First Time Review: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders
Episode 32 – Set’s Alessi, Part 1.
We got a preview of Alessi at the end of episode 31, and already, we know he’s after Jotaro and Polnareff. I’m going to go ahead and admit that I’m a little confused about the timeline of this episode and episode 31, since 32 is apparently taking place while 31 took place, since different things are happening to different people. Thing is, if Polnareff and Jotaro are fighting Alessi in 32, why are they so calm when we see them in 31? Remember when Polnareff comments about the train tracks being cut? How does he do that if he’s fighting Alessi? Does Polnareff just comment about that after he’s won? Did him doing that spoil that he wins the fight? I’m so confused. I can totally admit if I’m just being dense, though, but somehow I just think this timeline was left intentionally vague. I hope these next two episodes clear it up a little.
Anyway, on to the review. The narrator tells us we’re going back in time a bit. Okay, maybe I spoke too soon here, maybe we’ll get this timeline thing sorted out. He says that while Avdol and Joseph were off fighting Mariah, Polnareff and Jotaro were … well, they were … doing what they’re going to do in this episode. Narrator!!! That wasn’t helpful!
Several children are having a pretend tea party, and Polnareff notices this and comments about how children are innocent. There’s a reason for this, and I’ll admit that the preview for this episode spoiled it a little. Since I don’t go over the previews, you might not know what I’m talking about, but you’ll find out soon enough. Trust me. Jotaro says it’s almost 9:00, like he did at the very, very end of episode 31. This still doesn’t help clear up my confusion, like, at all.
Jotaro and Polnareff begin to head out to potentially look for Avdol and Joseph (in the exact same way they do at the end of 31), and while they do this, a little boy goes over to the children playing and asks to join. They don’t let him, and as he walks forward to beg, he crashes into the legs of some adult. The bucket of mud he was carrying splashes on the adult’s pants.
Guess who the adult is! Is it Polnareff? Jotaro? (I know Jotaro isn’t technically an adult, but damn if he doesn’t look like one.) No, no. It’s Alessi, AKA the weirdest looking man I’ve seen in this series yet, and that’s saying a lot. Alessi asks the boy what his dad is doing, and the boy responds; he also asks about mom, and the boy responds about her too. Both parents are not around, and Alessi takes that opportunity to beat up the boy. Yeah, seriously. Alessi beat up a child. He’s a grade-A jerk, no doubt, and I can’t wait to see him get what he deserves.
Our two protagonists continue to head toward their friends, but Polnareff has this inkling that someone evil is lurking about. Before we actually find out who he senses, the episode changes focus to Iggy, who spots Avdol and Joseph right when they meet up with Mariah in their pincer attack; to be more specific, this is before Mariah cuts the power lines. Iggy doesn’t help them, which is not surprising since he didn’t show up in episode 31 around that time.
While that goes on, Polnareff and Jotaro continue on their search for Avdol and Joseph. Iggy went his own way a while ago, so they don’t know he found them. Polnareff, still wary of a stalker, finally turns around and stares (and the episode makes sure to let us know he stares, since the word ‘STARE’ floats by him as he does so) at the stalker, who is Alessi. I cannot blame Polnareff for thinking Alessi is an enemy. I mean, look at him. Everything about him just emanates bad, in a different way DIO does. Like, Alessi is just the type of bad where he kind of looks like an idiot, but also mal-intentioned, but DIO doesn’t look like an idiot at all. Just evil.
Anyway, Alessi claims to have simply dropped some money, but Polnareff doesn’t buy it, and sends Chariot after him. Alessi sends out his Stand, Set (which he briefly introduces to the viewer prior) and we can immediately see that this Stand is a shadow. A shadow with creepy eyes and nothing else. Polnareff tries to leap out of the shadow’s way, and since Chariot can’t really attack a shadow, the fight ends, and Alessi runs. Polnareff chases Alessi down a dark alleyway; this is not one of Polnareff’s better ideas, since Set is a shadow and a dark alleyway is full of shadows.
Jotaro, of course, lost track of Polnareff when he went off to chase Alessi.
While Polnareff chases Alessi down the alleyway, his voice changes. He loses track of the enemy, and collides into a larger man, whom Polnareff immediately insults. The man whacks at Polnareff and tosses him to the ground, but before leaving, makes sure to comment about Polnareff’s baggy clothes. If you haven’t guessed by now, Polnareff has been turned into a child.
After the initial shock, Polnareff deduces that Set touched his shadow during the fight earlier; apparently, Set has the power to turn adults into children via their shadows. My first thought about this outcome was how Polnareff’s hair and earrings as a kid are cute, but also really strange – my second thought was how I kind of wanted to see Jotaro as a kid as well. Imagine the little hat! Haha, okay, I’m done.
Polnareff sees Jotaro and tries to explain what happened. Jotaro asks him if he saw a French man walk by; Polnareff says that it’s him, but he can’t seem to remember Jotaro’s name. Jotaro simply “good griefs” and says it was a mistake to ask a kid for help. Alessi pops in and blocks Polnareff from reaching Jotaro again. I can’t get over how creepy Alessi is; I wish I knew if he was this weird in the manga, but I haven’t read it. I just reel back a little when he shows up because of his demeanor. “I can’t help but think I’m pretty messed up, honestly. If you think you’re weird, you’re not really weird.”
Anyway, Alessi tells Polnareff that he’s going to forget what he knew as an adult as time passes, and then grabs him and throws him into the ceiling somewhere, getting him caught between some boards and a pipe. He then pulls out a gun; he’s about to shoot a child. Oh my god, Alessi is seriously the worst! As the bullet flies, a blade comes out of nowhere and deflects it, thankfully, and we get to see Silver Chariot! Even child Polnareff can send out his Stand, excellent!
Except, things can’t be that easy; Chariot is powered by a child’s mind, so he only has a child’s strength. His sword is bent, and he really isn’t super effective. But he’s totally adorable! I want more kid Stands. Imagine kid Star Platinum!
Alessi pulls out an axe labeled AX, and Set is sent out with the same axe. We know several things about Set now: his shadow turns any shadow it touches into a child, and it can wield a weapon Alessi has in his hand. Not an extremely threatening Stand, since any Stand user not inflicted with the child curse can come in while Alessi is distracted and kill him, I think.
Alessi tries to kill Polnareff with the axe, but Chariot is able to deflect his blade off of a plank and into Alessi’s neck. This would kill him if Chariot were not a child, I’m sure. Polnareff frees himself and uses this opportunity to flee, and Alessi does as well. A woman sees Polnareff and takes him to her house to give him a bath.
This part of the episode is weird; I watched it and I don’t really know how to recap it here in detail, so I’ll be brief. Child Polnareff is a pervert, much like his adult counterpart, which is weird, since he’s a kid, and repeatedly explains how he doesn’t know what’s going on. I’m sure this was in the manga, else it wouldn’t be included, but it felt unnecessary.
Eventually, Alessi finds this woman’s house somehow, and sends Set inside. The woman thinks she saw something, but when she turns to look, doesn’t see it, since she’s not a Stand user. As Polnareff is getting his hair washed, Alessi turns up and is ready to kill him.
I have questions. How did Alessi get in this house? How did he KNOW this house was the one Polnareff was in? Did he just follow this woman? How did she not hear him with the six bells in his hair? When will adult Polnareff come back? Where is Jotaro?
I know the next episode will answer most of these, and I know all the two-parter episodes end on a cliffhanger, but this one really left me wondering a lot.
What a strange episode.
Final Thought: This episode was weird. Coming from someone who has watched every Stardust Crusaders episode so far, this means a lot. I can totally understand if some parts made some viewers a little uncomfortable, but I don’t think Jojo is normally quite so strange. I’m anxious to see what happens next episode, for sure, but I do hope it’s not so weird; specifically, I want Polnareff to be an adult again.