Watching JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure makes people giddy — I could not begin to count the number of times this episode sent my live watch group into fits of laughter, and it definitely wasn’t ironic “haha, this is SOOOOOOOOO fucking dumb” laughter. I’ve heard that particular type of laughter more than enough to be able to discern it!
Take the scene depicted above, for example. It’s absolutely ridiculous in bad way in any show other than JoJo. But here? It’s sort of brilliant. JoJo is so pure of heart that his Ripple powers don’t just destroy the darkness in Bruford, but they also bring back to the surface the heroism and humanity in his heart. If that isn’t proof of how stout of heart JoJo is, I don’t know what is.
It’s so ridiculously silly, but there’s real charm to how it’s executed in JoJo. We already know this is a world of extremes — how else would we be able to take the retort, “How many breads have you eaten in your life?” seriously at all? (Side note: DIIIIIIIIIIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO) Or Dio roasting JoJo’s precious dog alive to save face for his humiliation? In a world of extreme evil, there must also exist extreme good. Where Dio’s evil consists of corrupting those who are life, why wouldn’t JoJo’s good consist of healing those same corrupted souls? We all know, of course, that Vampire Jack the Ripper had to die because there is no good in his soul.
Tarkus ain’t having none of that shit right now, though. The part where he stomps Bruford’s hollow armor got a big reaction from our group. It’s a total wrestling heel move like when a rips up a fan’s sign or talks trash about the city they’re in and so on. He’s so gleeful when he does it, too, and JoJo and friends so offended. How dare he desecrate the armor of his former comrade! You just don’t do that sort of thing! Oh, but then Zeppeli and JoJo using their Ripple powers to magnetize a bunch of leaves into a kite so that they can fly away to safety . . . what other show would allow me to type that sentence??
The strength of something like Ripple, narratively, is that it allows the author to do whatever he or she wants as long as the imagination is there. If you look at it practically, it sucks the tension out of the battles — you know JoJo is going to come up with some way to emerge victorious based on some crazy Ripple variation. However, as long as the imagination is there, that doesn’t matter quite so much. It’s a situation similar to, say, Golgo 13, where the fun isn’t in wondering whether Golgo will accomplish his mission (he will), but rather what means he’ll use to get the job done.
That said, it’s doubtful we’ll see much of that from JoJo during this fight. It’s clearly set up as Zeppeli’s time to shine. The show is really pounding it into the viewer’s head that this is Zeppeli’s final battle and that he will go out in grand style. I wonder if this the type of series that would set up that scenario but pull the rug out from under the viewer by having Zeppeli survive, only to die in battle against Dio or something. I’m leaning in that direction, but the set up for the next episode is so excellent that it briefly gives me pause . . .
If you didn’t pump your fist when the beginning notes of “Roundabout” played and then get immediately HYPED THE FUCK UP when the ED proper played, then get the fuck out of here now, you blasphemer.