40 CommentsJoJo's Bizarre Adventure / By Shinmaru /

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure 22 – Chariots of Ripple

jojos-bizarre-adventure-wham-whacking-chariot

Some of you all hyped this chariot battle between Joseph and Wham, and though I like to keep my expectations at a reasonable level, I couldn’t help but look forward to this fight. Suffice to say, I did not experience much disappointment (and basically all of my disappointment as usual springs from the show’s animation being unfortunately limited, to put it kindly).

I love that, from the start, the battle is framed as Joseph’s brains versus Wham’s brawn. It’s not that Joseph isn’t brawny, or that Wham doesn’t use his strength in intelligent ways, but that’s the strength each has compared to the other — Joseph has to trust that he can fight in a way Wham hasn’t seen in 12,000 years of combat, while Wham has to trust that his sheer power will be enough to overwhelm the upstart Rippler. Right from the start, Joseph works to unnerve Wham by upsetting his desire for an honorable battle. It doesn’t totally throw Wham off his game, but I think it has him respecting Joseph a bit less. It’s not by a huge amount; however, it’s subtle enough that Joseph is able to use his parlor tricks when Wham least expects it.

jojos-bizarre-adventure-joseph-ripple-reins

Such as right here! Joseph’s foot on the rein is the little detail I overlooked while watching this for the first time, because, like Cars, I was focused on Wham getting the jump on Joseph and hitting him with his hurricane. (By the way, we can’t sleep on the power of that hurricane. Even though Joseph redirects the brunt of the force toward Wham, there’s still enough left over to fling Joseph to another chariot and cause enough damage to convince Cars that Joseph is down for the count. That is a terrifying power!) I cheered a bit after this chicanery was revealed, mainly because Cars is such a smug asshole in the initial aftermath. Seeing his confidence briefly broken is quite satisfying; shattering the wine glass on the ground is the cherry on top.

Also, I’m not the only one who laughed upon seeing Wham with that blank look on his face and his arms flapping about, barely attached to his body as his chariot continues around the track, yes? He’s an honorable prick, but a prick nonetheless. Just as it’s satisfying to see Cars knocked down a peg, it’s as gratifying to see Wham finally take Joseph totally seriously. I honestly forgot all about Wham’s horn (and I don’t remember if it was mentioned before how Wham uses it), so it was a great surprise to me to see Wham jab out his eyes so that he could rely totally on feeling while fighting Joseph. I wondered how Cars could know that Wham jabs out his eyes to battle when he gets serious, but since they can restore lost limbs and such, I imagine the Pillar Men can either regrow their eyes or pluck another person’s eyes to replace their own.

Makes me wonder what other warriors in the past could have driven Wham to gouge out his eyes! What if there were other Pillar Men, and Cars, AC/DC and Wham ended up at the top through sheer attrition. This isn’t really stuff that needs to be explored at all; it’s just neat to wonder about.

jojos-bizarre-adventure-wham-penetrated

This right here is the moment of the episode for me, though. The trick Wham uses against Joseph is pretty ingenious, but seeing it turned back against Wham — with all of Joseph’s needling and the return of his predictions — is glorious. I actually did a fist pump when this happened! So wonderful. And then there’s more when Wham blasts his fucking arms at Joseph and prepares his ultimate death move! This fucking show, man. It makes me feel like such a little kid. It should be illegal for any one series to be this much fun.

And there’s so much more. The vampire peanut gallery is endlessly amusing; it really reminds me of a wrestling crowd, with Wham playing the beloved face and Joseph playing the conniving heel. This is sort of like in late ’90s WWF when Bret Hart had turned heel and was hated in America, but would be hailed as a hero in Canada. It’s a nice way to have the audience get behind Joseph all the more, since he’s in such a hostile environment. The back and forth between Lisa Lisa and Cars is quite fun, too; it’s a good way to prime us all for that fight, which I expect to be pretty damn cool.

I will say, though, that I was disappointed to see the appearance of Awful CG in this episode. JoJo is not an especially well-animated show most of the time, but the art and general design of the series is almost always on point, which makes me more forgiving of it. The ugly CG chariot riders are unacceptably bad, however. I get enough of that whenever AKB0048 launches into a dance sequence. Yuck.

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40 Comments

  1. gravethestampede
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    http://i.imgur.com/ze4piZf.gif
    Judging from the ahegao in this scene, Wham seems to be secretly enjoying this.

    • Madu_Scientisto
      Posted March 11, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Wham’s face is 2lewd4me

    • Posted March 12, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Ohhhhhhhhhhh myyyyyyyyyyy.

  2. Nadgers
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Have not seen this one yet, but it’s a shame if the CG is bad. Let’s hope they improve it but the time when stands come into the picture since im pretty sure they are going to be all CG.

    • Posted March 11, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      To be fair, it is mainly brief glimpses of CG — like transitions between chariot scenes, where you’d get like three-second bits of an awful CG Wham riding a chariot. There’s also bits of bad art in the episode (as processr points out below, Joseph looks pretty bad at a few points!), but in general, it’s about on the level of your average JoJo episode.

  3. Posted March 11, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    The CGI didn’t bother me to be honest – maybe it was because I watched Ghostbusters earlier that day and that puts modern CG into perspective somewhat. JoJo especially was a little off-model at times, but that pales in comparison to just, like, everything else. Wow.

    • Posted March 11, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Admittedly, I hate bad CG in general, though I’m more forgiving the older something is. I view bad CG in older stuff the way I do old technology: “How cute/quaint!” In 2013? We really shouldn’t be seeing stuff of that level.

      • Posted March 11, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        How do you feel about bad CG in Asylum films? My favorite usage is the Sherlock Holmes one personally. Also my favorite Asylum film.

      • Posted March 11, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        I make an exception for that since those types of movies are meant to be deliberately campy, with a specific filming style that keeps that in mind. It doesn’t always work, either. JoJo is more pulpy than campy to me, and it hasn’t traded in deliberately bad production values to make its point.

  4. Friend_Guy
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Though the art isn’t that good in this show, it goes to show that a good plot, great action, and knowing how to make the audience want more can make anime simply amazing on its on.

    Also the look on Whams face was priceless I remember seeing I the manga and laughing my butt off but the anime nailed it perfectly in the head. A. Confident man loses all pride after his powerful move was reduced to nothing. Reminds me of Vegata in the original DBZ on Namaick.

  5. Posted March 11, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    I actually think the art is generally good in the series! It’s the animation (or lack thereof) that isn’t great. I compare it to Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, which had a fantastic art style but mostly terrible animation.

    • Posted March 11, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      Uh, I meant that as a reply to Friend_Guy. Not sure why it didn’t go through!

  6. Nadgers
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Oh god that was the best thing.

    And good thing that they did not rush it to fit the whole thing into one episode either. This is just right.

    • Posted March 12, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, though I assume the bulk of the next episode will be taken up by the battle between Cars and Lisa Lisa.

  7. Gravethestamped
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    That first screen-shot reminded me why Wham is called a “Pillar Man”.

  8. Posted March 11, 2013 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    I wondered how Cars could know that Wham jabs out his eyes to battle when he gets serious,

    I am not sure, but I got the impression (from my subs anyway) that Cars did not know that. I figured that Cars just knew that Wham was an athlete and a warrior and like all athletes, he could do something extreme to bring him out of shock (well, that is probably not true for real athletes, but w/e).

    But yes, this was a fun, fun episode. I wonder how JoJo is going to avoid the next attack. The next attack also looks like Wham’s swan song. I look forward to it. xD

    • Posted March 12, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Hm, I suppose that could come across differently depending on the translation.

  9. Someone Else
    Posted March 12, 2013 at 3:41 am | Permalink

    One more thing is that the opponents themselves are learning from the protagonists, like when Cars said to Wham to be careful of Jojo’s tricks. Another thing I liked in this episode is Wham’s desperation to defeat Jojo just like ACDC, it makes us not forget that they have their warrior’s pride and ultimate goal, great characterization. I love how this show’s antagonists are so memorable

    • Posted March 12, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, definitely. Wham is going all out against Joseph not just to restore his honor, but also to eliminate a hardy opponent who could possibly defeat Cars.

  10. Scarlet
    Posted March 12, 2013 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    The handful of gorgeous multicolor reaction shots in this episode easily make up for the bad CG in my estimation. Jojo’s just keeps getting better and better each episode; that cliffhanger, man! It’s going to be a rough wait for the next installment.
    I also love how Cars and Lisa Lisa seem to be building up a rapport/rivalry in the peanut gallery. It’s quite amusing to see them snipe at each other. Hopefully they get to have their epic match as well; from the little we’ve seen so far Lisa Lisa seems like she’d be a blast to watch. (I haven’t read the manga and I’ve been avoiding Wiki, so no spoilers please!)

    • Posted March 12, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, the sheer style of the production usually keeps me from complaining too much about the lackluster animation and whatever bad CG happens to pop up.

  11. Posted March 12, 2013 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    >The vampire peanut gallery is endlessly amusing; it really reminds me of a wrestling crowd
    >This is sort of like in late ’90s WWF
    The vampires also threw in weapons for them.

    >I get enough of that whenever AKB0048 launches into a dance sequence. Yuck.
    I kinda like those 3DCG dance sequences. 3:

    • Posted March 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      Haha, a good point! That specifically reminds me more of ECW, though. Maybe Joseph and Wham will be buried under a hail of chairs next episode!

      And, ugh, I just can’t stand the AKB0048 dance sequences because the shift to CG is so jarring, and because the show normally looks so great.

      • Posted March 14, 2013 at 2:26 am | Permalink

        I think they’re pretty cute.

      • Posted March 14, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        Opinions! If you enjoy them, though, then more power to you. :)

  12. Stef
    Posted March 12, 2013 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    I’ve been noticing the dubstep a lot more this episode. And not in a good way. Hurgh… It’s probably because the show didn’t really subvert my expectations this time around (it was great, but more of the same?), so I wasn’t as focused on what was happening. Or maybe they especially brought the music on the forefront. Again: hurgh…

    • Posted March 12, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      I don’t even remember where they used dubstep in this episode, so I guess it didn’t bother me all too much, haha.

      • Stef
        Posted March 12, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        Good for you then.
        I generally don’t notice either because the scenes are so enthralling. It’s sad that the soundtrack is so weak that the best thing it can do for the audience is not being noticed.

      • gravethestampede
        Posted March 12, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        Weak soundtrack? You must listen to music fit only for Gods.
        None can stand before the holy WUBSTORM!

      • Nadgers
        Posted March 12, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        Weak soundtrack? Even if you hate dubstep that much…

        1. There are like only 2 songs with dubstep and it’s barely noticeable in the other one.
        2. The rest of the soundtrack is sex and perfectly fits battle tendency.
        3. What GRAVETHESTAMPEDE said.

      • hint
        Posted March 12, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        For me the dubstep is great addition to anime.

      • gravethestampede
        Posted March 12, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure has always made an effort at distinguishing itself in action and art style, so why not music? the dubstep is a hilarious and awesome addition in my opinion.

      • Stef
        Posted March 12, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        Sorry if I hurt some feelings. It may have been harsh for me to say “weak”.

        Actually, let me rephrase that in light of that Holy Sandstorm scene(which is great btw). I’ll compare it to Panty & Stocking’s OST: it’s really awesome in context, but I wouldn’t listen to an entire track of that outside of the show. I don’t think the soundtrack can hold up by itself.

        I know it seems like I’m backing off… And that’s exactly what I’m doing. Yep, I’m rethinking my whole life right now.

      • Posted March 14, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        I will say that while I like the soundtrack a lot in general, I do agree with Stef in that I’d probably not listen to any of the songs at all outside the context of the series (which is true for most anime music).

  13. Matt Wells
    Posted March 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    There were indeed other Pillar men. They were the ones who objected to Cars building the Stone Mask to “conquer the sun”, subverting the natural order. Cars, ACDC, Wham, and Santana (the latter two were children at the time) killed them all. There’s only room for one at the top, as they would say. We should get the details a few episodes from now.

  14. R1CK_D0M
    Posted March 12, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    The return of the (x) OVERDRIVE! Also, I kept thinking “WHAM USES EXPLODE! TUNE IN NEXT TIME TO SEE IF IT’S SUPER EFFECTIVE.” during the end, kinda ruined it for me.

    • Clinton
      Posted March 14, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      He is doing something much more awesome then exploding.

  15. NormalMar
    Posted March 16, 2013 at 2:55 am | Permalink

    AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH this episode!!!!

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