Episode 26 – Janken Boy is Coming!
Imagine a game of rock, paper, scissors so intense that gravity can no longer contain you and you go soaring into the air. That’s what faces Rohan Kishibe this week as he goes head to head with Ken Oyanagi, possibly the most annoying villain in the world. Rohan has really grown on me over the course of the series and the prospect of a Rohan-centric episode is one I always look forward to.
The episode begins with Yoshihiro, the villain from last week, floating around town searching for people to turn into Stand users. After the opening them we find Joseph, along with Achtung Baby, coming across Rohan at the station. The Mangaka is taking photos of people on their way to work in the hope of catching Kira Yoshikage’s new face. That Rohan is showing commitment to the investigation is fairly impressive considering his usual selfish attitude to everything. Rohan is eventually approached by Ken, an overly energetic eleven year old with a weird hole in his cheek, who really wants to challenge him to a game of Janken. Like, REALLY wants to challenge him to a game of Janken. Rohan is a little creeped out by Ken’s insistence and tries at first to brush him off. Eventually giving in, he makes use of Heaven’s Door to win. To no one’s surprise, Ken is a Stand user, newly created by Yoshihiro. His ability is to steal Stands by beating his opponents at Janken. After inadvertantly losing a round, Rohan suddenly finds himself on the back foot and in real danger of losing Heaven’s Door.
The great thing about Rohan as a character is that despite being one of the “good guys” now, he’s still an unrepentantly awful person. He sneeringly turns down invitations to hang out from Josuke and co and he’s not above punching an eleven year old in the face just for annoying him. Rohan will always be entertaining by sheer virtue of how terrible he is to everyone around him. It’s easy to forgive him though when he’s up against someone as grating as Ken. With his abrasive voice and his aggressive demands for Janken games, Ken may not be evil as such, but he’s certainly not pleasant to deal with. It’s very easy to understand Rohan’s frustration.
For an episode that is essentially about two people playing rock, paper, scissors, it certainly feels like it crams a lot in. For the first time we see the physical manifestation of Rohan’s Stand, a character in a fedora straight out of his own artwork. And of course, it has to find a way to make Janken interesting which it does by launching its characters into the air with no explanations in the final climactic rounds. If you’ve made it this far into the series and are still questioning moments like these, it’s probably just not the show for you.
All up, I would probably rank this episode somewhere in the middle range for this season of JoJo. It’s fun but has the slight feel of filler after the last few weeks. Rohan is always good value and it’s nice seeing the other characters floating around in the background of his story, living their lives as normal.