JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency, Episode 2 Recap: “The Game Master”

Original Airdate: December 14th, 2012

Toonami Airdate: January 7th, 2017

Joseph Joestar & The Raiders of the Lost Ark

the-game-master-joseph-dodges-lasersFollowing the barrage of machine gun fire, Joseph finds Straizo still alive and kicking, continuing the battle as Joseph attempts to outsmart his vampire opponent and narrowly dodges his laser-beam eyes. In one particularly desperate move, Joseph uses a grenade on Straizo, but he knocks it away… without realizing it was strung together along several other grenades on his cape, pulling the pins and enveloping him in multiple explosions. Even after being blown into an Akira-style mess, Straizo still manages to regenerate and pull himself together. Desperate for some kind of solution, Joseph decides to adopt the Monty Python approach to conflict resolution.

Having managed to escape to a bridge with Smokey, the two catch sight of Straizo holding a woman hostage and threatening to drain her life if Joseph doesn’t give himself up. Realizing he’s not messing around, Joseph jumps into battle and into the path of another laser blast, but this time he comes prepared: using a shot glass charged with Hamon energy, he redirects one of the oncoming beams straight through Straizo’s head and delivers one last punch. Joseph grabs Straizo before he falls and demands answers regarding what he did to Speedwagon, but Straizo instead warns him of the Pillar Men from the structures in the ruins and how Joseph is doomed to encounter them. Straizo then self-destructs using his own internal Hamon energy. The next morning, Joseph decides he’s going to find out about the Pillar Men on his own, and he also gets the crap kicked out of him by the woman he rescued for calling her a floozy.

And then suddenly, Nazis!

I've seen enough Cinema Snob reviews to know where this is going.
I’ve seen enough Cinema Snob reviews to know where this is going.

In a Nazi laboratory/facility in Mexico, a general named Rudolph Von Stroheim is alerted that the body of an unconscious man that his men recovered from a river has regained consciousness, and that man… IS SPEEDWAGON! Stroheim proceeds to interrogate Speedwagon and find out everything there is to know about vampires, the Pillar Men, and even the Joestars. In addition, he takes one of his Mexican prisoners and sacrifices them, using their blood to attempt to revive the Pillar Men, and the episode ends on the cliffhanger of the experiment succeeding as Joseph makes his way to Mexico.

 

the-game-master-shot-glassesContinuing from last week’s introduction, this episode continues to elaborate more on Joseph’s particular style of fighting, reinforcing his trickster personality and master strategies. Even though he’s going up against a near-immortal vampire, the clever methods he uses to continuously outsmart Straizo is still engaging, especially with the shot glasses and grenades. The great thing about these fights it that it sort of forces the viewer to think harder and more carefully about the fights, putting them into a Joseph-esque mindset and having to pick apart just what possible loophole there is to circumvent the villain’s powers. Even Joseph admits he doesn’t always have to use Hamon to overpower his opponents. While the episode was mostly finishing up the conflict from last week, we already have a bit of setup for more of the arc, with Nazis factoring into it because of course (Wolfenstein’s Bizarre Adventure, anyway?). And how great is it that Speedwagon is still alive? I mean it technically doesn’t make much sense, but I assume it’s Nazi magic or something because that makes sense here, right? I give this episode 8 grenades/10.

What did you think of this episode? Let us know down in the comments below.

 

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency airs every Saturday night at 12:30 AM only on Toonami.

 

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