As if simply being a Nazi weren’t already bad enough, Maj. Stroheim has to antagonize me further by sacrificing a bunch of Mexicans to resurrect a long dormant vampire lord. Hey now, buddy! Not cool! Not cool!
(P.S. The names so far have mainly referenced rock stars and albums, but I have a sneaking suspicion that our top Nazi’s name is referencing Austrian director/actor Erich von Stroheim, whose role as a beleaguered manservant in Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard has inspired no shortage of homages over the past 62 years. Wow, is that movie really 62 years old?! Good lord!)
I’m really enjoying Joseph’s particular quirks so far. The “I’m going to predict what you’re going to say next, and then you’re going to say it!” gag could get old in the wrong hands, but as long as the use of it remains absurd, I don’t think it will get too stale. I also love that Joseph gets so into character as the hero who gives zero fucks that he forgets what he says while he is busy being a hero. Anything to rile up the villains, even if it doesn’t end up working out. That poor journalist was more riled up than Straits, really. She just wanted a scoop, damn it! It’s not every day you get a vampire on the front page of a rag that isn’t Weekly World News.
As for the battle between Straits and Joseph, it’s pretty awesome! I’m surprised the battle went by so quickly, but that’s mostly because JoJo still hasn’t quite stomped the traditional shonen battle mindset out of me yet. A hero who doesn’t let the villain live and fight another day?! Shock! Joseph is also quite well informed, too. Good on him for using history and being prepared when ambushed by a vampire. I can just imagine Erina sitting Joseph down every day and drilling him on the finest points of defense against vampires. And, of course, when Joseph gets something wrong, Erina gives him a good whack with the cane.
SPACE RIPPER STINGY EYES
Just looking at that attack makes my eyes hurt. All these ridiculous tricks and feints had me pumping my fist so hard. The mirror trick, for instance, is pretty clever since it’s been established that the “vampires don’t see their own reflections” part of the lore is very much true in this world. I do wonder if Straits should have been able to tell more easily that he’d blasted a mirror. Wouldn’t a vampire, as a nocturnal creature, have keener senses more attuned to the darkness? Guess he was just too confident that his awesomely named attacked ripped Joseph apart. The bit with the scarf is appropriately ridiculous, too. The fact that 50,000 beetles went into the making of that scarf killed me. How much of those beetles are you actually using?! Straits is clearly not a conservationist.
And the grenades. Oh, those grenades. I didn’t even bother to question just how the hell Joseph tied all those explosives to Straits’ body. You know how he did it? By being FUCKING AWESOME, that’s how. And, man, ohhhhhhhhhhhh man, the bit where Straits’ body reforms like the alien from The Thing? Holy shit. Even the censorship couldn’t ruin that. Poor Smokey never asked for this! He is about as scared shitless as I would be in the same situation. That alien is freaky, people.
I really should stop wondering how the hell JoJo will keep topping the fights it’s already presented, because I know for a fact that it will happen since I’ve seen the third arc. Those fights are all quite cool, and several of them have very clever construction and payoffs. With that in mind, I have high hopes for how the battles will pay off in “Battle Tendency” — if something like Joseph vs. Straits is the appetizer, then the main course will be delicious.
ALSO SPEEDWAGON LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVES SUCK IT, SCAMP