33 CommentsJoJo's Bizarre Adventure / By Shinmaru /

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure 17 – Body Horror


I heard a bit about how gross ACDC’s power is, but yeah. Blood vessel tendrils. Yikes! The really eerie part to me, though, is how his fingernails (and, later, his toenails) open cleanly like lids to let loose the tendrils. It’s a small detail, but it’s so inhuman. Those small details are often the ones that end up the creepiest, in my experience. They show that someone put real thought into making someone function in an utterly alien way. And the thought of something so alien getting inside you and warping what makes you physically human? Truly chilling . . . it’s why body horror is to me the most frightening horror.

Luckily Joseph is not a doofy pansy like me and is well-prepared to combat ACDC’s grossness. This fight is the best example yet of what has made the fights in “Battle Tendency” so enjoyable: The back and forth of both sides laying out plans and improvising when seeing what their foes are capable of. It’s almost essential that Joseph think of new ways to apply the Ripple in each battle, because otherwise, he would come into every fight at a tremendous disadvantage, since his opponents know what he can do, but the Pillar Men are pulling all sorts of disgusting shit. When you boil it down to its core, the fights really amount to, “Aha! I have you!” and “Aha, no, I actually have you!” and so on until the battle concludes; however, the twists are executed with such ridiculous flair that it’s easy to swallow them despite how nonsensical they are.

The in-show comparison of Joseph to a magician is a clever way of making it easier for the audience to accept what is going on. I watched this episode twice and looked at the battle between Joseph and ACDC with a sharp eye the second time through — at no point is it ever visually apparent that Joseph is laying a trap. The one time he lets the audience in on it is his internal monologue regarding the Thread Shredder. But at that point he’s already set up his threads. So, really, it’s just a magician letting you know that the act is about to begin. We’re long used to this sleight of hand from Joseph, though (ever since the first episode with the grenades and Tommy gun), so he has carte blanche to pull whatever tricks he desires under the watchful eyes of the audience.

A magician never tells his secrets, after all. And again, we have Joseph playing the fool to great effect, although it doesn’t work 100 percent on ACDC. (I loved the moment where ACDC briefly turns the tables on Joseph by using Joseph’s predilection for prediction on him.) Aside from being like a magician, Joseph is also like a great comedian: He’s playing an act on stage in such a convincing way that the audience accepts that person they see on stage is who the comedian really is. (This was a great source of trouble for people like Rodney Dangerfield, who was by all accounts the opposite of the blustery dullard he played to the crowd.) Any shred of doubt, anger, or arrogance Joseph can instill in his enemies, no matter how minor or how shortly it lasts, is advantageous. As long as they view Joseph as who he wants them to think he is rather than who he actually is, that’s a win.


I will say, though, that the twist of ACDC’s brain staying alive and attaching itself to Joseph is a bit tough to accept. Joseph has shown himself to be hyper aware of his surroundings; it seems implausible that he’d shrug off a brain clinging to him as, “Meh, my shoulders must be stiff after that long, tough battle!” (Yes, I know, mentioning implausibility for this in the face of everything else we’ve seen in this series — up to and including a brain functioning on its own — is quite silly.) I suppose the problem of making hero and villain so sharp and deceptive is that, eventually, someone will be made to look the fool. I know that I was struck by the sense that Joseph’s battle against ACDC seemed too easy a victory. Even though I accepted that Joseph was stronger than he was before, a fight against a genuine Pillar Man shouldn’t be over that quickly, should it?

And so it is not. Still, I can’t help but be doubtful about Joseph being fooled so easily. Perhaps, though, ACDC is as great a magician as Joseph; he just felt no need to let the audience in on the trick. We haven’t truly seen a Pillar Man die yet, have we? Maybe ACDC’s grand explosion is merely for show? Probably not. That just sounds like I am making excuses. But Joseph knows as little about the Pillar Men as we do. None of us surely doubted that ACDC died, even if we were uneasy about the battle concluding so quickly. The relief of victory and relinquishing himself from ACDC’s poisonous hold on him likely clouded Joseph’s mind to the possibility that there was more to come. Then all of a sudden . . . ACDC brain.

Anyway, if there’s one thing mass amounts of horror and science-fiction have taught me, it’s that alien brains will stop at nothing to inhabit the fleshy husks of inferior creatures (if only to use as meat shields), so that is my guess as to ACDC’s final trump card. Maybe he’ll be arrogant enough to try and control Joseph, but there will probably be lots of resistance there. Imagine a literal brain on brain battle? The mind reels at the possibilities!

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  1. gravethestampede
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    I’m surprised you didn’t use ACDC’s crying face

    • Madu_Scientisto
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      ACDC confirmed for moe character.

    • Posted February 5, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Man, even when I go longer than normal, there’s still too much to talk about with JoJo!

  2. Madu_Scientisto
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    “And the thought of something so alien getting inside you and warping what makes you physically human? Truly chilling . . . it’s why body horror is to me the most frightening horror.”

    True words.

    Judging from the name of the next episode it would seem our favorite nazi-hero is back. I am most pleased.

    • Posted February 5, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      Ah, totally forgot to mention that, although I have no idea how he could return, unless he’s, like, fuckin’ RoboCop now or something.

    • Madu_Scientisto
      Posted February 5, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Well Germany’s medical science is the best in the world… At least according to Stroheim.

  3. Nadgers
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Oh gawd that ending. I do not remember it looking that nasty in the comic. Maybe being in motion has something to do with it.

    • Posted February 5, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      Seeing brain tendrils moving around is pretty gross …

  4. Scamp
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    I was with you on the brain thing and Jojo not noticing it. It’s ridiculous, but things have to make sense within the universe a story creates. I’m totally OK with Jojo apparently being able to tie knots with his hat without ever touching it, but not that he suddenly loses all sense of awareness and can’t notice a giant friggen brain on his back because the show established that Jojo is a very astute dude. You can’t go against your own internal logic

    • Nadgers
      Posted February 4, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

      Something to know: Jojo can be a wee bit on the inconsistent side.

    • Posted February 5, 2013 at 12:51 am | Permalink

      The brain part didn’t seem as big of a deal to the manga readers. I don’t think I’ve heard that as a complaint until this anime, actually.

      I guess that’s the difference between having the next chapter immediately ready to read (so that you can move on quickly) and having to wait for a week for the fight to move on.

      • Posted February 5, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, I could definitely see that. Even now I’m a bit more on the side of, “Well, I’ll see how this plays out in the next episode before actually getting angry about it.”

  5. rubberluffy
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 4:55 am | Permalink

    This was worse in the manga because of all the detail Araki put into ACDC’s ability. Gross as hell. Also, this is pretty much the real start for how all JoJo battles go, what with how Joseph’s boost in ripple power wasn’t all that helped him win, but his ability to use it smartly. A ping-pong match of outsmarting.

    • Posted February 5, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Oh god, I can imagine. My fingernails hurt from watching this episode, and it wasn’t even all that detailed …

  6. luffyluffy
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    I was halfway expecting Cars to launch into a rant about NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, WEST, AND CESTET. I WILL BECAOME SUPER ASIA, AND I WILL RULE!

  7. Anon
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    What I do like about the AC/DC fight is that he’s the first guy to have ever bested Joseph mentally, even if it was only once. In all of the fights before this, Joseph has always been the guy on top of things and planning stuff out so it was nice to see someone force him against the ropes and make him panic.

    I haven’t read the manga but I’m pretty sure that Pillar Men probably don’t explode on death and it was a cunning trick to get the brain on Jojo’s body without him noticing.

    • Posted February 5, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I enjoyed that about this fight. Wham mostly outmuscled JoJo; ACDC had the brains and brawn going on, so Joseph had to exert himself that much more. I’m REALLY looking forward to Joseph inevitably battling Cars at the end, because I’m expecting that fight to push Joseph to his limit.

  8. Posted February 5, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I want to see Jojo dress up as a Magician. Fund it!

  9. rubberluffy
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    JoJo first week volume 1 bluray+dvd sales = 19,370

    • Posted February 5, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Heard about this on Twitter. Fantastic news! Has me more confident than ever that we’ll eventually get more JoJo after “Battle Tendency” concludes. David Production would be crazy to not make more, especially since those numbers would probably help fund the other off-kilter anime they’re so fond of making.

      • shengar
        Posted February 5, 2013 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        That mean we’ll get Stardust Crusader next year at most! It’ll probably take full 26 episodes, considering how popular Part 3 is in Japan. Damn, How long it will take for Steel Ball Run to get animated?

      • Posted February 6, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        Oh god I’ll be squeeing like a little loli when Steel Ball Run is animated eventually. That is the most bonkers JoJo saga IMO.

      • Mucasama
        Posted February 6, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        Someone in a forum predicted that Stardust Crusades would take 34 episodes with the same pacing as now, and if it gets to slow down to 3/4 chapters per episode it would be 50 episodes.

      • Posted February 6, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        Steel Ball Run is only the most “bonkers” part because Araki stopped using logic in certain battles or defining rules for the characters’ abilities, so that things would no longer make any sense to the reader and/or were totally inconsistent with what had been shown or written previously.

        I’m talking about the battle D4C chapters especially, here. =P

      • Posted February 6, 2013 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

        Yep that’s exactly what I was thinking. Read that fight 5 times, still can’t makes sense. But it’s sure as hell awesome, even if my brain felt sick thinking about it. At the twist at the end is so cheeky :3

  10. gravethestampede
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Stardust Crusaders would need to be at least 39 episodes. This anime need 26 to cover 12 volumes of manga, and still had skip a scene now or then to do just that. Stardust Crusaders is 16 volumes, so a lot more cramming would be needed. They could skip over all the filler bits, but it wouldn’t be much better than the OVAs.

    • Nadgers
      Posted February 5, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      True. They could cut out some less important (or memorable) fights stardust crusades has. Part 3 is where Jojo became a straight up fight serial so there is more stuff that could be trimmed out.

      I can’t imagine them cutting down any of the longer fights at the end like the OVA did. (Dio’s world in 2 episodes)

  11. gravethestampede
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    http://www.mangahere.com/manga/jojo_s_bizarre_adventure/v008/c075/10.html Here is a scene skipped in the anime this episode, it’s rather funny.

    • PMP
      Posted February 6, 2013 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      It is interesting that they actually kept all the scars on Jojo for the scene where Lisa Lisa demonstrates the Red Stone of Aja, despite it not having that context. Maybe David will add it to the BD release.

      • Stef
        Posted February 6, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        Or maybe, y’know, INTENSIVE TRAINING. That leaves scars I would wager.

    • Billish
      Posted February 8, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      “You like mustard?” HA!

  12. NormalMar
    Posted February 9, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    The fingernails =(

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