despite the faults with the ending, do I still recommend Stone Ocean? Yes! All the credit for this review goes to NZAnimeManga, and all the work he does for Jojo.