High praise to the depth of Araki’s imagination, everybody…
This episode was so out there, it felt like some outside iconoclast was brought in to shake up a long-running serial. Specifically, it made me think of when Grant Morrison took over this DC Comic, DOOM PATROL, and pitted the superheroes against sentient city streets and a painting that ate Paris. The pointed difference, of course, is that Morrison took that book over after it’d been around for 20 years, while Araki always been the one calling the shots here.
Really, the notion of the Stardust Crusaders running into an intelligent, malevolent orangutan is already strange, in of itself. Throw on the twist of that orangutan’s Stand being an actual cargo freighter, and the legitimately creepy atmosphere hanging over this ghost story, and now the episode’s going several degrees further ‘out there.’ It feels like Araki is almost projecting a separate consciousness that’s reinterpreting his own work from an outside perspective.
If that sounds like a convoluted description of the creative process here, then you should how understand how thoroughly JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE lives up to its title. The show outdoes its own creativity so consistently, that's getting beside the point to even comment upon.
On a note that’s… ahem… closer to Earth, I suppose this episode confirms my suspicion that Anne’s being set up as Jojo #3’s love interest. I just hope she’s more… mature than she appears, because that’d make the ‘fan service’ scenes here a little less uncomfortable.
And now, I can’t wait until next episode, because the guys have finally reached my old home town. The quick run-through on Singapore’s history is largely on point. However, I have to say that - - outside of that one shot of the Merlion - - the cityscape shots look rather general. I’m very curious to see if they’ll get more specific with their locales next time...
Watch "Strength" and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous batch of episodes.