Review: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders episode 43

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

Episode 43: The Miasma of the Void, Cool (Vanilla) Ice, Part 2

Vanilla Ice: cookin' Stand users like a pound of bacon.
Vanilla Ice: cookin’ Stand users like a pound of bacon.

            My body is completely prepared for the rest of this season; last episode was pretty much the selling point for me to just be ready for whatever’s going to come. I mean, they’re really, really close to DIO now, so there aren’t going to be any more whimsical, funny moments. As much as I enjoyed the Terence D’Arby episodes, I think they were the last to have any kind of ‘fun.’ I could be wrong, of course, but I just have that feeling.

            Anyway, I don’t like to say too much before the jump here, especially since we’re in Spoiler Territory proper, now. If you’d prefer to experience this story for yourself first, please go watch this episode before reading my recap/review. Trust me, it’s more impactful that way.

            Last we left off, Avdol was pretty much a goner, and Polnareff was trying to absorb this. Since Polnareff was fairly close to Avdol emotionally, what with Avdol almost dying once before due to Polnareff’s negligence (at least he thought so), Polnareff understandably takes his presumably real death very hard, and vows to enact revenge on Vanilla Ice.

            At the first available opportunity, Polnareff sends out Silver Chariot and manages to swipe at Vanilla Ice. Vanilla Ice thinks to himself that he didn’t realize Polnareff’s Stand was so fast, and leaves via Cream before Polnareff can do any further damage. The scene immediately changes to Jotaro, Kakyoin, and Joseph after this, where Joseph comments that the labyrinth went away. If you recall, this happened in the previous episode when Iggy killed Billie Jean, the Stand user who left as fast as he appeared.

            The scene also changes pretty quickly, and we’re greeted by a grieving Polnareff, who now really realizes that Avdol is dead. Welp. I guess this series really has gotten more serious. Polnareff thinks of what Avdol said about not stopping and protecting anyone else, and curses; Avdol saved Polnareff, completely neglecting his own terms. As a fortune teller, did Avdol know he was going to die? Is that why he came up with those terms before he and Polnareff entered the mansion? I wonder.

            Polnareff ducks while grieving, not realizing that doing so saved his life (again). Vanilla Ice attacks the column behind Polnareff as he ducks; if he didn’t move, he would have lost his head. Scary. I would like to comment here that the music playing during this scene is eerily similar to the music that played in the previous season of JoJo, when an important character died. I’m going to always take that music as a ‘someone in the party definitely died and you should feel sad’ cue.

Doesn't seeing a really burly man cry just make you feel sad?
Doesn’t seeing a really burly man cry just make you feel sad?

            Polnareff and Iggy give chase as soon as they realize Vanilla Ice is after them. Polnareff notices the exit, and Iggy thinks he’ll make a run for it, but he instead declares that he can’t do that. Avdol sacrificed himself for them because he knew they could defeat DIO, so they can’t go the coward’s way out and leave. After Iggy hears this, he perks up and follows Polnareff up the stairs toward DIO’s room. Vanilla Ice appears near the exit once they leave, expressing that he thought they’d go for the exit, but he’s ultimately not too surprised that they didn’t.

            Once Polnareff and Iggy arrive upstairs, they notice a hole in the floor caused by Vanilla Ice. They get into position to cover each other’s back for when he shows up. After a few moments of silence, Polnareff decides to yell for Vanilla Ice to come at him, since his anger from losing Avdol has fuelled Chariot into moving faster. This is interesting, since it gives us a little further insight into how Chariot works.

            Vanilla Ice finally pops up from under a crack in the floor, which Polnareff is standing on. To no surprise, Polnareff loses a large portion of his foot from this, rendering him unable to run away from any further attacks. Iggy sends the Fool out to try and hit Vanilla Ice after this, but fails. The effects of the room being slowly destroyed by Vanilla Ice is shown briefly when the scene changes to DIO’s room. The ceiling is crumbling on top of him, but he shows no interest.

            The scene then changes to Jotaro’s group, where Kakyoin points out the structural damage. Joseph declares that they need to catch up to Avdol to help. He doesn’t know Avdol’s dead yet.

Watching out for each other.
Watching out for each other.

           When we return to Vanilla Ice, we see him look around for Polnareff, and announce that he can’t be far due to his injury. DIO immediately shows up behind him as he talks, surprisingly, and Vanilla Ice seems to dotingly listen to him. Polnareff and Iggy then pop their heads out from the stairs, via the Fool’s disguising technique, and Polnareff thinks to himself that their fake DIO is tricking Vanilla Ice. Well, the fake DIO fooled me for a second at least!

            Iggy moves fake DIO to attack, but as soon as his hand goes to hit Vanilla Ice, the villain turns around and attacks the dummy. He wasn’t fooled; DIO doesn’t go out in sunlight, which is how he knew this was a fake. Unfortunately, Polnareff and Iggy didn’t know that.

            The next thing that happens is, well, pretty terrible. So much so that I’m not going to post any screenshots from it or anything. Vanilla Ice, in a fit of rage, kicks Iggy until he’s on the verge of death, since he’s so mad that the dog made him attack a clone of his lord DIO. Vanilla Ice shows no mercy here, and Polnareff, with his bad foot, is forced to watch this for a while until he can finally muster up the energy to send out Chariot.

            If Araki made Vanilla Ice do this to Iggy so we really hate him, it worked.

Polnareff has to watch.
Polnareff has to watch.

            When Polnareff is able to summon Chariot, Vanilla Ice turns around and immediately leaves via his Stand. Polnareff then realizes that Iggy’s sand has given him a clue; he can use the sand to find where Vanilla Ice is going.

            Once locked on to his location, Polnareff eggs Vanilla Ice out, and when Vanilla Ice exposes his head from his Stand, Chariot thrusts his blade right through the villain’s brain stem. He should be dead now, right? Right?

            The one problem with Polnareff’s plan is that he didn’t know DIO resurrected Vanilla Ice, so he can’t die via normal means. So Vanilla Ice withstands the thrust and forces Chariot to retreat by swallowing two of Polnareff’s fingers into the void. Unfortunately, as Polnareff is quick to act and not to think, he moves to attack Vanilla Ice again and ends up receiving a grievous wound to his leg via the void again. Damnit, Polnareff! That was a stupid move, even for him.

            Vanilla Ice goes back into Cream and attacks various parts of the room, in the hopes to find Polnareff. Now he won’t actually expose his head since he knows Polnareff has exploited that weakness. After retrieving Igg and moving him to a safer spot, Polnareff thinks of what to do. The Excited Narrator explains that the ‘Handsome’ Polnareff either has to come up with a plan, wait for Jotaro’s group, or end up getting sucked into the void when Vanilla Ice finds him. Polnareff decides that Jotaro’s group can’t possibly find him, since they were separated so long ago, so he has to just wait for the worst to happen.

Goodbye.
Goodbye.

            The following, and pretty much final scene of the episode is even more emotional to me than Iggy being kicked repeatedly by Vanilla Ice; Polnareff succumbs to his fate and insists that Iggy not try and summon the Fool and help him, since Iggy has so little energy left. Vanilla Ice and Cream rapidly approach, and as they come closer, Polnareff says his goodbyes to Iggy and finally disappears as Cream touches him. Iggy looks toward where Polnareff was with a shocked, pained expression.

            Is this the end for Polnareff and Iggy?

Final Thought: Here I thought the last episode was emotional! I really need to emphasize watching this. I just don’t have any other words right now.