Diamond is Unbreakable Episode 5
One thing that anyone watching JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure needs to adjust to are the sudden shifts in genre and tone that the show goes through every episode. Personally, it’s something I really enjoy about the series that I would probably find a bit off-putting in any other TV show. For the first ten minutes of this week’s episode, we’re in full horror movie mode as Josuke and Koichi explore the Nijimura brother’s decrepit home, looking for the magical bow and arrow. Most of the episode in fact takes place inside this one location and it’s suitably creepy, full of boarded up windows, shadows and creepy noises.
The two of them stumble across the Nijimura brother’s father, a twisted creature living chained in a room along with the bow and arrow and for a moment it looks like we’re going to have a monster of the week episode… and then the tone shifts in that wonderful JoJo way. Keicho who appeared to be dead last we saw him, comes barging into the room to relate the whole sad story of his family. There are a lot of references to the previous series here with a link between Nijimura senior and Dio, the villain of parts 1 and 3 and his death being responsible for his current monstrous form. There’s a real tragedy to the story Keicho tells about his father and the monster quickly becomes a sad figure, wordlessly longing for happier days and fixated on an old family photo uncovered by a compassionate act from Josuke.
This series has a history of turning villains into heroes and for a good part of this episode, it looks like Keicho is heading that way. Instead, it turns out that Keicho is the most complicated man in the world and we’re taken on this weird roller coaster ride of him telling a tragic story, brutally beating his poor father, threatening to kill everyone, protecting Okuyasu from the sudden appearance of another Stand user and then using his last words to lash out heartlessly at him. It’s a constant shift that is both disorientating and entertaining and we as the audience can understand Okuyasu lamenting in the end that his brother never would have been able to live a decent life.
This was a strong episode but my favourite parts by far were the final moments. Jotaro, calmly drinking tea in his hotel room, receives a threatening call from our newest Stand user who has now stolen the bow and arrow. I found this conversation hilarious. Both the way the Stand user unintentionally gives away too much information and the way that Jotaro is completely unfazed by both the call and the phone exploding in his hands are pure gold. The final scene with Okuyasu turning up on Josuke’s doorstep to pick him up for school is also wonderful. I like the way that despite being a high school student, Okuyasu for some reason sounds like a 50 year old construction worker.
It’s odd to think that an episode that started with two main characters cautiously poking through a horror movie house could end like a wacky comedy, but that’s what this show is all about and why we watch it.