Recap: Joseph and Lisa Lisa head further into the hideout, and challenge the Pillar Men to a final contest.
After last week’s drama, JJBA slows down a bit. The high tension after Caesar’s death is deflated a bit with a gimmicky vampire named Wired Beck, who goes down as quickly (and serves the same purpose) as the snake zombie Jonathan killed before fighting Dio. And in what is a running gag with each Joestar, they also both said “Yare Yare Daze” before dealing with the wimpy threat. Or I suppose in this case, before Lisa Lisa does. Her scarf is just like the one Straits had, in that it’s an extremely efficient Ripple conductor, and she barely brushes Beck with it as our heroes keep moving. Cue a dead vampire.
At any rate, our heroes confront the Pillar Men and their new army of thralls, and manage to bluff their way out of a sticky situation. They are to have two one-on-one fights, with the Red Stone of Asia as the prize. Wham is to fight Jojo, and Cars, Lisa Lisa. They keep her as a prisoner to make sure Joseph doesn’t go back on the deal.
That leads to the “big reveal” of this episode: Lisa Lisa was the baby Erina rescued from the ship after Dio attacked. For those of you who have been paying the slightest bit of attention, yes, this means she is Elizabeth Joestar, Joseph’s mother. Since Erina was busy with her own kid, Lisa Lisa was raised (and taught the Ripple) by Straits. Not that Joseph picks up on any of this though, more occupied with the fact that the hot 20-something is actually at least 50 years old. Oh, and now you can go back and be creeped out by the bits where Jojo’s effectively lusting after his own mother.
Anyway, the duel between Joseph and Wham is to commence as a crazy-ass chariot race next episode. Look forward to it.
After such a high drama episode last week, JoJo was always going to slow down a little (and revert back to seriously cheap animation), but this episode does a good job of keeping the momentum going and making the most of the limited material that it has to work with. JoJo and Lisa Lisa’s confrontation with Wired Beck is an amusing little aside that ends spectacularly as Lisa Lisa dissolves the vampire to ash. It also serves as a reminder that Pillar Men can create vampires, just before we’re confronted with a room full of the buggers. To the show’s credit, it’s able to make this face-off admirably tense with practically no animation, and the fact that JoJo‘s traditional extravagant campery in talking scenes is absent (mostly) makes it clear this is serious business.
Obviously the big revelation in this episode is that Lisa Lisa is the baby who Erina rescued from the sinking ship, who later married Jonathan’s son and is therefore JoJo’s mother. I do like the fact the show lets us work this out for ourselves (no doubt saving Lisa Lisa’s own reveal to JoJo for a big dramatic moment) but the honest truth is that it doesn’t really make a great deal of difference to the overall plot. JoJo has never shown any signs of being especially cut up over his missing mother and Lisa Lisa has never really shown much affection for her lost son, so at this point their relationship as fellow avengers of Caesar is far more important than any blood tie. It honestly feels like something thrown into the story just because it’d be neat, but not something that necessarily had to be there. However, I would point out that this raises Lisa Lisa’s chances of dying in the upcoming battle from something like 90% to well beyond 100% – that is to say, I’d be shocked if she wasn’t killed at this point. It just seems the obvious route to go.
What was unexpected and delightful was Wham’s choice of duel – a fight to the death on high speed chariots pulled by vampire horses. It’s exactly the kind of totally over the top action scene you’d want from JoJo and the only question is whether David Production have managed to scrape together enough leftover budget to do it justice – I’m not particularly up for a bunch of still images moving past a static background. If they can do it justice though, this should be one hell of a fight.