Review: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4 – Episode 8

Diamond is Unbreakable Episode 8 – Yukako Yamagishi Falls in Love

At this point, Diamond is Unbreakable could be renamed ‘The Ongoing Trauma of Koichi Hirose’ and it would make perfect sense. Whether it’s getting his head slammed in a gate, having his family manipulated by a Stand User or getting smacked in the face by a controlled Josuke, there’s no debating that Koichi has had a rough couple of weeks.

Skipping the traditional disturbing opening we’ve had ever since this season started, this episode starts in the wake of last week’s events. Josuke and Okuyasu are discussing information gained from last week’s villain about Stand user’s being drawn to each other when they catch sight of what appears to be Koichi on a date with a girl named Yukako Yamagishi. Okuyasu’s shocked reaction to this is priceless. As the two of them jealously spy on Koichi, it slowly becomes apparent that Yukako is just a teensy bit insane.

JoJo’s is in full High School romantic comedy mode this week and it is glorious. Yukako is a Stand user and her ability makes her able to control her hair in terrifying ways. She is obsessed with Koichi and though Koichi is at first flattered by her confession that she loves him, he quickly becomes scared of her due to her penchant for abrupt mood swings and her overly aggressive tendencies. When Koichi is scolded by a fellow student, Yukako in a fit of jealousy, tries to kill her by using her stand to set her on fire.

Of course, Koichi turns to the two worst people in the world for romantic advice, Okuyasu – a guy who previously spent all his time hanging out in a creepy house with his psychotic brother – and Josuke. In order to get rid of Yukako, they decide that Koichi has to be as repulsive as possible to her. They give him some pretty terrible advice and then start spreading rumours about him shoplifting in order to make Yukako change her opinion of him. Needless to say, it all backfires spectacularly.

I generally try to stay away from talking about the manga in these reviews, but I have to say up front that this is one of my favourite manga storylines, and the episode really does it justice. There’s a good sense of escalation as the episode progresses, from Yukako’s first sudden transformation from a gentle, soft spoken girl to a snarling obsessive right up until the moment she kidnaps Koichi to re-educate him. The kidnapping in particular was a great scene, with Koichi waking to see Yukako’s face pressed up against the glass of his bedroom window. It’s both a frightening moment and one that made me laugh out loud. The episode was really good with this balance of humour, even as things steadily get worse for Koichi. Really, there’s nothing funny about Koichi’s situation and yet somehow the episode manages to be hilarious from start to finish. For all of her craziness, I really like Yukako as a character. Her plans and methods of re-educating Koichi are so outlandish that it’s easy to forget how determined and smart she really is. There’s an excellent scene where Koichi thinks he’s outwitted one of her educational tests by reading the expression on her face, only for her to reveal that she’s lured him directly into doing precisely that as a test of his morals.

This episode just seemed to fly by for me, probably because I enjoyed it so much. At first I felt like nothing much had happened because it had all breezed by so fast, but in retrospect, so much went on that I could probably talk about this episode for days. It ended in an unusual place, with no ending theme and leaving poor Koichi to enjoy possibly the worst breakfast of his life. Still, we have more of Koichi’s adventures with Yukako to look forward to next week.

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