Sunday, July 19, 2015

25 Days of Jojo’s - #7: Enrico Pucci

(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.)

#7 - Enrico Pucci: Pucci is cunning, intelligent, and above all else, subtle – that last feature being something that his mentor Dio Brando lacked entirely. Buying wholly into the twisted teachings of Dio, Enrico Pucci devotes himself to removing the threat of the Joestar family one by one before he can put in motion his master plan of reviving a sliver of Dio’s power. Early in Stone Ocean, Pucci’s Stand Whitesnake seals both the memories and Stand of longtime protagonist Jotaro Kujo, effectively leaving his inmate daughter Jolyne to mount an opposition to this then-unseen foe on her own terms. The problem for Jolyne, of course, is that at the time of these events, she has no idea who she can trust within the Green Dolphin Street Prison, and has very limited understanding of how her Stand Stone Free operates.

Pucci relies on the both the most despicable of inmates and the most easy-to-influence characters to play small roles in his larger plan, asking them to carry out tasks that will hinder Jolyne, Foo Fighters, Ermes, and Weather Report in ways that they are often not fully aware of. He is a master manipulator, and while he is similarly left somewhat in the dark for a time about Jolyne’s allies, he manages to adjust his plans accordingly at nearly every turn, whether he is laying traps or hoping that a gauntlet-style deathmatch among some of the prison’s most dangerous inmates will see to the end of Jotaro’s daughter.

While the vast majority of Stone Ocean deals with Pucci making careful moves within Green Dolphin Street Prison, the late chapters force him to actually participate in direct combat with his foes. After exhausting all of his other options and throwing Dio’s offspring at Jolyne and company, Pucci reveals that his Stand has evolved from Whitesnake to C-Moon, and finally to Made in Heaven, courtesy of the last remaining finger bone of Dio Brando. Each plotted move he has made over the course of the Stone Ocean arc has led him to the Kennedy Space Center, where he unleashes Made in Heaven’s newfound powers, speeding up time and forcing the Joestars, their allies, and everyone else on Earth to rapidly age before he is able to reset the clock and create a world that he and Dio would have wanted – a world without the Joestar bloodline.

Of all the villains in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Enrico Pucci is the only one to fully succeed in carrying out his master plans, which - I feel - lends him to be so much more of an intriguing foe than the likes of Diavolo or even the iconic Dio Brando. Pucci’s victory is, however, short-lived, as he fails to account for Emporio being the lone survivor of his rewriting the world. With Weather Report’s Stand under his control, Emporio kills Father Pucci, forcing yet a second rewrite of the universe, which ultimately results in the creation of the Steel Ball Run universe, wherein the Joestar Bloodline still exists, albeit under slightly altered conditions.

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