10 CommentsTwelve Days / By Scamp /

12 Days of Anime #5: Dio walks up the wall

[Nutbladder] JoJo's Bizarre Adventure - 03 [E320EECB].mkv_snapshot_01.08_[2012.12.18_15.16.38]

The first 3 episodes of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure are some of the best anime I have ever seen. The remaining episodes in that first arc really didn’t capture the same feeling. At it’s worse, Jojo’s resembles Dragonball Z where the battles are merely 2 people standing across from each other, yelling about how powerful they are until finally the main character powers up enough to beat the villain. It’s still fun in its own way, but there’s something different about the earlier episodes in that arc. Something more human about the characters. Well, exaggerated human that is.

[Nutbladder] JoJo's Bizarre Adventure - 03 [E320EECB].mkv_snapshot_06.26_[2012.12.18_15.14.25]

The comparison I’d make with those first 3 episodes of Jojo’s is Gankutsuou. A crazy colour scheme and directorial style that highlights the drama and exaggerates the actions and dialogue of the characters. Both are set in a re-imagined European setting with larger than life characters and plots that are essentially big old soap operas with families and betrayals with a hint of the supernatural thrown in at the end. Dio may indeed still have been a dick, but he still felt human in his own dickish ways. He was resentful towards his embarrassment of a father which has bred distrust and self-determination deep into his psyche, but he was still afraid of being incapable of succeeding and panics when he thinks Jojo has the upper hand in one of their fights.

This part of Dio is key when it comes to his rather dramatic transformation into a vampire. Getting shot by a platoon of policeman only to stand up with a big auld WWRRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY kinda indicated that he had gone beyond human. But having a man survive bullets is a bit of a boring way to show how invincible he is. Dio has super powers now and can deflect bullets, whoop de doo. The moment for me that really sealed Dio’s transformation into this creature beyond human was his attempts to catch Jojo in the burning mansion. Jojo had used a chandelier to leap up to the second floor and presumably out of Dio’s reach, particularly since the stairs were collapsing.

[Nutbladder] JoJo's Bizarre Adventure - 03 [E320EECB].mkv_snapshot_18.09_[2012.12.18_15.16.01]

You know what makes the Terminator such an effective frightening villain? It’s because it never stops. No matter what you throw at it, it will doggedly pursue you no matter what gets in its way and no matter how many parts of it falls off. When Jojo beckoned Dio to come face him in the upper floors, he didn’t  do some kind of elaborate ninja technique to parkour his way up there. He just dug his foot into the wall and started walking straight up it as the mansion burned around him, as though he was on a leisurely stroll to the shops. That was the moment in my mind where Dio had completely crossed the threshold from human to monster, and it was a surprisingly simple yet brilliant way to convey that.

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  1. Fumoffu!!
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I will never forget the beginning of this season in general, I seem to remember that it was full of either animal cruelty or rape.

    Still, that was a pretty cool moment, you saw him do it in the OP and to see him actually do it… that was pretty sweet.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 21, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      Twas the season of rape certainly.

      The remarkable thing about that opening was that, even after I realised it was basically telling the story, somehow I was still dumb enough not to have the story spoiled by it

      • Fumoffu!!
        Posted December 21, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

        Sadly, the exact same true is me.

  2. Fumoffu!!
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    *cough*The same is true of me *cough*

  3. Himari
    Posted December 22, 2012 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    Like you guys I didn’t notice that Part 1 was spoiled by the OP – it just felt like a montage of awesome images, so I didn’t even notice it was telling the whole story of Part 1 for a few eps. Also, Dio walked up the wall in 3D/CG enhanced fashion in the OP. Can’t get enough.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 22, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      The walking up the wall looks way cooler in 3D CG. If anything, the actual scene in the anime itself looks pretty meh

  4. Posted December 22, 2012 at 3:08 am | Permalink

    Someone needs to put this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xryhm6YVhk) over the scene of Dio walking up the wall, stat.

  5. fluffybunnyboy
    Posted December 22, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    If you think the battles were only about “powering up enough to beat the villain” like in Dragon Ball Z (aka “going Super Saiyan”), then you really aren’t giving the show enough credit. That, or you weren’t paying close attention.

    Aside from the battle with Tarkus and minor villains, the fights often involved coming up with spur of the moment battle plans, such as:
    -Setting a house on fire in an attempt to trap a vampire inside it
    -Going to the bottom of a lake to find air trapped under rocks
    -Setting your arms on fire to overcome ice powers

    And so forth.

    Admittedly, Phantom Blood doesn’t have the best strategies of all the entire Jojo series (the fire and ice thing was simple stuff), and some of them are ridiculous nonsense (like Wang Chen being controlled by hamon to break a steam engine), but you shouldn’t say that the fighting was on the totally mindless, boring, and repetitive level of Dragon Ball Z. Even at this early stage, Araki was putting more thought into his fights than that.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      That’s why I specified ‘at its worse’, because as you said there are scenes where it’s powering up, or special abilities that are unlocked via powering up. I like the show when it does tactics, but since most of its tactics are pulling stuff straight out of its arse, I wouldn’t say the tactics are the strong point at all. It’s primarily the overly dramatic soap opera nature of the story that I love

      • fluffybunnyboy
        Posted December 23, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink

        Well… I won’t give spoilers here, but I will say that amazing strategic battles ended up becoming one of the defining hallmarks of the Jojo manga. It’s best to think of Phantom Blood’s battles as Araki’s first baby steps into this direction. He wasn’t exactly good at it yet, but at least he was trying. ^^;;;;

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