12 CommentsJoJo's Bizarre Adventure / By Shinmaru /

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure 6 – The Roundabout

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.

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  1. Karry
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    “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??”

    Oh, i dunno…Law of Ueki ?

  2. fluffybunnyboy
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    I feel like I should explain the meaning of “Luck & Pluck”, in case it’s not fully understood here:

    “Luck & Pluck” basically refers to the difference between the people who effortlessly obtain what they want through good fortune or illegitimate means (Luck) and the people who have to make their way in life through hard efforts (Pluck). (The meaning of “Pluck” here means “courage or resolution in the face of difficulties”, and not pulling out hairs or whatever. xD) This was a common theme in in old dime novels about people who had their inheritance or good fortune stolen out from under them, and then had to work hard in order to make a name for themselves again.

    Dio tried to cheat his way to fortune, and then later discovered how to become immortal by coincidence, so he represents LUCK. Jojo has to suffer many trials and hardships in life in order to bring about a resolution, so he represents PLUCK.

    I’m really amazed that Araki had ever even heard of “Luck & Pluck”, since most modern English speakers don’t use it at all anymore. But hey, it really fits in well with the polarized face vs. heel storytelling of Jojo Part 1.

  3. Posted November 12, 2012 at 1:31 am | Permalink

    I haven’t had the honor of seeing this episode yet (because I am waiting for the communists or them GG folk to scanlate it), but I do find Jonathon Joestar’s purity rather interesting.

    I haven’t read the original source material, but I was skimming through summaries and character descriptions of the future parts on Wikipedia and noticed something interesting.

    [WARNING: I don’t consider the following spoilers, but other folk might, so thread with caution, I guess?]

    Looking at the description of future protagonists, it would seem that out of all the Jojo’s, Jojo is the only one who is truly pure and good.

    The other protagonists are a mixed bunch and have gone through stuff like teenage delinquency, prison, divorce, child neglect, etc, etc.

    The Joestars are a really tragic bunch. Johnathon Joestar tries so hard to fight back the tragic cards he is dealt and while he sometimes succeeds, in the end, he ends up a victim of fate.

    Despite all his hard work and effort, life hands him the most tragic card possible: cursed descendants ( I say cursed, but I really just mean his bad luck gets transferred on and some of his goodness gets lost along the way).

    • Posted November 13, 2012 at 5:11 am | Permalink

      I’ve seen the third arc (via the 1993 and 2000 JoJo OVAs), and the protagonist there definitely comes off as less “pure” than JoJo. He’s not a bad person, per se, but not as gentlemanly, either.

  4. Posted November 12, 2012 at 2:54 am | Permalink

    I think with something like the Ripple, the important thing is that it does have rules, but Araki is free to interpret those rules in any was possible. From what I understand, Ripple energy can affect and alter living material and be conducted through other substances. Leaves are living things in the strictest sense of the word, so they can be controlled and turned into a hang-glider. I love abilities like this where you can have fun just coming up with newer and more epic uses for it like that.

    • Posted November 13, 2012 at 5:13 am | Permalink

      Agreed. There’s just enough there to ground it and ensure that stupid bullshit won’t be pulled out of thin air, but at the same time, there’s more than enough room for creative thinking.

  5. luffyluffy
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    After a day of thinking about it, I finally realized who Bruford reminds me of: GYM GINGHAM from Turn A Gundam.

    Which is interesting because I haven’t seen Turn A yet.

  6. Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Just when I thought that the episode is going to end with them getting entry into the arena (or whatever) and save Poco and later on Jojo, suddenly Roundabout started in the most melancholic and foreboding way possible. After that, it’s just spine-tingling awesomeness of a fiction that’s only possible from this kind of world. I mean, that’s the most OMGWTFBQQ end I could ever remember out of an anime episode, that I think all the words to describe just how transcendentally genius it is are just understatements.

    Mind you I have read the whole saga, but part 1 is just so long ago I don’t remember it anymore. I’ll take this for a refresher than reading through Araki’s early artwork please. This is just way better in every way imaginable.

    One worry though. With all this 1-upping every previous episode, I’m worried that there’s just so many 1-upping to be done before it gets tired.

    • Posted November 13, 2012 at 5:14 am | Permalink

      From what everyone’s said to me, this is by far the weakest part of the manga, so if David Production is spinning this into gold, then the rest will be beyond amazing.

      • Posted November 13, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, they still at the point where there’s no Stand abilities yet. I don’t know, I just can’t imagine how they can 1-up this one, but I’m glad I can’t, strangely enough. That left me open to get punched in the face with more amazing episodes.

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