Josuke’s Role Model is Himself?! JoJo’s DU Ep 15

Another week with the amazing Rohan is here! 

Before I start this, I have to apologize for the delay in my taste testing blogs. I just completed Silver Spoon and it has joined the ranks of my favorite anime of all time. Seriously though, Silver Spoon (aka Gin no Saji) is a wonderful slice of life and I would highly recommend. 

Anyway, Let’s return to JoJo’s and see the resolution of Rohan and the JoJo gang


Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 10.47.50 PM.png

I suppose this episode wasn’t the most inspirational or deep, but it tied up the story quite nicely. I guess there are two things I want to touch on: how the series mixes story lines, and Josuke’s little flashback (what could the resemblance mean?). 

As far as storylines go, Araki has done an excellent job of laying down a solid foundation, as shown by Phantom Blood. Though Phantom Blood is maybe the least interesting and most contrived arc of the series, it laid out a wide platform that the other series have built off of. Or rather, the series build off of each other in near secession. Diamond is Unbreakable is interesting and unique at this point because we have diverted from the family tree to look at what is (let’s face it) a bastard son. Because of this, the events that happen are no longer one after the other, but rather the events are the exact same. So what does this do to the anime? Well, for the most part, it adds complexity to a fairly straight story line. It also makes it possible to draw thematic parallels among events, like the Dio raid in Stardust Crusaders and Josuke’s illness. 

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 11.04.42 PM.png

The other thing I want to talk about is the man that serves as Josuke’s inspiration. First off all, I’m sure we all noticed the uncanny resemblance between current Josuke and the guy that helped him. Another thing about this scene are the sparkles that come off Josuke when his mom grabs him. Thirdly, the man is beaten and bloodied. He appears to have been in a fight, but appears out of nowhere and couldn’t be found afterword. Now, Morioh is a pretty small town, so you would think that Josuke’s mom would be able to find a single high school boy. 

Another thing that bothers me about that is how angry Josuke gets when the man is insulted. Now, if the unknown guy is actually Josuke who was somehow time warped to save himself be his stand powers (just run with this for a second), then would Josuke’s opinion of himself change at all? I’m not a manga reader, but I am willing to bet that Josuke will find out that he saved himself and become conflicted as to whether or not he can still hold himself (presumably) as a role model. 


 

Thank you for reading this week again! I will keep at it and make another hollow promise to not get sidetracked and produce blogs! happy anime hunting!

Rohan is the Best Villain Yet?! JoJo’s DU Ep 14

I need a moment for life updated here:

Well, not surprisingly, my plans to finish the season strong have died out. As it turns out, I have essentially zero time for anime in my daily life. In fact, JoJo’s is the only anime I watch consistently. I am going to make a blog about the endings of Mayoiga, Kiznaiver, and Kabaneri, but the weekly blogs have lost their significance.  In accordance with my lack of time, my reports on the summer season may look a bit different, although I am not quite sure what is changing. 

Anyways, this week in JoJo we got a wonderful introduction to Rohan, the crazy manga artist.


Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 11.11.19 AM.png

I would like to devote the entirety of this week to Rohan, who is one of the best JoJo villains we have had in a while. This time let’s look at what makes his character great as a villain, and what his signifies. 

First, I want to get out there that Rohan is one of my favorite villains since Battle Tendency, and not only because he is totally overpowered. Unlike some other villains who prove themselves to be quite intelligent, Rohan uses not only his intelligence, but also a healthy serving of common sense. Some villains, such as Chili Pepper, want to be found, but Rohan is different. He is very discrete and secretive, as shown by the hefty window coverings and his quiet attitude. Unlike many other bad guys, Rohan is also quite earnest and possesses very protagonist-like values. For example, he doesn’t dupe or attack Koichi and Hazamada until they intrude on his work and open up the manuscript. Though Rohan is not forgiving, he does not attack without reason.  

Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 11.15.27 AM.png

You can also find Rohan’s earnest nature in his attitude towards his manga. Unlike others, Rohan values the readers entertainment over money or fame. So despite Rohan’s claims of disliking people, he is actually a people pleaser. Rohan’s kind sentiments towards people seem limited to those who he has deemed worthy. For example, Rohan rejects Hazamada as a subject because he is an unlikable person (cheater, perverted, liar). I would go so far as to guess that at some point in his life, Rohan had his feeling betrayed by others, which caused him to develop a personality that was more tolerant towards being ignored or not accepted. 

Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 11.21.35 AM.png
See, Rohan is actually really happy about finding others like him. 

Rohan’s stand is also quite interesting. Heaven’s Door is said to be one of the most OP stands in the entire series (other than the JoJo stands), and I see why. Heaven’s Door essentially gives Rohan the power to rewrite a person’s life, or even decide another’s life for himself. In the hands of someone truly evil like Dio, this power would seem much heavier, however, given how earnest Rohan is, it does not seem as bad. Now, I believe that Rohan is actually a pretty good guy, despite his creepy vibe at times. His inherit goodness makes Rohan a more interesting villain, especially when compared to the JoJo crowd of antagonists, many of which are clearly bad like Hazamada.


I hope you enjoyed my blog this time around and my spring taste testing blogs are on the way 🙂 Happy Anime Hunting!   

Joseph Hasn’t Changed? JoJo’s DU Ep 13

Funny how my blog is completely dominated by JoJo’s…. That could tell you something about how addicting all the series are this season. Anyways, here comes Joseph in the full JoJo swing of things yet again. Let me just say: Even in his old age, Joseph is my favorite JoJo. 


This week I want to talk about a key topic in understanding motion (as know as the changing of time or space). This episode was essentially the pinnacle of the notion that in order to know anything, something about that object has to be unchanged even if time and space change. The unchanged object is the only part of the object that we can know, and is  what we call form, which is connected to matter, which is physical (atom are the most simplified). Example: you have a forest full of trees that are made of wood. If you chop down a tree and make it into a table, the fact that the object is still wood can be held in common with the forest, but the most basic (what I am calling simple) form is different (table vs forest). The same goes for aging; Something about that person (usually personality or intellect) is saved as the person ages, despite the physical form changing. Eventually, only the memory of a person is left.

 

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 8.46.20 PM.png

This episode served primarily to reintroduce Joseph. Last time Joseph was introduced to Jotaro, he was very cognitive and there was no doubt that much of the original Joseph was still there. This time, however, Josuke has major doubts about Joseph’s ability, as well as his sanity. 

As we saw from Joseph’s actions regarding the invisible child, there is actually quite a lot of him that has been saved since last time he appeared in the show. Although his masterful strategy, sparky comebacks, and iron whit have deteriorated, the inherit JoJo kindness runs as strongly as ever. 

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 8.49.09 PM.png

Although the great bulk of the episode came off as a comedy skit, we actually had a handful of good moments. The best being Josuke’s eventual acceptance of Joseph as his father, despite his reservations. Although Josuke had announced earlier in the episode that he would call Joseph Mr. Joestar, the act of heroism convinced Josuke otherwise. I was actually surprised at how little Jotaro appeared in this episode. Since Joseph entered the picture, little attention has been paid to Jotaro’s influence to the story. I am hoping that they actually make some sort of use of his character this season, as I felt he was poorly underused in Stardust Crusaders. 


Anyways, I hope you enjoyed my short notes this week. I’ll make something happen with all the other ones. 

The All-Important Theme of Family! JoJo’s DU Ep 12

Here we are again with JoJo’s! I love how this show is so easy to talk about, unlike some choice others of the season. Either way, here we are with the resolution to the ever so annoying Chili Pepper!


Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 5.47.51 PM.png

Introducing Akira, the crazy guitar wielding stand user! How electrifying. Anyways, he is pretty much what you would expect given his stand: narcissistic, arrogant, and zero chill. I suppose that description was within the degrees of freedom I used last week. Regardless, Akira is pretty much a playbook JoJo villain. Unlike some of the duds of Stardust Crusaders, I actually hope to see Akira again. He adds a lot of energy to a cast that would be very bland (without Okuyasu). I find it interesting how this series is keeping the villains in town (hospital mostly) as they mentioned last episode. Given how many of them appear in the opening, I expect more appearances. 

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 6.03.07 PM.png

I also love the three JoJos reunited. Family pride has actually been a fairly prevalent theme throughout all the seasons, but draws little attention from critics, which is surprising considering the premise is based on following the Joestar family.  The family theme has a multitude of implications. First of all, the majority of issues faced in the series center around protecting, saving, or avenging a family member. Just to name a few: Jonathan pursued Dio in part because of his father’s death by Dio, Jonathan also sacrificed  himself for his son, Joseph fights the idols to protect his grandmother, and later Jotaro and Joseph fight to save Holly, and now Josuke fights to protect his mother. But this is not just true of the JoJo line. For example, Polnareff fights to avenge his sister, Ceasar fights for the honor of his late father, and Okuyasu fights to avenge his father.

Another thing I have noted about the family pride theme is that characters, especially male protagonists, feel an extraordinary responsibility towards protecting their family.  Also, if their family meets harm in any way, then the males feel responsible for what happened. You see this a lot in characters like Polnareff and Jotaro, who are both left enraged when the women in their life (sister and mother) are harmed. 

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 6.08.28 PM.png

Another common theme, with exception to Lisa Lisa (Joseph’s mother), is that the men most always protect women. Even with Lisa Lisa, Joseph had to come save her when Kars tried to kill her. As far as my understanding, there is only one female JoJo to date (Jotaro’s daughter) who is the main protagonist of the sixth story. Although this does come off as a bit sexist, given the gender equality realities in Japan, especially when the books were written, this doesn’t surprise me. 

The last thing I want to mention right now (on this theme) is that the “goodness” of any given character directly correlates with how much the character loves/tries to protect their family. At one end of the spectrum, the JoJo’s are big on family, and are the protagonists. Alternatively, Dio is the ultimate villain, and he always wished his family harm and only valued himself. Okuyasu and his brother are also great examples; Okuyasu loved his brother, but his brother always claimed him to be a menace and held little concern for Okuyasu’s safety. Consequently, Big brother bit the dust, while Okuyasu, who retained his love, is left standing and is now a protagonist. Similarly, Ceasar used to want to kill his father, and was going down a dark gang-filled path, that is until his father risked his life to save Ceasar, which made Ceasar regain respect and love for his father (boom, protagonist!). 


Well I hoped you enjoyed my JoJo family centric blog today! Here is a little touch of the ever so hilarious Okuyasu to tie things up:

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 6.06.10 PM.png

Let’s Evolve and Eat Healthy! JoJo’s DU Ep 9&10

Quite Surprisingly, I am back on time. I did say Sunday or Monday! Anyways, Let’s just jump right back into anime, since I have a lit to make up from the past couple of weeks. I will probably just dismiss the Concrete revolutio Analysis, since it is so far behind, and opt for building a timeline when I re-watch the series.

Anyways, I have a bit of JoJo to make up so let’s dive right into the new episodes: Yukako part 2 and Italian food. Might I just say this really quick: Koichi a a stellar character and this series is quickly elevating to be ma favorite JoJo part/storyline;. Battle Tendency step aside! 


Episode nine consisted of an epic showdown in which Koichi evolved and fended for himself. Now aren’t we proud of little Koichi! 

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 3.59.01 PM.pngWe all know Koichi is a pretty timid, yet quietly courageous and kind guy, right? I suppose this episode presented a nice development in which Koichi is losing more and more of his timid nature as he gains a confidence in his stand ability. Though most of this episode focused on action and entertainment, we also got a little bit on Yukako and Koichi. I want to point out that Yukako is, for the most part, a mix of previous characters. A lot of people have compared her to Kars from Battle Tendency. Certainly the appearance is a match, but the conceded and unrelenting personality is also a commonality. Yukako is very entitled and prideful, which although can be related to the “good guy”characters like Polnereff, Iggy, and Josuke, the presentation of these attributes more closely resembles villains like Dio and the D’Arby brothers.

On the other hand, Koichi is far more original a character for the series. Previously timid characters, like Speedwagon and Smokey, are simply wingmen who contribute little and are always in need of saving. I can appreciate the twist to grant Koichi more power. I think the only other instance of this (in full) would be the original Jonathan Joestar. Additionally, Koichi’s honorable nature is rarely seen paired with a timid personality in this series. Take Avdol and Ceasar for example: both are respectable and hardworking, but neither are timid; they are both quite stubborn and influential. Maybe it is just me, but Koichi follows the JoJo spirit closer than Josuke does!

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 4.18.51 PM.png

I also want to point out that Koichi has been throwing a couple of punches in the humor department. Though I’m not quite sure he has challenged the fourth wall, Koichi is standing right beside it, offering a couple of hilarious one liners. In addition, I want to tip my hat to the new haircut, even though I prefer the other, more wild hair, one a bit more. As far as this episode goes, it proves to me that Koichi might just be the true protagonist of this series, as (at least to me) he has the most interesting personality mix and is the most believable and respectable of the bunch. 


 

On to episode 10, where we meet the all famed/hyped character: Tonio!

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 4.57.35 PM.png

Alright, so this episode proved to be one of the funnier ones of this season. All throughout the episode, Josuke is left out of an ongoing joke that is fully based on Okuyasu. I don’t know about you guys, but I have a close friend that resembles Okuyasu, and this series of events is all but accurate, or at least as accurate as health food gets. Despite all the ominous scenes of Okuyasu being physically mutilated, and Tonio giving off serial killer vibes, this was an extremely upbeat episode. 

I could go into detail about what parts are funny and why, but I think it would be more productive to talk about Tonio. The immediate impression of Tonio is pretty similar to Polnareff, except much more respectful and aware. After hearing his backstory, I can’t help but compare him to Avdol a bit. It again reinforces the idea/theme that you can obtain a stand if you train for it. 

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 5.05.57 PM.png

I would also apply my little stand formula, but not much is known about how exactly his stand works. From what I saw, it seems that his stand takes apart living things, and then reorganizes them in a more productive way. I find this to be fundamentally similar to Josuke’s stand, which has the ability to heal people. The one different factor is that Tonio’s stand seems specially keyed towards healing and goodness, while Josuke’s can be easily used for bad activities. As far as Tonio’s personality goes (in terms of determining his stand powers), he seems to be quite nurturing and protective, however these traits can be compromised when his perfection-centric personality is compromised. In tother words, Tonio is able to devote himself to the care of others as long as he is in charge of what is going on. This trait is seen as Tonio freaks out when he sees Josuke in the kitchen, as well as the fact that his kitchen area is extremely organized, and that he is the only person working at his restaurant. I find Tonio to be a pretty redeemable guy, and he makes for a humorous character.


 

Well that is all I have this time around, so I hope you enjoyed reading! Also, DID YOU SEE THAT MY BAE JOSEPH IS COMING NEXT WEEK- HELL YES! Anyways, I will be back soon and Happy Anime Hunting 🙂

Koichi’s Love Story from Hell?! JoJo’s DU Ep 8

Yet another week of JoJo’s to be talked about! This time around we get to meet one of the only women in the series: love interest Yukako. 


Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 9.24.21 PM.png

The episode begins with some plot building, essentially telling us that Josuke and company are bound to run into a multitude of other stand users, as they are drawn to each other. After a deadful opening song remix, this then slides down a humorous sequence, in which Yukako confesses her feelings for Koichi. Just a couple of thoughts: for once a JoJo is not the center of attention! *Actually, Ceasar got some booty in Battle Tendency. This used the absolute best comedic tactics to build what I find to be one of the most hilarious scenes this season!

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 9.28.01 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-20 at 9.30.35 PM

First of all, we have excellent use of contrast between Yukako’s normal genuine nice girl mode and her Yandere crazy girlfriend mode. In combination with her bipolar attitude, we have top notch Speedwagon-style narration from Josuke and Okuyasu, who are hiding in the buses. We also get an awesome feeling of parody from the overly cheerful music going on in the background. On top of that, the execution of Koichi’s kind personality in the face of an awkward situation is spot on to his character. Really, what sets this scene apart from other humorous ones is that the characters did not have to change personality at all in order to make the scene come off as comedic. 

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 9.57.42 PM.png

The rest of this episode really is just a slur of genius comedy. Seriously, I though Battle Tendency is hilarious, but this is just something else. Now I could talk about how funny this episode is, or I could try to analyze Yukako…

Yukako is, in essence, the crazy mom that you may or may not have. She is very prideful and believes that her way is best and there is nothing that could be better than her train of thought. Even though she claims to love Koichi, she doesn’t bother to take note of his opinion.  I would try to attribute Yukako’s personality to some disorder or issues that she has, but given the presentation, I believe I am not supposed to. Since there are a couple of flaws in reasoning, the closest assessment I would make would be bipolar disorder and general desire for power. The bipolar comes from her obvious swings in personality, but since most all of them have a cause and effect, her condition could also be the result of having a very low tolerance. Her desire for power could have been fostered in the notion that she is very beautiful, and was given a lot of things. With many people who have a lot, they begin conjuring lacks instead of being happy with what they have. As for her confession to Koichi, makes perfect sense! Koichi is probably my favorite character this season because he is an adorkable sweetheart. 

Bummer he only attracts the crazy people.

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 9.31.17 PM


Well I hope you enjoyed my short assessment of JoJo’s Diamond is Unbreakable this week! Although this time around lacked much as far as my interests are concerned, JoJo’s DU is still a formidable anime! 

Insecurity leads to Envy? JoJo’s DU Ep 7

Hello and welcome to a now weekly installment of JoJo’s analysis! While I’m here, might as well do a blog update: From now on, JoJo’s, Kiznaiver, and (hopefully) Kabaneri will be put on a weekly schedule, as opposed to once every two weeks. After I do a ep 6-7 feature for Mayoiga, I plan to do a weekly on that. Unfortunately, Concrete Revolutio has escaped me a little bit. Though I plan to catch up, it might be around week 8 or 9 into the season. 

Anyways, JoJo’s delivered a less than impressive episode this week, or at least in comparison with the previous. Hopefully, next week picks up with the romantic sub-plot that appears to be brewing. 


Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 12.14.37 AM.png

First I want to point out the exciting opening update! Although (let’s face it) we all expected Koichi to get a stand eventually, this is super exciting nonetheless! I have not read the books, but from what I have heard, in combination with some cosplays, Koichi’s stand is going to evolve soon. This makes sense, as currently, Koichi’s stand is the only one in the opening that does not mirror or copy the user’s movements. 

I also want to address something I read online regarding Kobayashi’s size. In the manga, Kobayashi actually first appeared as a large/normal sized character, and only shrank to his current size, or how he started in the anime, after Koichi put him in his place. Personally, I find this to be an odd adaptation, as the change in size is quite symbolic of multiple things. Thus, far I have not come up with an explanation other than laziness/convenience or trying to keep things simple for the audience. Thoughts? 

Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 12.29.13 AM.png

The next stand user Josuke and Koichi run into is a man named Hazamada. His stand has the ability to copy someone to a T and control their movements by using a wooden doll. In other words, his stand is a puppet master. I’m going to throw my formula into the mix here (remember? the one that says stands are culminations/representations of the user’s personality): Normally, Hazamada is completely useless and anonymous, or rather, he has no power. Drawing from his appearance, he tries to pass as somewhat anonymous and does not like drawing attention. However, this has created a lack, or desire in Hazamada, which (in his case) concerns itself with wanting people to follow and/or listen to him. Hazamada simply wants people to follow him and treat him like a leader, but because he is small, quiet, and timid, people aren’t naturally drawn to him. Confused about how to gain this fellowship, he turns to manipulation in the form of physical force. In this way, Hazamada and Kobayashi are completely different. Kobayashi relies almost entirely on emotions, namely guilt, while Hazamada has no grip on how to control people using emotions, so he turns to physical force. This suggests that Hazamada was bullied in the past, and not felt accepted by the people in his life. He may turn out to be an interesting character. 

Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 12.48.23 AM.png

You see? Hazamada can’t focus on his strengths because he focuses on the good parts of other people. Since his focus is away from his own good attributes, they suffer accordingly until there is nothing good left about him. Though you could debate between wrath as his main downfall, I would consider envy to be the primary device. When Hazamada attacked the bikers, I see this as more of his way of letting his rage go. Despite his actions, I still see him as not that bad of a guy. Unlike Kobayashi, who manipulates others for material wealth, Hazamada is simply trying to find a way to solve his insecurity. In other words, Hazamada is trying to find something that accepts and/or encourages his being so he can be happy with himself. On the other hand, Kobayashi is perfectly happy with himself, and just wants some spending money to treat himself. Considering selfishness, Hazamada is the clear winner. 

I could talk about the story points this week, but I don’t find many of them to be very interesting. This episode fell into the typical JoJo’s action episode formula, which was pioneered back in Phantom Blood. Regardless of the repetitive story, the characters are what make this series special, so focusing on them is justified.


I hope you enjoyed my (now) weekly ramblings on JoJo’s Diamond is Unbreakable! I look forward to next week and happy anime hunting! 

Koichi is a Saiyan?! JoJo’s: DU Ep 5&6

Welcome yet again to my analysis of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures: Diamond is Unbreakable! Episodes 5 and 6 kept on adding to the JoJo’s fun with bold colors, trickery, and a new face! 


 

Episode 5 opens with a short recap along with a tad bit more development on Koichi. Meanwhile, we get super creepy vibes from the dark colors and ominous music, paired with a death flag-like feeling from the story direction. Of course, this death flag is pointed towards none other than Koichi, who moments earlier exhibits his compassion for other people with his resolve to destroy the bow. Luckily the overpowered Josuke is his friend!

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 11.07.59 PM.png

Again, we see the excellent animation in this series. There are 1000+ different ways to make a dangerous or spooky house seem completely harmless or even silly. JoJo’s has taken extra steps with camera angles, specifically the fisheye from above in this scene. All the camera effects used really enhance the creepiness of the moments, which makes for a far more engaging scene. 

We then slide into a plot building conversation between Okuyasu’s older brother, Josuke, and Koichi. All of which, of course, related back to Dio. OKAY SO THAT WHOLE DAD STORY REALLY GOT ME. The collateral damage Dio caused has become a theme throughout the series. In Startdust Crusaders and Phantom Blood, Dio was a very direct influencer of the tragedies that occurred around the Joestar family. In Diamond is Unbreakable, the show has made a shift away from Dio to focus in his powers and what they mean for other people.

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 11.25.28 PM.png

The Okuyasu older brother death was very morbid, yet very important as far as the characters are concerned from now on. Obviously we knew that Okuyasu would be joining Josuke and his crew from the opening and cover art, but I would not have expected such a turnout. Okuyasu’s brother proved himself to be a pretty good guy, very subtly throughout the episode. For example, he protected Okuyasu both when they were little, and when the stand “Hot Chili Peppers” tried to take out Okuyasu through the electrical outlet. 

Evidently enough, this episode was not as rich as I would have liked it to be. Although the narrative is still quite strong and the characters are constantly evolving and developing, this episode felt a little bit lacking compared to the last couple. 


 

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 7.45.39 PM.png

Episode 6 begins with a sidestep from last week to focus on Koichi’s daily life (maybe?). We are immediately hit on the back of the head with yet another upgrade of stunning shots. Okay revision: this part of the episode exists not to introduce Koichi’s moral tendencies (which we already have a solid grip on), instead it is to introduce another short-man Tamami Kobayashi. Kobayashi seems to be a spin off of the usual eccentric high school grad thug; the only differentiating factor is his height and relatively cool head. Oh wow Koichi ran over a poor little kitty Of course the animal abuse in JoJo’s is present!

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 7.58.02 PM.png

Okay, so Kobayashi is actually a stand user, whose ability revolves around a lock that increases in size and weight every time your guilt over something increases. The only way to release the lock is to make up for your “sins” in one way of another; Kobayashi prefers money.  In this case, Kobayashi builds up Koichi’s guilt over running over the poor little kitty. Let’s take a moment to apply my stand formula (discussed last blog) to Kobayashi’s stand power. Kobayashi’s power essentially mirrors the process of atonement. He finds people who posses the desire to atone for their actions, and then grants them their atonement, while consequentially benefitting from their act of atonement. To be able to manage this mentally, Kobayashi has to do one of the following: be an opportunist, or have an earnest desire to help other people find their way. I also would not be surprised if Kobayashi possesses a heavy past full of “unforgivable” sins. If this is the case, then his stand represents something that he will never be capable of: atoning for his sins/past actions. 

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 8.42.37 PM.png

Let’s flash forward to a bit later in the episode (past the comedic exchange between Josuke and Kobayashi) to the scene where Kobayashi has infiltrated Koichi’s house. As of now, I am not sure what to think of this man, other than a significantly less classy version of D’Arby Sr. from Stardust Crusaders.  The theme of trickery was very strong in Battle Tendency, as Joseph’s personality was well suited to exhibit his intelligence and cunning. In Stardust Crusaders, none of the characters fully embodied the excitable, yet intelligent nature of Joseph in Battle Tendency. Hopefully, Kobayashi will grow into the role, as his position in the opening appears to be quite prominent. 

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 8.49.24 PM.png

It was not how I expected, but I am quite satisfied how this episode turned out. Koichi and Kobayashi are actually extremely similar in regard to their stand powers, despite having completely different personalities. Both of their powers are reliant on the person who they are affecting, as opposed to themselves. As I said earlier, Kobayashi’s stand grants atonement for guilt that is existing, or that he has imposed on them. On the other hand, Koichi’s stand uses sound waves to resonate with a person’s soul. So how are these powers so similar? Well for starters, he two share a connection to the human soul through manipulation. Koichi is able to influence a person’s decision making by manipulating them with sound waves. Similarly, Kobayashi uses trickery and guilt alongside his stand’s powers of attonement.  In this way, they also both play to both ends of the misery-happiness spectrum. Kobayashi gives the people an opportunity to pay away their guilt, and Koichi can send “good vibes” to people. Alternatively, Kobayashi often causes the guilt, and/or needs guilt to be present for his powers to work, and Koichi can harm others with his sound waves.

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 9.04.10 PM.png

The main difference between them is that Koichi’s stand powers lend themselves more to the good rather than the bad, simply because of his personality. In episode 5, we found that Koichi is much braver than he seems, and his courageousness influences his sense of justice and tendency towards goodness. On the other hand, we can tell from Kobayashi’s thieving nature, comments about his mother never being supportive, and guilt-required stand powers, that he is much less moral than Koichi. The disparity in their personalities, yet outstanding similarities in the nature of their stand’s powers, makes Koichi and Kobayashi a good match/pair for each other. Looks aside, they are the two most similar to each other characters yet!

If you can’t tell by the screencaps, episode 6 was much more bombastic and visually exciting than last week, which was more focused on the Nijimura family narrative. This week brought back bold colors, retro combinations, swirling rooms, and unusual angles. Overall, episode six was a step up from the previous episode and I expect the next to continue this upward trend!


 

I hope you enjoyed my blog again this time around! If you couldn’t tell from my recent activity, I have a ton of school related work that has been taking up a fair portion of my time. After May’s end, I vow to produce these blogs weekly! 

Stands Explained? JoJo’s: Diamond is Unbreakable Ep 2-4

JOJO! Atlas, we return to this gem among anime! Since, I have already fallen behind, this week will contain all of the previous weeks, because why not. I just finished Stardust Crusaders yesterday, so I can finally watch this series without having to worry about missing something. Also, please acknowledge that these are all my theories and I am not stating them as fact, only as interpretation. Without further ado, let’s jump into the suburban horror that is Diamond is Unbreakable!


Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 8.36.19 AM.png

We start off the second episode with a display of Angelo’s cunning, as he successfully disguises himself as a milk man. He then puts on a violent display by killing the neighbor and their dog. Meanwhile, Jotaro narrates Angelo’s vicious past. Needless to say, it was a very direct and JoJo-esk storytelling fashion. I have to mention a commonality among the villains in this show; some sort of sexual fetish. Angelo doesn’t just kill the young boys, he rapes them too. Excuse me sounding like an advertisement slogan, but that fact is undeniable. Using what I have learned from Criminal mind, I would go so far as to guess that Angelo has excessive sexual desire, which is expressed through violence. In other words, his frustrations stem from sexual desire overload. His stand seems to mirror this concept. It invades people through liquids and tears them apart. I have not read ahead any JoJo, but perhaps this means that the stand is dependent on the personality of the user, or vice versa. I guess time will tell. 

The opening is a nice throwback to the original JoJo styling. Unlike Stardust Crusaders, this series seems to have departed from the hyper masculine, muscle-man image. The color scheme is similar to that of Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency, with loud bursts of color and a pop art feel. Such changes invigorate the anime with new life and draw. Generally, the aesthetics this season are an improvement from Startdust Crusaders. This season has a more cartoon-ish feel, which fits JoJo’s story and character stylings. 

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 9.03.51 AM.png

It didn’t take long for me to get sucked in; this anime is just too exciting! I want to talk about the father-son dynamic for a moment. Not only did it act as a plot building moment, with Angelo’s personal vendeta revealed, but now also I completely understand where Josuke’s personality is stemming from. He gets a good sense of humor and fun from old man Higashikata, and an iron will from his mother. Though I would still argue that part of your personality is due to genetics, but as a JoJo, Josuke fits right in. I have a theory to offer too; Jotaro is going to become something like a father figure to Josuke, Similar to how Joseph was fatherly to Jotaro during their Stardust Crusader days. Family values are always very key themes in the storyline. A lot of the time, actions that the JoJo’s commit to are for the sake of their family, as opposed to their pride or desire for power. Either way, Angelo left Josuke an opportunity to follow this (successful) formula and act to protect his mother. 

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 9.04.49 AM

When it started raining, Diamond is Unbreakable started showing off it’s strengths. For one, the angles are phenomenal. We get shots like the bending house (below) from a worm’s eye view, then later see Josuke choking on Angelo’s stand from a bird’s eye view. The variety in shots solidifies the chaotic, yet simultaneously meticulous construction. So far, this is my second favorite series under Battle Tendency, which is my number one simply because Joseph is my favorite JoJo. Either way, this series is shaping up to be one of the best this season. The pacing is right, that characters are enjoyable, and the animation is fantastic. 

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 9.20.36 AM.png

I also want to take a moment to talk about the sound effects and music. Both the opening and ending give off the feeling that JoJo’s is all about. The exciting opening with jazz influences paired with the reworked 80’s rock soundtrack ending suites the series very well. If you haven’t noticed, many of the characters in this series are based off of popular bands and artists from the ate 70’s and 80’s (Whamu/Wham!, Esidisi/AC DC, Kars/The Cars, Pet Shop/Pet Shop Boys, etc.). Setting the music up to resemble these bands, suits the anime much more than hanky-pank songs from the modern era. 


Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 9.53.29 AM.png

Let’s move on to the third episode. The episode goes off with a bang, recounting the final chat between the JoJos and Angelo. We get his with a lot of plot building right off the bat, and some past events beg explanation. Here is what we know: There is a man dressed in a high school uniform who grants stands to other people using a bow and arrow. Jotaro suspects that Dio was in contact with this man during the Stardust Crusaders events. Thus far, stands have essentially been a mystery, but have differentiated themselves from Hanon Energy. Stands are not the product of Hanon energy, so what are they? During Angelo’s flashback, the man with the bow tells him that the stand talent was”pulled from your mind,”and “you’ve got the aptitude,” meaning that the bow brought forth the stand in Angelo. This is probably the largest influx on stands that we have received! If what the man with the bow says is true, then there are numerous possible stand users who simply have not discovered their talent. Recall what Avdol said about his land last season. He talked about how people train in order to obtain a stand of sorts. Perhaps this bow and arrow is a shortcut to the training that Avdol mentioned. 

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 10.10.36 AM.png

The scene where Jotaro goes to meet Josuke’s mother is a little off for me. I’m not the biggest fan of how women are portrayed in this series; evil and ugly or pretty and stupid. Granted Joseph and Jotaro look alike, I find that a little bit hard to mess up so bad. I’m glad the message got through at the end of the scene because otherwise it would have disrupted the episode too much. 

Next thing we encounter is Okuyasu, who is very dumb, but very powerful. His older bother possessed the bow and arrow used to “create” stand users. Okuyasu seems to be easily controlled by his older brother, and struggles to think for himself. It seems Okuyasu has a very similar power to Vanilla Ice; it takes up objects into an abyss what cannot be reached. I’m still not sure how the potted plants made their way over to Okuyasu after like 5 or 6 attempts, but whatever. Again, I have to applaud the fantastical animation in this scene. Watching Josuke fly around was show stopping, despite the fact that it was just him getting beat up. 

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 10.38.19 AM.png


 

Episode 4 starts with Nijimura-onisan mercilessly taking out little Okuyasu. The older brother has a philosophy similar to Dio, which entails a very Darwin-like concept. Many of the (relatively) more successful opposition to the Joestars have been villains that support a notion that the strong will prevail over the weak. Alternatively, the Joestars and their allies have all harbored a minimal level of compassion for weakness. Diamond is Unbreakable appears to be no exception to these themes. The older Nijimura is heartless, and more successful than Okuyasu, and Josuke values Koichi enough to try and save him, but also heals the injured Okuyasu. 

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 10.49.18 AM.png

Okuyasu holds true to his personality and acts on his desire, which just happens to be helping Josuke. Okuyasu is like a Polnaref or Kakyoin figure to Josuke, as they join and help of their own volition. Meanwhile, Koichi is more similar to Smokey, who was helped out by the Joestar, but does not have any power to offer. 

I am beginning to add to my theory that stands are dependent upon their user’s personality. For starters, Josuke and Shining Diamond him perfectly. When angered, Josuke becomes violent, so Shining Diamond possessed destructive power. Shining Diamond also has a sort of healing power, which mirror Josuke’s kindness for others, however, he is not able to heal himself, which symbolizes that Josuke holds the well being of others above his own. Star Platinum also fits Jotaro’s personality. Jotaro is very precise and perceptive, even when engaged in violent scenarios.  Accordingly so, Start Platinum is able to see for miles away, catch a tiny fly in midair, and block fast moving attacks from any direction. Another edit I want to clarify is that the stands are the ones who are dependent on the users, not the other way around. If not all people have the capacity to harbor stands, then it means that some people are not dependent on the stand (as they cannot harbor/control it). 

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 11.22.42 AM.png

Apparently Koichi has joined the stand user family! I guess that is why they left a lot of space for him in the opening. Like anyone would be, I am very interested in Joichi’s egg stand. I’m hoping for a dragon at this point. Anyways, the final battle was a culmination of Joestar wit and explosions. Maybe it’s just me, but the number of similarities between Josuke and Joseph is immense. I would like to think of Josuke as 2/3 Joseph and 1/3 Jotaro. The Joestar blood runs strong. 

Here is the full ending 🙂


 

I hope you enjoyed my short analysis of JoJo’s Diamond is Unbreakable. I am super excited for this series! Happy anime hunting!

SPRING 2016 Taste Testing, Part 1

 

The 2016 Spring Season has officially begun! This season I am going to be trying out some new writing styles and testing different organizations of the blogs. For now, I am going to introduce and give my thoughts in the most eloquent way possible. This time around I am going to abstain from including numerical ratings of the shows, since they don’t add much and usually end up sparking conflict. Let’s Begin. 


 

357cff27ea53f1b107c18ae851e6396f

First up we have the classic Ushio and Tora (second season). If you don’t know, I am a rather large fan of an older style of anime. production. As an anime, Ushio and Tora gives off an old school feel with the thick line art, super heroic characters, and fairly straightforward plot. Though not the best old manga adaptation I have seen, Ushio and Tora does a fairly good job at balancing modern audience needs and honoring the original story. 

This episode starts with a brand new downgrade of an opening. I see the point of an opening to get you excited to watch the rest of the episode. This opening sounds like band members tuning their instruments before the song begins. Next we get introduced to a fairly pretty scene with Asano, which reestablishes their emotional tie. Of course, the only right thing to do then would be have every character forget Ushio and Tora exist. Granted, this is the kind of anime that needs conflict to push the plot, I feel like the presentation lack excitement, and didn’t have enough emotion to connect with. This show wouldn’t be itself if we didn’t see Tora go totally Tsundere in Ushio’s presence. Ushio and Tora is not very subtle, and without character development, it is pretty lack luster. I expect the series to improve in the following weeks, but highly doubt the series will achieve a very memorable status. 


 

tumblr_inline_o3tncbjxg61ttrl6y_540The next anime I looked at is Mayoiga, or rather creepily translated to The Lost Village. I don’t know much about the series other than it is about 30 (relatively) young people who take a bus to join a supposedly “perfect” society. There is no doubt in my mind that there will be a prominent lesson like “utopias look better on paper” or something along those lines. 

The episode starts with plot building. Although it doesn’t make for the strongest hook, we do get a decent sense for what the anime is going to be about. I like how the series took some time to introduce members of the cast that will (hopefully) be receiving some good character development later on. With such a large cast I find it unlikely that the series would focus on the plot rather than character relationships. Before the opening song, there is no designated main character. The opening didn’t do much for this anime. It’s not beautiful or rad rock n’ roll, but it also isn’t nails on the chalk board. After watching the opening, it appears that the two teenage boys and the young girl with the bob haircut are the stars of this show, but the side characters will not be ignored. I’m going to throw out a guess that the unlucky hippopotamus song is foreshadowing the experience as a whole. I’m starting to really feel the dark undertones of this series. You get it a little bit from the color palette, but Mitsumune’s delusions and Misaki’s bipolar symptoms have clarified the underlining mood. Also, way to end on a really creepy note. Singing morbid lyrics with a straight face and entering the abysmal-looking village always brings out the smiles. Anyways, this is looking to be an interesting anime with pretty high production value.


 

ace-attorneyNow let’s look at Ace Attorney. This anime is based off a popular game. From what I have heard, the game is pretty complete/well rounded so the adaptation should be solid. It seems to be taking the angle of “extremely talented/gifted man in a field,” which gives me major Back Jack feels. This time around, our main man is a lawyer. 

The episode opens up with a murder and a seemingly uncreative villain. Next we skip to a typical high school boy narration opening. Well the first minute hasn’t left me impressed in the slightest. I think I need a moment to take in how weird (not in a good way) the opening is. It was actually hilarious just how stupid it came off. The main guy is obviously going to have a rival who is a prosecutor (“attack” lawyer). Oh my god the main character is named Naruhodo (“I see [understand]” in Japanese). Naruhodo. On the plus side the art looks pretty solid. I think the following ridiculousness just crushed the positive statement about art. Practice of law (specifically homicide) is not to be taken so lightly. Instead of creating humorous contrast in that area, this anime is just off-putting. Also, holy shit his friend’s name is Yahari (“I knew it” in Jap). This anime is kind of a mess. Naruhodo gets up to defend his friend’s future and cracks a fucking joke. Well apparently the show is actually taking a reasonable legal route when it fully disproves the witness testimony. The childhood flashbacks are really bizarre and come with close to no explanation. Apparently when you lose, you are hit with an immense physical blow via wind power. Well there are some things this show has to offer, but it fails in other respects. I like how aspects of the game are incorporated into the adaptation, but the general lack of seriousness/sanity is a little obnoxious. Overall it made for an entertaining episode, but not in the right way. I think this will be a fun one to critic.

Side note: In the game, Naruhodo translates to Mr. Wright. There is an option on Crunchy roll subs to change it if you right click. 


 

cedyobhwaaemtaeMoving on to The Asterisk War, which produced an underwhelming season last fall. The lovely pastel colors, decent soundtrack, and fairly developed characters make up for what would be a generic harem anime. You have the pink haired tsundere lead, boring overpowered male lead, childhood friend, sexy girl in charge of things, and random cute girl. The gang’s all here! This season picks up right where it left off in the tournament.

The episode starts with a tiny annoying girl who zips around the room with a bunch of guys chasing her. Oh wait that is the girl who gives an evil smile in the last opening. Nice “big bang opening” with the animation work featuring her flying around the room. Shockingly enough she is another random chic interested in Ayato. This opening has better imagery than the previous season, but the song itself is underwhelming. Next we skip to a relatively meaningless scene where Ayato and Julis strategize and remind the audience how battered Ayato is. To catch us up even more and to widen the cast, we get a reminder from the announcer girls. This episode has pretty much amounted to a large info dump. Julis and Ayato face off against respectable people for a change, now isn’t that nice? I like how they incorporate strategy instead of relying on blind luck. We also meet the typical villainous twins that seem to have no dimension to their character at all. The conversation between our start duo/otp was progress, and the animation done suited the scene well. We also meet the strange little maid cat girl. Overall it was a fine return for an average series. 


 

0ab9466e9999e05fa6ad0da2f8a9d3f8Next up we have the highly anticipated My Hero Academia. I started reading the manga a while ago and fell in love with the constant action and interesting characters. The premise is one that aligns itself with the “young boy wants power and the unbelievable happens, which allows him to get powerful” story. Basically, the story is a heartfelt twist on an otherwise dry story. 

We start the episode with a short introduction to the main rivalry. Deku (Izuku)  is a scaredy-cat, but not a coward, while Kacchan (Katsuki) is a hot head. We quickly flow into what seems to be a rather standard start to Deku’s day. I wish the put the opening somewhere else because it felt a little out of place right there. The opening itself is the best I’ve seen this season, which is not saying much. It is pretty catchy and all the characters get a little screen time. Deku does us a solid by explaining a bit of background for the “superhero society” and we get a sample of the local superheros. Deku fanboys all over them, which is more important than it seems. He is unable to have super powers (at this time anyways), but has not given up on or rejected the superhero culture he is surrounded with, which speaks to his determination and inner-strength. We then skip to school where Kacchan and Deku get into conflict and we see the extent of Kacchan’s  bombastic personality. The classroom scene also supplied a fair amount of animation that is fitting for the story, such as thick lines, bold colors, and ample exaggeration. The main character wouldn’t be complete without some sort or tragedy! We see the root of Deku’s infatuation with heros (specifically All Might), and then whallla! All Might comes to the rescue and Deku asks the question on his mind. So far this has been a pretty typical hero series run down. Granted, this series really shines just a little later, so the start is to be taken lightly. Overall, I thought it was a solid start to a series that will no doubt be one of the best this season (if it sticks to the source material). 


 

kumamiko_visual-artNext, we have a cute pick called Kuma Miko. The story seems to be that the little girl is a shrine maiden who is not ready for the real world, and this bear is somehow going to prepare her to face reality. Maybe it’s just how I explained it but this may be an ironic seres. 

Our journey starts with a typical school girl traveling through the woods. We then pan around to various bear warnings, as well as a bear with spooky red eyes. Of course there is ominous music to go along with it. Oh well that was a quick turn of events. Very expected and very speedy. The opening is adorable and perfect for the series, excluding the spoken/rap beginning. So basically the cute little girl Machi doesn’t want to live in the middle of nowhere, and the bear Natsu (aka dad) doesn’t think she is ready for the city. Machi and Natsu have a very bizarre relationship (for anime that is) and I’m caught trying to decide whether or not it is cute. I really do not understand the context as to why Machi’s cousin (the random adult) brought the three random kids into the forest. And oh my he told them a slutty story, which is obviously contrasting or foreshadowing the relationship between Natsu and Machi. Note how great that little girl’s english is. The bear tried to serve them tea; this anime may be too much for me. The episode ends with a misconstrued question and a misunderstanding. Overall, I think this series will be decent in terms of humor, but I don’t think it has much of anything else to offer.


 

56ff661879b2cAlmost  done with my first anime taste test! The next episode I watched was Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures: Diamond is Unbreakable. I haven’t actually finished Stardust Crusaders yet, but I figured I know enough information (and read enough spoilers) to understand this series. JoJo’s is a lot of fun, and people really like Josuke, and apparently Joseph (my favorite) is still in it. This time around Josuke and crew will be trying to solve local murders. 

We start off with a very ominous scene depicting typical suburbia, except someone has presumably been murdered. We also get a little blip of grown Jotaro coming to meet the to be star. Jotaro runs into a tiny man, who seems to be narrating the episode, but nothing is discovered, except that Jotaro’s hat and hair are still one being. Oh wait, the thugs are relavent because they then mess with Josuke, who apparently is afraid of reptiles. I guess the future JoJos aren’t blood related? Josuke has a stand, and I guess some sort of healing energy. I can’t wait to see Jotaro and Josuke chat it out. Oh just kidding they are related. Josuke is Joseph’s love baby. Hopefully Josuke inherited Joseph’s sense of humor because Jotaro is a piece of stale bread compared to Joseph. I like Josuke. He is more outwardly kind than Jotaro, and has manners. Like the JoJos before him, he is a gentleman, unless you insult his hair. I tip my hat to the info dumps that aren’t annoying and endless. Tomoko (Josuke’s mother) seems like a pretty cool chic. I guess the tiny guy Koichi has become somewhat of a Smokey-like sidekick to Josuke. I guess the crazy guy was being controlled by a stand (similar to Anubis in Stardust Crusaders) who is intent on stalking Josuke. Maybe it’s just me, but this more modern context is not as appealing. I really like when things go crazy out of hand and ridiculousness is the context, but this season seems very tame in comparison to the others. Where are the extravagant posses, battle cries, and miscellaneous battle strategy? I’m hoping the show picks up on it’s past a little bit. 


 

79410lThe final anime this time is Re:ZERO. I have heard bad things about this series, such as it is from a light novel that one a contest. I have also heard that the author is widely renowned for their sadistic humor, which is a positive for me. The premise is something along the lines of time travel and saving pretty girls. This is going to be longer since I am watching both 1A and 1B. 

The episode creates a creepy atmosphere right off the bat, switching between an ominous death scene and our boring looking main character with background music that is a little too happy. Whoa, it appears this anime has some pretty great cinematic value! Although the parallel world stuff is cliche, I do like the transition; it wasted none of our time. Honestly, the CGI leaves much to be desired, but the sound effects add a lot to the anime. I like the humor in the anime. It is dropped in, but doesn’t force you to laugh. I still support my first sentence: this anime creates atmosphere. It reminds me of Konosuba a little bit, but I don’t see that as a bad thing. When that guy pulled out the knives I felt the dark humor surging forward. I predict this is going to be a pretty fun anime to watch. I can’t tell if the white haired girl is actually a tsundere, or just a really nice person. I like the MC’s (what is his name?) sensitive, yet dense personality. This anime is losing me a little bit with the helping the lost child. I guess you could say the looming darkness has disappeared, so the show is not as gripping. I guess helping the little girl makes for good karma coming their way. The first part ends with a magical feeling, and the ominous atmosphere emerges yet again

On to the second episode. Oh shit a murder scene. Oh shit he got stabbed. Oh shit she got stabbed. Well now we know what that ominous death scene in the very beginning was. I had my suspicions, but that was surprising. I love the music here when he comes back. Again, its refreshing how this anime doesn’t waste our time on pointless drama. Subaru (vroom vroom) wastes no time going back to the murder scene, but it appears he forgot all about Satella (that’s a fake name I guarantee). I like the light hearted banter between the old man and Subaru, as well as between the old man and Felt. Again, the show creates an atmosphere around the characters that really sucks you into the story. It appears the witch lady that walked is super fishy. The resistance in the camera angles to show her face gives off a very villainous vibe in this scenario. Oh wow that biding game didn’t end well. RIP ROP OJIII!! I have to tip my hat to the dazzling animation. The incorporation of dark themes is really giving this anime a massive leg up in the competition. The psychedelic flashback really sealed the deal for me.  I deem this anime one to watch this season. So far it seems to mix elements from Konosuba with darker themes (and time travel), such as the ones present in Erased. Overall I really enjoyed the premier and I have a good feeling about this. 


 

Thank you for reading my thoughts and I hope you enjoyed my first impressions. There is still a huge wave of anime that has yet to air, so I will surely be making a couple more of these “Taste Testing” blogs.