I swear, I might as well have a tally nearby. A new character’s introduced with a name referencing some musician or band? Check. Another character is shown who was rather clearly ripped off by Capcom? Double check.
Maybe Jeff Beck was a bigger deal in the 80’s, but a fetish-zombie named for one of his specific albums plays quite obscure today. One of you lunatics tipped me off earlier that Rose, from STREET FIGHTER ALPHA, bore a striking resemblance to a character I’d meet later. Turns out I already met Lisa Lisa; and yes, her scarf-weapon gimmick was shamelessly lifted for that game.
Hell, at this point, I’m starting to wonder if the whole concept of the hadoken - - that fundamental building block of pretty much the entire fighting game tradition - - was taken from Caesar’s Bubble Cutter. There’s even magical significance to headband he bequeaths to Jojo, in much the same way Ken bequeathed his headband to Ryu.
(I might also point out the Pillar Men’s more-than-passing resemblance to Ogre in TEKKEN, and note how that series’ dynastic struggle recalls the generational angle in JOJO’s. Another franchise with a big debt).
For a guy who was raised on fighting games, this feels like listening to that one blues record that all your favorite classic rock bands ripped off. It feels strangely familiar… and yet still surprisingly fresh, especially for a 30-year-old story.
And I think I appreciate it that much more after coming off of HUNTER X HUNTER. Araki seems to know the nuts and bolts of shonen storytelling as well as Togashi does, but the difference is that he’s actually putting some stakes and meaning into it. Caesar’s heroic sacrifice carries weight because it’s final. The conflict has a sense of urgency because we’re literally racing to an Apocalyptic conclusion with the bad guys.
Other franchises flounder because they only emulate the flash of JOJO’s, I figure -- not the baroque melodrama of it.