April 9th, 2016.
Old Boys, New Americana:
Theme / Story:
From what we see thus far, two episodes in, we’re pretty close to the Stardust Crusaders method. I say this as an anime-only watcher, and I don’t care for people to “correct” me, because I judge by what is there, not what might/will come. And boy, do I hate the necessity of typing this out. And I’d hate it even more if/when people ignore it. We have people who beat up on animals, we have a larger than life/greek-tragedy or soap style Joestar family situation. And we have a villain. The villain here is sadly very much like the villains in Stardust Crusaders, unlike the villains in parts 1-2, where he is shown as despicable, and where beating him up involves taking whatever little dignity he had and getting rid of it.
It’s interesting that the show opens so early with a case of death, but considering how strong Josuke’s stand appears to be, and how it’s seemingly capable of undoing any harm done, it was necessary. A power that could undo any death would do a lot to remove the stakes from a show that lives and dies by its stakes (assuming Josuke himself isn’t the one who dies). So it was necessary, even if it fell a bit flat emotionally. Speaking of Josuke’s powerful stand, it almost feels as if Jotaro is only here to give us a measuring stick for Josuke’s power, as Josuke seems even more powerful than Jotaro himself, but only his lack of experience causes him to lose when the two of them fight briefly.
Josuke’s mother, the punks, the show is quite silly, and these parts with the overblown reactions? I liked. The villain? I found flat. The show didn’t leave him as anything more than a flat one-dimensional “The Most Terrible Person,” and by the time the show was done with him, he didn’t even have that. The fights were interesting in the form of the puzzle presented, and there were a couple of clever maneuvers, but I didn’t find myself invested in what happened. I actually plan a somewhat longer piece on that.
The art-style is so very interesting. It reminds me of Archie’s comics. It reminds me of Pleasantville. The architectures of the houses and a building that looks like a quiet midwestern church? All of these together keep making me think that I’m watching an “Americana” town. The punks Josuke meets early on in the first episode remind me of scenes from the first Back to the Future. I feel as if the show is taking place in 60s-80s America, or something from the mid-90s films about the gangs. So each time they mention the show takes place in Japan, it pulls me out of the show momentarily. I like the design and colours and such, I’m just unsure of why it had to take place in Japan, really. I mean, it’s not “authentic America” either, but it still feels more like the spirit the show is evoking. Then again, maybe it’s different in the manga.
I find how smooth Jotaro looks in this series quite shocking. Not because of how different it is from the “Manly Men” of part 3, Stardust Crusaders, but because he looks impossibly beautiful in a Marble Greek Statue sort of way. He looks too perfect and unblemished. It’s interesting seeing Jotaro in particular, clad in white and so designed contrasted with the villain, the punks who get beaten up, or Kouichi, all of them don’t look nearly as cool.
The show has capable sound design, as always. I both liked and hated the sounds of Angelo munching and slurping on his food, heh. Josuke’s voice actor, Ono Yuuki, is doing a credible job when Josuke is calm and collected, but his “rage” segments are not entirely convincing.
The show’s use of colours is distractingly silly, but not in a bad way, and reminds me of the first season. The use of angles and weird geometry is solid as well. The show’s production is good all around.
OP – Very colourful, very energetic. I like the vocals, but the music sometimes grated on me. It sort of sounds nice, but it’s not my style and tired me. The visuals are very 80s discotheque, and were overall nice.
ED – Ok, whatever. A bit of a lisp, technicolour visuals. Alright.