Hot damn, the beginning of this episode… it’s rough. In a way I don’t think I can really get behind. I mean, it works for what it’s trying to do, to make the new villain all the more despicable. but wow… So this episode begins with a rape.
Something I was not ready for as I lay in bed, watching this episode on my phone first thing in the morning. But hey, it’s a Giorno episode, we haven’t had one of those in a while.
The episode begins at the still immobile train. Presumably so because the driver is dead after being hooked through a keyhole. The passengers are having none of it and yell angrily at the conductor who tries to calm everything down.
I’ve come to realise that everyone in the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure universe are powerfully emotional people. Ready to kick a person to death over the slightest inconvenience. Bearing in mind these people were all on death’s door moments earlier.
It’s here we’re properly introduced to our Assassin, who breaks into the private room of a young woman. This women, like those outside, isn’t shown to be an especially reasonable or pleasant person, but that’s all besides the point in regards to what’s about to happen. The assassin seems to be getting excited by the woman’s aggressive demeanour and venomous words, and pulls out a computer. He then proceeds to start asking her very probing and personal questions.
Leading up to asking her about her sexual preferences, all the time, her facade of anger melting into fear. When she finally realises something is about to happen to her, she starts clawing at the train window, only for a purple arm to slam in the glass from behind her and cut to a computer screen that reads “insemination complete”.
Man… that’s a lot. I’ve been talking about this series of the show being more graphic than the one’s that came before it, this really does feel like Golden Wind trying to make a point. After the credits, we cut back to the woman, who explicitly realises she hasn’t been touched in any way. But let’s be real, outside of an actual sexual assault, this was a rape scene.
I guess I should talk about the rest of the episode. This new villain, who is certainly a huge creep, has a stand that seemingly has the ability to use other people’s body’s to create brand new stands. Ones he can remote control using his computer; Baby Face. This new stand kills the woman it was growing on, which seems much less worrisome that what happened to her before, and it begins tracking the gang.
Cutting away to our heroes, mercifully, they are in the middle of nowhere after Mista messed up and punched out the driver of the truck they were stowing away on. They’re deciding whether or not they should steal a car when they’re found by Baby Face’s remote control stand, who isolates Girono along with the hideout turtle that contains Trish.
The following is a pretty cool action sequence, in which Giorno has pieces of his body plucked out of his body in the form of meaty cubes. As he’s left on the ground, seemingly lost against this “invincible” stand, we don’t cut away with a “to be continued”, instead we get a surprisingly quick turn around. Girono goes from being on death’s door and turns the tables on the enemy stand. He realises his own abilities mirror that of the enemy, and is given new insight into how to use his own powers, countering the enemy perfectly.
He proceeds to turn inanimate objects into replacement parts for his own body. It’s really cool , and we get the end the episode with Girono very much having the upper hand over the enemy, which makes a nice change to be honest.
I am kind of torn on how I feel about this episode. The battle parts of the episode were fine, but the cold opening seemed really problematic to me. Then again, I come from a place of progressive western liberalism and Japan is a different place both culturally and politically. Let’s be honest, there is some pretty depraved shit coming out of animation studios in the country. Porn or otherwise. I’m not going to hold it against the series, but still, it’s something to be aware of going into this episode.