JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders 38 & 39 – This Fucking Bird

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I’ve said this before, but I am not a big fan of Stardust Crusaders. This is something of a stereotypical Western JoJo fanboy opinion, I know, as pretty much everybody outside of glorious Nippon prefers Joseph over Jotaro. But I must admit, that there’s a certain point where Stardust Crusaders picks up and the monster-of-the-week battles begin to become much more interesting. It was never, contrary to popular opinion, just “Star Platinum punching things” as much as it was “JoJo trying to figure out how to and where to make Star Platinum punch”.

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Still, there’s definitely a point where Stardust Crusaders just gets… better. It’s harder to pinpoint that exact moment, but it’s easier to describe why to got better. I think it was somewhere near the halfway point where Araki realized that Stands weren’t just there to punch things; they could alter the very fabric of reality to their whims. That’s why Part 4 (and currently, Part 8) of the manga connected so well with me, with more and more surreal Stands that gave the series a quasi-horror feel (although Part 4 is surprisingly chill).

Enough rambling about where post-Hamon JoJo gets good, let’s talk about this motherfuckin’ bird and why he’s awesome.

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The real point where Stardust Crusaders jumps from a C to straight A+ territory is in its final battles where it gets much more serious. Well, it never gets truly serious, as there’s still quite a bit of silly into the mix aside from JoJo’s inherent silliness, but there is a sense of immediate danger and uncertainity.

And this motherfucking bird is the catalyst for that change.

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Right off the bat, Pet Shop can claim the title for villain with highest kill count in Stardust Crusaders, bar none. Hol Horse could’ve claimed that title, but it seems he can’t aim to save his life (or end someone else’s) despite being able to control his bullet’s directions. Bad Hol Horse! Go back to your room!

This is where stuff gets back to the Part 2-style battles in which our heroes are facing an opponent who is harder, better, faster and stronger than then. The Fool is no match for Pet Shop’s Horus, and there’s a certain uncertainity in the whole battle that just ties the whole thing together. I mean, Araki backed out of killing Avdol, so to me all tension was gone on the subsequent battles.

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But this? In this battle, Iggy is constantly on the verge of death. Yeah, they are in all battles, to an extent, but in this battle Iggy loses a leg and barely makes it out alive out of that ordeal. Horus is constantly outpowering him, and he can only resort to his wits. Sounds like a Part 2 battle to me.

What I really like about this battle, however, is how Iggy changes from a particularly apathetic and antisocial dog who only wanted to fall in love with a hot bitch and live a carefree life to someone with an actual objective in life, and that is to kill DIO. It’s for merely selfish reasons, but a change is a change.

If it sounds too serious for typical JoJo, don’t worry. It ends on a hilarious montage of past incidents of Iggy farting on Polnareff and Joseph. There’s only so much serious you can have in JoJo.

Nitpick: They still introduced Iggy in his ugly-cute realistic appearance instead of using the cuter redesign from the start. Oh well. I guess they wanted to be cycle-accurate to the manga.

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