「ノトーリアスB・I・G[ビッグ]」 (Notorious Big)
Such is life for Carne, who has the misfortune of bearing a stand that only works when its user is dead. With this particular chapter being published in early 1998, about a year after the death of Christopher Wallace (aka Biggie Smalls or Notorious B.I.G.) it is somewhat of a touching tribute that the stand to share his name lives an eternal life beyond its user’s untimely end. As impressive as the stand is, it does share a distinction with Cheap Trick from Part IV of being a stand where you have to die in order of your foes to be attacked by the stand. Carne’s existence has taken on a memetic status for being such an odd person who was truly too weird to live, but too rare to die. As a result, the appearance of Notorious B.I.G. ends up being a tense battle where the stakes truly raise up when there’s no discernable way of gauging how to get rid of a stand that is gravitated towards devouring any surrounding life around it.
What makes the fight impressive is how much it tests the horror elements that JoJo likes to play around with on occasion. With a sentient stand aiming to prey on Bruno’s team aboard the plane to Sardina, there is a foreboding feeling of being quickly picked off by Notorious B.I.G. Because the stand is attracted to movement and acts as an all-devouring blob, it’s a tricky stand to outmaneuver without putting your body on the line. Giorno especially learns this the hard way when he loses both of his hands trying to get Notorious B.I.G. off of his arm; once by having Mista shoot one arm clean off, and twice when he has to use a shard of glass to tear his other arm right off. Although Abbacchio is too busy piloting the plane using skills he learned from a movie to direct it to Sardina, the rest of the team is down for the count as Bruno has to watch over the injured members of his crew. This leaves Trish in a vulnerable spot when she is the first one to discover that Notorious B.I.G. has been compelled to float back to the plane through its attraction to movement. The jumpscare that came from Notorious B.I.G.’s reappearance took me completely off-guard, and I have to commend the anime for doing such an amazing job at creating suspense and horror from the loud and heavy thud it made as it crashed into the window behind Trish.
Speaking of Trish, this episode helped set the stage for her development as she has more time to be introspective about her family and her role on Bruno’s team. Bruno’s questions regarding anything she could possibly know about her father shed light on her upbringing and what her mother told her about how her dad used to be before joining the mafia. As it seems, the image that her mother painted of her father before he left was different from the deeply paranoid sociopath he became since she mainly focused on how they met at Cala di Volpe and that he was native to Sardina until he disappeared immediately. The combination of having little information on her father and seeing Bruno and his friends fatally injured by Notorious B.I.G. hit at a sore spot for Trish. Since most of Bruno’s crew had been fatally hit by Notorious B.I.G., she is left wondering why she hasn’t been able to contribute enough to feel like she could be helpful. It’s a far cry from our first impression of Trish where she felt inconvenienced by not having ready access to luxury goods, but much of this development came from how tense the situation had gotten with members of Bruno’s squad putting their lives on the line to make sure that their former boss doesn’t have his daughter killed. Trish shows that she can pick up on details such as knowing what to do to shake off Notorious B.I.G. with minimal movement, but the next episode should give us a further glimpse at how resilient she is in trying to deliver the ladybug brooch to Giorno.