Anime Vice News

What JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE Says About Tropes?

STARDUST CRUSADERS #5 -- Watch & Learn. Evil is good!

Man, I’d be really curious to know if this ‘Tiger Balm Garden’ is an actual place. I know that the Stardust Crusaders will be journeying to Singapore next episode, and this spot really makes me think of Haw Par Villa. It's more-or-less a Taoist theme park, and it has an extensive collection of statues and mannequins depicting figures like the Monkey King, the Jade Emperor and, of course, the Laughing Buddha. Its infamous centerpiece is a giant dragon which visitors can take a boat through, and see various animatronic mannequins in the Ten Courts of Hell. I’m talking about truly gruesome scenes of people being skinned and boiled alive by demons.

In short, it’s a location that Araki would surely have a lot of fun with…

[SHOGUN'S NOTE: A Google search reveals that Haw Par Villa is actually one of three Tiger Balm Gardens. Evidently, that park made such an impression on me, I recognized it through an anime.]

A while back, Sam and I were discussing our favorite anime tropes on the Vice Pit, and I picked the Reformed Villain as my #1 choice. You know the type I’m talking about. Vegeta, Piccolo, Hiei and countless others fit under the umbrella. The tradition of the trope actually goes back much farther than the entire history of anime. Joseph Campbell’s famous monomyth has a stage described as the ‘brother battle’ where the Hero with 1,000 Faces must battle a foe who will eventually join his questing band.

JOJO’s has been hitting his button fairly often. Last arc, it was only Caesar who filled the role (Von Stroheim sort-of fit it, but to a lesser extent). This arc, it’s been filled by nearly every character Jojo’s come to blows with - - first Avdol, then Kakyoin, and now Polnareff -- and most of them have been controlled by Dio’s little, monstrous buds.

I guess if I were to get a little nitpicky, I’d say that this has gotten just a little rote. The reason I like this trope is because villain’s face turn really turns the premise over. You’ve hissed at Vegeta over an entire arc because he’s been desperately trying to kill Goku - - how much of a head trip is it to finally root for him? In this stretch, we don’t really get to hate the bad guys before they go good. It’s not like, say, Dio suddenly turning face. So it feels less like a carefully-plotted thriller, and more like an epic going through prerequisite paces before we get to the real intrigue with these reformed not-quite-baddies.

Are any of lunatics with me in this minute, hyper-specific objection?

Watch "Silver Chariot" and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous batch of episodes.

Lurkeroon June 18, 2014 at 7:01 a.m.

The anti-hero or face turn are among my favorite plot and character points. I do think they need to be earned though. The way it is in Stardust Crusaders seems more along the lines of a cleansing rather than a true face turn. There is so little history to the characters before they turn that is seems insignificant.

rubberluffyon June 18, 2014 at 9:45 a.m.

It's only happened so far because DIO was controlling good people, using the buds. But I think Araki got tired of it and I think this is the last time you ever see them, since most of the rest of the villains willfully work for DIO. I could be wrong though, and JoJo's crew just doesn't care about recruiting anyone else. Also to note, Gray Fly was just a sick evil dude who liked killing people on planes. Probably no bud needed there.

Kakyoin was just a regular dude who caught charisma'd by DIO, and Polnareff's guilt and need for revenge, albeit for good reasons, made him easy prey for DIO. Both of them are good people. We even saw this in Part 1 with Bruford being made "evil" by Dio, despite being an honorable knight.

Caesar doesn't really fit, because he wasn't a "bad guy", he just thought Joseph was a loser and he alone should have been enough. Understandable, sure. Almost every bad thing that happens in Battle Tendency is also pretty much Stroheim's fault, from awakening Santana and the other three, stealing the Red Stone, causing Kars to attain his ultimate form. He just kinda helped as much as he screwed things up.

YotaruVegetaon June 19, 2014 at 8:52 a.m.

I've never hissed at Vegeta.

zaldaron June 19, 2014 at 8:14 p.m.

@rubberluffy: Hmm I'm not sure I could call Bruford honorable I mean that was the bloody Mary knight right? I mean I know history is written by the victors and all but one reason I was hoping tom would do a larger talk on these episodes is because I wanted him to deal with the change up there as in western media Mary is pretty much always portrayed as evil...

takashichea moderator on June 20, 2014 at 5:28 p.m.

Caesar wasn't a bad guy. He was a more of a jerk to Jojo, but he warmed up to him. Von Stroheim fits for sure. I doubt Dio would do the same. He's evil and hates Jojo's guts. Like RubberLuffy said, there will be some bad guys out there. Haven't seen any evil female villains yet in this series.

Dig Deeper into Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders

Edit/View the Wiki
Hit the Forums (24 Posts)
Add/View Images (365 Images)
Watch Some Videos
Pokemon Black and White Looks Delicious in Motion

First video of a Pokemon battle in Black and White.

Comment & Win: One Piece Vol. 52, 53

Time for a giveaway folks! Now, act civil, we don't want anyone to get hurt in the mad rush to win.

Beginner's Guide to FLCL

Gainax's madcap, surrealist anime, broken down for new viewers.

Ballz Deep

Steve gets intimately close to Dragon Ball Z, for science!

Top 3 Awful Anime Dubs

Grit your teeth and get your ear plugs ready cause this week we're taking on the three most amazingly bad dubs of all time!

OVERLOOKED ANIME :: HAL Features Robots and Romance in a New Light

Would YOU sign up a loved one for robot therapy?

Anime Caption Contest! -- 9/22/14

Who doesn't love surprises with a bit of magic?!

ONE PIECE #661 -- Special Review

Wow... how much money did they add to the animation budget?

Community Spotlight 9/19/2014

Come see some of the best edits from our brightest users.

DRAGON BALL #19 + 20 -- Retro Review

This really seemed more like SOUTH PARK back then...

What Happened to JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE?

The year's coolest anime series closes 2014 out with... a really 'meh' episode?

ONE PIECE #662 -- Special Review

The Straw Hats land on the treacherous isle of Candy Land!

BLEACH Ch. 596 Review

Kurotsuchi has committed grand theft undead.

OVERLOOKED ANIME :: HAL Features Robots and Romance in a New Light

Would YOU sign up a loved one for robot therapy?

Anime Caption Contest! -- 9/22/14

Who doesn't love surprises with a bit of magic?!

ONE PIECE #661 -- Special Review

Wow... how much money did they add to the animation budget?

What Happened to JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE?

The year's coolest anime series closes 2014 out with... a really 'meh' episode?

DRAGON BALL #19 + 20 -- Retro Review

This really seemed more like SOUTH PARK back then...

Community Spotlight 9/19/2014

Come see some of the best edits from our brightest users.

BLEACH Ch. 596 Review

Kurotsuchi has committed grand theft undead.

ONE PIECE #662 -- Special Review

The Straw Hats land on the treacherous isle of Candy Land!

Mandatory Network

Submissions can take several hours to be approved.

Save ChangesCancel