JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency, Episode 15 Recap: “The Ties That Bind JoJo”

Original Airdate: March 22nd, 2013

Toonami Airdate: April 8th, 2017

In the words of Billy Mays: BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

Picking up from last week, Joseph is still clinging onto the rope holding Lisa Lisa for dear life as his allies fend off the vampire army. Smokey wants to tell Joseph the truth about Lisa Lisa, but Speedwagon does not allow him to do so. Locked in a desperate situation, Joseph hatches a plan that starts with lighting his own scarf on fire as a sort-of timer. He promises he’ll defeat Kars before the flame hits him, and the two continue fighting as he dodges around enough to buy enough time to catch his breath/replenish his Hamon. Unfortunately, Kars decides to stop wasting time and cut the rope himself, sending Joseph and Lisa Lisa falling down… and unexpectedly bringing Kars down with them. Unbeknownst to him, Joseph used the lit scarf as a distraction in order to secretly tie the rope in a way as to ensure his and Lisa’s survival. With Kars now caught off-guard, Joseph uses the last of his Hamon to attack Kars, severing one of his arm blades and causing severe damage, sending him flying over the edge and into the spikes below. Kars is left vulnerable as Stroheim and his men look on, mocking him as they wait for the Hamon energy to course through his body and kill him. In a moment of relief, Joseph grabs Lisa Lisa and takes her to hopefully get some medical assistance.

Smokey finally takes the time to ask Speedwagon about Lisa Lisa’s real history, and he decides to oblige and explain: Lisa Lisa’s real name is Elizabeth, who was sent to live/study Hamon with Straizo sometime after the events of Part 1. As an adult, she fell in love with Erina’s son George, and the two got married and had a child (Joseph). George enlisted himself as a member of Britain’s Royal Flying Corps and quickly gained a reputation as an expert in aerial combat. Unfortunately, the Joestar family’s past would come back to haunt him. As it turns out, a minion of Dio’s from 50 years ago had survived, taking refuge in the shadows of society and eventually placing himself as a commander in the Royal Flying Corps and killing George with ease, as he had no training in the ways of Hamon. When Speedwagon found out and relayed the news to Elizabeth, she went out and killed the commander in cold blood, but a witness caught her red handed, and she was branded as a traitor and a war criminal throughout all of England and Europe. The Speedwagon foundation managed to cover up her trail, and Erina eventually requested that Speedwagon lie about George and Elizabeth should Joseph ever asked what happened to his parents, wanting to avoid having Hamon/Dio’s legacy tear her family lineage apart yet again. After all this is said, Stroheim’s men finally prepare a massive ultraviolet light cannon to take out Kars once and for all… but Kars reveals himself to be wearing the stone mask along with the Red Stone embedded right within, scaring all of them. Speedwagon orders Stroheim to call off the strike, but it’s too late, as the stone mask absorbs the light and Kars begins transforming and regaining power. The mask breaks free from his face, and the episode ends before revealing Kars’ new form.

 

The endgame is so close. Two more episodes to go, but things are far from winding down. Kars’ last-minute power play worked out in his favor, and a threat that we cannot possibly comprehend is soon upon us. What makes this episode stand out from the rest is how it saturates itself with distinct visuals and shot frames. Vivid color palettes and dynamic scene splits/transitions are nothing new by now, but the amount of unique frames that this episode manages to pack into one episode is truly something special. I would not be surprised if most of the production budget went solely to animating and coloring this episode and its many wild shots, especially the one of Kars realizing Joseph’s trickery: the narrow walkway divides the screen in two diagonal halves each filled by the extremely panicked expression of Kars’ individual eyes. There is also the saturated rainbow spectrum of colors whenever Kars unleashes some kind of attack, almost perfectly imitating a ‘60s/’70s psychedelic aesthetic (on par with the kinds of bands Hirohiko Araki definitely loves). I’ll hold off on a rating until all of this wraps up, but things are becoming really intense for this climax.

 

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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