Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 13-16


From road rips to head trips

One of the things I've grown to love about Stardust Crusaders is that it passes by quickly. It's amazing how I can basically leave the series for weeks on end and then catch up with all of them and remark "Wow, that was quick."

Not to say that this is a Bleach type of situation where episodes pass by quickly because nothing is happening, but more that every episode of Stardust Crusaders is so damn lively that the time passes by as fast as a strike from an unarmored Silver Chariot.

Case in point: Episode 13's road trip, where the crew does a JoJo's-style reenactment of Stephen King's Christine as Wheel of Fortune and his car-themed Stand attacks them on the road to Pakistan. Even when the brawl is little more than a speed bump in the plot, narratively speaking, we get to revel in the interactions between the cast. Even JoJo cracks a smile as he uses Star Platinum to bungee himself, the crew, and a whole SUV out of a canyon in mid-fall.

Speaking of JoJo, the last few episodes have been Jotaro's time to shine, as he gets top billing not only for the fight against Wheel of Fortune but also against the old crone Enya and her fog-based Stand, Justice. Any wound Enya makes turns into a clean, bloodless hole - something David Production must have loved since the lack of gore allowed them to dodge the censors this time. The holes allow Justice to puppeteer its victims, as poor Hol Horse learned.

But Hol Horse isn't the target, of course: Polnareff is, thanks to his beating Enya's son J. Geil in episodes previous. Speaking of which, I find it super weird that both Enya and son were born with two right hands. That's a very unfortunate condition. 

Anyway, despite Stardust Crusaders' best attempts to strike a horror chord in episodes 14 and 15, what with the Silent Hill-esque foggy town and the creepy inhabitants - JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is just far too goofy to make anything creepy in a real way. It worked to an extent back when it was just Jotaro meeting Kakyoin, but between Joseph shrieking his "Oh noooo!" and Polnareff being himself, any tension built is quickly defused.

But who cares?! Jotaro's a frickin' badass! To date he hasn't had a great many chances to shine, partly because Star Platinum is such a straightforward Stand. It punches things really hard and really fast, and that's pretty much it as far as raw fighting goes. Thus JoJo's best moments in Stardust Crusaders have happened when Star Platinum was used in unusual ways. I still remember well that bit where he used Star Platinum to read a blurry photo and get all C.S.I. with a pencil.

Now, I guess we can add "Inhaling a whole town's worth of mystic killer fog" to the list of his best moments. That was pretty great.

And it's a good thing that Jotaro did get a moment, as he's almost immediately sidelined in episode 16 after a fellow named Steely Dan and his Lovers Stand appear, once again victimizing poor Joseph with an insidious parasite. At least this time it's not a pimple that tries to beat him to death, though Lovers is probably deadlier, mirroring any pain or injuries inflicted on Steely Dan onto Joseph.

Of course, with Joseph essentially held hostage, Dan plans to beat Jotaro to death in front of his companions. You know what this calls for: Stand-assisted brain surgery! While JoJo hangs out with Steely Dan and tries to swallow his pride, Polnareff and Kakyoin shrink Silver Chariot and Hierophant Green down and do an Innerspace to go hunt down Lovers at the base of Joseph's brain.

So far, so unbelievably awesome.

What I don't get, though, is how Polnareff's able to see through his Stand. Back when he fought Ebony Devil in Singapore, Polnareff had trouble in the fight because he was tied under a bed and couldn't effectively guide Silver Chariot's strikes. Now he can do a remote Stand-ectomy at microscopic scale with nothing more than a crude map on a cheap TV for guidance? It doesn't quite add up!

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Josh Tolentino
Josh TolentinoManaging Editor   gamer profile

Josh is Japanator's Managing Editor, and contributes to Destructoid as well, as the network's premier apologist for both Harem Anime and Star Trek: Voyager For high school reasons, he's called "u... more + disclosures



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