Recap: As the Nazis awaken the man in the pillar, Joseph tries to sneak into their base.
This episode was something of a transitional one. Most of it was exposition and leading up to the next major conflict – that is, we get 15 minutes of the Nazis examining the Pillar Man until Jojo decides to show up. On the bright side, much of that involves the very eccentric Major Stroheim and his extremely hammy voice acting. Every other word is gleefully shouted and drawn out, and the very idea of a Nazi officer spending half of his lines exalting the Germans is stupidly hilarious. So, just what we’ve come to expect from JoJo by now.
As for Joseph himself, he resorts to all means of trickery to enter the Nazi base, if by “all means of trickery” you mean “dressing up in silly disguises”. The scene shown above where Joseph crossdresses to make it through the security checkpoint (starring “Tequila Joseph) is infamous among the JoJo fandom, for obvious reasons. He also pulls a few new tricks with the Ripple, making a barrier of sorts out of Ripple-ized hair and using cacti as makeshift bombs. If you still hadn’t gotten that Joseph fights dirty with all the tricks he can think of, then we’re probably not watching the same show.
We also get another dose of that shonen threat progression I mentioned last time. We started off with a vampire as the first threat, and now that Santana has been awakened, we get to see him take out a vampire without even trying. Even worse, the vampires are essentially food to him. Remember Dio’s whole speech about the food chain or whatever back in Part 1, saying that the vampires were like gods among men, meant to rule the world or something? The Pillar Men are a tier above that – kind of a big deal. At any rate, we end with the promise of a dramatic showdown between Joseph and Santana, but let me tell ya, this is only the beginning of the craziness.
Our plot kicks into high gear this episode, as the man in the Pillar awakens and proves to be something very different from what I was expecting. Santana is clearly incredibly powerful, but his seemingly stunted intelligence so far makes him something of wild card. While he’s clearly not idiotic, at this point he’s limited enough that its difficult to gauge any sort of character from him, though he clearly has no issue with wanton destruction. His almost casual dismissal of the unleashed vampire, an enemy theoretically on the level of Dio and Straits, indicates we’re operating on an entirely new level here.
In fact, Santana just feels more threatening than enemies we’ve seen before. It might simply be because without speaking he’s unable to unleash comedy amounts of hammy dialogue, or it might be the weird, slightly unsettling nature of his powers. The bit where he basically possesses the Nazi soldier by pouring into his eyeballs is horrible and ghoulish in a way JoJo hasn’t really quite been up to this point, and not even machine gun fingers can quite alleviate how nasty looking the resultant bloated zombie…thing is. It’s probably the first time in JoJo the enemy has been genuinely scary rather than just silly.
Fortunately though, the rest of the show hasn’t lost that dumb edge. JoJo in drag is a super obvious joke, but that doesn’t really make it any less funny, and it’s nice that the soldiers are just as incredulous as us (though really, is the blatant sexual harassment scene necessary?). Meanwhile, his ‘Hamon Hair Attack’ is gloriously, ridiculously unnecessary and certainly allays any fears that JoJo might be taking a turn towards the dark. Granted, it does feel we stop here just as things are about to get interesting, but I have no doubt things will kick off in a major way next week.