First Time Review: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders
Episode 25 – Iggy the Fool and Geb’s N’doul, Part 1.
What is a ‘First Time Review’? It’s what I’m calling my reviews for series I’ve never read the manga for; in other words, series I’m going into without any prior knowledge.
I was introduced to Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure via my boyfriend when the new anime first came out. I watched the first two parts (which were condensed into one actual season) and loved them, so I was very excited for the third part, Stardust Crusaders, to come out. I have watched all the episodes so far, but episode 25 came out last week (and 26 this week) so I figured I’d break the mold and start reviewing there, and then go backwards once the series is done. So only episodes 25+ will be new material for me, since when I go to review 1-24 I’ll have known what happened beforehand.
I should state that there will be SPOILERS abound!
On with the show!
When we last left the gang at the end of episode 24, they were finally arriving in Egypt. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the “Egypt arc,” so I was really excited for this moment. Episode 25 begins a brief glimpse of the team and Jotaro saying “it should be about time.” This pretty much emphasizes that we’re at the ‘interesting’ part of the series, and any doubt it your mind about whether they’re actually in Egypt or not (if you somehow have doubts) are now gone. The opening plays, and while I do like the look of it, I found the song not nearly as catchy as the first one. (I will admit that the ORAORAORA bit at the end of this opening is great, though.)
The title pops up at this point and it’s another 2-parter; this is part 1. I’m not surprised by this, since the first half of Stardust Crusaders had a lot of 2-parters. They don’t really bother me, since the show does a good job keeping the tension alive between both parts. The end of part 1 usually ends on a dramatic note, causing you to really want part 2 right then and there. In other words, Stardust Crusaders gets away with 2 part episodes. Anyway, the title of this episode gives away two new characters: Iggy (who must control the Fool Stand) and N’doul (presumably controlling a Stand called Geb, which is not a tarot card like the previous ones). Most people already know who Iggy is, and I had gotten spoiled on this a long time ago, although honestly I don’t really consider it too much of a spoiler.
A Speedwagon Foundation helicopter shows up with a new Stand user to join the team. Everyone except for Avdol and Joseph think that either the pilot or the co-pilot must be the Stand user, and Jotaro is especially cautious. It doesn’t help that Avdol and Joseph keep talking about the new Stand user and how they have ‘personality issues’. It’s funny to see Avdol insist that this Stand user can’t be of any use to the team, due to their inability to work with others, since I’ve found out who it is previously and have heard about what they like to do to anyone who happens to annoy them. Of course, the three who don’t know this Stand user listen to Avdol with baited breath, and Joseph explains that his Stand is the Fool, the (second-to) last tarot Stand left. Polnareff thinks this is hilarious. Polnareff thinks a lot of things are hilarious.
After Polnareff almost starts a fistfight with Avdol (again, will he ever learn?) the helicopter lands, and the pilot and co-pilot greet the group with the smuggest grins ever because they know they’re about to get rid of a jerkwad Stand user. I mean, if you were in their shoes, you’d probably be grinning too. As soon as they exit, Jotaro asks them which one is the Stand user, and they say he’s in the back. Surprise!
With Polnareff being Polnareff, he goes into the helicopter to find the Stand user. He remarks that he must be really short and laughs, since Polnareff is a total jerk, and pats on the covered lump in the back seat; he then realizes that patting the lump was a bad idea, since there was vomit around, and before he can worry about wiping it off, the lump jumps out from the blanket and pounces on Polnareff. There’s a huge tussle, and Polnareff’s precious hair gets chewed on by the Stand user, Iggy.
Joseph explains that yes, Iggy’s a Stand using dog, and that they don’t know where he came from. It’s not too weird to see a dog Stand user, since a baby was one a while ago (much to Kakyoin’s dismay) and after the initial shock, the group refocuses their attention on Polnareff, who is still being torn to shreds. Joseph remembers that Iggy likes to fart on the face of whomever he’s attacking, and states this interesting fact right before he does so on Polnareff.
Let’s just say that Polnareff is having a bad day. (Polnareff’s Bad Day would make a great children’s book title!) With all lack for, well, common sense (since he didn’t listen to Avdol earlier, when he told him he can’t beat The Fool) Polnareff sends out Silver Chariot to fight Iggy, and obviously The Fool. It … doesn’t go well. Polnareff begs for help after realizing that Silver Chariot cannot defeat a sand based Stand, and Kakyoin claims that he would, but he isn’t getting his hair messed up. I love that.
Getting back to business, Joseph asks the pilot how his daughter is doing, and he says she won’t make it two more weeks. Jotaro, as stoic as he is, appears relatively stiff about the situation, but we know that deep down he’s worried. The pilot then tells Joseph that Dio has gathered nine Stand users to fight the group, and Kakyoin immediately thinks that if Iggy has the Fool Stand, then Dio must have The World; he admits that he has thought of this previously, and Avdol says that he doesn’t know what the other nine users have for Stands. The helicopter then heads off, and I’m starting to wonder where the antagonist for this episode is.
Before we find out, Joseph receives a camera from the pilot and thinks it’s a good idea to get a group photo taken. Group photos in an anime like this make me nervous because its sole purpose is to remind the owner of happier times. Why will Joseph need to be reminded of happier times later? What’s going to happen? 🙁
Good thing Iggy can sniff out trouble. He senses something, or someone; unfortunately, they notice him, too. First thing I notice about the villain, who is, in fact N’doul, is that he’s blind. He manages to kill a fly with a rock sent flying by his cane without eyesight, which makes him Pretty Badass, and I’m not surprised by this at all. He has to be badass, at least a bit, to be a threat.
Joseph drives the gang toward their destination, leaving Iggy in the back seat alone, and Kakyoin, Avdol, and Polnareff in the bed of the truck. Polnareff complains (because this man loves to complain) and Joseph says that Iggy feels most comfortable in the back. When Joseph tells the three in the bed that Iggy’s gum has to lose flavor for him to be able to move, Kakyoin’s and Avdol’s eyes are completely black, showing their disdain for sitting where they are. It’s pretty funny.
Unfortunately, this humorous moment is cut short when the helicopter from earlier is spotted. It has crashed to the ground and the pilot and co-pilot are found presumably dead. The pilot’s lungs have been filled with water and he has drowned. The co-pilot, though, is alive, and Joseph tries to interrogate him, but he needs water. He offers him the canteen, but he flips out at the sight of it; this is understandable since the water inside turns into a hand and rips off his face. Thank you, censoring, for making me have to guess how gory this looked. Anyway, everyone rightfully panics, and Joseph asks Avdol if he could see the Stand. He says he has only witnessed the hand, and that the Stand itself is still in the canteen. While Avdol wonders if this attacker is part of Dio’s group, Joseph asks Jotaro to look for the culprit. He can’t find him, even with Star Platinum’s vision. This means he’s going to strike out of nowhere.
Kakyoin and Polnareff are debating who should attack the canteen, since the Stand is definitely still inside. While Polnareff goes off about why he shouldn’t do it, the Stand manifests itself from a puddle and slices Kakyoin right in the eyes; he then passes out, and Polnareff panics. You should panic, Polnareff. You really, really should.
I immediately worry about Kakyoin and whether he’s still alive or not, since he isn’t moving; Polnareff continues to worry about him, but this leaves himself vulnerable, and the Stand takes advantage of this and tries to get his eyes, too. The pilot’s watch goes off at this exact moment, though, and the beeping causes the Stand to go for it instead of Polnareff. Jotaro exclaims that the Stand went after the watch due to the alarm, and everyone theorizes that it works off of sound. Kakyoin’s blood is dripping at a fast rate and is making noise, so Polnareff thinks that the Stand might find them.
He then does something productive for once and grabs Kakyoin and heads for the car. He almost gets caught by the Stand a few times, adding to the tension, but Joseph’s Hermit Purple grabs him and Kakyoin and flings them to the car. (Polnareff’s ankle does get swiped during this, but he’s probably fine. Compared to Kakyoin, anyway.) Poor Kakyoin and his lifeless body, being all tossed around like that. After N’doul states that he knows the group is on to his tricks, Avdol tells everyone that Kakyoin might be blind. Which really sucks.
This entire time, Iggy is being a jerk and just sitting in the car. He senses something is up with N’doul, though, and gets out, but doesn’t tell anyone.
N’doul totally attacks the car now, and Iggy is just over on the sand by himself, chilling. The car is slowly sinking into the ground, and at the last moment everyone has to jump off.
What will happen to the group, now that the car is, well … kind of ruined? Will they survive this? Will Kakyoin see again? I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
The ending is also new, like the opening, but there isn’t much to say about it. It’s mellow, which isn’t bad at all.
Review Summary: Excellent continuation of Stardust Crusaders. Pacing was on point and the dramatic tension felt by certain parts of the episode made me crave 26 all the more.