Due to other commitments this past week, I’m running slightly behind with my Jojo reviews so I’m wrapping both episode 15 and 16 into one. There’s no real common thread between these two, but one thing they both have in common is the new opening theme. At this point, I can’t say I love it, mostly because I was really fond of the previous opening. Both the credits and the song were previously bright, colourful and quirky which I think is a perfect fit for the show. The new one is a little generic and the colours are all washed out and full of dull greys which is pretty much the exact opposite. I will say that by this weeks episode, I was starting to like it a bit more so doubtless in a few more episodes, I’ll probably be more attached to it.
Episode 15 – Let’s All Go to the Manga Artist’s House Part 2
Episode Fifteen of JoJo sees the conclusion of Rohan Kishibe’s introductory storyline. We begin the episode where we left off last time, with Koichi confused as he finds himself standing outside Rohan’s place, not sure why he’s there. The door is open and it’s very creepy (complete with horror movie grain) but he goes inside anyway to find Rohan hard at work on his manga. Rohan displays his impressive artistic skills and then in no time, he’s opening up Koichi’s face again for more material.
It’s really interesting when you think about just how powerful Rohan’s stand ability is. As is demonstrated in these early scenes, Koichi is in his complete thrall with no possible chance of escape, just by being exposed to Heaven’s Door once. Even when Josuke and Okuyasu come knocking at Rohan’s door, Koichi is powerless to tell them anything except lies to cover Rohan’s tracks. This is amusingly illustrated in a scene where he repeatedly opens the door to call them in for help and then immediately forgets, only to remember his terrible situation each time he closes the door. Without Josuke and Okuyasu’s help, Koichi really would have been trapped until Rohan drained him away to nothing.
Josuke and Okuyasu do manage to notice something is wrong and come busting in to the rescue only to find their opponent is much more powerful than they had expected. There’s some nice little touches in this confrontation, including a timer that appears counting the microseconds as Rohan considers his next moves. And then Rohan makes the mistake of making fun of Josuke’s hair.
In unleashing Josuke’s berserk form, we finally get the origin of Josuke’s hair hangup. Overall this wasn’t one of my favourite episodes of the series, but the story of where Josuke got his hairstyle is one of my favourite JoJo moments ever. It’s rendered beautifully in this episode with awesome attention to detail and perfect scoring. Once again, David Production nails it.
Episode 16 – Let’s Go Hunting
I’m going to be up front here and admit that rats freak me out, so I probably don’t need to say that a rat with a sniper rifle that melts flesh and turns it to jelly is something out of my worst nightmares. Yet that’s what Jotaro and Josuke team up to hunt in Episode Sixteen. We’ve seen animal Stand users before, most notably in Stardust Crusader’s Iggy but it’s done slightly differently here in that there are two rats with identical powers, using them in rather horrific ways in order to serve their own appetites.
After interrogating Akira Otoishi in hospital, Jotaro learns that he shot a rat (actually two as is later revealed) with the magical bow, thus granting them Stand powers. Knowing that they’ll cause huge amounts of damage, Jotaro sets off to hunt them down, taking Josuke along with him. This leads to a tense game of cat and mouse (or JoJo and rat) as the two track their prey through the outskirts of town, trying to stop them before they do too much harm.
This is a nicely done stand alone episode as Jotaro leads Josuke on the hunt, revealing the depths of his animal knowledge as they track their quarry across open land, through a farmhouse and then back out in the open again. It’s also an episode filled with some of the most grotesque imagery seen in JoJo yet as the rat’s powers reduce things to cubes of liquified flesh. Seriously, you don’t want to be eating anything while you’re watching this one. The scenes set in the farmhouse in particular are genuinely horrifying.
The highlight in this episode is seeing Jotaro and Josuke work together. Josuke at first follows the older Joestar’s lead and eventually learns to take responsibility himself in taking out their enemy. The two work together well though they bump heads a couple of times and it’s always good seeing Jotaro put his time stop ability to use which he does here on multiple occasions. The climax of the episode, a sniper battle where the two of them suddenly finding themselves becoming the hunted, is filled with tension.
The episode ends a little abruptly. We’re left with Jotaro still standing around in pretty bad shape and we never find out exactly what became of the poor couple left in farmhouse but it’s somewhat understandable when so much action has been packed in. It’s a very small criticism in an otherwise enjoyable episode (even if it made me squeamish!).