「What a Wonderful World」

The end of Part VI is finally here with Stone Ocean: Part 3. While I wish Netflix was more transparent about JoJo ending this year to avoid all of the rage and misunderstandings about how long it’d take for Stone Ocean to end, that doesn’t take away from how strong the final batch of Part VI is as a shounen experience made in… well… somewhere weird.


I’ve felt a lot of pressure to write out an entire season retrospective for this so it’s been overwhelming to look at just everything that this season encapsulated along with Stone Ocean as a whole. Needless to say that I’ve been waiting for some of the weirder, off-kilter, and frankly disgusting fights that happen during this final stretch of Part VI.

The first of DIO’s bastard children, Ungalo, is one of these with Bohemian Rhapsody summoning fictional characters to accost any of the Stand’s victims. Although it’s sad that they couldn’t mention Mickey Mouse missing from the Orlando travel pamphlet, they manage to have quite a few different characters show up.

Batman, Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star, Aladdin, and the Genie are all mentioned alongside an onscreen appearance by Astroboy. They wished that T-1000, Chewbacca, Elephant Man could appear, but realistically, the first two could’ve shown up in 2012 because of Universal Studios Orlando’s T-3D ride and Star Tours respectively. And 2022 couldn’t have possibly ended without yet another adaptation of Pinnochio.

All of the fairy tale creatures were pretty grotesque and resembled some of the abominations that’d show up in Boingo’s Thoth comic (more on him later). I forgot that they had an insensitive appearance from Vincent Van Gogh, who tried to have Weather Report die the same way he killed himself in real life. It’s shocking, but this whole fight is pretty haunting stuff with Anasui’s wolf transformation and the goats being the stuff of nightmares. Honestly, “haunting” is the word I’d describe everything about this season from this first episode forward, and David Pro nailed the disturbing atmosphere quite impressively with this fight among others.

The Rikiel won’t get as much coverage from me because the fight itself was kinda alright. At most, it solidified how badass Jolyne is. Right off of permanently damaging Romeo’s tongue, Jolyne crashlands a plane and lights herself on fire just to blow Rikiel’s plans sky high along with Sky High.

After watching this part, I’ve started to appreciate how each of the brothers symbolizes different reactions to finding out about their lineage with DIO. One was happy to finally have a reason to live and is happy to kick drugs because he could live a happy life without worrying about coping with life’s bitter pain by following through on Pucci’s plan. One had finally been gifted with access to their full body again which made him believe in destiny on a deeper level than whatever Pucci had in mind, whether it be his own or others. And one had finally understood why their misfortune followed them, and would rather make the most of it by paving out their own path than being tied down to someone else’s destiny.


I’m giving Donatello Versus his own section because this dude’s everywhere in the mid-section of this part. I remember for the longest time cutting the middleman and calling him Versace. But over time, subtitles got more sophisticated and deliberately nipped the reference in the bud, much like how the Pillarmen names had defaulted to Wammu, Esidisi, and Kars instead of Wham, AC/DC, and Cars by the time David Pro adapted Part II.

Under World is quite a handful as a Stand. Reviving past events from Florida’s soils and forcing the victims of his Stand to experience whatever happened is as ingenious of a Stand idea as having every pop culture icon you’ve consumed come to attack you. Weaponizing the souls of people like Sports Maxx, the victims of a plane crash, and a kid who was shot by their father is as disturbing as it is impressive.

It’s even scarier because Under World just takes Jolyne & Hermes and throws them into a tragic plane crash that killed nearly everyone onboard and they’re expected to have Emporio relay how exactly the lone survivors made it out. And it manages to be even worse because they have to think as quickly on their toes as possible once he throws down living kids from the hospital to force Jolyne to think carefully about how to survive the plane crash with them as well.

He sticks around for quite a while, even joining them as they flee from Weather Report. They try to get you well-acquainted with Versus, whether it be his tragic “Like Mike” gone wrong backstory or his hatred of Pucci’s back-seating. I honestly remember him the most because he summoned Joe Robbie & Don Shula’s very own 1974 Miami Dolphins. Many of the players are still alive, so I’m guessing it pulls mostly from the memory of their big victorious run for the Super Bowl.


Now that we’ve gotten this far, we should talk about Wes Bluemarine, aka Weather Report. You already knew it’d be rough the moment you heard the narrator say that Wes was raised in “America’s Deep South”. It was certainly a hard watch, and the narrator tried its best to frame only the racist detective and his klansmen friends as those who were entirely in the wrong for both existing and escalating the blood feud between Pucci and Wes.

I can see this being a way to make sure you didn’t despise Pucci nearly as much as you would’ve if he knew the detective was a hardcore racist and had connections to one of America’s first terrorist organizations. But at the same time, Pucci and Wes’ friction was a product of a ton of tragic mishaps brought about by the two being separated and Pucci not directly confronting Wes about him accidentally stumbling into an incestuous relationship.

On a semi-lighter note, Pucci’s initial contact with DIO was quite amusing. Dude broke into a church to sleep and was just able to charm Pucci by playfully teasing him about reading “Fra Filippo Lippi”, a biography about an adulterous clergyman, as an aspiring priest. It was just funny because, as much as Pucci tried to play it cool and act like he knew about DIO’s lying this whole time, DIO spends most of the time taunting Pucci’s outright dereliction of duty by making up one excuse after another as to why he wasn’t going to report DIO or boot him out.


They follow up the hardest scene to watch due to its graphic depiction of a hate crime with the second hardest scene to focus on due to a uniquely different reason; Heavy Weather’s activation. We’ve already seen how grotesque Heavy Weather can get with the poison frog rain that turned many of the prison’s guards into the Toxic Avenger. Now, we have to watch people slowly turn into snails who are either melted away due to salt exposure or devoured by snail-eating insects that Heavy Weather gathers.

Reading this was just as rough as watching this because of how purposefully disgusting it is to watch people transform into these mollusks and worry about the peril of being brutally murdered by nature’s elements. To make matters worse, there is a lot of driving scenes too, so now you’re hearing the foley effects the studio came up with to simulate the crunching sound of the snails being run over. It’s amazing because the only other feeling I got like that from fiction this year was from the scene in the film Nope when you see and hear what happens to people sucked up by its main villain.

Araki has always liked to dabble into the horror genre whenever he got the chance, so for Heavy Weather, it must have been a delight for him to capture the gruesome transformation scenes straight out of something like the remake of The Fly or the repulsive attention to detail from Franz Kafka’s “Metamorphosis”. I’d arguably say that it ranks up there with the Green Day, Man in the Mirror, and Foo Fighters match-ups as the most brutal fights in JJBA as of Part VI.

It was also the point where most of the events started to fly past you as quickly as time flies during C-Moon’s activation. Donatello Versus just kinda dies abruptly during the chaos to make way for Pucci as the final boss. It’s odd because he was built up to be a potential wrench in Pucci’s plan with his hilariously candid hatred for the priest’s rambling only to be used as a decoy for Pucci’s getaway.

Weather Report’s death also happens abruptly but has the good fortune of being amplified by Jolyne and his other friends mourning for him considering that he made quite a few meaningful connections before shifting into an uncontrollable rage state. It’s one of the many instances where I felt that Emporio’s VA did so much of the heavy lifting to make every somber scene heartbreaking, especially considering that he’s still just a kid who’s forced to constantly be surrounded by death at every turn.


Speaking of C-Moon’s activation, I loved how much of a threat they made Pucci by this point. It’s pretty intimidating because Pucci is essentially a horror movie slasher by the time his C-Moon and Made in Heaven powers start to activate. He appears as this nebulous force who could easily murder most of the cast if they’re not careful, and more often than not, the crew gets trapped in a number of close calls before the universe is partially reset.

Jotaro showing up out of the blue was definitely a highlight of the fight with how Jolyne and co. managed to get him awake just in time to help them come up with ways to navigate around Pucci’s numerous death traps. Even with the tragedy that comes from almost everyone getting brutally killed and gruesomely decomposing, at the very least, they did an amusing callback to the prophecy that Boingo’s Thoth made about Jotaro being slashed in half.

I wished they animated Rohan speeding through a volume of his manga, but the brutal effects of Made in Heaven accelerating the universe’s time made it worthwhile regardless. Considering how gory and grotesque the violence was, Araki and David Pro spared no expense to trap people in a number of hazardous, deadly, and fatal scenarios to hammer the point that the average person has no control over what will happen to them in the near future. Whether they’re piloting heavy machinery or playing a baseball game, a person’s next action could mean the difference between leaping into a miracle or a brutal demise.


Emporio being left behind by Jolyne was enough of a tearjerker, but it was a real a-hole move on Pucci’s behalf to corner him in Green Dolphin Street Prison and go for the kill while he’s just trying to find his clothes. Not only was he wanting to rub in that he personally murdered Emporio’s mom, but now has to put all of the weight on Emporio’s shoulders to make sense of what abilities he has access to in order to free himself from Pucci’s manhunt.

It might’ve taken a ton of mental gymnastics for Emporio to have Weather Report’s stand disc and maneuver it with the help of his favorite science books, but it was definitely cathartic to see him get the upper hand by using the prison’s oxygen against Pucci. Pucci might have believed in gravity, but gravity wasn’t on his side when Emporio kept ramming his fist into his face. It helps that Jotaro’s theme kicks in just as Emporio turns the tables on Pucci and uses Heavy Weather against him.

As sad as I was not to have as many licensed songs in Stone Ocean’s adaptation, the heavy weight of Duffy’s “Distant Dreamer” hits its hardest when taking into account the emotional and physical toll this arc had on its characters. With death and sorrow constantly present in Jolyne’s journey, hearing it for one final time as Emporio tearfully greets the alternate versions of his old friends hits like a brick. I know that the ED themes often give artists’ sales a reasonable jolt, but I’m really hoping that Duffy was able to get a massive paycheck from this because she deserves more than the world after everything she’s gone through.

And as salt on the wound, the book-end for the original timeline before Steelball Run is capped off with a montage set to the Yes song “Roundabout” that used to bid us farewell after every episode of Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency. It’s a very beautiful, poignant way of giving one final send-off to the original canon before we gear up for the newer arcs centered around a reinterpretation of the Joestars and their bizarre adventures.


Back when I read this part, I had mixed thoughts about how it turned out. I loved the bold, weird, and downright disturbing twists and turns the manga had to offer. If there’s a distinct mood that Stone Ocean gives off as a JoJo part, it’s the part where Araki went out of his way to make every new fight more brutal than the next. As if Vento Aureo wasn’t violent enough, Araki raised the bar even higher as he transitioned from the cold, unforgiving world of organized crime to a battle royale between an assortment of cutthroat prisoners.

Jolyne Kujo has to be one of the best JoJos out there for her unbridled tenacity and her constant refusal to take crap from anyone. She’s bold enough to offer one villain obscene gestures from across the world, light herself on fire, crashland a plane, and many other daredevil maneuvers just to survive. In my personal ranking, she’s a close 2nd with Joseph as my main favorite, but I wouldn’t trust a ranking where she doesn’t show up in someone’s Top 3.

At the same time, its weirdness also gives it a bit of a disadvantage. With so many experimental fights and stand abilities, some of the fights and outcomes are very hit-or-miss, especially the fights of Stone Ocean: Part 2. There’s also the added burn of killing off Jolyne and resetting the universe, which has garnered controversy for how it abruptly put an end to the original timeline. It wound up being to its benefit as Steelball Run and JoJolion are phenomenal, and turned out to be many readers’ favorite parts. But it is a bit of a sour way to end the original timeline to wipe the slate entirely clean because Pucci had to be built up as a gargantuan beast for the sole reason that he was one of DIO’s many close confidants.

Florida being a character in itself is also a riot because I’m familiar enough with traveling the state that I start to recognize little bits of it throughout the show. I’ve been used to taking trips around the state and pointing out parts of the highway that look an awful lot like the Bohemian Rhapsody fights. Having visited Cape Canaveral, I also can’t help but laugh at the parts where Pucci has to deal with obnoxious tourists that crop up to invade your privacy because, of course, they have to be the main characters of their own story. It’s one of those stories where I can’t fault Araki for making Part VI so weird because of how accurate this whole entire ordeal is of the Florida experience.

About halfway through the third cour of Stone Ocean, I switched over to the English dub. I was having a good time with the original but ended up endearing to a lot of the English actors after watching some of it on the fly. I personally liked it because it felt like a passion project from fans of the original and actors who are just having a blast with such weird material. Emporio gives off the kind of intensity you’d hope from the grief and situations they’re put through as a character. It makes the ending scene all the more powerful. But I do think that Netflix is conspiring to blow their vocals out with this and the Evangelion dub.

I love how Hermes’ actress approaches the role the same way Hermes herself approaches all the strange crap she has to go through. Where she goes from flipping out about all the body horror she has to endure to being like “Yeah, what the shit is all that about?” It makes it a much more endearing, empathetic performance given how off-the-rails this part gets. And with Hermes at the same butt-end of all the terrible stand powers that Polnareff had to go through, she has the difficult mission of constantly sounding like she’s at her wit’s end with every confrontation.

As much as I wished that Netflix treated the show better along with its other anime titles that are left to languish with minimal promotion, I’m glad to say that any of these problems never affected the way Stone Ocean was adapted. Thankfully, we once again have a great, faithful adaptation of a JoJo arc. It’s pretty impressive and heartwarming to say that anyone could have the perfect JoJo experience of the original timeline, whether they decide to read through the manga or watch the anime. There aren’t many mangas that you could say that about, and JoJo was definitely the one action series that earned an anime that’s equally as awesome and equally as bizarre as the manga.

I’m glad to get this all out by the time December ended and the new year is on the verge of beginning. It took so long to get my thoughts out on such a huge, expansive part with an increasingly complicated set of Stand abilities. But it was a delight to explore every nook and cranny that Stone Ocean had to offer. Until we start hearing news of a potential Steelball Run season, it’s time to wish Jolyne and her friends a fond farewell.

And have a happy New Year full of great health, wonderful fortune, and many lasting positive memories.

⇐To Be Continued…

ED Sequence

ED: 「Roundabout」 by Yes


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