You know, I was just about to pile Poe onto the other literary comparisons I was drawing last episode. Shame on me for hesitating. The show actually went ahead and put nothing less than a purloined letter into episode two.
I made up this term, ‘shonen kickass.’ I like to throw it around a lot, and a few of you lunatics have questioned me about its exact meaning. Instead of reaching for some dry, academic definition, I’d rather just point to a couple, very specific demonstrations of it in this episode…
When Jojo confronts Dio with the aforementioned letter and the (admittedly shaky) conclusions he’s jumped to because of it... where does their argument escalate to? If Poe had written this story, I couldn’t see it going beyond a shoving match. Maybe some slapping. When you’ve got shonen kickass coursing through the story, though, then of course Jojo is going to gorilla press Dio off the balcony. That’s just how things are done.
Likewise, when Jojo opts to abandon all common sense and venture down a stretch of road that’s actually named "Ogre Street," it simply isn’t enough for him to get mugged by a couple hoods. No, he’s got to get attacked by scumbags armed with deadly sawblade hats. And the fight’s got to escalate to the point where basically every lowlife in London crawls out of the woodwork to jump him.
Hell, look at all the intrigue with Stone Mask. It seems exactly like the kind of mysterious artifact you’d find in shorts like “the Gold Bug” and the “Mask of Red Death.” But you can be damn sure that none of those stories ever ramped up into a brawny wrestling match that ends with a vampire going nuclear in mid-bloodsuck. No, sir.
That’s shonen kickass. And it is so bizarre to see it pumped up into a plot with this kind of gothic framework. So... utterly... bizarre...
About the Author
|Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk|