23 CommentsJoJo's Bizarre Adventure / By Shinmaru /

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders episode 8 – This New Stand’s a Real Cut-Up

jojos-bizarre-adventure-killer-doll

Shinmaru: LITERALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now that’s what I’m talking about. I loved this episode. This is the part of the story where I went from being lukewarm on Stardust Crusaders to being way more into it. Funny how a fight where the protagonist actually seems in legit danger will do that. This battle is also notable for introducing some things that shape the way Stardust Crusaders (and JoJo in general, actually) evolves from here on out. It’s fun!

The first thing of note is of course the almighty JoJo Formula. What is it? I’m glad you asked, even if you didn’t and I’m talking to myself right now! Most (but not all) battles in JoJo keep to a certain progression:

1. Protagonist gets ambushed by a Stand user
2. Protagonist tries to figure out what enemy’s power is; they get their ass beaten HARD while doing so
3. Sudden epiphany when the protagonist gets beat the hell up in such a way that they finally realize the nature of the enemy’s power
4. Protagonist turns things around with a nifty strategy that allows them to get the upper hand
5. BLOOD AND GORE

Simple, but effective! You get story progression and such, but this is the way many arcs in JoJo unfold, particularly in Stardust Crusaders, which is basically a boss rush in manga/anime form. You’d think this would get boring eventually, and in less capable hands, you’d probably be correct. But there’s a reason JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has endured so long; it’s in large part due to the other JoJo Thing introduced in this episode: really weird, esoteric powers.

Up to this point, despite the at the time innovative way of manifesting them (superpowered punch ghosts!), the powers in Stardust Crusaders haven’t been that crazy. Star Platinum punches things hard and fast. Hermit Purple takes pictures of stuff. Magician’s Red shoots fire. Silver Chariot pokes things with a sword. Hierophant Green is probably the weirdest of the heroes since it can control people and such, but it’s main attack is regular ol’ projectiles. The enemies have been a killer bug, a sea monster, and a ghost ship; strange, but not Weird.

jojos-bizarre-adventure-doll-wine

Then Polnareff gets attacked by a killer doll armed with a razor, a saw and a spear and that is fueled by pure hatred. Hi there! It’s such a strange condition: the user has to be harmed by the target such that he can feel enough rage to pay back with blood and vengeance. One would think that would become counterproductive at some point, but that is probably part of the thrill. This is definitely the strangest power so far. It’s the point where I think Hirohiko Araki felt that people had gotten used enough to the idea of Stands where it would be OK to unleash weirder stuff. Then he never stopped for like 20+ years.

Not coincidentally, this is also the most fun fight so far, though I suppose it’s an abbreviated version of the typical formula. It’s not as if Polnareff has much to figure out — it’s a doll that wants to cut him up. It makes up for that by not getting beat up in like five seconds. Danger is usually more dangerous when the heroes are actually put into danger rather than saying “Wow, that sure was dangerous!” after the fact.

The clear progression of the battle helps a lot, too. Polnareff gets an easy win at first and becomes overconfident. He’s attacked again and trapped when his guard is down. Then he has to use his wits and surroundings to find a way to win. This isn’t the greatest battle in Stardust Crusaders by a longshot, but it builds and concludes in a satisfying way because the hero has to work to survive. That’s what makes a battle fun: the struggle. If a character can just punch everything to death in a few seconds, then what’s the fun in that? It gets boring eventually. That’s also why it’s so great that the allies get a much bigger role in Stardust Crusaders and other JoJo arcs. We don’t expect them to be like ORA ORA ORA and win instantly, or else they would lead the group. There’s more leeway for them to struggle. (That said, Jotaro doesn’t get to instawin battles much from here on out, either.)

P.S. FACE CHOPPING

jojos-bizarre-adventure-face-chopped-offScamp: Why thanks for that nice piece of face-chopping Shinmaru. I wasn’t sure what had happened to that  man’s face what with all the censorship. Perhaps the dolls had just tied a big bow around his head and made him look a bit silly. What I find interesting is the devil tarot card can’t attack someone unless he develops a serious grudge against someone. Apparently there are 2 ways he can develop a grudge. Either the person attacked and maimed him, as was the case with Polnareff, or he could give shitty roomservice. That’s the only explanation I can think of for why he got his face chopped off.

This episode is definitely an improvement on the previous ones mostly because the fight itself was interesting and crazy at the same time. Shinmaru has already covered the basic reasons, but what I rather liked was there was a kinda nasty edge to this one with all the testicle references. It practically became a running theme, ending with a man with pristine balls and a destroyed body. It’s kinda fucked up. A true gentlemen never destroys his enemies manly area. He can turn the rest of his body inside out but you dare not mess with the bollocks.

Shinmaru covered most of the rest of the episode, so I want to give a little mention to what Singapore’s degrading national stereotype is. It’s apparently that you have very strict laws on littering. All things considered, if that’s the worst stereotype your nation has, then you’re not doing too bad. If the Stardust Crusaders popped up in Ireland the streets would be littered with drunks and the fields littered with more drunks except this time they’re drunks fucking sheep and eating potatoes or sometimes the other way around. Singapore has strict littering laws. That, and a lion doing the longest spit-take ever. I think you’re doing all right on the stereotype stage.

 

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23 Comments

  1. gedata
    Posted May 25, 2014 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    Pretty sure you can survive a short while with your face chopped off. The body horror (implied or otherwise) is always great with this series.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 3:42 am | Permalink

      I definitely would not want to test that out.

  2. Posted May 25, 2014 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    I started reading the manga at this very same fight (now in the middle of Part 4). I can’t wait to see how some of the super illogical fights go out, which may actually be visually explained better with animation.

  3. ShigyC
    Posted May 25, 2014 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    Very cool sakuga in this ep. as well.

    In the last few minutes, there was also Whoopi Goldberg of the “Vison” among The Godfather, some Ren-&-Stimpy-like show, puppies, Tom “Putty”, etc.

    • ShigyC
      Posted May 25, 2014 at 1:03 am | Permalink

      Oh, shit!

      The Godfather…Don Vito Corleone…Marlon BRANDO!

      When Joseph took control of the TV – first thing on-screen is Marlon Brando. And then, just before it explodes, it ends with DIO Brando!

      That aside, no doubting that this is my favorite Stardust Crusaders episode, thus far.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 3:44 am | Permalink

      Yep, the bit where Silver Chariot is trying to stab the doll while Polnareff can’t see is pretty cool. There have definitely been more frequent scenes of neat animation than in the first season.

  4. Nazaren
    Posted May 25, 2014 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    Some of the animation during the fight was much better than the previous ones, the doll-panning-around-Eiffel scene in particular. I’m not expecting that from this series, so bonus points… which makes up for the fact that Joseph didn’t karate chop a TV.

    I also liked the idea of trapping a supernatural bodybuilder underneath a bed, and tormenting him with a doll, fueled by hate and rage. Meanwhile, his compatriots wait patiently for him to show up to the emergency strategy meeting, apparently chalking up his tardiness to something other than the reason for the emergency strategy meeting. More. I want more of this.

    Definitely my favorite episode thus far. I have a feeling I’m going to be saying that almost every week from here on out.

    • Gan_HOPE326
      Posted May 25, 2014 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      “Meanwhile, his compatriots wait patiently for him to show up to the emergency strategy meeting, apparently chalking up his tardiness to something other than the reason for the emergency strategy meeting. More. I want more of this.”

      This. It was hilarious. Like everyone was “hey, the guy who just got attacked by an enemy we know he didn’t finish off is late. Boy, these French guys sure take their time!” XD.

      • Shinmaru
        Posted May 28, 2014 at 3:47 am | Permalink

        The end is one of the many bits of this part that made me laugh hard. These fellas can be real jerks to each other!

      • Traintop
        Posted May 28, 2014 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        Especially to Polnareff. The everyone in the universe loves screwing with Polnareff, it seems.

  5. Pusswookie
    Posted May 25, 2014 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    Bodybuilding Question: Which one do you guys think is the biggest, swollest motherfucker out of them?

    • D1356035
      Posted May 25, 2014 at 3:21 am | Permalink

      At the risk of spoiling something the Wheel of Fortune guy is pretty swollen. From other parts Tarkus is definitely the biggest and most muscular man in the series, especially in the manga.

    • Traintop
      Posted May 26, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      Did the math, ’cause I’m a nerd. For the guys so far that we have official heights and weights for, going by BMI:

      Wham (29.6) > Dio = Jonathan (27.6) > Caesar (26) > Joseph = Avdol (25.5) > Polnareff (23) > Jotaro (21.6) > Kakyoin (20.5).

      So, there you go, although I’m calling bullshit on Jotaro’s stats. No way in hell someone 195cm and that ripped is only 82kg.

      • Shinmaru
        Posted May 28, 2014 at 3:48 am | Permalink

        Damn, Wham is a big motherfucker.

  6. D1356035
    Posted May 25, 2014 at 3:40 am | Permalink

    Yeah this is when the series starts getting good as for the pacing after this there is no other stand other than the Sun (which is a Joke fight mostly) all other battles last at least 4 chapters, since the pacing was deathly slow with 3 chapters per episode I hope they hasten up the pace and start cutting the captain obvious dialogue which is what most of the dialogue consists of.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 3:51 am | Permalink

      Indeed. I feel like they can fit most of the battles into a single episode, or two at most.

  7. Nadgers
    Posted May 25, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Im gonna have to get Stardust Crusaders on dvd. The censorship was not that big of a deal to me with the previous parts, but the gore from part 3 onward is just too glorious to not see in full.

    This episode was great.

  8. Varyn
    Posted May 25, 2014 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    There are ways they could easily edit around the censorship so it wasn’t as jarring. It feels like there really trying to get people to buy the blu rays with these sneak peaks at gore, rather than just cutting away.

    Which i’d be fine with an all, but no one in the UK will licence the damn thing. Noooo instead we get Highschool DxD, fucking fantastic job manga entertainment.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 3:54 am | Permalink

      I will say, for the most part, the censorship hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be. There’s the obvious stuff being censored, and the cigarette censorship is hilarious, but I thought we’d be seeing WAY more black blobs. But maybe they’ll show up in force now.

  9. Kenjeran
    Posted May 25, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Wait, I thought Stand have certain independence on them so that they can see the enemy and act accordingly regardless the user’s visibility?
    Fun episode overall, the fact that it incorporate horror element Chucky style in it made it more entertaining.

    • D1356035
      Posted May 25, 2014 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      They haven’t told it especifically, but there are 3 basic types of stand:
      -Power type like Star Platinum which have short range, are powerful combat wise and get weaker as they extend from the user.
      -Long range stands like Hierophant green which don’t get weaker as they move away from the user, can act as eyes (this is also used by Koichi in part 4), but they aren’t as powerful as power stands.
      -Automatic stands like Yo-Yo Ma that lack precision, rarely damage the user and can’t be recalled until they serve their purpose, which is usually eliminating a target.

  10. gedata
    Posted May 25, 2014 at 11:55 pm | Permalink
  11. Nagisa33
    Posted May 26, 2014 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    This episode was much better than the stuff before. My brother and I are happy that things are starting to get better because we were getting bored fast with JoJo wrecking everyone with Star Platinum easily. The sense of danger wasn’t really there because you knew that he’d mop the floor with these lower servants. Speaking of a solid sense of danger I liked how it shifted to Polnareff. He’s strong but he’s not MC strong which made the battle that much more intense. Yeah, good stuff! I’m waiting to see Part 2 craziness for this part though and I’m sure it’ll deliver later on.

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