Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 18-20



After a bit of a wait, we're back with more Stardust Crusaders, and things get kind of nuts. Of course, that's hardly something we should be surprised by in a series called JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.

But anyway, onward, dear readers! Rally ho!

In keeping with the Stardust Crusaders standard pacing, we get a bit of "filler" in episode 18 to break up the pace after all the tension and seriousness of the fight against Steely Dan and the Lovers. This time, rather than the high-octane action of the episode featuring Wheel of Fortune, Stardust Crusaders fills the first half of that episode with old Joseph making an ass of himself, and the second with a desert, Stand-powered take on Jaws as the crew struggles against The Sun Stand and its wielder, Arabia Fats.

Considering the hilarious anticlimax that concludes episode 18, it's hard to perceive the episode as anything other than something done to pad out the clock, but things take on a somewhat newer dimension if you view the episode as a torch-passing of sorts, from Joseph, the previous "JoJo", to the next one, Jotaro. Joseph spends much of the episode being a crotchety old man full of harebrained plans, and despite his best efforts to lead the group to safety, it's the young 'uns who eventually figure out The Sun's gimmick, treating the viewers to the best anime freakout since the last episode of Stardust Crusaders. Of course, it's not like they're killing him off, so the episode was more devoted to character than to establishing a permanent shift in the group's dynamics.

If episode 18 was Jaws, episodes 19 and 20 are a mix of Twilight Zone and The Shining, with the horror of a supernatural slasher flick with the tension of a murder mystery, complete with the one guy who's right, but no one else believes.

That one guy is Kakyoin, who gets himself caught up in the dream-based powers of Death 13, the Stand owned by one Mannish Boy, who's something of a babyface - literally. Unlike old lady Enya's deceptions in Pakistan, Mannish's mind games are more literal, and more clever, taking advantage not only of his baby nature to deflect suspicion, but even leveraging the ephemeral nature of dreams to hide his trail.

Only Kakyoin knows, of course, and no one will believe that guy. Perhaps this is payback for him licking cherries like some kind of degenerate. Or perhaps it's because Kakyoin always did get off a little lightly for his predations back when enslaved by Dio.

It's true! Whereas Polareff hurt no one in Dio's service, Kakyoin mutilated a couple of students and took advantage of a school nurse. Incidentally, this episode is where Kakyoin has Hierophant Green do some of its less straightforward tactics, like hiding inside a dude like it was nothing.

But nevertheless, all of Kakyoin's suffering, whatever the reasons may be for it, does lead to some of the best payback I've ever seen. I shan't spoil it here, but let's just say that a bad baby gets its just "dessert". 

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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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