JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Stardust Crusaders Episode 45 Review

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Stardust Crusaders Episode 45 Review

DIO’s World, Part 1

It's DIO's World!
It’s DIO’s World!

            If you follow my Twitter (and you should if you enjoy my writing!) you’ll know that I went on vacation and then caught a cold, which is why I’m just now squeaking out these reviews. I’m hideously late. That being said, I’m going to catch up with a vengeance because we’re at the part of the series everyone’s been anxiously waiting for – the DIO fight!

            I expect a lot to go on during these final episodes, so I’m going to keep the introductions brief.

           When we last left off, Polnareff was greeted by DIO in a less than pleasant fashion, and the viewer was finally allowed to see our antagonist’s face in all of its glory. This is a big deal; at least, the animators made it seem so, with numerous teases strewn about in previous episodes. Either way, seeing DIO’s face brings to light something a little more significant than just, well, seeing what he looks like. It brings to light the fact that we’re almost done with this. DIO has exposed himself to the remainder of the group, so there’s less mystery now. He’s ready to finally end the Joestar bloodline, and Jotaro and Joseph are ready to enact vengeance for their ancestor.

This is trippy, but it shows how Polnareff feels.
This is trippy, but it shows how Polnareff feels.

           Episode 45 begins with Polnareff returning DIO’s greeting in an admittedly less than friendly way. He states that if he’s to receive a prize for coming so far, he should get DIO’s life. A cocky response like that is expected of him, even if it’s pretty darn pointless.

            With casual clapping and menacing licking of the lips, DIO listens as Polnareff explains that he isn’t afraid of him anymore after witnessing his friends die. Of course, when I say ‘listens,’ I mean that in a very loose way; DIO doesn’t care.

            That being said, he does offer a proposal to Polnareff. If he walks up the stairs to him, he’ll be his enemy, but if he goes down the stairs, he’ll be devoted to DIO’s cause. You can guess what Polnareff does, but you’ll probably be wrong. He steps forward, but in an odd turn of events, it appears that he steps down. He’s understandably confused by this. DIO explains that he must be losing his composure, which is what people do when they’re afraid.

            Just the way DIO speaks here is eerie, but definitely intentional.

            Polnareff gets the feeling that this trick of not walking where he wants to is because of DIO’s Stand, which has previously been determined to be ZA WARUDO, or The World.

            We get a great pan of the tarot card behind DIO, as seen at the beginning of my review here. I love this; I think it would make a great desktop wallpaper, if anything.

            After the opening, Polnareff is given a small speech by DIO, explaining that he has no real reason to not want to follow him. Polnareff disagrees, and states that he can’t succumb to DIO again. Avdol and Iggy died for him, after all, so the least he could do is remain DIO’s enemy. He then sends out Chariot to attack.

            DIO responds to this by calling The World, but before anything really happens, the wall bursts open and Joseph, Jotaro, and Kakyoin appear. DIO immediately runs away. I should note that DIO began to attack Polnareff with his Stand before leaving, and even though no actual contact occurred, he still yelled out his signature battle cry: “MUDA MUDA MUDA MUDA MUDA!” I’ve read this before, and even though I hadn’t read the manga, I knew this was a thing he said, much like Star Platinum’s “ORA ORA ORA.” Crunchyroll’s subtitles translated “MUDA” as “USELESS,” which is technically one of the words it means, but I personally would have been fine with them leaving the subs as “MUDA.” Read “USELESS USELESS USELESS” in your head as The World punches and think about how awkward it sounds, and you’ll get where I’m coming from.

This reminds me of Sailor Moon's speeches, for some reason.
This reminds me of Sailor Moon’s speeches, for some reason.

           Anyway, DIO has fled the scene and Jotaro, Joseph, and Kakyoin move to pursue him. Polnareff stops them before they can go, however, and explains that he saw The World. He brings up the stairs incident, and how he almost felt as if he were going insane then; Jotaro pauses for a moment before responding. His response is what Polnareff and potentially the viewer feared – he asks where Avdol and Iggy are.

            Tearfully, Polnareff states that they died saving him. Another pause follows, and the entire group briefly mourns, perhaps hoping they’ll be able to properly mourn their losses later. Joseph looks particularly hurt by the news, since Avdol was a very close friend of his.

            Kakyoin notices the sun setting and throws the sack he was carrying down, releasing Nukesaku. Now, I never realized this at first, but Crunchyroll made an odd decision with their subs. They chose to keep Nukesaku’s name untranslated, but they translated “MUDA.” Nukesaku could have been translated to, well, many things, as long as it kept the idiot theme. Better yet, Nukesaku and “MUDA” could have been left as is.

            In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter, but it’s still something to think about.

            Nukesaku leads the group to DIO’s coffin, where we get a bit of inflection from each of the remaining characters. Nobody regrets coming this far, and Polnareff specifically feels even more motivated to defeat DIO than he did before. The tension is high.

            After Nukesaku dawdles for a bit, he finally opens the coffin to find …

            Himself.

            Nukesaku is inside, and his jaw is broken. Everyone’s bewildered by this, since Nukesaku was being monitored the entire time he was there. How did he get inside?

            Before anyone can really begin to think of how this happened, The World’s presence is felt, and Joseph instructs everyone to run. Polnareff remains for a second longer than anyone else, and is dragged out of the window by Hermit Purple. While falling, Joseph exclaims that The World’s presence made him feel like someone stuck an icicle in his ass. Seriously. At least there’s still a tiny smidge of humor to be found right now!

Everyone’s Stands allow them to hang on to the side of the mansion, where they pull themselves on to solid ground. The sun continues to set, and Joseph states that he thinks they should wait until the morning to fight DIO. Polnareff refuses to do that, though, since his friends sacrificed themselves for him and wouldn’t want to see Polnareff simply wait. Kakyoin agrees, and Jotaro states that Polnareff can run off and pursue DIO while the others wait for him to appear.

Joseph bribes a stranger for his car and he and Kakyoin drive. “I’m flooring it, Kakyoin!” Joseph’s not the best driver…

Polnareff, meanwhile, watches DIO stand on top of a building and tells himself that he really couldn’t wait to attack him. Before he can move, though, Jotaro puts a hand on his shoulder and says that Joseph and Kakyoin insisted he stay with him. Polnareff appears grateful, and Jotaro smiles for like the second time in the series.

JOTARO SMILE COUNTER: 2
JOTARO SMILE COUNTER: 2

After the break, DIO finds a car and gets inside, because he can do whatever he wants. Someone tries to stop him, but he soon finds himself with a broken arm from defying our antagonist. I sense that this will happen a lot.

Sure enough, inside the vehicle is a rich man whom we find out to be Senator Phillips. I guarantee you that his name won’t be important for long, though; DIO insists he drive the car, since I assume DIO doesn’t know how to drive. He did grow up with horses and carriages, after all. The Senator refuses at first, and DIO responds to this by ripping his two front teeth out. The Senator panics, and tries to flee. DIO uses The World to force him back into the car. This happens several times in a short period, until the Senator finally succumbs to driving.

We go back to Joseph and Kakyoin, wher Joseph explains that since DIO has Jonathan Joestar’s body, Joseph can sense when he’s near. He can’t sense exactly where he is, though, which is why he couldn’t find his mansion. The sense goes both ways; DIO can sense where he is, too. Joseph then explains that DIO can’t sense the difference between Joseph and Jotaro, so that’s why they split up.

Polnareff tries to jumpstart a motorcycle, but given that he’s never stolen a vehicle before, fails. After we briefly see DIO have no remorse for a sidewalk full of people as he instructs the Senator to drive over them, we return to Polnareff and Jotaro, where Jotaro instantly gets the motorcycle to work. They then ride off, presumably toward DIO.

DIO tells the Senator that he won’t spare his life after being asked to, and then instructs him to get closer to Joseph’s truck. The World has a short range, much like Star Platinum, so he has to be closer to them to use it properly.

Kakyoin finds out that DIO is gaining on them, so he sends out Hierophant Green; he uses Emerald Splash against DIO, but DIO is able to flick the gems back. The World is called out as soon as Hierophant is close enough, and it punches Kakyoin’s Stand, sending it flying back. The attack would have been worse if DIO were closer.

DIO doesn't mess around, okay?
DIO doesn’t mess around, okay?

Kakyoin apologizes to Joseph and says he couldn’t help but attack; he is now wounded, but not discouraged. He explains that he discovered two important things about The World. First, it has a range of about ten meters, like Star Platinum. Second, it uses fists to fight, not projectiles.

After explaining this, Kakyoin notices that DIO’s car has stopped. The Senator’s corpse flies toward them, crashing into their vehicle, causing them to stop as well. DIO struts toward them slowly, and the music gets more intense. There is no ending scene. There is no time for that; DIO is coming closer, and Joseph and Kakyoin barely make it on top of a building before he can attack them. They’re safe.

Kakyoin takes off his sunglasses and moves forward, stating that he’s figured out a way to find out more about The World.

I don’t like the sound of that.

Kakyoin explains that he has a plan.
Kakyoin explains that he has a plan.

Final Thought: Do I need a final thought? DIO is … well, he’s DIO. And this final part of the series is going to be too intense to really waste time writing final thoughts for, so … I’ll see you when I write my next review!