JoJo’s Part 5 Episode 4

JoJo’s Part 5 Episode 4

Introduction

Before we get into today’s episode of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, I’d like to remind you all that there’s currently a poll running on Twitter to decide which Fall anime gets added to the list of weekly episodic reviews. To vote, simply click on the tweet embedded below.

Joining the Gang

Last week we left off with the janitor at Giorno’s school being killed by Polpo’s stand, and then Giorno himself being attacked by it after stepping into a shadow. This week we pick up from that same point, with Giorno being overpowered by Polpo’s stand, which is trying to pierce him with a stand arrow.

Despite Giorno appearing to be overpowered by Polpo’s stand, and the fact that he literally says the stand is too physically strong for him to break free from, Giorno somehow does just that. Through sheer willpower, or the power of being the protagonist, Giorno is able to fight off the stand, if only for a brief moment.

Now, this is typically where I’d mention how Giorno being able to fight off the enemy stand is a plot hole, but this actually fits in with the set rules of the JoJo’s universe, and yes, there are set rules despite it being so bizarre. The rule which comes into play in this scene is that stands are a physical manifestation of ones fighting spirit.

So, if we assume that Golden Experience is the physical manifestation of Giorno Giovanna’s fighting spirit, then it makes sense for it to become stronger when Giorno is put into a position in which he has to fight for his life. It’s basically the equivalent of a cornered animal being the most dangerous animal.

Through this interaction with Polpo’s stand, Giorno figures out how it works (sort of) and we’re given the stands name, Black Sabbath (Shadow Sabbath for those who don’t want to be sued).

As I predicted last week, Black Sabbath’s ability has to do with the shadows, but I was incorrect in my prediction about exactly how it uses them. Black Sabbath is essentially relegated to the shadow realm for all you Yu-Gi-Oh! fans out there. By this, I mean it can’t leave the shadows.

A more apt comparison actually comes from my favorite anime, Monogatari. Black Sabbath’s mechanics are essentially the same as Shinobu’s. They both burn up in sunlight and can sink into shadows to hide their presence.

The sun is my enemy, but the moon has been good to me. – Shinobu Oshino, Bakemonogatari (2009)

Now that I’ve met my daily quota for Monogatari references and we know what Black Sabbath’s stand ability really is, we can get back to the episode summary. At this point, Koichi joins the fray and accuses Giorno of killing the janitor, which might be a plot hole this time.

As a stand user, Koichi should be able to see the stands of others, but he doesn’t seem to have noticed Black Sabbath was the one to kill the janitor. Further, you could argue that he didn’t see Black Sabbath because only those who witness the lighter re-lighting can see him, but it turns out he saw that as well.

At this point, I’m not sure whether the lighter actually has anything to do with Black Sabbath’s ability or not. I had previously predicted that the lighter had nothing to do with the stand’s ability directly, but now I’m not so sure.

On one hand, Black Sabbath’s orders could have been to pierce anyone who sees the lighter get re-lit with the stand arrow, in which case the lighter has nothing to do with its ability. But, on the other hand, maybe the lighter is connected to its ability, and that’s how it knows who saw it get re-lit.

So why didn’t Koichi know that Giorno wasn’t the one to kill the Janitor? The only explanation is that after seeing Giorno talking to the janitor and the lighter being re-lit, he made his way down stairs to exit the building and confront Giorno. During this time, the janitor was killed, and so Koichi didn’t witness it.

Seems like a sound argument, right? Well, it would be if Black Sabbath wasn’t standing right in front of Giorno when Koichi appeared outside and accused him of killing the Janitor. During this interaction, Koichi surely should have been able to see Black Sabbath, and yet doesn’t until he’s been attacked.

Once again, you could argue that maybe Black Sabbath remains unseen by anyone until it attacks them, but we can disprove this theory because Giorno saw it before it had attacked either him or the janitor. Let me know your theories in the comment section.

After Koichi is attacked by Black Sabbath, Giorno almost defeats it by turning the railing that was providing shadows for it into a plant that dropped out of the way of the sunlight, but the stand was able to reach a nearby shadow and escape.

At this point, I figured Black Sabbath’s movement worked in a similar way to Hanged Man from Stardust Crusaders. If you recall, Hanged man could jump from reflective surface to reflective surface, so I assumed Black Sabbath could jump between shadows to move quickly.

However, we learn that this isn’t the case. While within shadows, Black Sabbath can move at extreme speeds, but it doesn’t have the ability to move between shadows which aren’t connected. It also doesn’t appear to be able to move within the shadows of humans, or maybe it simply chooses not to.

I don’t know about you, but hiding within the shadow of the person you’re trying to kill seems like a pretty good strategy. Perhaps the reason it doesn’t do this is because some intrepid JoJo or Jo-Bro will use light to make their own shadow disappear, thus defeating Black Sabbath.

But, while it doesn’t use the shadows of those it’s hunting, it does use the shadows of other living creatures. When Giorno and Koichi are leaving the school grounds, Black Sabbath hops into the shadow of a passing crow and then into the shadow of a tree which Giorno then crosses.

Polpo's Black Sabbath Stand from the anime JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 5: Golden Wind
Polpo’s Black Sabbath Stand

Although it’s pointed out earlier in the episode by Koichi, I think this is a good time to discuss the stand arrow wielded by Black Sabbath, since the picture above comes from when it grabs Giorno’s leg from the shadow of the tree I just mentioned.

In the last episode I stated that I didn’t believe the stand arrow to actually be a part of Black Sabbath, and after watching this episode I still believe that to be true. However, Black Sabbath’s design only seems to add to the confusion surrounding its relationship with the arrow.

If Black Sabbath were to be the original creator of the stand arrows, then everything about it would make sense, but I believe that in Diamond is Unbreakable we learned that the arrows originated from a meteorite or something, not Black Sabbath. So there’s the first clue.

The second clue that points to the arrow not being a part of Black Sabbath actually comes a bit later in the episode when the stand is defeated by Giorno and Koichi. After the stand is burned up by the light of the sun, the arrow is left behind, shattered. I’ll come back to this later on.

Now, while those two clues definitely point to the stand arrow not actually being a part of Black Sabbath, there’s seemingly contradictory evidence as well. It’s not as easy to make out in the picture above, but Black Sabbath’s design features the stand arrowheads on its collar and hands.

The fact that the design of Black Sabbath is linked to the stand arrow, points towards the stand and the arrow being linked in a deeper way as well. So just how is Black Sabbath related to the stand arrow, and why does its design reflect this?

Black Sabbath is the third new stand we’ve been introduced to in this part so far, and while only three stands and their users isn’t much to go on, there’s a trend of stands and their users being linked cosmetically. By this, I mean something about their personal fashion taste shows in their stand.

Giorno has ladybug pins on his chest, and Golden Experience has these same ladybug pins built into its design. Similarly, Buccellati sports a large zipper on his outfit, and similar large zippers can be found on the design of his stand, Sticky Fingers.

But, I know someone’s going to say, “Polpo and Black Sabbath don’t share anything in common though!” That’s true, but what if they did originally? What if Black Sabbath is designed based on Polpo at the time he originally acquired his stand?

Now, I’m not saying that Polpo looked any physically different than he does now, and I’m not even saying that he wore an outfit emblazoned with arrowheads. Instead, what if the fact that he was in possession of the stand arrow defined who Polpo was as a person?

If being the owner of the stand arrow was how Polpo defined himself and his self-worth, then it makes sense for the design of his stand to reflect that. This would really be no different from Giorno and Buccellati defining who they are by their fashion sense.

So, what do you think of my theory? Do you have an alternate one? The great part about discussing Black Sabbath is that we’ll probably never get a direct answer, so all (most) theories are equally viable.

Now, continuing on with the episode, Koichi and Giorno are able to defeat Black Sabbath by using Reverb Act. 3’s Freeze ability to weigh down Black Sabbath, while Golden Experience accelerated the life cycle of the tree providing the shadow Black Sabbath is hiding in.

As an automatic stand, Black Sabbath doesn’t really seem to have much independent thought. Despite being weighed down by Reverb and the tree providing the shadow it’s using for cover is being killed right before its eyes, Black Sabbath doesn’t let go of Golden Experience’s leg.

It’s because of this that Giorno and Koichi are able to defeat it. If it had been your typical stand, the user would definitely have attempted to retreat from such an unfavorable situation. Additionally, the fact that Black Sabbath is an autonomous stand is also even more important for Giorno beyond that fight.

Since it’s autonomous, the damage Black Sabbath receives isn’t directly transferred to Polpo in the way traditional stands work. If this was the case, Polpo would have been burned to death when Black Sabbath was destroyed in the sunlight.

You may be thinking that it would be better for Polpo to have died then, but in reality that would have made it much harder for Giorno to become a member of the Passione gang. The fact that he was allowed to become a member by Polpo directly gives his membership authenticity.

After receiving his Passione pin from Polpo, Giorno uses Golden Experience to turn one of his guns into a banana and hides it in the fridge. Later on, Polpo goes to eat the banana and ends up shooting and killing himself in his jail cell. To anyone on the outside looking in, Polpo committed suicide.

Looking Ahead

Now that Giorno is officially a member of Passione, he’ll be working under Buccellati. At the end of the episode, Buccellati tells Giorno that it’s time for him to be introduced to the members of the group he’s in charge of, and we then see them sitting around a table.

In this next episode, we will undoubtedly be meeting most of, if not all, the remaining Jo-Bros for part five, though I doubt we’ll learn about all of their stands at once. More than likely, their stands will be slowly revealed to us over the course of the next couple of episodes so each one has its time to shine and be explained.

For now, through the OP we can assume one of them has a stand that deals with bullets, and another has a toy airplane as a stand. Beyond those two, I don’t think we can say anything else for certain about the stands of the other members, though the OP will probably make more sense once we know what their abilities are.

Finally, there’s one last thing I want to talk about regarding this week’s episode and what it means going forward. I mentioned that after Black Sabbath was defeated, the stand arrow was left behind, shattered on the ground. While that seems to imply its work is done, I don’t think that’s the case.

We didn’t see either Giorno or Koichi collect the fragments of the stand arrow after it broke. This may mean that they left it there, and someone later on is going to come across it. That person could either repair the arrow, or it’s possible that even fragments of the arrow still have the same effect.

Either way, I don’t believe that’s the last time we’ll be seeing that particular stand arrow in this part, and there may even be more stand arrows in Italy which we don’t know about yet. I forget how many there were in total, but I think this is the third we’ve come across in the series so far.

Conclusion

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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