Review: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders Episode 40

First Time Review: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders

Episode 40 – D’Arby the Player, part 1.

 

Shocked and maybe appalled.
Shocked and maybe appalled.
 (NOTE: I’m going to be posting my screenshots in a larger resolution from here on out! This layout is wide enough now to accompany this. :))

            At the end of the previous episode, our protagonists were greeted by DIO’s ‘butler,’ a peculiar looking man with a similar, metal-plated face as D’Arby from episodes 34 and 35. It goes without saying that this man must have some sort of relation to D’Arby, which can only mean bad things. If you recall, the previous D’Arby was calculating, conniving, and flat out tough to outwit. Jotaro had to literally bluff and make D’Arby believe his hand was so great that it couldn’t be beat.

            This D’Arby has to be difficult to defeat as well, since there aren’t too many episodes left in this part of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, and I’d like to imagine the worst villains were saved for last.

            D’Arby introduces himself as Younger D’Arby via Crunchyroll’s subtitles, even though his voice actor is clearly saying ‘Terence D’Arby.’ Under the assumption that this name was changed for the NA subs for legal reasons, I went ahead and did a quick Google search; Terence D’Arby is a musician. Color me unsurprised. Thing is, if Younger D’Arby’s real name is based on a musician, can I safely assume Elder D’Arby (from episodes 34 and 35) had a musician’s name as well? After checking Google again, I found his name to have been Daniel D’Arby, which wasn’t the name of an actual musician. (And after rewatching/relistening to Terence introduce himself, I can clearly hear him saying his brother was Daniel D’Arby.) I don’t recall Daniel ever stating his name in the episodes he was in, but the inbetweener that usually showcases the Stand of the day and its user may have said it. I can’t read Japanese, so I don’t know for sure! It’s still interesting to look up these characters’ namesakes, especially when their names were clearly changed for the NA version. (I kind of feel like Crunchyroll is asking me to look this stuff up sometimes.)

            For the purposes of my review, I’ll just refer to the D’Arby brothers by their original first names, Daniel and Terence. You can refer to them as Elder and Younger if you want, though!

            Anyway, Terence continues to introduce himself, and the episode flips the scene back and forth horizontally while he does so. If this sounds weird, it’s because it is. Terence emphasizes that he’s ten years younger than Daniel (who was 31, according to the Internet) and therefore has different ideals. Daniel resorted to cheating to win, while Terence insists otherwise.

            Let me just state that so far, Terence is scaring me. The constant eerie music playing, the scene flipping back and forth, the eye rolling and constant hand gestures … not to mention the matching earrings and belt buckle adorned with his initials. I thought Daniel was kind of weird, but this guy tops him in every way.

Even Star Platinum is afraid!
Even Star Platinum is afraid!

After Terence’s long introduction, he calls out his Stand, prompting panic from the group. His stand, which Excited Narrator says is named Atum, looks about as unnerving as Osiris did, sans the pouty lips. Atum whistles and shoots out some smoke. Polnareff then orders Jotaro to attack Atum directly with Star Platinum. Yes, Polnareff orders Jotaro to do something. If you recall, Polnareff ordered Kakyoin to attack Geb back in episode 25, and that ended smoothly (even if Kakyoin didn’t follow the orders, the idea is still there. Polnareff shouldn’t order others around, seriously.) Surprisingly enough, Jotaro listens, and moves to attack. Terence offers a wager right before Star Platinum throws a punch, momentarily stopping Jotaro. The wager is simple – Star Platinum will attack with his left hand. Jotaro is shocked by this statement, since he obviously was going to do that, and Polnareff continues to egg him on, saying that it doesn’t matter what hand he uses. Star Platinum then throws a punch with his right arm, but misses. Atum must be ridiculously fast! Terence isn’t bothered by losing the wager; he offers Jotaro the prize of taking him to an amazing world. Welp, this definitely won’t end well.

Terence and Atum open a portal on the floor, where Jotaro is sent falling. Joseph and Kakyoin attempt to pull him out with their Stands, but Terence decides to pull them in as well, saying “very well, you two can come in too.” Avdol, Polnareff, and Iggy are left to just wait for their return, and Joseph yells out to Avdol that he needs to burn down the mansion if they don’t come back in 10 minutes. I guess we’ll see if they can come back in time!

When the three protagonists arrive at the ‘amazing world,’ Jotaro asks if the others noticed how Terence must have known he was going to throw a right-handed punch with Star Platinum. This is why he wasn’t bothered by ‘losing,’ since he intended to all along. Neither Joseph nor Kakyoin can answer, though, since Terence is right there, and he immediately offers the group a drink, which he insists isn’t poisoned. Unsurprisingly, nobody takes a drink; only Polnareff would even consider doing that, and I honestly don’t think he’s that dense.

Joseph asks Terence several questions about their location. He doesn’t answer many; the important one he does bother to answer is whether defeating him is necessary to proceed. Spoiler: it is.

Terence D'Arby has a disturbing collection.
Terence D’Arby has a disturbing collection.

Terence moves to show the group his collection. You remember how Daniel had a collection of poker chips with his victims’ souls in them? Imagine something similar with Terence, only far creepier. If you thought of dolls, well, you’re right! Terence is really, really disturbed, and the atmosphere created by the music playing, the artstyle of the dolls and Terence’s overly enthusiastic disposition emphasizes this. Once again, this is something hard to explain via text, but the dolls in the collection warp, much like the top of a car appears to on a very hot summer’s day. I don’t know what they looked like in the manga, but this episode definitely conveys them to be unsettling.

After showing off his collection (and creeping on one of the female dolls,) Terence explains that his Stand’s power is similar to Osiris’. It captures the souls of those admitting defeat and converts them into the bodies of dolls. Kakyoin expresses how wrong this is by telling Terence while looking at Joseph. I don’t know why.

I'm going to tell Terence his actions are wrong while looking at Joseph for some reason.
I’m going to tell Terence his actions are wrong while looking at Joseph for some reason.

Joseph, Kakyoin, and Jotaro all ready up their Stands to fight Terence. (I found these shots impressive, and I’ll show them off at the end of this review so I don’t continue to clog up the text here.) Terence stops them by stating that Jotaro is in trouble; Atum tore off its hand to grab Jotaro’s soul while he moved to fight with Star Platinum earlier. The only way to get its hand off is for Terence to admit defeat. Terence offers to play a video game, and if one of the protagonists can beat him, he’ll admit defeat.

The pile of video games can be seen at this time, and I’m able to clearly read three names:

  •            Pack–Landy, which is definitely a Pac-man clone.
  •            F-Mega, which I would originally have thought to be inspired by F-Zero, but the manga was written a little before this game came out.
  •            Oh That’s Baseball!!, a generic baseball game.

I thought these were pretty amusing.

Atum
Atum

Terence picks Kakyoin to play a video game against him, much to Jotaro’s surprise. After all, Jotaro is now under his control, with Atum attached to his soul, so why wouldn’t he play a game? Terence explains that Kakyoin is the best for this since he’s not related to the Joestar bloodline, and so if Jotaro and Joseph were to lose their souls, he may lose interest in wagering his own and simply attack Terence.

Kakyoin, after stating that he’s good at video games, is given the choice of which game to play. He picks F-Mega, with the added bonus of his soul being wagered. The soul part is one of my favorite video games! It’s a true roleplaying game of our time, hah. After saying he’ll wager his soul, Kakyoin demands that Terence keep his end of the deal, in that Jotaro’s arm will be returned to him if he wins. Terence answers by opening his collection cabinet and revealing a creepy Kakyoin doll. Atum really moves fast! Either that, or Terence made this doll (and one for each of the remaining group) when DIO told him who the Crusaders were. Who knows, it’s eerie either way.

That's not creepy or anything.
That’s not creepy or anything.

The game begins right after Joseph uses Hermit Purple to check the validity of the console, TV, and cartridges. Kakyoin takes his glasses off right before sitting down, pretty much emphasizing that this is serious (or that the tint of sunglasses will mess up his vision of the TV screen). Kakyoin and Terence then pick their cars; Terence specifically picks the 15 car for his birthdate, January 5th. I don’t know if him stating his birthdate will ever be relevant, but there it is. (Also, the voice saying ‘Select your car,’ sounds like Daniel’s. Coincidence? Yeah, probably.)

Terence uses Atum to rapidly click one of the buttons on the controller to get a head start. Kakyoin notices this and worries, since Hierophant Green can’t keep up with that; once the race begins, Terence’s car darts ahead, much to Kakyoin’s worry. Kakyoin tries to pass, but Terence blocks his every attempt. Terence gets cocky upon seeing this, feeling as if he’s already won.

Luckily for the protagonists, Kakyoin is a quick thinker. Relying on all of Hierophant Green’s abilities, he spins his car around and knocks Terence away. Joseph cheers on in the background, as if he were cheering for the high school football team. How charming!

Terence, now realizing that Kakyoin has played this game before, decides to up the ante. He relies on Kakyoin’s car being on the far side of the track, so that when they both turn the corner, he’ll fall off. Jotaro explains this more clearly to the viewer and Joseph, who is just an old man who doesn’t understand. Poor Joseph.

Terence never loses.
Terence never loses.

After Terence explains to Kakyoin that he’s ‘worthy’ of being in his doll collection for not showing fear, Kakyoin thinks to himself about the time when he was possessed by DIO. This flashback emphasizes how menacing DIO is with his magnetic influence and aura, and after it plays, Kakyoin reiterates to himself that he needs to win to prove that he isn’t weak like he was that day. He’ll never let something like that happen to him again.

Oh, dear. I don’t know for sure, but I have a feeling that Kakyoin is in for a bad time really soon. Sigh. This sucks, especially since Kakyoin just reunited with the group. Anyway, enough of my whining, this review is getting long! Sorry about that.

Kakyoin and Terence need to compete for the tunnel that’s coming up. There’s only one lane, so one car needs to be in the lead. Terence explains that Kakyoin used up a decent amount of his car’s power when he spun out earlier, giving him a disadvantage. Terence can use his extra power to boost his way into the tunnel, and he does so. Joseph insists Kakyoin should just let him go first, but Kakyoin knows that he’ll lose if he does this, so with his quick wit, he decides to tilt his car up onto the side of the tunnel.

NO RADAR
NO RADAR

Things look up now for Kakyoin, at least until Terence decides to ram his car against the other. After a few seconds, the tunnel goes dark, prompting an outburst from Joseph. Kakyoin explains to Joseph (and the viewer, since we’re literally Joseph here) that the tunnel is dark from here on out and that there’s a cannon at the end of it. He has all of the curves of the tunnel memorized, so he should be able to avoid the cannon’s shot, but Terence does as well.

The two make it through the dark tunnel, only to show that Terence’s car is a full length ahead of Kakyoin’s. Don’t be too surprised, but the episode ends before we can see what happens next.

 

Final Thought: I think that the animators did a splendid job on the video game part of this episode. Kakyoin’s car looked more beat up as the race progressed; I can’t say I expected that level of detail. Plotwise, this episode was intense, and I’m glad that Terence is a menacing villain. It wouldn’t be interesting if he weren’t!

Here are the shots I promised to post:

Jotaro and Star Platinum
Jotaro and Star Platinum
Joseph and Hermit Purple
Joseph and Hermit Purple
Kakyoin and Hierophant Green
Kakyoin and Hierophant Green

 

 

 

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