Review: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable – Episodes 31 & 32

Episode 31 & 32 – July 15th (Thursday) Parts 1 & 2

July 15th (Thursday) is the longest story we’ve had so far this series of JoJo’s Bizarre adventure so I’ll be breaking it up into chunks. The first two parts now and then the next two (though I’m not quite sure how many episodes it will run at this point). The fact that it is such a big multi-parter is a little bit ironic as it takes place entirely over the course of a single day. The episodes are spread across multiple characters so though it is billed as a single storyline, it’s more about the events of a single day rather than a cohesive whole.

We begin with Yoshihiro, still ridiculously floating around in his photograph, recognising Kira on the street despite his new face. How he does this I don’t quite understand but more critically, he notices Kira being followed secretly by Hayato. In the meantime, Josuke and Okuyasu come across their alien friend, Nshi, just sitting out in a field pretending to be a pair of binoculars. He directs the two boys to a pylon in the distance where a Stand User appears to be living. They go in for a closer look only to find out that the pylon itself is the Stand, trapping anyone who steps inside within it until someone else takes their place. In the meantime, Rohan has an architect come out to evaluate the fire damage in his house. The architect exhibits some very strange behavior and seems to have a deathly fear of anyone seeing his back, going to enormous lengths to keep it from being exposed.Of course, the more you go out of your way to hide something from someone, the more curious they get…

These episodes switch back and forth quite a bit throughout the events of the day with the time tracked by black screens and text. I liked this little touch as it gives the episodes a feeling of movement. The stories here are a little disconnected from one another but the rapid switching between, sometimes for only seconds at a time, gives a feeling of cohesion and a real sense of events playing out at the same time (even though some of them are actually hours apart.

The first part of the story, with Josuke, Okuyasu and Nshi taking on Toyohiro and his pylon, is one I’ve been looking forward to ever since they announced this adaptation. Unfortunately, for me at least, this is the only time I’ve been slightly disappointed in the transition from page to screen. Perhaps the most interesting thing about Superfly (the pylon Stand) is the way that Toyohiro lives on it. We get a little bit of that detail here – the boys watch him catch and cook a fish and there’s some literal toilet humor in store when they get in closer – but it all seems to be passed over very quickly in these episodes. The battle with Superfly itself is well done and pretty exciting but it all feels a little bit like a side note. Still, it’s really impressive that we’ve come this far in the series and the Stand battles still manage to be this clever and exciting. It’s also great to see Nshi taking a big role in this one.

With Superfly dealt with, the boys learn from Toyohiro that another Stand user has gone after Koichi and eliminated him. This leads to the second Stand encounter of the day with Terunosuke Miyamoto and his Stand, Enigma. Teronuske is an undeniably creepy presence and the show draws out his introduction across the full two episodes. Rather than directly confront Josuke, he at first goes after those close to him. The Stand, Enigma, preys on fear and turns people into a sheet of paper once they’re suitably scared. It’s a very simple seeming power this late in the series but I love the visual representation of it. The moment where Enigma catches Josuke’s mother is a lovely bit of design as images combine and fold over one another only to become a plain white piece of paper in Teronuske’s hand.

As far as Rohan’s story goes, there’s not actually all that much of it in these episodes. The Architect is an odd figure and the lengths he goes to to hide his back are sort of disturbing. That Rohan seems only a little bit curious about it is a weird bit of understatement for a show that prides itself in going as far over the top as possible. Either way, the longer it goes on, the more determined Rohan becomes to discover what the guy is hiding and if we know one thing about Rohan at this point, its that he always has to have what he wants, no matter the cost. I’m looking forward to seeing this develop in the next few episodes.

Part 2 ends with us set up with two parallel stories: Rohan and his odd visitor and Josuke versus Terunosuke. Both are intriguing and the episodes have been very careful not to reveal too much of what might be coming up. That mystery in turn is what draws us in for the next few episodes. It’s turning out to be a very eventful day in Morioh.

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