Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (omnibus ed.) 2

June 7, 2015

Hirohiko Araki – Viz – 2015 – 113+ volumes
I call this an omnibus, but it’s a Japanese edition that is slightly larger than a normal volume.

Today is Hirohiko Araki’s birthday!  I usually post a Jojo review or article when there’s content to talk about, and now there’s new volumes available!

This volume has one of the single most disturbing scenes I’ve ever seen in a manga.  Jojo, Speedwagon, and new mentor Zeppeli are taking a carriage ride through a tunnel to meet Dio.  Speedwagon notices the carriage stops, and looks outside to see it’s raining in the tunnel.  Except it’s raining blood, not water.  When Speedwagon asks the driver what’s up, the driver is wearing the shocked head of the horse.  The next panel shows that all 4 of the horses on the carriage have been decapitated, and we also see dozens of scalpels sticking out of the driver’s body.  Speedwagon looks closer at the horses, and sees a sneering face embedded into the stump of one of the horse’s neck.  The face exhales a puff of breath, then we see an arm waving a scalpel protruding from the stump of the horse’s neck.

The man inside the horse?  Jack the Ripper, of course.  Just before he fights Zeppeli, he mutilates himself by cutting off one of his fingers and shoving a sword/spear through his face.

The rest of the volume has its moments (notably, the fight at the Joestar mansion where Dio disintegrates a number of policemen and there’s an absolutely ridiculous series of struggles between him and Jojo), but it’s hard to top the carriage ride into Windknight’s Lot.

We find out how the vampire mask got to England, and we also meet Zeppeli, who teaches Jojo the Hamon technique.  He learned it from a monk in Tibet after his doomed expedition stumbled across the mask, and he realized he needed a way to wipe it off the face of the earth.  He teaches Jojo, because he sees that Jojo has a great and noble reason to defeat Dio.  Zeppeli is a great character, an eccentric dresser that rarely explains himself before doing something inexplicably badass, like landing a punch on a frog that breaks the boulder underneath but leaves the frog unharmed, or using wine spit out of his mouth as tiny airborne blades.

Also awesome is the origin story for the two zombie-vampires introduced at the end of the story:  Tarukus and Blueford (aka Tarkus, Bruford, and Buford – the names are allusions to an ELP album and Yes, respectively).  These were knights that, according to legend, defended Mary (Queen of Scots) Stuart against her evil cousin (Queen) Elizabeth (I of England) and fought in Mary’s army against Elizabeth’s forces.  All of Mary’s army was overwhelmed except for Tarukus and Blueford.  They were tricked into surrender when Mary was captured, and were told Mary would go free if they would agree to be executed.  They did, and just before they were beheaded, the executioner revealed that Mary was dead, and the Queen didn’t want them to lead an uprising.  My favorite detail (aside from this nice story, complete with very shoujo-y Mary Queen of Scots) is that Tarukus’s body was so rigid with fury that they kept breaking axe-heads on his neck.

They also make for great zombie-vampires.  But their fight only begins here, and gets better next time.

Basically, this volume is a fight with Dio, meeting/training time with Zeppeli, and Jojo, Zeppeli, and Speedwagon going to confront Dio and his minions.  I was fairly entertained the whole time, though, as often happens with Jojo’s Bizarre adventure.

It’s a shame these don’t come out more frequently, the next one’s due out in… mmm, August, it looks like.  Can’t wait!

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