Comic Picks By The Glick

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable vol. 5

July 20, 2020

I’ve been banging on for a while about how this series has lacked for a strong narrative direction, even as most of the stories being told are still quite good.  Well, this volume has finally addressed this issue.  “Diamond is Unbreakable” finally has a direction again:  Finding and stopping the serial killer lurking within Morioh.  We even get a proper introduction to him in the first arc and while he’s not an epic-level threat like Dio was, this guy is still plenty creepy with his fetish for the severed hands of women.  This is what gets him into trouble when Shigechi accidentally picks up the bag with the killer’s latest “prize” and takes it to school with him.  What follows is a series of ordeals for this new antagonist that reach comical proportions.  It’s unusual to see a bad guy put through the wringer like this, but it establishes that he’s smart and resourceful on his own terms and not the creator’s.  Mangaka Hirohiko Araki knows how the game is played, though, and the arc wraps up with him giving the reader an even bigger reason to see this man brought to justice.

 

From there we get a one-off which shows the whole cast of this arc of the series coming together to acknowledge the threat and get everyone on the same page.  So if you really weren’t sure that the series was laying into this new direction, this is actual proof of it.  Afterwards is a short arc featuring Yukako Yamagishi, the girl with the hair-related Stand, as she tries to win Koichi’s heart again -- this time with the help of a woman who has her own beauty-related Stand.  There are some catches and it eventually comes down to the schoolboy to save the good looks of the woman who loves him.  While I think Araki’s heart was in the right place with this story, the way that the “romance” is handled through magic rather than actual consent may rub some people the wrong way.  Koichi features again in the final storyline, which gets back to the main story and teams him up with Jotaro for a fight against the killer’s special stand.  In short, vol. 5 delivers all of the quality action you’d expect from a volume of “Jojo,” only now it has an actual purpose behind it!

 

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