JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders
Episode 4 – Tower Of Gray
Here we are, people! Episode four, the one that truly kicks off the “adventure” aspect of “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure”, something we didn’t exactly see in the last season. The group is off to look for DIO now that the beautiful Holly Joestar has become plagued with an uncontrollable stand. You can read all about it in the episode impression article from last week titled “The Curse Of DIO” (Click Here to read). This week we follow our heroes as they head to Egypt on the first possible flight they could get but, as you can probably already assume, no plane nor Joestar is safe in “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” so strap yourself in for what will be one of the strangest in-air battles you’ll ever see. We’re met with another laughable description of DIO, a flight that makes “Snakes On A Plane” look tame and another young man who’s hankering for a fight. Welcome to “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders” episode four – “Tower Of Gray”.
DIO: The Joy Bringer.
Last week I made a joke wherein which I compared the dark lord DIO (not the musician) to “Twilight” star Robert Pattinson. Thinking it would be a “one off” scene where the writers went above and beyond to make DIO a great deal more extravagant than I actually though he was, I quickly dismissed how odd of a character explanation he got but it looks like I was wrong…dead wrong. The first, let’s say, four or five minutes of the episode takes place in DIO’s dark lair. We’re met with the grueling sight of a wrinkled, old, shaman-type character who, once again, insists on putting DIO on a pedestal. The woman, who looks as though her life has almost reached its expiration date, explains to the audience that coming into contact with DIO wells up both the emotion of fear AND joy.
Now I say “explains to the audience” because everyone else in that room was either a naked woman about to be devoured by the mullet-wearing vampire or…DIO himself, so I could only assume she was there for our pleasure. If that’s what you want to call it. There’s quite an explanation as to why people feel joy and fear around DIO but it was far too convoluted for me to hold in any kind of regard so it was quickly dismissed. Let’s just all agree that DIO is…well, everything and move past it for now. That it, until some other odd-looking, weirdo decides to explain to us why they love the almost-translucent being.
Beetles On A Boeing.
Trying to anticipate what is going to happen next in a series like “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” is something that a normal human being like myself just cannot do, though…I really wish I could because I’m constantly taken by surprise. A gentle scene fade places the audience on the first flight out of Japan. The crew are heading to Egypt and I suppose they thought it was a good idea to take a late flight, you know, so they’ll be able to get some sleep. Being seven feet tall and three feet wide, I was surprised that the four men were physically able to sit side-by-side on a commercial flight. The fact that they chose to sit so close to each other despite the lack of people on the plane and the number of empty seats shown in the wide shots tells me they are really starting to like each other. Trouble follows the motley crew, as they they were all about to try and get some sleep, they were met with a furious buzzing sound, one that they couldn’t seem to get over.
Flying in from what looked like the “first class’ section of the plain came a “run of the mill” rhinoceros beetle…I’m joking, not for one second did I think this thing was “normal” and neither did the crew. One thing I’m not too fond of when it comes to “Stardust Crusaders” is that every character knows everything even before that “thing” becomes clear. Jotaro – who, only the other day, discovered he has a Stand – quickly announced that this seemingly-normal beetle was one…that was before it did anything even remotely suspicious. Clearly you can see how that would get a little frustrating but, I have to admit, Jotaro HAS made a few assumptions in the last 4 episodes that have turned out to be true so I’m not sure I can put too much crap on the guy. After some “back and forth” with the beetle, it is revealed for certain that it is a Stand named “Tower Of Gray” who’s being controlled by somebody on the plane. Now it’s up to the team to track down this killer and take him/her out before he/she can cause any more trouble for the crew.
They Call me “Mr. Bug-Be-Gone”.
Jotaro, with guns always blazing, has “Star Platinum” throw a few punches thinking he’s fast enough to take the Stand down quickly. As it turns out; that’s not the case, this stand is far too speedy for the hulking, blue, specter to land a hit on which, to me, is a bit of a cop out seeing as a great deal of the season at this point in time was spent boasting about the brilliant power and speed of Jotaro’s “Star Platinum”. With Jotaro not being able to land a hit, Avdul decides to give his “Magician Red” a try not thinking about the fact that his Stand’s flames can affect non-supernatural beings and items meaning he could easily blow a hole in the plane. Kakyoin, the know-it-all, stops the two idiots from doing more damage to the flight than the enemy and explains that his “Heirophant Green” will be able to take care of this Stand without the risk of damaging the plane and causing a catastrophe.
His words were then followed up by “Emerald Splash” after “Emerald Splash” which is an attack that sends a flurry of obviously sharp objects in indeterminate directions but, you know, he can do it without the risk of crashing the plane. Distracting the stand with with “Heirophant Green’s” “Emerald Splash” allowed Kakyoin to set up traps around the plane which go off and rip the beetle to shreds. Now all is good with the world and the team can go back to enjoying their – holy crap the pilots are dead! This is fantastic! Exactly what the team needed. Joseph notices the plane is on a bit to drastic of a lean so he heads up to the cockpit to check out just what the hell is going on. Turns out the pilots were killed a while back, I guess that’s where the beetle flew in from just before it met its fate by the hands of Kakyoin.
“Good Luck, We’re All Counting On You”.
To think; episode four of “Stardust Crusaders” is actually just another “Flying High” (Airplane) movie sequel. Old man Joseph – who, if you can remember, has been in a few situations of this kind in the past – quickly takes to the pilot’s seat with the intention of landing this bird softly. With reasonable expectations he explains that he plans on landing the vessel in the sea, a place where it will be easier to land and the chances of people getting hurt will be reduced. Good idea, old man! Believe it or not the former world hero actually pulls off a successful landing in the ocean with nobody, apart from those torn apart by the rogue stand, getting hurt!
What I think I enjoyed about this scene above all else was that Joseph actually references his own life and past “JJBA” storylines saying “But, Jotaro…this is my third time. Have you ever heard of someone being in a crashing plane three times”. I actually found it pretty funny in a genuine way not in a “this is so terribly stupid” kind of way. I do enjoy when a character or series acknowledges their past or brings attention to something the audience would naturally comment on. It shows somewhat good character writing and I think audiences appreciate things like that. I know I do. The plane has “safely” landed and the local authorities are already organized enough to send out rescue helicopters, boats and whatever else these people need to be saved but where the hell are they?
Welcome To The Kong! Hong Kong, that is!
Hong Kong – the beautiful, oriental land – is where the “Stardust Crusaders” team have landed…our prayers go out to the citizens of the city because the only thing that happens to follow this particular crew is trouble. Having no luck with air travel, Joseph decides to call in a few favors to old friends in the hopes that he can get them a nice little boat so they can sale the rest of the way to Egypt. Clearly Joseph isn’t the smartest of men because he never took a moment to think and realize; “we could just try another plane”. He said it himself; “I have experience with propeller planes”, could the squad not just pack themselves into a non-commercial vessel?
I guess it doesn’t matter that much, though I’m quite shocked that nobody called the old man out for getting travel tips from “Around The World In 80 Days”, the book by author Jules Vern. After getting into a yelling match with a local food vendor, Joseph decides to take his new family out for a nice Hong Kong-style dinner. At the restaurant a plan is devised, the one I actually just mentioned: They will go the rest of the way by boat, heading to Egypt on land will prove too difficult for the men so it seems as though the only way is by sea. Lucky for them a few of their members are seasoned travelers; we know Avdul is an intelligent man who’s traveled the globe and apparently the transfer student Kakyoin is too!
They Call Me “Jean Pierre Eiffel”…Now.
Never a dull moment. A strange man approaches the table that our heroes happen to be sitting at. The fellow foreigner (and obvious next addition to the “Stardust” team) approaches the men simply asking for some help. It doesn’t look like he can read the menu so old man Joseph invites him to sit with the group and partake in some exquisite Hong Kong cuisine…well, that IS after Jotaro tells him to “piss off”. After some friendly banter and after they’ve filled their bellies, the foreigner finally speaks up to exclaim his name and the reason why he ACTUALLY approached them, though he does it in quite the strange way…”bizarre” even. Picking up a carrot that has been cut into the shape of a star, the silver-haired man comments that he’s met a strange man with a symbol just like it once before. The group immediately jump to conclusions; “he’s a worker of DIO!”, “he knows DIO”, “he’s here to kill us for DIO” and, well, they were right…once again.
Avdul being sick of slowly fading into the background of the series decides to shoot first and ask questions later. “Magician Red” attacks the man but is quickly shot down; this man has a stand of its own and it’s a lot faster than the ol’ “flame falcon”, who knows, it could even be faster than the infinitely speedy beetle they just fought. Deflecting the Stand’s fire onto an overturned table and leaving scorch marks that resemble a clock, the man finally reveals himself to be non other than Jean Pierre Polnareff (named Jean Pierre Eiffel in English localizations) who, although you’re not really meant to know who he is at this point in time, we all know to be the second last member to join the “Stardust Crusaders” club. Polnareff issues a challenge to Avdul and the episode ends. Hopefully the episode that is to be released next week ends up being better than the one from this week because, if I’m to be brutally honest; it was quite weak.