This is how you make an entrance.
I’ve come to a realization recently: I actually like training episodes. Surprising, yes? This is the type of realization that occurs when you see series like JoJo and Hunter x Hunter go through training episodes (and not arcs) in novel, fun ways and at a breezy pace. Goku spending bits and pieces of lord knows how many episodes training in 100 TIMES THE EARTH’S GRAVITY is dull. Joseph and Caesar climbing an oil-slicked pillar by learning how to channel Ripple energy into their fingers for MAXIMUM GRIP? Now that’s fun! That’s what JoJo‘s brisk pacing brings to the table: It gives each element exactly as much time as it needs to achieve what it sets out to do. No more, no less. We see Joseph and Caesar honing their abilities, and it’s believable that they will be stronger in battle — and it only takes 11 minutes and an entertaining training montage feature
Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina! Done and done.
That’s not such a bad thing, right? There’s some decent tension as Joseph observes Caesar slowly but surely climbing the pillar, and also some funny moments as Lisa Lisa stalks around at the top of the pillar and thwarts Josephs attempts to game the training. No cheating, young Joseph! We already know Joseph is quite clever; it has been reinforced several times throughout the series. Lisa Lisa is not asking Joseph to be clever (though that doesn’t hurt). She is asking him to develop another tool for his arsenal; a tool, in fact, that his cleverness can easily exploit. If he can’t do that? Then, he’s dead. That’s the crux of many good training stories: It’s sink or swim. Training in and of itself isn’t interesting. Training with stakes? Now you’re getting somewhere.
It also helps if Joseph Joestar escapes a bad situation by surfing on a killer water barrier.
And Lisa Lisa. Oh, Lisa Lisa, she is as wonderful as I hoped she would be, although she is involved in this episode a bit less than expected. I suppose, though, that this shouldn’t be surprised since she is taking the lead on training, and therefore, the episode would focus more on the trainees. I’m sure she’ll get her time once the work is finished (it seems as if there’s at least a bit more next episode) and she and her cohorts are off fighting Pillar Men. Lisa Lisa is pretty damn cool in her limited time, at least. Where our friend Zeppeli was the eccentric mentor (“No, really, watch me punch through this frog; trust me, it’ll be fine!”)
Also want to mention that I enjoyed the visual tricks in this episode quite a bit. The animation is greatly limited; for example, the scene where Lisa Lisa appears and whips Joseph across the face with the oar is like a flipbook with some of the frames missing. Yet, the way it jumps around in such an odd way makes it look dynamic. This is also one of the few times I can remember speed lines actually aiding a scene, haha. Then there are the odd scenes where the creators decide, “You know what? We’re going to play around with the color here!” In general I’ve loved the use of color in this series, even during the parts where Jonathan Joestar was in the dreariest parts of England. How cool does Lisa Lisa look up there?
And then there’s possibly my favorite shot in the episode . . .
Yes, Lisa Lisa looking down at Joseph with utter disdain for even daring to beg for even a shred of mercy. This is not how a Ripple Master conducts himself, Mr. Joestar! Those ice cold blue eyes could not view you with less respect, sir! Also, I want Lisa Lisa’s disapproving face in 1960s psychedelia colors to be painted on a giant wall somewhere. A mural dedicated to such lovely coldness would truly be a sight to behold.