17 CommentsJoJo's Bizarre Adventure / By Shinmaru /

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure 4 – Vampire Jack the Ripper

I see Dio Brando has already taken to his new position of evil cult leader.

This is basically the training episode, and it is about as well done as a training episode can be. You’ve got the introduction of a mentor (Will A. Zeppeli, who has a fucking AWESOME name, as seems to be the norm with this series), the introduction of a new power system (Ripple, which seems like a basic martial arts thing except it uses shoujo sparkles to heal people and can turn wine into razor-sharp discs of death), and a midboss character for the hero to conquer as a bar to master his new powers (vampire Jack the Ripper). This episode has that clear, basic form of the training arc, but it’s infused with the typical JoJo craziness, and it is therefore awesome.

It’s tough to get the pacing of a training arc down right — go on too long and the audience is liable to get bored while the hero is making preparations for battle. However, go too quickly, and you run the risk of it being a bit unbelievable and convenient that the hero learns all this awesome stuff in such a short amount of time. There’s no ironclad rule, though; it all depends on what the audience is able to accept from the show and its characters. With how the series presents JoJo and how it paces the learning process and how JoJo is able to practically apply what he has learned in an actual battle, though, it was easy for me to swallow how quickly JoJo is able to master the basics of Ripple. The story makes it clear that JoJo has an innate strength within him; it doesn’t feel forced at all. And the lessons Zeppeli imparts upon JoJo are a quick way to get across what the Ripple system is meant to evoke. Perhaps it goes by a bit too swiftly, but that’s really the one complaint I can make about this episode — and it certainly isn’t game breaking or anything.

ALSO, GUYS, VAMPIRE JACK THE RIPPER. Now that I think of it, the only other bad part of this episode is that Vampire Jack the Ripper is vanquished so quickly. I suppose he has to be to show JoJo’s mastery of the Ripple, but still, IT’S VAMPIRE JACK THE RIPPER. That concept alone is good enough to carry an entire episode on its own. At least we get the moment where he plants a horse’s head onto a coach driver and then bursts out the body of the other horse. A+ 10/10 would watch again. If you have a story where you can take one of the most notorious mass murderers in history and turn him into a vampire, you know you have a good story.

Yet again, though, the one bad part of the episode is all the censorship. Having all those black blobs and shadows show up during all those crazy violent moments is seriously distracting. I recently finished both the 1993 and 2000 JoJo’s OVAs, and um, the story definitely does NOT get less violent. Especially during the 1993 OVA, there would have been a giant black square on the screen at numerous points. It’s something we’ll have to deal with a lot from now on, since I doubt it’s going away, but that doesn’t make it any more tolerable.

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  1. Posted October 28, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    And so, Scamp wasn’t right when he wrote on Twitter that there’s no way that the rest of Jojo can be as awesome as the first three episodes. This one was great and the next one is going to be even better, I feel it.
    I pity the fools not watching this show.

    • Posted October 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      Oh Scamp is just a skeptical ol’ grump. Soon JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure will make him a fountain of optimism.

  2. leokiko
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    I wonder why this has so much censorship anyway, since it’s on night-time. Maybe it’s a strategy to sell BD’s? If so I wouldn’t mind, because the more Jojo sell, more chances we have of getting another season.

    Oh, and the reason why it’s rushed is that the second Jojo is longer than the first. And…well, BETTER.

    • Posted October 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Probably depends on which channel(s) the show airs. If it’s not on a paid cable station, then the show will probably get censored if there’s some sort of extreme content.

  3. fathomlessblue
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Aye up, you didn’t even mention the best part of the ep: Jojo finding loooove! Also, Speedwagon being a bro & serenely skedaddling away! Jojo seriously owes him a pint of Bovril! Saying that, I did like that when things go to toffee, he leaves the bird at home to take care of business! Like the old saying goes; gents before wench!

    Jojo biffing Jack the Ripper senseless was fandabidozi! I was so happy I spat out my smoked kipper breakfast, then proceeded to dance around the room like it was St. Swithun’s Day all over again! Good times.

  4. Mr. Anon
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    I love how Speedwagon turned from a random ruffian into a cool bro who just wants to watch JoJo be a perfect gentleman. Best sidekick character ever.

    • Chipp12
      Posted October 29, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Yeah, the way he dramatize over some things is SO awesome xD

    • Posted October 29, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      Speedwagon is a perfect gentleman!

  5. Clinton
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 1:58 am | Permalink

    I kind of wish you had not seen the OVA’s as it spoils several parts of this anime.

    • Posted October 29, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      Meh, I know the basic outline, but not a lot of the particulars, so it’s fine. I mean, I know what happens (to a point) in Hunter x Hunter, but I’m still enjoying the remake just fine.

  6. Posted October 29, 2012 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    Only this show could have the main character’s hand turn into a rainbow and still be the manliest shit on the planet. Only this show.

    • Posted October 29, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      Makes me wonder if shoujo romances have been super manly all along. Or if Oscar Francois de Jarjayes was the first practitioner of Ripple.

    • Ferny
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 4:29 am | Permalink

      And in that sentence, my friend, you’ve uncovered one of Jojo’s greater strengths.
      The manlyness -and madness- of the situations completely outweighs the rather glamorous style in which it is presented, thus creating a unique dialogue which ends up being nothing short of… FABULOUS

  7. SQA
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Only Dio can go all Emperor Palpatine on JACK THE RIPPER and win going away. He’s just that badass.

    • Posted October 29, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      I’ll have to remember this comment if Dio ever starts using Force lightning.

  8. Varyn
    Posted September 10, 2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    How did “I can even lift this heavy rock” not make a mention in this. I laughed for a solid minute at how ridiculous a line that was

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