Wednesday, July 22, 2015

25 Days of Jojo’s - #4: Joseph Joestar

(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.)

#4 - Joseph Joestar: In stark contrast to his noble and perhaps naïve grandfather Jonathan, Joseph Joestar is a more carefree hero, playful and comedic, but also not afraid to take justice into his own hands when necessary. The earliest impressions Battle Tendency offers as to what kind of protagonist Joseph will become arise from his handling of a few events in his home turf of bustling New York City. He give a couple of dirty cops a taste of their own medicine for their heckling young Smokey Brown, giving them mild injuries to teach them not to pick on people smaller than they are. Then, when Straits reappears and displays his fall from grace in embracing the vampiric powers once utilized by Dio Brando, Joseph displays a combination of fearlessness and resourcefulness, opting to pump Straits full of lead and play mind games with this ally-turned-foe before ultimately besting him.

Joseph is a goofball, sometimes a jackass, but no less of a hero than his grandfather or any of those who would follow further on down the Joestar bloodline. His ability to predict his foes’ behavior gives him a distinct advantage in surprising them, and when he himself is caught off guard, Joseph has a knack for crafting lucky half-baked gambles of plans on the fly. He is initially impatient during his training with Lisa Lisa and Caesar Zeppeli, thinking the former is asking the impossible of him, and not getting along too well with the latter. However, when the threat of the Pillar Men and their inhuman abilities becomes a more immediately pressing matter, Joseph tightens his composure and remains focused under pressure.

Despite exclaiming that his plans involve running away on multiple occasions, Joseph is far from a coward. These plays are almost always either a deliberate means of messing with his opponents and attempting to throw them off their game, or an attempt to bait his foes away from his friends and allies in order to ensure they are no longer in harm’s way. Joseph returns in later parts of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, acting as a core ally and mentor to Jotaro Kujoh and the other Stardust Crusaders, and later traveling to the Japanese town of Morioh to meet his estranged son Josuke Higashikata. Joseph is arguably the second most well-kown Jojo after Jotaro, having a similarly large impact on the course of events that shape the Joestars through the decades.

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