RDFHoCt.pngDiamond is Unbreakable (AKA Let’s Kink Shame David Bowie) is probably my favourite part of Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure to date and that opinion has a lot to do with it’s main antagonist, Kira Yoshikage.

Kira is simultaneously both disturbingly alien and familiarly human all at the same time, his obsession with hands and killing blending almost seamlessly into his desires to live a quiet, uneventful life, unbothered by the world at large, comfortable in his normality and anonymity. Never making waves, or causing a stir that would draw attention to him.

Of course what is normal to him, dismemberment and murder via Explosion Cat, is distinctly abnormal to everyone else, and slowly, the presence of Jotaro Kujo within Kira’s home town of Morioh, goes on to push events to a head, where Kira has to run from his quiet life and find a way to both return to his normal life and get rid of any and all people interested in hunting down the killer, Kira Yoshikage.

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Battle Tendency’s Best Villain

The best part of Kira as a character, is probably the aforementioned duality, which is also a big part of why Wham from part 2 was such a great character as well, although with Kira that comes through a lot clearer.

Wham had an odd sense of honour about him, seeking out intense fights and showing his opponents, regardless of their origin, the utmost respect. It is what led to his decision to not pop the blood bubble Ceaser created with the last breath of his life to hold the antidote to a poison ring Wham had placed within Joseph during the opening climax of Battle Tendency.

It’s what led to him agreeing to a one on one duel with Joseph, regardless of the fact that he could have just as easily sicced his and Cars’ vampire army on him instead, and it’s what leads the audience to actually kind of hate watching Wham die at the end of the chariot death race.

Unlike Kira though, Wham is very much inhuman, being a milleniums old vampire who emerged from a giant stone pillar from a very long sleep, there’s not much room to relate to Wham as there is to Kira.

We can sympathise with his human desire for peace and quiet, while being revolted by his pathological need to murder pretty girls and keep their hands as girlfriends.

The first stumbling block Kira suffers is probably how disconnected he is from the first quarter of part 4, having 0 relation or impact on the plot until the point where Reimi comes in and shows us that not only do Ghosts exist in this world, but that there is a mass-murderer in Morioh Town. The anime sort of rectifies this, by adding in a scene at the very beginning that alludes to Kira’s presence within the Town, but until Rohan trips into him as an idea, he makes no other impact on the plot, until the moment he explodifies Shigechi.

It is at this point that Kira becomes the main antagonist of the story, and all of the villain’s of the week become tied into him and his machinations via the ghost of his dad, who lives in a polaroid.

Speaking of the villain’s of the week, as fantastic as Bite the Dust is as an ability, but the

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Pretty Super Fly for a White Guy

strongest part of the end of part 4 is not Hayato figuring out a way around it, or even the final fight between Joskue and Co. vs Kira and Stray Cat, it’s actually probably at it’s strongest during the July 15th Arc.

Starting with「SUPERFLY and ending with Hayato dead in the cupboard. Its at this moment that the arc hits its dramatic high point, Rohan, Koichi and Josuke & Okuyasu each encounter separate Stand Users created by and working for Kira’s Photo Dad.

These events are happening almost simultaneously, and carry on throughout the day. Josuke and Okuyasu defeat「SUPERFLY while「ENIGMA is out capturing both Koichi and Josuke’s mum. (And hey, haven’t seen her in a while!)

SUPERFLY‘s user makes mention that Koichi may be a target, and Josuke rushes off to help his friend, enlisting the help of former villain, Yuya Funagami, to track down Koichi with his Stand,「HIGHWAY STAR.

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The Fall of a Rebel Angel

「ENIGMAbeats Josuke, but the sheer machismo on show inspires Yuya to help in a more direct fashion, becoming the catalyst to freeing both Josuke and Koichi from within their paper prisons.

All the while this is happening, Rohan is off hosting a particularly odd architect, Kinato Masazo, making plans to repair the house, but the man refuses to let Rohan see his back, walking, crawling and shuffling in all kinds of awkward ways. He doesn’t know it at the time, but turns out he’s hosting a parasitic stand by the name of「CHEAP TRICK, and the moment Rohan looks at the man’s back, the stands kills the Kinato and attaches himself to Rohan.

The Stand only has one ability, to attach itself to someone’s back, transferring from person to person as someone looks at the current host’s back.

Out of all of the endgame Stands「CHEAP TRICK is probably the most terrifying, and it’s appearance

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Burn the Photos, Save the World

generates some of the most tension across the entire series. Which brings even more detriment towards Kira’s endgame.

With the DiU crew circling like sharks, Kira, now playing family man with a deadman’s stolen body, the knowledge that not only has Rohan zeroed in on Hayato somehow relating to Kira, but also that his “son” bore witness to and recorded him「KILLER QUEEN」’ing two people, the tension bubbles over and in his panic, he murders Hayato.

Unsure of how to cope with this, to come out ahead, Kira loses himself in the panic, which is the moment in which the Arrow「ATOM HEART FATHERhas been carrying around, launches itself from the photo frame and into Kira’s arm, giving birth to the power of「BITES THE DUST.

Not to say that the「BITES THE DUST arc and the closing chapters aren’t good, it’s just they don’t quite deliver on the tension and payoff of the July 15th chapters/episodes.

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Nutritious

July 15th is all about the culmination of the heroes actions and their hunt for Kira, calling back to previous moments and opening up the way to make use of prior elements.

For instance, Joskue being inadvertently responsible for Rohan’s house just before the 「HIGHWAY STAR, opens the door for Kira’s dad to make use of Kinato as a Stand user to fight Rohan.

By that same measure, Rohan then uses the demon hands from Reimi’s Ghost World. 「CHEAP TRICK‘s power to jump from back to back forcing it to look at Koichi, who had shown up earlier at Rohan’s request in the immediate wake of  「ENIGMA. Except, by the rules of the alley, you cannot look back as you are leaving, otherwise Demon’s from hell will drag you into the abyss. Which is exactly what happens to the Stand, before it can trigger Rohan’s death.

The arc also acts as a redemption arc for Yuya, which is something not seen for a while, not since I guess Shigechi, which was a while ago now.

The 「BITES THE DUSTarc on Killer_queen_bites_the_dust_c420.pngthe other hand is the countdown to the end of Part 4, but the tension has bubbled over, because now we have to follow Hayato for a while, as he becomes the centre piece of the arc.

Which is fine, I guess, narratively it was probably the best avenue to take for the arc, seeing as for everyone else, the day is just repeating over and over with no explanation, Hayato being the only one who remembers, by measure of being the bomb that resets time and all.

But Hayato is a shitty character, and I mean that based on his personality. I do not like Hayato, he is a spoiled child in cold household who spies on his parents using hidden video cameras, apparently even having witnessed them having sex on at least one occasion.

And trying to drum up some sort of tension or emotion through him as the POV character, does not work. Which goes on to drain a lot of potential tension that the arc should be drumming up.

The moment that 「BITES THE DUSTis circumvented, and the final clash begins is great, and the moment of panic as Kira comprehends just how fucked he is is beautiful, but again the tension dissipates at the end of the confrontation, as Kira dies, not at the hands of the heroes, but simply by a stray ambulance.

The man is run over, and the payoff while there, is lessened, because it wasn’t ultimately the heroes who ended it. It was simply a quirky moment, in a pointless universe.

Kira, from a character standpoint is fantastic, one of the strongest that Araki has put on show to date.

Narratively, however, Kira suffers from an awkward introduction a good part of the way into the story and a fairly unceremonious  send off, that feels almost empty.

At the end of the day, regardless of how strong Kira’s character is, the strength of his story just kind of 「BITES THE DUST.

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2 thoughts on “DIAMOND IS UNBREAKABLE: Why One of the Best Villains is also Kind of the Worst

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