JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Episode 18

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Recap: The ACDC-possessed Suzi Q manages to swipe the Red Stone of Asia, sending the gang on a chase to Switzerland and another run-in with the Third Reich.

Iro’s Thoughts:
DUN DUN DUNNN! ACDC isn’t dead! Well, it was plain to see at the end of last week’s episode, and the bulk of this one is finishing off the sneaky bastard. He hijacks Lisa Lisa’s fetching assistant, Suzi Q, and manages to mail the Red Stone of Asia off to Switzerland before being caught by our heroes and fried with a double ripple. Notable is that this sequence includes JJBA’s first major foray into female fanservice, which only really feels out of place because 99% of the show is half-naked muscular men. Still, I imagine some were put off by Lisa Lisa standing around in a bath towel for 15 minutes and Jojo peering in on her through the keyhole (although, let’s be honest, that is entirely something the jackass would do). Hirohiko Araki also demonstrates his utter lack of ability to write romance, clumsily pairing off Jojo and Suzi Q as to not make it completely out of the blue when they hook up later on.

The other highlight of this episode is, of course, the return of the Nazis and their GERMAN SCIENCE. Unfortunately, the big reveal that Stroheim is indeed alive is gimped by JJBA‘s typical lack of subtlety: a Nazi officer whose face is shrouded in shadow, and who seems to know Joseph? Who else could it possibly be? Still, they had the technology to rebuild him, and now our favorite crazed German is better, stronger, faster, and half robot; you may now add “Nazi Cyborgs” to your list of crazy shit that makes JJBA so much fun.

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Zigg’s Thoughts:
After the big, epic ACDC battle last week, this is something of a slower episode, although unlike some of the filler we’ve seen in the past there’s still enough meat to the plot here to make it worth seeing. Having said that, the first half of this episode is devoted to tying up loose ends at best, and makes for a slightly underwhelming follow up.

Let’s do the good stuff first – ACDC’s possession of Suzie Q is extremely nasty and gory and that works very well, along with providing a few chuckles as he twists her into increasingly silly poses. At first I was a little worried that this might be a somewhat underwhelming finale for ACDC, but it actually conveys his desperation very well, and in some ways is a much more powerful sendoff than a massive flamboyant finale might have been.

I’m less enamoured with the non-ACDC Suzie Q though, who comes out of nowhere with basically no characterisation and couldn’t be a more blatant romance setup if she tried. It feels awfully perfunctory, as if Araki suddenly realised “Shit, we need this bloodline to continue at some point” and wrote the quickest, easiest hookup into the plot he possibly could. (Iro’s Note: YEP)

The back half of the episode though, was a much more exciting affair. I genuinely didn’t expect the return of Stroheim – even in the JoJoverse, being blown to smithereens would seem to be something no human could survive. The final shot of the episode, where he reveals he is now a NAZI CYBORG, made me laugh out loud and marked the first time in a while the show gave me that ‘Really? Seriously?’ ‘ double take. I’m very excited to see where they go with this, as I feel Battle Tendency may be entering the final stretch.

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Gee’s Thoughts:
Yes folks, with this episode, we get to witness the true power of (GERMAN) science. Stroheim’s return is yet another utterly insane blip in the multitude of insane things that occur in Battle Tendency. Add cyborg Nazis to the pile of things that make Jojo, well…Jojo. But alas, I believe I’m getting ahead of myself.

First, AC/DC. Now you might think, “what a pathetic way for an evil Aztec vampire to go out,” but I think it’s quite fitting considering that these are creatures who have lived for millennia. The very idea of permanent death is probably one of the few things that could frighten an immortal Aztec vampire. Indeed, possessing Suzie Q is a perfect way to send off the overly emotional crazy vampire while at the same time setting up the utterly contrived romance between Suzie Q and Joseph. If you thought Jonathan and Erina was a rushed attempt to ensure that the Joestar line was continued, this one takes it a whole new level of dumb convenience.

But hey, we get to see Cars in action, and whereas AC/DC was content to spew molten blood on people and jump into people’s bodies with his brain, Cars is definitely a far more subtle immortal Aztec vampire. Indeed, with Joseph, a harder/better/faster/stronger Stroheim, and Cars thrown into the mix, things are surely going to get interesting very soon.

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