by Katherine Simon I consider myself a pretty strong woman when it comes to handling depictions of violence in movies and TV. I’m generally unphased by most graphic imagery in media and even enjoy myself a good bloody action romp now and again. However, very few things are able to make me cringe as much as the Metallica fight in Jojo. Even as someone who isn’t very squeamish, I found the fight very difficult to stomach when I first read Part 5 three years ago to the point where I had to look away from the artwork just to finish reading the chapter. In spite of that, the fight is still a fun romp that gives a spotlight to the mysterious boss and his alternate persona Doppio. In the last episode, we finally got a glimpse at the boss’s alter ego, Vinegar Doppio, and his dark origin. We found out that he was born in an all-women's prison and was taken to live in a village after his birth. During this time, he was raised by a local priest and fell in love with Trish’s eventual mother, Donatella Una. One day, when Doppio’s adoptive father checked his room, he found Doppio’s mother buried alive under the floor. The village burned down that night and Doppio was assumed to be dead from the fire. This episode begins where the last episode left off, with the final confrontation between Doppio and the last remaining La Squadra member, Risotto Nero. Doppio uses King Crimson’s Epitaph to see how Risotto will attack next, and he sees a vision where he uses Metallica to create a pair of scissors inside his throat. This next action subsequently occurs, and Doppio reacts by immediately pulling the scissors out from under his skin. Risotto then figures out what Doppio’s ability is and makes sure that his next attack kills, but Doppio is able to avoid the attack and sever Risotto’s foot in the process. As the fight progresses, Risotto begins to piece together that Doppio is actually the boss’s alter ego and, in an effort to avenge his fallen teammates, he strikes Doppio multiple times to the point where he suffers from iron deficiency and struggles to breathe. However, this actually works out in Doppio’s favor, as Narancia’s Aerosmith had been scouting the area the entire time searching for nearby enemies. Since Risotto is the only one breathing, he’s detected by Aerosmith and immediately gunned down, finishing him off in an unexpected turn of events and allowing Doppio to escape undetected. One thing that was incredibly surprising about this episode was the lack of censorship. For those who aren’t familiar with the standards and practices of Japanese television, blood and gore are seen as much more inappropriate than sexual content, so more violent programs are often censored to meet the standards of Japanese TV networks. If you were wondering why shows like Tokyo Ghoul were so heavily censored during their initial airings, that’s why. Given how much censorship Jojo has gone under in the past for less violent moments, I fully expected this episode to be heavily edited to the point of being borderline unwatchable, but there was surprisingly very little, if any, censorship. I don’t know if the network that airs Jojo has gotten more lax with violence since Diamond is Unbreakable or what, but it’s nice to see that I won’t have to wait a year for the dub to air on Adult Swim for a watchable version of this episode. On the topic of gore, let’s talk about why Metallica is one of the most disturbing Stands in the entire series. While it could be argued that Purple Haze or Notorious B.I.G are even creepier in their destructive power and designs, Metallica is much more brutal than either of those and has the potential to kill its enemy much slower and more painfully than any of those Stands. At least Purple Haze’s virus kills within seconds of infection, unlike Metallica, which can make its opponents slowly die of iron deficiency after being torn apart from the inside with razors and other sharp objects. Add that with Risotto’s invisibility and the fact that iron is such a common substance and you’ve got one of the most terrifying Stands in all of Jojo. Also, fun fact, Metallica’s design is loosely based on the Hattifatteners from the Finnish comic series The Moomins. Yes, that one European kids' series with the scarecrow guy and white cow thing that’s been getting really popular on Tumblr lately. Funny how one of the most brutal stands in all of Jojo, named after one of the most recognizable heavy metal bands ever, was inspired by something as wholesome and innocent as Moomins. Copious amounts of gore aside, the Metallica fight was honestly a great change of pace from Vento Aureo’s usual structure. As much as I love the Bucci Gang, it’s nice to have a break from them for an episode and focus on another character, especially if that other character is the part’s mysterious main antagonist. The existence of The Boss/Doppio has been shrouded in mystery throughout the entire part’s run, and now that we’re getting ever closer to the climax, it’s nice that we’re finally starting to piece together parts of the Boss’s origins and figuring out who he really is, even if Doppio is the bigger focus than his main personality. Speaking of Doppio, his use of random objects as phones to contact the boss will never be unfunny, especially when it’s frogs. The fight itself was also really good. Thanks to the lack of censorship the visuals really get to shine in this episode and we get to see some really smooth animation during the fight. I really like how Narancia’s Aerosmith ended up playing into the fight’s conclusion and how Doppio was able to use his limited breathing to his advantage in that situation. Not only was it a really clever resolution, but it was also an interesting way to tie Team Bucciarati into the next episode without having them be too prominent and still having The Boss/Doppio as the focus of this episode.
Images: Crunchyroll Featured Image: Jojo Animation