Diamond is Unbreakable Episode 9 – Yukako Yamagishi Falls in Love Part 2
This week brings us the conclusion of Yukako Yamagishi falls in love and the show doesn’t waste any time jumping straight back in. Josuke an Okuyasu have realised that Koichi is missing and are trying to track him down. Meanwhile, Koichi has been locked out of the bathroom as part of Yukako’s re-education program and starts off the episode by wetting himself. Poor Koichi.
I’m not sure how I feel about the remixed theme that’s played over the opening credits these last two weeks but really, that’s the only negative thing I have to say about the episode. After a confrontation between Koichi and Yukako in which Koichi tries to convince her to let him go, this week becomes a battle of the Stands. There’s some really creative uses of powers here, especially when Koichi uses Echo’s sound creation power to imitate a dial tone on a nearby payphone. We also see, for the first time, a Stand evolving into something else with Echoes turning into Echoes Act 2. It’s never really clear why Echoes suddenly evolves but I like the fact that it enters a weird alien-like cocoon state beforehand and I’m a fan of the new visual design.
This week, Yukako is in full insanity mode. She’s built an electric chair for Koichi, she’s still hanging around outside windows to spy on him even though he’s her prisoner and she’s giving him lectures on the nature of love whenever she can. She’s furiously angry at him for most of this episode, becoming almost a caricature of herself, snarling insults and threats before putting her mask of sweetness back on. There’s still no denying her strength though and that’s something to admire. She continues to get up after every attack Koichi launches at her and keeps coming no matter what. She unleashes the full force of her powers at him and it’s terrifying.
I really like the ending of this episode. Josuke and Okuyasu improbably manage to pinpoint Koichi’s location from the sound of waves over the telephone and turn up in time to do pretty much nothing. Koichi selflessly saves Yukako from certain death in a pretty hilarious way that only makes her more obsessed with him, though now willing to love him from afar. It’s an oddly romantic moment in a story about obsession and stalking. Koichi walks away with a coolness and dignity that belies the fact he’d wet his pants only twenty minutes earlier. Koichi has changed by the end of the episode: he’s become more sure of who he is, more confident in his ability to handle challenges, and he has a cool new Stand to boot. All in all, the story represents an excellent moment of character progression.
I’ve mentioned before that this is one of my favourite story lines in the manga and I think the anime has definitely done it justice.
Next week, another potentially great one: Let’s Go Eat Some Italian Food.