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Vanilla Ice – Dio’s second-in-command and the user of the Stand Cream, able to erase space – attacks our heroes.
We’re really in the home stretch now! Besides Vanilla Ice, only Dio himself remains, but that isn’t to say Vanilla Ice isn’t relevant. He’s one of the most powerful Stand-users in Stardust Crusaders, if not all of JoJo, and the easiest way to show this off is to have him immediately off Avdol with minimal effort. Avdol’s been living on borrowed time since the battle with Hanged Man and barely did anything in the back half of the show, but it’s still sad to see him go out so abruptly. Considering the circumstances, having him die so suddenly was probably the only way to give the moment any impact.
The fight has the usual twists and turns we’ve come to expect from JoJo, as Vanilla Ice goes from seeming invincible to being at Polnareff’s mercy. Cream’s ability to obliterate anything makes for a unique visual flair, cutting perfect spheres out of the terrain and creating one of the show’s most iconic battlefields. Kicking up sand to track an invisible enemy is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but convincing Vanilla Ice to emerge from his protective bubble by making him angry holds up surprisingly well. We’ve seen how powerful Dio’s cult of personality is over the course of the show, so it’s not too far of a stretch that it could make his number two act irrationally.
Lastly – since it’s certainly not worth its own episode – we jump from Polnareff mourning his dead comrades to Suzie Q Joestar doing her grandma thing around Japan, taking pictures of passersby and eating street food. It’s pretty heavy whiplash, but also nothing we haven’t seen from JoJo a million times already. While we’ve had it hammered into our brains that the entire point of this journey is to save Holly’s life, seeing her all haggard and hooked up to life support serves as a decent reminder of the stakes as we head into the (actually, really) final confrontation with Dio. It’s the fight that was implicitly promised nearly three years ago, and I couldn’t be looking forward to it more.