「空条承太郎！東方仗助に会う」 (Kujo jotaro! Higashikatajosuke ni au)
“Jotaro Kujo! Meets Josuke Higashikata”
Less than a year after Stardust Crusaders, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure returns with its newest iteration in Diamond is Unbreakable, and things aren’t as they seem in Morioh, Japan. As a familiar threat returns in the form of hostile Stands, Kujo Jotaro meets Higashikata Josuke (the illegitimate son of Joseph Joestar), and one careless comment about hair starts things off with a bang.
The implausibility of Joseph Joestar having an affair aside, Diamond is Unbreakable’s first episode ends up the standard introduction for the most part—filled with the many beatings and ridiculous abilities we’ve come to expect from this franchise. A small dose of family issues ends up with turtle abusers (don’t tell PETA), shallow men, and convenience store robbers all getting tossed to the way side, and one poor chap even ends up with a knife literally stuck inside him. The latter ends up being an impressive demonstration of Higashikata’s abilities, and let’s just say they’re as interesting as his fabulous hairdo and attire. Immense strength + speed mixes with an ability to repair/revert things to their original form (kind of) to create a combination of abilities potentially more lethal than his already powerful nephew, and I’d be lying if I wasn’t drooling in anticipation of how well they could work together to take down this new threat.
That said, perhaps the biggest thing in this first episode isn’t so much the characters themselves as it is the art and animation style they’re going for here, which is noticeably different from prior iterations. For lack of a better description, it seems like they’re using a more simplistic, stream-lined approach to things in Diamond is Unbreakable, with some details seemingly being left out intentionally to emphasize the diverse palette of colors they’re using and to give the series a smoother look. The good thing is that it works, and many of the scenes end up arguably more enjoyable than prior iterations of the franchise as a result. Every punch thrown seems more pronounced than ever before and the various visual/sound effects surrounding these moments more noticeable as well. What results is an increased sense of enjoyment despite being less visually detailed at first glance, and kudos has to be given to those behind the direction of the series for how they’re doing things here with this series so far.
All in all though, there’s honestly not much else to say. This first episode was another impressive start to a franchise filled with them, and at this point, it’s the expectation. You always know you’re in for a good time when another bizarre adventure comes along, and the return of Kujo from Stardust Crusaders makes for a great foundation from which to build with. The fact that we didn’t actually get any cameos from Joestar himself is a bummer, but at the very least we find out he’s doing quite well for himself even in his old age (was there ever a doubt?), and we’ll always have this compilation of “Oh, my God!” moments to look back on.
Looking forward, this is one show I’ll certainly be following as a die-hard fan of the franchise, but given the time constraints and how I much prefer just watching the series rather than discussing it (there are too many awesome things to describe and too few words to give it justice), there is no scheduled weekly coverage of Diamond is Unbreakable at this time.