the_sun_is_up: Fugo and Abbacchio standing extremely close together while making model faces at the camera. (giogio - personal space invasion)
I've also been reading JoJo's Part 3! Since it's the most famous of the arcs, I figured I should check it out. (I've also been reading Part 6, but am currently too overwhelmed by the AWESOME to comment coherently on it.) So, Part 3:

-Aha, now we're getting closer to the JoJo's I know and love with the introduction of the Stands. There's still a fair bit of Calling Your Attacks going on, and the Stands are named for tarot cards instead of rock bands, but otherwise things are feeling a lot more JoJo's-ish than they did in Part 2.

-Already I'm seeing where the hugely popular Jotaro/Kakyoin ship came from. And by "hugely popular," I mean that fucking CLAMP drew an adorably terrible doujin of the pairing back in the day. There's that bit at the end of Kakyoin's introduction arc where Jotaro frees him from Dio's mind-control and Kakyoin's like "Why did you risk your life to save me?" and Jotaro's like "Uhhh... I dunno," ;>.> and then a chapter later Kakyoin offers to join their quest and Jotaro's like "Wtf, why do you want to come along?" and Kakyoin's like "Lol, I dunno" and Jotaro's like "Hmph!" and Kakyoin's like "Well okay, it's because you saved me, duh." And suddenly I'm having Naruto/Sasuke flashbacks to when Sasuke took a bullet for Naruto during the fight with Haku, and Naruto was like "Why did you save me!?" and Sasuke was like "I don't know, my body just moved on its own," and dammit JoJo's, stop reminding me of my gateway slash ship! You are giving me feelings!

-Rero rero rero! I'd seen that meme all over JoJo's fandom, and now I know the context. And I love how the first time Kakyoin does it, it's actually just Rubber Soul badly impersonating Kakyoin, but then after Rubber Soul's been defeated and the guys are back on the train, Kakyoin's like "Hey Jotaro, are you going to eat that cherry? Can I have it?" and then he starts absentmindedly doing the "rero rero rero" thing and Jotaro makes the best series of D: faces ever.

-It amuses me that Jotaro is yet another fighting shonen protagonist who is a total chick magnet but seems to have zero interest in the ladies. Yet another reason to ship him with Kakyoin.

-Polnareff's tube top and pillar hair also continue to amuse me.

-Abdul is pretty awesome. I love the bit where Polnareff's defeated and on fire, and Abdul throws him a dagger and is like "Here you go, put yourself out of your misery." That's hardcore, man. And then Polnareff is like "No it would be an insult to your skill for me to off myself," and Abdul's like "Okay, I'll spare your life so that we can be BFFs." And then there was a bunch of fanfic.

-The Runaway Girl. Christ on a cracker, the Runaway Girl. She's like the definitive guide on How Not To Write A Female Character. Or just How Not To Write A Character In General. Let me count the ways:

a) she has no name.
b) she's completely superfluous to the story.
c) her entire role in the story is to be a damsel-in-distress and to give Jotaro an excuse to show off his "I'm not always a jerk" side.
d) she contributes nothing to the heroes' quest; if anything, she's a detriment to it.
e) her personality is pretty obnoxious and bratty. I think she was intended to come across as cute and tsundere, but that really didn't pan out.
f) despite being about 13-14 years old, she still gets a fanservicey shower scene, during which she gets attacked by a lecherous sentient orangutan, but Jotaro comes to her rescue and she spends the rest of the fight scene cowering in the corner wearing only a towel.

Wow. I'm not even mad, I'm just... impressed. Writing that bad takes some real effort, especially since I know Araki can write decent female characters. Not that Holly is much better, since she's basically a mash-up of four bad tropes: a) the ideal housewife, b) the cutesy childish adult woman, c) the woman whose sole purpose in the story is to provide the male heroes with a motivation (via her illness/coma), and d) the woman whose superpowers make her weak and helpless. So far, Part 3 is shaping up to be the worst arc of JoJo's regarding the ladies.

-Joseph: Jotaro, this'll end up being the third time I've had to make a crash landing. Have you ever heard of anyone crashing 3 different planes?
Jotaro: ....... I'm never flying with you again!

Seriously Joseph, why does anyone even let you anywhere near a plane? Though at least there aren't any octopuses sprouting out of it this time.

-Joseph (to Jotaro and Kakyoin): Why don't you change out of your school uniforms? Isn't it hot traveling in those?
Kakyoin: But we are students. We have to look like students.

LOL.
the_sun_is_up: Fugo and Abbacchio standing extremely close together while making model faces at the camera. (giogio - personal space invasion)
I got over my JoJo's-related indecision and decided to zoom through the rest of Part 2. I'm bemused to hear that so many Western fans name it as their favorite part of JoJo's because while I did enjoy it, a) it falls firmly into So Bad It's Good territory for me and b) it doesn't really feel like JoJo's. It feels more like a prototype; it has Araki's trademark weird superpowers and even weirder posing, but there's no Stands, no musical theme naming, and no iconic JoJo's art style.

Also I figured out why I found Part 2 so much harder to take seriously than Part 5, despite both arcs being massively ridiculous. cut for longish )

In short, Part 2 tends to rely on dumb shonen clichés while Part 5 avoids them. This isn't a bad thing though; if anything, it shows that Araki has improved his manga-writing skills a lot since those early days.

Anyway, here are some more general thoughts:

-While Part 5 was gay in a “feminine outlandishly-dressed bishies lick each other’s faces and strike model poses” way, Part 2 is gay in a “uber-masculine steroid-abusing nearly-naked men climb phallic oil-slicked pillars and give each other fatal wedding rings (and strike model poses)” way. It’s like Camp Gay vs. Macho Gay.

-Speaking of gay, I can see now why Joseph and Caesar are one of the more popular couples in JoJo’s fandom. I love the bit where Joseph returns from beating ACDC and Caesar’s like “Omg yay, you’re not dea–! Um. Ahem. I mean uh, good job or whatever. >.>”

-Joseph = least convincing British guy ever! I know national stereotypes only go so far, but still. Every time I tried to imagine Joseph talking in a British accent, even a colloquial British accent, it sounded hilariously wrong in my head. Although I’ve heard that the Joestars have Scottish roots, and I can buy Joseph as Scottish. As English? Pffffft.

-Joseph is also the least convincing 18-year-old ever, not in terms of personality but in terms of appearance. He looks like a 30-year-old bodybuilder! Of course this is the fault of the Part 2 art style which is... ugh, I feel horrible for saying this, but it’s true — the body proportions are almost Liefeldian. Male bodies do not work that way!

-Lisa Lisa = BAMF. I love how Joseph is constantly waffling between “But this is the 1930s and she’s just a woman!” and “But she’s really awesome omg squee!” I also love her sunglasses, and how when she’s wearing them, she looks like she knows she's hot shit.

-I really enjoyed Joseph’s fighting style — how he’s not afraid to fight dirty and use trickery and manipulate opponents and even act like a goofball in order to catch his enemies off guard. He’s just a really fun character to watch. He does all of the clever things that I’m usually yelling at shonen heroes to do.

-I completely lost my shit at the part where Stroheim and Cars are about to have a very srs fight to the death in Stroheim’s office, when Joseph barges in all like “HAY GUYZ, WHEN’S DINNER?”

A bit more - SPOILERS regarding death, not-death, and relatives )
the_sun_is_up: Giorno in a cloud of flower petals, making a sexyface at the camera. (giogio - faaaaabulous)
Ugh, I am going through some serious GioGio's withdrawal over here. It's like I've turned into an internet version of Notorious B.I.G., except I only eat fanart. Good thing there's so much great JoJo's art on Pixiv and Tegaki. Om nom nom. I saw a couple of fanarts of Giorno riding a vespa, which made me realize: we spent all of Part 5 in Italy, and yet nobody ever rode a vespa! Blasphemy!

As for my future JoJo's reading, I'm leaning towards Part 4 especially now that it's getting a new-and-improved re-scanlating to replace the godawful DUWANG scans. Plus I like Josuke's eyebrows. And his pompadour is pretty cool too. Never let it be said that I have deep reasons for choosing my reading material! I flipped through the first few chapters and am feeling lukewarm about it so far, partly because this arc isn't nearly as ~*~fabulous~*~ as Part 5 and partly because this was before Araki switched to the now-iconic JoJo's art style so the art is still kind of fugly and Fist-of-the-North-Star-ish.

In other news, I've been watching a lot of MST3K lately. The other day I watched Red Zone Cuba and Beast of Yucca Flats, and dear god are those movies dull. I think Yucca Flats is less awful because a) funny narration and b) Tor Johnson. Also I think it's shorter? Still, I have to agree with Agony Booth that in order to create three whole movies as bad as these, Coleman Francis must have had an "active hatred towards paying audiences." Coffee? Yes, I did like coffee, before watching these movies.

Relatedly, I hear a lot of people name Manos as the worst movie MST3K ever riffed, and I have to strongly disagree with that. The worst (that I've seen) is clearly Monster-A-Go-Go. At least Manos had a consistent story that it told from beginning to end. At least Manos didn't get rid of the whole cast halfway through and bring in an entirely new bunch of characters — even the pointless make-out couple and useless cops were in it all the way through. At least Manos's twist ending was genuinely unsettling and didn't make me want to kick the writer in the head for insulting my intelligence. And at least Manos had a pleasant musical score that didn't make my ears bleed. Seriously, the soundtrack to Monster-A-Go-Go is one of the most painful things I have ever experienced. And just look at what one of the MST3K writers had to say about Monster-A-Go-Go:

"I recall this episode as being the first time we decided explicitly to write sketches having nothing to do with the movie. Really, we had no choice. (...A)ny topic that is about something (that is, any topic that exhibits 'topicness') cannot, by definition, have anything to do with this movie."

That's right, the MST3K crew could write sketches based on Manos, but they couldn't write any based on Monster-A-Go-Go because it was just that bad.

Also I'm inclined to go a little easy on Manos because it seems clear that the people involved in it had no clue what they were doing. They seem like just a bunch of average people who were like "Hey, let's make a movie!" The director was an insurance businessman and Manos was the only film he ever made. On the other hand, Monster-A-Go-Go's two directors were both professionals with at least 10 films each to their names. They may have been bad at film-making, but it was still a career for them, which implies that they ought to have had some level of competency, and yet they still managed to fuck up in every conceivable way. Basically, Monster-A-Go-Go has less of an excuse.

However, I couldn't say for sure which of these I think is worse: Monster-A-Go-Go or the Creeping Terror. Because that one's pretty awful too. I'm also not sure where Hobgoblins fits into all this. It's clearly one of MST3K's worst, but it's a totally different kind of bad from those other three.
the_sun_is_up: Giorno in a cloud of flower petals, making a sexyface at the camera. (giogio - faaaaabulous)
Well this is it folks, I've finally made it to the end. *sniffle*

Oh wait, no I haven't because I still have six more of these to read! And counting!

In which Bruno nearly gets glomped by a boulder )

Awww I'm really going to miss these characters. Now I have to decide which part to read next — I'm currently waffling between Part 2 and Part 4. (Reading things in order? Psh.)
the_sun_is_up: Aliciabeth from Claymore succumbing to zombie-ification. (claymore - drowning)
This week on JoJo's Bizarre Adventure...


[Source]

Most inappropriate character name ever! (The title of that fanart translates to "I'm not a food!" Lol, shows what you know Cioccolata — in this arc, everyone's a food. Except for Giorno, but his hair is a food.)

Mr. Mold and Mr. Mud )

Body-Swapping Hijinks! Oh, and people dying. )

On that depressing/confusing note, I really need to go to bed.
the_sun_is_up: Giorno in a cloud of flower petals, making a sexyface at the camera. (giogio - faaaaabulous)
This time on JJBA: There's a shark in my soup and a weird lady standing behind me!

-Man, Narancia always gets the rawest deals. Gets half his tongue bitten off by the shark Stand, gets preyed upon by a Stand that makes you say the opposite of what you mean, gets a pen-tracheotomy from Giorno — and I love the look on the other guys' faces when Giorno jams the pen into Narancia's throat, like they're all making a mental note to never get injured around Giorno ever again.

-And after a bajillion chapters of ambiguously gay mob guys, we finally get Tizziano and Squalo, a pair of unambiguously gay mob guys. Too bad they're going to die in like 6 chapters.

-This whole fight with Narancia trying to save a throat-chomped Giorno all while being forced to say the opposite of what he means is just agonizing to watch. And seriously, I know Narancia told the other guys that there was nothing bad happening in the bathroom so of course they left, but how are they not hearing him shooting the bejeezus out of the bathroom?

Soup Shark vs. Toy Airplane! )

-I love how Narancia and Giorno both have their throats chomped and are bleeding buckets and yet they're still alive. ~SOMEHOW.~ I love shonen physiology.

Notorious BIG vs. Spice Girl! )

Ugh, I should go to sleep now, but I really want to read...

Doppio vs. Metallica! )

Next time on JJBA: Why does a guy named "Chocolate" have such disgusting superpowers?

Also: somebody did an awesome cosplay pic of Doppio coughing up razorblades.
the_sun_is_up: Fugo and Abbacchio standing extremely close together while making model faces at the camera. (giogio - personal space invasion)
There are a bunch of manga series that I've been slacking off on reading for a while so it's about time I starting catching up on them. First on the list, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure!

Where I left off: Chapter 496
Reason for taking a break: I was nearing the point in the arc where main characters start getting killed off. I’m a chicken. Bawk bawk.
When I left off: Prosciutto was lodged under the train, Pesci had gotten all scary and serious, and Bruno was getting some very cute assistance from Sex Pistols.

-Holy shit, Bruno just used his zippers to completely dismember himself in order to avoid Pesci’s fishing rod. He even zippered his heart in half so Pesci couldn’t detect his heart-beat. That is some serious dedication, yo.

-Oh snap, Bruno garotted Pesci with his own fishing line! And I’d ask how Pesci is still able to talk with his throat slit, but then I remembered that this is fighting shonen and no power on Earth can stop characters in fighting shonen from monologuing.

-Wow, Trish’s top is like barely clinging on for dear life. Was it always that cleavage-tastic?

-Yay, Trish got to do something again! (Noticing that Pesci snuck inside the turtle.)

-Ha! Sticky Fingers punched Pesci through the turtle entrance.

-Yay, Bruno is 100% bishie again, meaning that Prosciutto has finally kicked the bucket. About freaking time, he was really creeping me out.

-Ooh, Trish can see Stands now, meaning she has a Stand too. But Bruno’s not allowed to tell her anything, so for the time being, she has to be content with seeing lots of weird unexplained shit like masked dudes appearing out of nowhere and punching zippers onto things.

-Melone is very pretty, very creepy, and his Stand is FUCKING TERRIFYING. Every time I think Araki can’t possibly come up with any more disturbing Stand powers, he proves me wrong.

-Lol @ Melone being all “Damn Stand stole my motorbike!”

-I think it really says something about our heroes that they’re standing around debating not whether they should steal a car, but how many cars they should steal. Hahahaha and Giorno just turned a bunch of cars into frogs. I love his Stand.

-THIS SHIT IS BANANAS.

-Even losing a huge cube out of his throat isn’t stopping Giorno from expositing. Ah, I love shonen.

-Giorno — still the best at posing. (Look look look at my crotch! Look look look at my crotch! etc)

-So I guess the downside of having a powerful remote-controlled Stand is that it has a mind of its own and can ignore your orders. Upside is that its damage doesn’t reflect back on you, and if it gets offed, you can just make another one. D: Which makes me wonder, how are the heroes going to even find Melone, let alone kill him?

-Wait, so Giorno turned Melone’s burning Stand into a snake, which then found its way back to Melone and chomped him to death? I wasn’t expecting Melone to get bumped off so quickly.

-Looks like Trish and Giorno are getting cozy in between chapters.

-Lol I love how they’re having Giorno drive even though he’s 15 and by his own admission has no license. Guys, you have enough problems already without risking getting pulled over by traffic cops. (Oh wait, this is Italy, doesn't everyone drive like crazy over there? *ba dum tish*)

-Eeeeewwww, Ghiaccio’s Stand froze off Mista’s finger and half of his face! Poor Mista always seems to get the nastiest injuries, along with Narancia.

-Mista: Giorno, stop the car! Can’t you turn the car into a frog? I don’t care how you do it, just stop the car!

Lolol when in doubt, turn something into a frog.

-Oh awesome, I never imagined these guys would start combining their Stand powers: firing bullets that turn into plants!

-Oh shit, Giorno crashed the car into the water. Water which can be used to make ice. BAD IDEA, BRO. (Actually I'm not complaining — Giorno is so smart most of the time that it's good for realism to have him occasionally do something stupid.)

-Bruno: If nothing goes wrong, they should have retrieved the disk in the statue!

Bruno, have you learned nothing from this little adventure? Of course something has gone wrong, something ALWAYS goes wrong. Why did you have to go and jinx it like that?

-Hahahahaha Mista made a snowboard out of frozen grass. This manga is RIDONK-A-DONK.

-As always, I am impressed by how smart these characters are: Mista reasons that Ghiaccio’s impenetrable ice suit must have a weak point somewhere because otherwise how does he breathe? And Mista finds the air hole by seeing where the bubbles come out when Ghiaccio’s underwater.

-Hahahahahaha and now we have the CLASSIC scene where Giorno heals Mista’s wounds on a nearby bench, and then Narancia turns up and sees Giorno bending over Mista’s midsection and hears Mista going “No Giorno, don’t be so rough! Don’t take off my clothes! I can’t do it!” etc and assumes that something very different is going on, and he’s like “O.M.F.G.” and hides behind a ledge and is like “UH, SOME DUST GOT IN MY EYE SO I COULDN’T TELL IF IT WAS REALLY THEM. THAT’S MY STORY AND I’M STICKING TO IT.” Lolololol A+

-Okay, since Diavolo and King Crimson have shown up, it’s time to spoiler-cut:

spoilers for chapter 517-524 and one spoiler for much later in Part 5 )

Next time on GioGio’s Bizarre Adventure: That’s Not What I Meant When I Ordered Shark-Fin Soup!
the_sun_is_up: Panty from PSG wearing glasses. (Default)
OKAY SO FIRST WE FOUND OUT THAT SAILOR MOON IS GETTING A BRAND NEW ANIME 20 YEARS AFTER THE FACT

AND TODAY I FOUND OUT THAT JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE IS GETTING A NEW ANIME IN OCTOBER

BRB, PEEING MYSELF WITH EXCITEMENT

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the_sun_is_up: Panty from PSG wearing glasses. (Default)
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