Well here we are again, last month chapter 74 of Jojolion really set all of the cards on the table with 3 different groups converging at the Higashikata orchard all vying to claim the Rokakaka branch. Now with the release of Jojolion chapter 75, we’re treated to the ridiculous fruit standoff we always wanted.
Although the last chapter ended right in the thick of battle, we start out with a somber narration of Mamezuku’s upbringing and how he came to meet Norisuke. The calm narration of Mamezuku’s past displaying over different areas of chaos in the struggle between Mamezuku and Poor Tom is a clever contrast and foreshadows the tragedy to come later in the chapter.
We get more than just shadows of Mamezuku and the battlefield in this opening sequence though. A peek inside the Higashikata household shows Joshuu and Norisuke splayed out on their couch, helpless against Poor Tom’s assault. This scene calls back to Damo’s earlier attack on the Higashikata household and drives home the amount of suffering this family must endure due to its ties to the Rokakaka.
Mamezuku and Poor Tom’s delightfully twisted confrontation is the real driving force of the chapter. There’s a bit of give and take between the two where they alternate having the upper hand which keeps the encounter a real page-turner. Even though Josuke is able to get Poor Tom to swallow a poisonous yew seed – seemingly sealing Poor Tom’s fate – it isn’t enough: In classic Jojo’s fashion understanding the rules of the opponents stand is crucial to victory, and Mamezuku’s lack of knowledge results in his absolutely gruesome death.
The closer one gets to Ozone Baby, Poor Tom’s stand, the stronger the pressure, and when Poor Tom closes Mamezuku’s wires between his knife case, the surge in pressure quite literally rips Mamezuku apart.
Technically the verdict is still out on whether Mamezuku is truly dead or not. His stand’s similarity to Stone Free does lend itself to him being able to have his body look messed up but still be conscious, but my money is that this is the end for the Plant Appraiser. This death lines up with the way Araki has treated character deaths in Part 2 onward: sudden, tragic, and leaving no time for a sad goodbye.
Mamezuku’s death also shares some notable similarities with Gyro’s untimely end in part 7: the high stakes one-on-one battle with a big bad with Jojo watching from the sidelines, and the sudden fluke that results in their death… Just thinking about it gets me all choked up, maybe Johnny should’ve just taken Valentine’s bargain?
Anyway, the key similarity, in this case, is that witnessing Mamezuku’s death kicks Josuke into overdrive pursuing Poor Tom even as the pressure increases. This leads us to the best moment of Jojolion 75, Josuke’s multi-layered soap bubble with the yew seed at its center. The pose he strikes when firing off the bubble really harkens back to a fingernail bullet shot from Johnny’s Tusk.
Watching Poor Tom sweat as he realizes Josuke’s layered shot will follow him no matter how many quick turns he makes was oh so satisfying after Poor Tom gloated during his victory over Mamezuku. This satisfaction would be even greater if the chapter’s final frame didn’t have that damn hiatus warning!
For now, we’re left waiting with Poor Tom on the ropes. Will Josuke kill this horrible little man? Will Mamezuku literally pull himself back together? Will we ever really know what the hell is going on? Let’s just wait and see.
Final Grade: B+
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