Episode 35 & 36 – Bites the Dust, Parts 1 & 2
After last episode’s rather shocking cliffhanger, I was expecting a little more fireworks to kick off this next two part episode of JoJo’s. Previously, we were left in the middle of a terrifying confrontation between Yoshikage Kira and his pseudo-adopted son, Hayato. Surprisingly, this is all resolved offscreen in the first part of Bites The Dust and we’re left with the aftermath: Hayato is dead and Kira is left with a dead body and a whole lot of explaining to do. And then things get weird in all the best ways possible. Before this though, the cold open has Rohan, Koichi and Reimi establishing a Kira suspect thanks to a chance photo of Hayato secretly filiming his Dad. They’re on the right track and Yoshihiro, who seems to be just floating around eavesdropping on everyone, rushes off to warn his son.
First of all, I need to bring out a pretty glaring plot hole in Part 1 that bothered me no end. I know how useless it is to point out the holes in a show like this and I’ve previously been all too willing to let some huge ones slide. That said, Kira’s dilemma with Hayato’s corpse is one of the weirdest ones we’ve had. Killer Queen’s ability to make things explode always leaves no evidence and as far as its been shown, is completely silent. This is what makes it such a powerful ability and what has made it so difficult to track Kira down. And yet here, all of the Stand’s abilities have somehow been forgotten and Kira is stressing about having to hide a body, something he would have had to do on numerous occasions before his ability manifested. It’s baffling! But with that off my chest, I can still say that this was another great couple of episodes. Things are well and truly in the endgame now.
The stress of Kira’s predicament winds up causing him to be hit with the magic arrow again which somehow grants Killer Queen another ability. And what an ability! In the next scene we see Hayato the following morning, very much alive and apparently unhurt. He goes downstairs for breakfast but something is wrong. Kira has some weird new hair but that’s just the start of it. He’s fully aware that Hayato knows his identity and is strangely calm about it. In fact he walks Hayato to school telling him how little he’s worried about it. Left to his own devices, Hayato runs into Rohan who is waiting for the rest of the JoJo crew in order to investigate Kira. And piece by piece, Killer Queen’s new power becomes apparent.
I’d rather not talk too much about this power (Bites the Dust) in this review as we’re going to be seeing a lot of it and to be honest, it’s kind of hard to explain. Think something along the lines of the movie Groundhog Day but much more confusing and you’re part of the way there. Last season, Dio’s Stand – The World – was amazingly overpowered but Bites the Dust somehow makes that look wimpy. The unveiling of this power is horrifying and the fact that it’s first victim is Rohan is tragic. Up until now we haven’t lost any of the main crew and Rohan’s death is especially a shock because out of everyone in this season of JoJo, he’s the one you would suspect to survive whatever was coming. Rohan, despite the occasional selfless act, has always been the type of person who would push someone else off a cliff if it meant saving his own life. That he goes down without even the opportunity to even put up much of a fight is pretty unjust, especially since I only just became his biggest fan recently. With Rohan’s death, Hayato resets time and he goes back to the same moment he woke up in the morning, doomed to repeat it all over and over again.
Part two continues with Hayato’s struggles to find a way out of the time loop he’s stuck in and continues the JoJo’s tradition of fantastic second part episodes. I love how this starts off with an altered opening. The opening theme is remixed and the images move backwards and are slightly distorted, mirroring Hayato’s own predicament and the strange unsettling quality his existence in a time loop holds. These episodes are more than anything, Hayato’s story and though he’s barely been in this series, he’s quickly become a character easy to cheer for. He shows how tough and resilient he is, constantly determined to find his way out of the trap that Kira has made him the centre of. There are some deeply shocking moments in Part Two, delivered out of nowhere. Hayato’s moments of triumph are constantly snatched away from him. These episodes, part two especially, offer us glimpses of hope only to snatch them away cruelly every time.
With everyone now dragged into Kira’s seemingly unbreakable trap, it’s all down to Hayato to figure out a way to get everyone free. It’s interesting the way the story suddenly hinges on a character who was previously completely unknown but as we’re finding out, Hayato fits in right alongside the other protagonists as someone who’ll do whatever it takes to put things right.