Thursday, July 23, 2015

25 Days of Jojo’s - #3: Yoshikage Kira

(Fair warning: there will be spoilers abound in this series of posts, as I find there are major moments that define some of these characters late in their respective story arcs. So in the event that you have not yet read/watched a particular part of the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure storyline, you may wish to skip over certain entries.)

#3 - Yoshikage Kira: Unlike most of the other major antagonists in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Yoshikage Kira is not driven by dreams of grandeur, nor does his boast his powers. He is a simple enough man, carrying on his day-to-day routine as an unassuming well-dressed citizen of the town of Morioh. He enjoys the company of his girlfriends, taking them out for picnics and rides in his sleek car. Of course, the only part of his girlfriends that ever remain intact are their hands.

Yoshikage Kira is a serial killer, and his m.o. is to destroy every trace of evidence of his murders with the explosive powers of his Stand, Killer Queen – every trace, save for the aforementioned hands. When a hand begins to decay, Kira disposes of it and moves on to a new victim, and this series of murders is largely responsible for setting in motion the events of Diamond is Unbreakable. Kira is smooth, charismatic, and very attentive to the finer details in covering his tracks.

That is, until he begins to slip up. A simple mix-up between his lunch bag containing the hand of Kira’s most recent girlfriend with the lunch bag of one greedy and dull-witted teenager, Shigekiyo Yangu, blows Kira’s cover. And while he is quick to use Killer Queen’s destructive abilities to permanently silence Shigekiyo, he unintentionally lays a thread for Josuke Higashikata and friends to follow. Eventually, Kira is forced to face them on more direct terms, once they discover he was the one responsible for Morioh’s murders. However, Kira formulates one last-ditch plan, forcing the local salon owner to use her Stand, Cinderella, on him, swapping bodies with another local man named Kosaku Kawajiri. Believing Kira has bled out and died of the injuries he sustained in battle, the gang temporarily believes the case to be closed.

However, Kira has simply adopted an alternate strategy, masquerading as a family man and piling his resources for the perfect chance to re-emerge and take down his foes. He grows the sentient plant, Stray Cat, as a secret weapon that can be stored within Killer Queen’s hollow chest cavity, and acquires one of the arrows, granting himself new powers, including the ability to plant his Sheer Heart Attack bombs within people from a distance, and the ability to form temporal loops to iron out any errors he might make in exposing himself to Josuke and company.

Kira’s intellect shines through even during the final battle between his Killer Queen and Josuke and Okuyasu’s Crazy Diamond and The Hand. He plots out strategic approaches to combat, preferring to pinpoint the boys’ location and strike from a distance. However, Kira’s newly-instilled cockiness coupled with his intense focus proves his ultimate undoing, as an ambulance that arrives on the scene runs him over, killing him instantly. Kira isn’t even aware of the fact that he has died the second it occurs, believing he has trumped Josuke’s troupe, but is shocked to find that he has, so many years later, come face-to-face with the ghostly form of Reimi Sugimoto, his first victim, from a time before Killer Queen was awakened. With the spirits of the alley upset with Kira’s murderous streak, their hands drag him into a hellish shadow, tearing both his body and Killer Queen’s apart, like statues crumbling to pieces.

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