Jotaro is ambushed by the mind-controlled Kakyoin Noriaki and his Stand, Hierophant Green. After the battle, our heroes discover that Holly’s own Stand has turned against her, and the only way to stop it is to find and kill Dio.
Any JoJo fan has been waiting quite a long time for this. It’s the first ORA ORA, after all; how could it not be a momentous occasion? I exaggerate, of course, but the show does the same, using its trademark color filters and exciting background music as Star Platinum gives Hierophant Green the ultimate noogie. This version of the story is already tons more fun than the 90s OVA, which had an unflinching desire to be taken seriously. David Production knows how to make JoJo pretend to be serious while clearly being silly at the same time, which is necessary, particularly with moments like Jotaro finding Kakyoin’s death threat on a handkerchief.
Other notable things in this pair of episodes include the final use of the Ripple in JoJo. If you hadn’t realized by now that Stands were going to replace the Ripple completely, here’s your confirmation. Back in Phantom Blood or Battle Tendency, if someone was being controlled by a piece of vampire flesh, a Ripple punch would have solved that easily, and in fact it happened pretty much exactly that way when ACDC possessed Suzie Q. The original manga implied that the Stands were related to the Ripple somehow (and in the first episode they note Stands are powered by breath in the same way) but this never comes up again. Too bad!
Anyway, by the end of episode three we have a time limit and a reason to go beat up Dio, finally leading into the ridiculous world-hopping adventures the Stardust Crusaders arc is known for. It is definitely the most shonen arc we’ve seen so far (I was going to say the most straightfoward, but Phantom Blood probably wins that one), and the next episode preview clearly establishes a Stand-user-of-the-week format. I look forward to seeing how the anime handles things.
Personal highlights of the last couple of episodes would definitely have to be Jotaro’s utter nonchalance in the face of increasingly ridiculous situations. Stabbed in the eye? A little odd. School nurse possessed by an evil Stand user that’s also possessed? Better punch it. Said nurse lying in a pool of her own blood amidst the wreckage of a school building? She’ll be fine. If young Joseph was a scoundrel because of his less than good intentions, Jotaro is a scoundrel because he simply does not give a damn. Speaking of Joseph, old Joseph continues to be one of the best JoJos in the series, whether he’s being a racist old man or a doting father. In many ways, you can tell that age has changed the man, but deep down, he’s still Joseph Joestar. One can only hope that age hasn’t taken away from his prodigal talents as a trickster and a schemer.
As Iro said, in case you didn’t think Stands were here to stay, the 2nd and 3rd episode handily confirm otherwise. That said, Stands are a ton of fun too. We get some prime ORA ORA as well as the introduction of our main plot. With Holly slowly being killed by her own manifesting Stand, it’s up to Jotaro, Joseph, and the rest of the newly formed JoJo crew to go find Dio and beat him up. It works well as a way to add a sense of urgency that keeps the plot going. Of course, Dio isn’t going to make that easy and as we can already tell, we’ll likely be seeing some kind of monster of the week situation as Dio sends increasingly crazy Stand users at our heroes. While I’m not a gigantic fan of monster of the week scenarios, JoJo is the master of keeping things fun no matter what happens, and I’m sure we’ll have plenty to look forward to in the next few weeks.