63 CommentsJoJo's Bizarre Adventure / By Shinmaru /

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure 20 – Gut Punch

jojos-bizarre-adventure-disco-caesar

Jesus Christ, where do I start?! Guess I’ll go with the non-spoilery part: Holy fuckballs, that fight between Wham and Caesar is fantastic! And not just in the normal JoJo way of crazy powers and outwitting one another. The animators really bring the goods here; unless I’m forgetting something (which is, of course, possible), this is by far the best animated battle we’ve seen from this series so far. Give animators two giant dudes who throw flashy projectiles everywhere, and great things are bound to happen. It’s not just how fluid and dynamic the movement is that makes the fight so great, though; the use of space is also strong, which is appropriate since it’s so crucial to how the battle is built and concluded.

What I find interesting about this battle on second watch is that the action seems to mark Caesar as the dominant fighter, but the use of space and positioning shows how easy it is for Wham to gain control. It’s precisely when Caesar is at his most aggressive that Wham is able to take the upper hand. The first instance of this is when they’re both outside. Caesar is able to chip away at Wham when he’s at a distance; however, when he moves in after cutting Wham’s legs out from under him, Wham is able to use that energy to propel himself back indoors into a more advantageous position. This is an important part of the battle that foreshadows the conclusion. It shows that when Caesar gets up close to Wham, Wham will likely be able to counter it, even if it looks like Caesar is moving in for the kill.

The positioning once both are inside is interesting, too. Caesar bubbles the shit out of Wham nearly the entire fight and generally appears as if he will easily kill the Pillar Man. That said, Wham spends the battle on the high ground (traditionally the position of power), while Caesar spends the battle on the low ground (traditionally the position of weakness). This, too, is a foreshadowing of how the battle will end, but it can also be seen as a reminder that Caesar is the underdog in the fight, as the Ripple masters generally have been when taking on the Pillar Men. And, once again, the space and positioning bites Caesar in the ass at the end when he tries to jump in close to stop Wham from blocking the light with his wind power, but ironically blocks the light himself and gives Wham just enough time to rip Caesar apart.

That’s just a solid use of cinematic fundamentals that makes the fight that much more enjoyable! (Well, enjoyable to watch, even as we all mourn Caesar’s valiant death.) Along with that fun stuff, this is the most enjoyable fight I’ve seen from JoJo so far because it’s an advanced version of what we see during the skirmish with Cars. There’s a logical progression to how the fight unfolds; Wham and Caesar react well to each others’ moves, and the war to win the upper hand is quite cool. The sleight of hand is entertaining, but seeing that mini chess match at the end (bubble lights –> wind power –> jump kick –> wind attack) is cooler for me.

jojos-bizarre-adventure-lisa-lisa-joseph-blood-cross

And this whole sequence, FUCK, IT’S SO GOOD. It reminds me a lot of the more mournful scenes from Giant Robo — not just the use of operatic music, but also how straightforward the melodrama is and how we’re seeing these strong, tough characters lay bare their emotions. Lisa Lisa maintaining the facade of the hardened teacher while dealing with the sudden death of her student is friggin’ heartbreaking. The cigarette? Such a great, human touch. And Joseph, too, realizing his friendship with Caesar taught him some empathy before the wood breaks, the light floods in and the horror of what happened to Caesar finally dawns on them . . . fuckin’ hit like a truck, everyone.

It’s so over the top and melodramatic, but it’s done with such a flair that I can’t help but be sucked in. JoJo makes sure all its battles are outsized, so the deaths — and the emotion people feel because of those deaths — has to be outsized, too, yes? If you look at this from a detached point of view, that Caesar will die is obvious: It’s not just the way the battle unfolds, but also the fact that his whole life story and the reason why he needs to fight the Pillar Men is in here, as well. The whole episode is one giant death flag. That doesn’t lessen the impact of what happens for me, though. Actually, it makes it all the more horrible, as if Caesar’s life is fated to end this way. The need to seek vengeance on the Pillar Men is Caesar’s undoing.

From the sounds of the preview, though, Lisa Lisa and Joseph aren’t in any mood to fuck around, so Caesar’s vengeance will be carried out from beyond the grave.

jojos-bizarre-adventure-wham-pose

I can’t end this post without highlighting this pose. It’s just too great, as is Caesar’s bubble light attack. It’s such a shame that this is Caesar’s swan song, because his attacks are damn good here. I would have liked to see Caesar’s bubble ripple attacks develop more.

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63 Comments

  1. Sataniel
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    “If you look at this from a detached point of view, that Caesar will die is obvious: It’s not just the way the battle unfolds, but also the fact that his whole life story and the reason why he needs to fight the Pillar Men is in here, as well. The whole episode is one giant death flag.”

    And there is opening from which alone you can predict Caesar’s death (JoJo screaming and putting on Caesar’s bandana).

    • Posted February 25, 2013 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

      A good point!

      • gravethestampede
        Posted February 25, 2013 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

        This is why precisely why manga readers (like me) were complaining about. How spoilery the opening was.

      • Graham
        Posted February 26, 2013 at 4:56 am | Permalink

        I’m a manga reader too (read every arc and Jojolion), and I was worried about the opening being too open about a lot of things. But the uninitiated JoJo watchers I know were mostly confused and dazzled by its sparkling poses to really take notice of them. Context means everything! :)

        I would say the lyrics of BLOODY STREAM qualify as being really spoiler-ish (especially the full version). It’s been singing about Caesar’s death and the end of this arc ever since it aired on TV. I think it’s because it’s in Japanese that most people don’t really pick up on that though.

      • Posted February 26, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I think in general, manga readers who know what’s going on tend to overestimate people’s capacity to spot spoilery things in OPs and whatnot. (I have done this on occasion, too!) Generally, people don’t know something is a spoiler unless someone says it’s a spoiler.

      • haruna
        Posted February 27, 2013 at 3:41 am | Permalink

        I’m a non-manga reader when it comes to JoJo but even tho I knew Caesar would die I kinda didn’t expect it in the same ep as his backstory. So count me as shocked and naive.

        Also the entire OP1 was spoilers and yet I didn’t get it until after stuff happened in the eps. When Dio walked the wall I was all no fuckin way and then I realized I had seen him do it three or four times already. The OPs, so good that their spoilers are non-spoilers.

    • gravethestampede
      Posted February 27, 2013 at 12:21 am | Permalink

      Not to mention how Caesar was hit with a BLOODY STORM, before being crushed under a BLOODY STONE, thus leaking forth a BLOODY STREAM.

  2. TheVoid
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    I like that rather than taking back the ring, Wham instead let it float so Jojo.

    • Posted February 25, 2013 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      He couldn’t live with himself if he took on Joseph in a weakened form — and now that he’s killed Caesar, I think he’s assured himself that Joseph will show up!

      • Stef
        Posted February 26, 2013 at 9:12 am | Permalink

        I don’t think the ring weakened Jojo, it’s just a ticking time bomb. Wham left the antidote alone out of respect for Caesar. Plus, like you said, Jojo is guaranteed to go after Wham now (or so we think!)

      • Posted February 26, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        I think about it like this: The ring puts some mental strain on Joseph, no matter how light it may be. Wham put it on Joseph only because he was concerned about Joseph’s strength of character (note that it’s placed on Joseph’s heart). Now he has reason to believe that Joseph will come after him, so the ring is no longer necessary, and thus it’s something that will unnecessarily weaken Joseph, even if only slightly. That’s enough for Wham to let it go. (Well, that and respecting Caesar enough to allow his final wish to be carried out.)

  3. gravethestampede
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Just when I thought this series couldn’t give me anymore Hokuto no Ken Vibes, this i.imgur.com/RLmabf6.jpg?1
    CAAEEEEESAAAAAAAAAAAAR!

  4. Clinton
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Also of note was that Wham stated that Cars had no counter to Ceaser’s attack. In fact in my opinion Wham is superior to Cars as a warrior. Nothing is ever out right stated but Wham’s powers always impressed me more then Cars did.

    • Posted February 25, 2013 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      I think what also has to be taken into account is how certain powers match up against each other. The unique traits of a certain ability will give it some sort of advantage over another ability. From what we’ve seen of Cars so far, he’s mostly a close-range fighter, so it stands to reason that Caesar’s power would give him a tough time. I don’t know what else he has up his sleeve, though.

  5. gravethestampede
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    This episode had one of thee saddest scenes of anything since the “it’s not raining” part of FMA,

    • Posted February 25, 2013 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      It was definitely sad! Pour one out for Caesar.

  6. Stef
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    MANLY TEARS ;_;

    Oh, who am I kidding? I’m crying like a little girl! WAAAAAAAA!

    • Posted February 25, 2013 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      As Lisa Lisa and Joseph crying together prove, it is only human to shed tears for Caesar.

  7. Alt nadgers
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    This fucking episodes come out when I can’t watch Jojo.

    :(

    • Posted February 25, 2013 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

      Stop everything that prevents you from watching JoJo!

  8. graham
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Want to know another death flag? If you look at his profile online/read the comic, you learn that Caesar is 20 years old. He doesn’t age past that…

    Damn it, I love this anime so much. It really says something about this episode when I knew exactly what was going to happen to Caesar, but I couldn’t stop bawling when I first watched it. It’s thanks to this episode that we have this awesome fanart though – http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=33787607

  9. gravethestampede
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Looks like there is an opening for Suzy Q to pursue Jojo’s heart now that Jojo X Caesar is ruined. Too soon?

  10. rubberluffy
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Everyone is going nuts over this episode, and rightly so. Execution-wise it is fantastic. And you can even call it animated.

    I saw on another forum a Gen Urobuchi interview that got brought up where he discusses character deaths, and brings up Caesar as a character who became immortal through death. I agree. Caesar is a much more memorable character in part due to the way his death came about. Much more memorable than his grandfather.

    Shinmaru, did I see you posting over on GiantBomb?

    • Posted February 25, 2013 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

      Yes! I make occasional appearances on the forums, though not often because I don’t like forums that much. Sometimes I pipe up on articles and in the chat on live shows.

      • rubberluffy
        Posted February 26, 2013 at 1:02 am | Permalink

        Pretty sure I just saw you reply to me about the disco bubbles over there. Those glorious disco bubbles.

  11. Billish
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    Caesar fuckin’ Zeppelli, I take back anything I ever said – such a badass in this episode. I did not see a battle between him and Whamu comin either… Show is heating up for the umteenth time!

  12. gravethestampede
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    Just so you know, that other dude didn’t die (totally not spoiler)
    http://www.mangahere.com/manga/jojo_s_bizarre_adventure/v010/c093/3.html

    • Posted February 26, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Huh, interesting. Does he figure into the story at all beyond this point? That would probably explain why David Production skipped over that. Or maybe they’re just waiting until the next episode to include that scene. Concentrating fully on Joseph and Lisa Lisa discovering Caesar’s death seems like the right move to me.

  13. Posted February 26, 2013 at 3:53 am | Permalink

    You summed it up so well.

    This episode, this episode, was absolutely incredible. I rewatched a bit of the ending scene again and the emotions came out once more.

    So good.

    • Posted February 26, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, if anything, I was hit harder when I watched the scenes the second time. Part of that may be because I was more awake, haha.

  14. Mormegil
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 4:31 am | Permalink

    Damn it! Another Zeppeli gone? Is this going to happen in all the following stories too? =(

    Fantastic episode. The fight was creative and intense, leading up to a very emotional ending. Even though I knew it was coming it still got to me all the same. Caesar was a bro.

    • Posted February 26, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      The Zeppeli line does seem to be cursed. Poor fellows.

  15. Posted February 26, 2013 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    What shocked me most was the disparity between Caesar’s death and his grandfather’s despite the innumerous parallels. The two scenes retain the same result and are heavily alluded to, but while the concept remains the same the execution is entirely different. Instead there are no goofy severed torsos speaking from beyond the grave and instead lying in its place are a crimson bubble, a stone cross, and a final, lonely opera song. The classic melodrama remains but achieves a vastly different result. It’s a classic case of repetition with variation, and here it pays off in spades.

    Also, I don’t often tear up while watching anime, but I cried like a baby the first time I watched it. What a scene.

  16. Ramiel
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I must say that I really love Wham as an antagonist. The way he shows respect for his opponents is truly honorable.

    • Posted February 26, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, JoJo has had good antagonists so far. Dio is gloriously evil, and the Pillar Men are definitely different and feel distinct from each other.

  17. Posted February 26, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Everyone, join me in mourning the fact that this isn’t a real game that we can all play.

    • gravethestampede
      Posted February 26, 2013 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Jotaro would probably tell you to shut up and that he hates hollering women. Dio and Caesar would be easy to get a kiss from.

    • Nadgers
      Posted February 26, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      Disturbing lack of Part 7 protagonists.

    • haruna
      Posted February 27, 2013 at 3:48 am | Permalink

      That’s so wrong and so right!

    • graham
      Posted February 27, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      =Erina mode= It’s too beautiful! JoJo, must I be forced to only dream of this game? To me, that is such cruel courage!

  18. R1CK_D0M
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Grandpa Zeppeli leaves his hat.
    Ceasar Zeppeli leaves his bandanna.

    what will happen if there comes a zeppeli without headwear?

  19. gravethestampede
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Messina and Loggins really looked like chumps, the Pillar Men really made fools of them lol.

    • Posted February 27, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      Haha, that’s what they get for not being main characters!

  20. Nadgers
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    CAAAAAAAAAAAAAESAR ;~;

    Goddamn. David productions now have shred the last of my doubts. Jojo is in good hands.

  21. haruna
    Posted February 27, 2013 at 3:46 am | Permalink

    I am a girl and I cried like a girl. Especially when Lisa Lisa broke down too.

    This series is stellar.

  22. Someone Else
    Posted February 27, 2013 at 4:26 am | Permalink

    AAAAnnnd we get no any respect to the two other ripple masters that just died…This show truly hate its extra characters

  23. gravethestampede
    Posted February 27, 2013 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    http://www.mangahere.com/manga/jojo_s_bizarre_adventure/v010/c093/3.html
    Didn’t think i’d need to post this again.

    • Posted February 28, 2013 at 5:47 am | Permalink

      Speaking of Loggins and Messina, does anyone suppose that Jonathan Joestar’s dog was named after “Danny’s Song”? I sort of suspect that he was, but of course I have no proof of it.

      • Posted March 2, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        I wouldn’t be shocked if this were the case!

  24. Posted February 28, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Don’t worry, I’m sure that Nazi Science can fix Caesar:

    http://i3.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/503/912/5a0.jpg

    • Posted March 2, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      If the Nazis don’t fix Caesar, then they are confirmed for jerks.

  25. Embok
    Posted March 4, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Couldn’t get into this ep. The whole arc has been about humans engaging in battle of wits with vastly superior beings, then we get a human going and jumping in front of his own attack. Am I supposed to feel bad for him?

    • gravethestampede
      Posted March 4, 2013 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      He didn’t jump in front of anyone’s attack. Wham just reacted in front at the only moment possible. He didn’t get himself killed, Wham justgot a lucky break.

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