THE WISE WORDS OF WHAM; JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Episodes 14-15

WHO'S GOT A SET OF DANGLING BALLS? I DOOO

illegenes: THE THEME OF THESE TWO WEEKS: DON’T GO WITHOUT A PAIR OF BALLS, FOLKS. YOU’LL NEVER KNOW WHEN THEY COULD SAVE YOU!!!

SETTING THE TERRIBLE GENDERED PUNS ASIDE (BLAME GG SUBS FOR THAT) THIS SET OF EPISODES WAS PRETTY FABULOUS. I’D ACTUALLY HAVE TO SAY I ENJOYED THEM MORE THAN THE LAST TWO, AND WE KNOW THAT EPISODE 13 PACKED A PUNCH FOR ME. WHAT WAS SO GREAT ABOUT THESE TWO THEN? WE COULD BEGIN WITH A FRIENDLY COMPETITOR, CAESAR, AKA THE DESCENDANT OF ZEPPELI, AND HOW HE’S THE DIRECT CONTRAST TO JOJO (A ~LADIES~ MAN, SEEMINGLY MORE REFINED AND NOBLE IN SPIRIT) BUT IS BASICALLY JUST ANOTHER DUDE WHO LIKES TO SHOW OFF BRAWN. WHO DOESN’T LIKE TO SHOW OFF BRAWN??? NOT HIM, AND MOST CERTAINLY NOT THE NEXT THREE PILLAR MEN WHO GO BY THE FOLLOWING: WHAM,  KARZ, AND AC DC. I AM ALSO HOPING THAT SOMETIME IN THE FUTURE, WE WILL MEET A WISE MAN NAMED ROLLING STONES AND A POLICEMAN NAMED THE POLICE. IF RADIOHEAD IS INCLUDED SOMEWHERE, BONUS POINTS.

re: all of jojo! too good for its own good. or as DUWANG would have it, U INGENIOUS JERK

WHAM, KARZ AND AC DC SEEM TO HAVE SOME SERIOUS BRO-FRIENDSHIP, AND ARE SO EGOTISTICAL THEY KIND OF JUST PASS BY CAESAR AND HIS DEAD FRIEND WITHOUT NOTICING. WHAM ALSO DOESN’T LIKE TO BE IN PEOPLE’S SHADOW – LITERALLY. IT’S THIS SORT OF PRESTIGIOUS HONOR THAT ALSO SAVES JOSEPH’S LIFE IN THE END, BUT WHAT MATTERS IS THAT THESE FOLKS TAKE THEMSELVES REALLY SERIOUSLY (THEN AGAIN, SO DOES EVERYONE IN THIS SHOW) SO THIS TRAIT OF HUBRIS MIGHT JUST BE THEIR ABSOLUTE DOWNFALL IN THE FUTURE. ON THE OTHER HAND, HUMANKIND’S HUMOR IS ASSOCIATED WITH VALOR AND FRIENDSHIP, SO CAESAR DOES JUST THAT AND WHIRLS UP SOME BUBBLES. NO REALLY, I’M NOT KIDDING. IT’S GREAT, AND I WISH I HAD SEEN MORE OF CAESAR’S MOVES – SOMETHING WE’LL PROBABLY SEE IN THE LATER EPISODES – BUT THE SPOTLIGHT OBVIOUSLY GOES TO JOJO FOR THIS EPISODE. UNFORTUNATELY JOSEPH DOESN’T DO ANY OF HIS MIND-READING COMMENTS UNTIL THE VERY END, BUT WHAT HE DOES BRING INTO THE SHOW IS (YOU GUESSED IT) IS SOME MORE PRICELESS HUMOR – INCLUDING SINGING, STAKING HIS LIFE ON A HUGE BS BLUFF, AND DEALING DAMAGE WITH BEADS HANGING ON STRING. HE ALSO NEARLY DIES, AND GETS BETROTHED TWICE TO DEATH, AND GETS ONE OF HIS ARTERIES CUT FOR MORE THAN 7 MINUTES, BUT THAT’S OK BECAUSE IT’S JOJO AND NO ONE REALLY CARES ABOUT REALISTIC DETAILS IN THIS SHOW (WHICH IS NOT A BAD THING AT ALL OK I REALLY LIKE JOJO’S OUTRAGEOUS STYLE AND YOU SHOULD TOO)

I’m pretty sure Joseph would be terrible at poker. Not that he has a bad bluff face, though.

I THINK WHAT MAKES THESE TWO EPISODES SO FASCINATING HOWEVER, IS THE RELATIONSHIP THAT JOSEPH SHARES WITH CAESAR. BOTH HONOR FRIENDSHIP AND TRUST AS WELL AS FAMILY BONDS (CAESAR EVEN PRIDES HIMSELF ON IT, TAKING THE BLOODLINE GRUDGE ALL THE WAY DOWN TO HIS GENERATION AS HE BLAMES JOSEPH’S GRANDFATHER FOR KILLING HIS GRANDFATHER) AND THAT’S THE ONE THING THAT REALLY CONNECTS THEM. DESPITE LIVING VERY DIFFERENT LIFESTYLES, THE TWO HAVE SOME GRUDGING RESPECT FOR ONE ANOTHER – ALMOST SIMILAR TO HOW DIO AND JONATHAN VIEWED EACH OTHER IN PHANTOM BLOOD – AND IT MAKES FOR SOME REALLY INTERESTING INTERACTION. THAT SAID, I CAN ONLY ASSUME THAT THINGS WILL REMAIN AS…ENTERTAINING AND EXCITING AS EVER, AS THE OP DEMONSTRATES, BECAUSE THE ONE THING WE HAVE LEARNT FROM JOJO IS THAT JOSEPH IS GOING TO NEED MORE THAN JUST A PAIR OF FISTS (AND BALLS) TO DEFEAT THREE PILLAR MEN, ALL WHOM ARE STRONGER THAN SANTANA. BUT FIRST! TRAINING. AND DOES THAT LOOK LIKE A STRONG FEMALE PROTAGONIST I SEE IN THE PREVIEW? BLESS!

Oooh la la~

wendeego: This week in Jojo’s Bizarre Lack of Political Correctness: Caesar grabs a woman, kisses her and then briefly takes control of her body using the ripple. Also, Jojo sticks a pigeon into her mouth! I think it’s important to note before moving on that not only do I think Caesar crossed the line here, but that the fact this scene was played as a joke–that Caesar’s magical violation of a woman’s mental privacy was used as pure set-piece without any kind of indication that what he did was wrong–is frankly disturbing. That said, there’s two things that are keeping me from condemning the show outright. The first is that Lisa Lisa, the first significant female character in the Jojo series, is showing up next episode, and if I remember correctly than her introduction is going to be a doozy. The second is that as problematic the show can be sometimes, as embarrassed as I sometimes get at certain moments, everything else is just so good that the occasional misogynistic bits come off as irritants rather than deal-breakers. Make no mistake, Jojo occasionally makes me uncomfortable, but those moments are more than made up by the great majority of fist-pumping AWESOME.

Pretty much everything in this show is totally on-point right now, from the fantastic and wide-ranging soundtrack to the unconventional coloring, to the way it’s been handling its cast of characters. It helps that the source material is so strong, but honestly David Production is knocking the ball so far out of the park for so little that it’s frankly miraculous. There’s a subtle but very important difference between animating material and adapting it, and David Production is very much in the latter camp to the point where it feels as if they’re practically channeling the living spirit of the mangaka. While other anime like Shinsekai Yori–as much as I admire it–have felt like they’ve been struggling to find a consistent voice since beginning in the Fall, not only has Jojo had a distinctive voice from the very beginning but that voice is now starting to harden into something like diamond.

DIAMONDS ARE UNBREAKABLE

Talking about episode 15 for a bit: it’s interesting how Jojo is already subverting tropes that it helped to define. Cars, AC/DC and Wham are about as all-powerful as you might expect from major shonen villains, but their relationship with each other is defined by real understanding and even companionship despite their total scorn of humans. Jojo convinces the bad guy to come back and fight him later when he’s more prepared, but not only does the bad guy ensure that Jojo will keep his end of the bargain, but the bad guy’s friend comes in and double ensures just because. Jojo’s a pretty unconventional shonen hero already, winning most battles through rampant authorial fiat disguised as clever planning. Now that he’s up against enemies actually capable of predicting and countering his every move, it looks like things are going to get really interesting. Here’s hoping that David Production keep up their winning streak all the way to the end!

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