REVIEW: ‘Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Vento Aureo’ Episode 16: “The Grateful Dead, Part 2”
Disclaimer: This review contains spoilers for this episode and previous episodes of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.
Jojo is well known for some crazy turnarounds and some close-calls in fights, but Part 5 takes the cake in this aspect. The amount of near-death experiences in Part 5 so far is leaving some of us a little exhausted since it has been happening almost every episode so far. Mista almost died last episode and basically the whole crew has been slowly dying too. The showdown between Bucciarati and the two enemies Pesci and Prosciutto is coming to a closing point. Prosciutto now barely keeping his ability going while Pesci fights Bucciarati by himself. It’s an intense fight that we did not expect from the weak-willed Pesci, but perhaps that makes it more intriguing.
To start with, Pesci’s “Beach Boy” (Called Fisherman in the English sub) is one of the stands we see that has a singular use that is really strong. Too bad Pesci is a wimp, but that changes when the cards are down and Prosciutto loses to Bucciarati. If Pesci had been able to draw his courage sooner, the two would have won early on, but it took the determination of Prosciutto to bring out Pesci’s strength. A small side note though would be that the voice actor for Pesci is super fun as a VA. It’s amusing to hear the change in his voice when he gathers his wits, while still keeping the key drawl to Pesci’s voice that makes the character unique. It makes Pesci’s character seem less annoying and more lovable, which is important for his development in this episode. It’s good to take this character seriously with a stand such as Pesci’s — Subaru Kimura voices him well in the anime and really draws in a good performance. While Pesci’s character and voice actor are great, notable plot holes start to show up in the logic behind the stands’ abilities.
Similar to Grateful Dead’s ability, people age and lose their hair and teeth. So when the ability stops, do hair and teeth grow back or does it reverse in some way? Also, how does the Grateful Dead, weak from Prosciutto hanging out from the train, barely alive, have enough power to kill a man dead while Pecsi just watches unaffected right next to him? Another plot hole is when Pesci could sense Bucciarati opening a zipper on his own hand, but earlier he couldn’t tell the switch between Bucciarati and Proscuitto other than the weight difference? He felt so sure of where Bucciarati was when he dipped his hook back into him the first time, even with Bucciarati’s acrobatic performance trying to evade the hook, which is weird considering later, Pesci can’t tell where Bucciarati is when he is disassembled in the train car.
The reason we have to bring this up that is stand logic — the limits to what certain stands can or can’t do — is very important in the Jojo franchise. It paves the way to show off character traits and skillful evaluation of opponents and allies. The fact that this episode is lacking explanations for certain attacks is a bit worrisome considering we don’t want Jojo to become some lawless power show like DragonBall Z. We like having some thought put into attacks and powers of the characters, it makes it more realistic when there are limits to what they can do and makes every win in a battle of skill that much more impressive.
One other thing that bugs me about “The Grateful Dead Part 2” is when Bucciarati twists Pesci’s neck later in the episode. There was no way Pesci should have been alive enough to even speak, much less be able to get Trish out of the turtle that housed Bucciarati’s crew, yet he just magicked her out of nowhere from behind his coat? It seems a bit far-fetched that he had that much energy to do that.
Something we need to address in this episode as well is Trish’s character development. Trish is developing, or has developed, a stand. She wasn’t protecting herself from anything so why did her stand’s power appear? How has her stand not come out earlier in her life like many other characters we have met so far in JJBA? Usually, unless someone has developed a stand young or is hit by the arrow, you never gain a stand, yet Trish seems to be just developing one out of nowhere. It looks like a larger claw hand has touched the ground, the mark smoking, so it has to do with something like acid or heat? It’s only a guess but that seems like the most logical thought at the moment for her stand.
Overall, everything with the Grateful Dead fight — while satisfying to have two villains instead of one — is missing a lot of its plot logic with both of the enemy stands.The amount of attention given to their stands’ powers and their limits are being sacrificed for the thrill of watching Bucciarati fight two stand users at once in “The Grateful Dead, Part 2.” Some of the plot holes between those affected by Grateful Dead’s ability and how Pesci’s hooks people, are among the bigger issues in this episode. There are also a lot of appealing things in this episode like Pesci’s character and VA as well as the music introduced during serious scenes.
The music, the voice acting, and the epicness of the fight scenes helped this episode a lot despite the amount of plot holes found in the stands’ abilities and their limits. Something that was amusing was when Bucciarati sees Pesci and started describing him as a ruthless killer. It is a pretty comical moment, which is a nice touch considering it is a serious scene with a new character appearing at the end. His name is Melone and his stand at this time in the anime is unknown, but we do know it has to do with Bucciarati’s blood. We can probably expect something a bit more interesting with the new character Melone than a simple tracking stand.
Featured Image: Jojo Animation
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