「スパイス・ガール」 (Spice Girl)
One fun aspect of Araki’s musical references has been how many of the stands are named after contemporary musicians from the time of each part’s release. The age of Hamon had these kinds of name-drops where legendary rock stars would be mixed in with musicians prominent in the ’80s like REO Speedwagon, Wang Chung, and Wham! But the more unique, amusing names started to come out with the advent of stands with references outside of classic rock such as Cameo, Terance Trent D’Arby, Vanilla Ice, The Pet Shop Boys, Surface, Sade, and Boys II Men. As the music references started to become synonymous with JoJo, you started seeing stands that intertwine their references with their abilities such as Killer Queen being guaranteed to blow your mind (EVERYTIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIME!), Sticky Fingers having the zipper motif from the Rolling Stones album, or the Boss’ personal life mirroring a certain King Crimson song. But nowhere has the reference been as anachronistic and hilarious as Trish Una’s stand Spice Girl. Going along with the Spice Girls motif, she foregoes the traditional “oraora”, “mudamuda”, “ariari” or “volavola” in favor of one loud and booming “WAAAAAANNNNNAAAAABEEEEEEEEEE!” It’s a moment that truly imprints the 90’s into Part V’s era, where the popularity of the Spice Girls and “Wannabe” was prominent enough for Araki to not only include it in Part V, but also gift Trish with a stand that happens to use their biggest hit as it’s battle cry.
And the fact that Spice Girl is impressive really helps to solidify how the strength of stands within the JoJo universe isn’t dependant on whether you’d be embarrassed to admit you listen to the musician referenced or not. Much like with Sex Pistols, Spice Girl is a rather talkative stand that is able to communicate easily and legibly to Trish. However, in a situation that we haven’t seen up til now, Spice Girl is capable of lecturing Trish on how to use her abilities. Spice Girl’s communication with Trish might feel like it’s done to circumvent the fact that she’s learning her abilities in the middle of a fight and couldn’t naturally get a feel for her abilities before the fight, but there was at least that foreshadowing moment when she unknowingly triggering her abilities after the Beach Boy fight. Spice Girl’s abilty is also pretty awesome in that it grants Trish the ability to make objects and surfaces softer, giving them a rubbery consistency that could do things like cause B.I.G. to be pushed back from a surface like a trampoline. The potential for Spice Girl is vast as it could cause someone to lose footing, fall into their surroundings, and possibly even soften parts of themselves that would be lethal to change the consistency of like the head or chest. Its elasticity has the means to tip the scales in a way that goes far beyond just being a half-hearted defensive stand or an obscure ability. Nah, that elasticity ability is far more dangerous and useful than it seems, and the strength and temper it has as it constantly stabs B.I.G. with a pipe makes Spice Girl far cooler than its name makes it out to be.
The fascinating thing about Spice Girl’s conversations with Trish is that we’re often left to assume that other stands have had this very conversation with their users. Some users end up triggering their abilities on their own and just have to find a way to channel that one cool thing they just did towards their primary stand use. With Trish, however, Spice Girl not only tells her specifically what her stand does but also acts as it should by being the part of her conscious that motivates her to push forward and have faith in herself. It’s Trish’s interactions with Spice Girl that end up being the formation behind her pivot towards being a badass. Her worries about playing a productive role in Bruno’s team slowly dissipate when she continues to make ballsier decisions such as moving the plane’s recliners to distract Notorious B.I.G and help her get closer to Giorno’s brooch. In her panic, it ends up unearthing the stand powers that were merely dormant within her before she activated her stand. Because of the efforts that Spice Girl put into fending off B.I.G., it channeled unforeseen energy in Trish as she would start to see the enemy stand as less of a fearsome creature and more of an unwanted pest. Even as it ballooned into a freakish abomination that took up the entire engine section of the plane, she reacted with ambivalence as she charged ahead, baiting B.I.G. into several traps that would eventually cause Bruno to create a parachute from the cockpit of the plane and send B.I.G. into the ocean.
One more stand tidbit that I found amusing is that B.I.G.’s invincibility ended up regulating the stand to being trapped in an inescapable circumstance that would eventually create legends of their own in the real world. Part IV had a lot of fun with this through the Angelo rock and the cliff that Yukako bounced off of, but it’s fun that they decided to have B.I.G. be another stranded abnormality that continued to live on as a fearsome sea creature in the middle of the ocean. Similarly, the fact that they’re treating Bruno’s team like they were a group of passengers that mysteriously disappeared was also an amusing touch to the tail-end of the B.I.G. fight.
Their ridiculous escape via cockpit parachute may have saved their lives, but the Boss would quickly catch on to Bruno’s team slipping out from his grasp as he figures out that Moody Blues must have helped him fly the plane far enough to get rid of Notorious B.I.G. It’s their success that would end up causing the Boss to find Abbacchio and his stand abilities to be particularly hazardous towards finding out his secret identity. The next episode will definitely shine more light on this as Bruno’s team is more determined in peeling back the mysteries behind the Boss’ identity while the Boss is growing increasingly paranoid that his identity has a higher likelihood in being revealed with the remaining members of Bruno’s team. From the title of the next episode, we’re in for a treat as we follow the story behind Doppio.