Smack of Love and Revenge Part I
Episode 13 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Stone Ocean begins with some guards finding Jolyne next to her friend Ermes. Ermes is badly wounded, while Jolyne appears slightly damaged. Jolyne is brought to the Ultra Security House Unit by its security guards because they believe she is responsible for all the catastrophes and murders. They mention that her troublesome behavior pinpoints her as the number one suspect, and they have no solid evidence against her.
Meanwhile, they throw her in one of the Ultra Security House Unit cells. They state that Jolyne will remain here in isolation for an indefinite time. When they depart, Jolyne trembles. She notices a piece of bread on a tray and heads toward it. She shrieks after seeing many roaches crawl over the bread.
This riles up additional prisoners because they are excited to know Jolyne (a woman) is nearby. One of them manages to fling feces at her face. Jolyne wipes it off and vows that she will not let this situation get to her. To get stronger, she vows to turn this circumstance to her advantage. This allows her to complete her mission.
Meanwhile, Enrico Pucci (White Snake’s stand user) recounts his time with Dio Brando twenty-three years ago and their discussion about Heaven and his interpretation of the happiness that lies there. Pucci vows to reach that version of Heaven, as he still has Jotaro’s memory disc in his possession.
Back in the present, Ermes explains how her Kiss (her stand’s name) works to the fans of the series. Essentially, she can copy an object by placing a sticker on it. When she removes the sticker, the two items revert to one and leave a fissure. After her explanation, we see Ermes hiding behind a corner and staring at Sports Maximum, the man we see Enrico conversing with at the end of the previous episode.
Apparently, Maximum is responsible for Ermes’s sister Gloria’s murder as she vows to make him pay by using Kiss’s powers. Before she strikes, she hesitates after Enrico appears. She departs as Pucci and Maximum converse about flowers.
We transition to the Green Dolphin Street Prison’s cafeteria as Jolyne and F.F. receive their meals. Someone cuts in front of F.F., and this enrages Jolyne. Jolyne tells F.F., and it realizes no one adores their company. Remember F.F. was a creature who stole Atroe’s body in episode 8. Jolyne argues that F.F. should assert herself, but F.F. decides she should change her behavior to gain acceptance from her peers. For example, instead of drinking coffee (Atroe’s favorite drink), F.F. chooses to consume tea.
Jolyne directs the conversation to her bullet wounds and tries to get F.F. to heal her. F.F. reminds Jolyne that her plankton cannot heal Jolyne’s wounds, so they’ll need to heal them naturally. Meanwhile, more prisoners try to cut in line, and Jolyne yells at them to stop. F.F. decides to let everyone pass, causing everyone to bicker and fight. This allows F.F. and Jolyne to go through the line with ease.
At their lunch table, Jolyne brings up Ermes and asks F.F. if she knows where she’s gone. F.F. informs her that Ermes has been tracking a male prisoner down for a long time. Jolyne heads to Gwess’s quarters to gain information about the man Ermes is hunting. Gwess forces Jolyne to pay her to receive the information. Jolyne forks over some money and Gwess tells them to head for the library. At the library, Jolyne and F.F. find a news article about Ermes’s older sister Gloria Costello, who died after being caught in a crossfire due to gang violence. The police found her body in a river.
The next day, we witness Ermes stalking Maximum, as she claims to be monitoring his every move. Ermes is bewildered by his slight change of heart in regard to the lighthearted deeds and activities he has involved himself in inside the prison. Despite this, she still can’t forgive him for his past actions.
Jolyne and F.F. confront Ermes about Maximum, but Ermes says he has nothing to do with her. Before Ermes departs, Jolyne brings up Ermes’s decision to commit armed robbery and asks her if she committed the crime to get closer to Maximum to seek her revenge. Ermes rebukes Jolyne’s claims and walks away, determined to murder Maximum.
We receive a detailed flashback about Ermes’s life. Ermes’ mother died when she was a child, and Gloria raised her. When Gloria turned 20, she obtained ownership of her father’s restaurant and sought Ermes’s help. Ermes chose not to because she wanted to pursue a scholarship in cross-country and attend college.
Their different ideals clash, resulting in Ermes storming out of the house. Gloria follows suit but stops when she sees Maximum and his men killing a helpless man. She hides her presence, as Maximum turns his attention toward Ermes, who had been running nearby. Gloria called the police to inform them of his crime. Although Maximum receives five years of prison time for his crime, he got someone to murder Gloria before the testimony. Moreover, Ermes lost everything and lived a lonely life before ending up in prison.
In the present, Maximum heads for the workshop but notices a picture of Gloria on a pipe. He takes it off, and Ermes reveals herself. Using Kiss’s powers, Ermes traps Maximum inside the tube. Maximum attempts to grab onto the pipe’s fissure area to avoid falling. Ermes had secretly placed a second sticker on the pipe, allowing her to duplicate it and seal Maximum inside.
As Ermes attempts to flush Maximum down the pipe, he mumbles inside and calls upon Limp Viscuit for support. A bottle breaks, but Ermes can’t pinpoint what caused the noise. She glances at a table and sees a few tools and a stuffed bird. Ermes can sense something strange is going on when an invisible being ends up slicing off a piece of her finger and pierces her. After losing some blood, Ermes realizes that Maximum is a stand user like herself.
Ermes summons Kiss to fight the invisible enemy, but her attacks don’t penetrate it. She can hear flapping sounds from the corridor and believes she’s fighting a bird-like enemy. As the bird attacks her neck, Ermes duplicates her vest to trap it and crush it via a wall. She questions how Maximum became a stand user and heads over to the pipe to taunt him. She stops after hearing a table flip over in the workshop.
Ermes heads over and sees a giant stuffed alligator nearby. Then a toy is lifted into the air and dissolves before her eyes. She figures out that Maximum’s stand is still active and has taken the form of an invisible undead alligator. The alligator charges at her and Ermes makes a run for it. She grabs hold of a pipe to dodge its attack but finds out that the alligator is focused on freeing Maximum.
Jolyne and F.F. arrive at the scene. Ermes tries to warn them about the alligator, but the beast ends up biting off F.F.’s leg. Ermes explains the situation to Jolyne and F.F., leading Jolyne to splash F.F.’s blood over it. This allows them to see the beast as it prepares its next attack. The episode concludes with the bloody alligator charging at Jolyne, as they all look upon it with shock and fear.
The Episode Review
This was a great way to kick off the next part of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean. While I enjoyed watching Jolyne fight many stand users, I felt the supporting cast didn’t receive much screen time. This episode subverts fans’ expectations by focusing more on its side heroines.
This chapter, evolves around Ermes and reveals new and intriguing details about her past life before prison. We find out that her childhood was full of sorrow and death. Furthermore, we see her slightly plan out and enact her revenge on the man responsible for her trauma. I felt this was a smart move on the anime’s part since it gives Ermes more depth than being a simple sidekick to Jolyne.
Her anger toward Sports Maximum also felt genuine. The flashback testimony scene and the fight with Ermes show no remorse on his part. This made my blood boil, and it felt satisfying seeing Ermes deliver a couple of haymakers across his face. Honestly, I was worried that Maximum would end up as a one-off villain like others in the prior season. However, this season proved me wrong and gave me a reason to appreciate his inclusion in the story.
F.F. also got some spotlight in this episode. It’s not as much as Ermes, but we got to peer into her mind. I adore that the anime showcased the difference between F.F. and Jolyne’s methods of approaching unfair and uncomfortable circumstances. F.F. likes tackling situations in a calm and gentle manner. She reminds me of Parasyte: The Maxim’s Migi a lot in that regard. I feel her character will go down a similar path and ultimately feels the most human out of all the characters in the show.
Although I enjoyed the episode’s content, there were some moments that didn’t vibe with me. I felt the anime could’ve made it harder for Ermes to bamboozle Maximum. While the element of surprise is a nice tactic, it feels underwhelming considering Maximum was a leader before his arrest. Considering the amount of build we received for him, I expected more. This episode’s handling of time skips could’ve been better too, as its opener with Jolyne being thrown in the Ultra Security House Unit threw me off.
In this episode, some background character designs did not appeal to me. They appeared like darkened silhouettes you’d often see in more lighthearted comedy anime. While I enjoyed this episode’s new content, those silhouette character designs took me out of the experience a few times. The opening theme’s visuals received changes, but the song remains the same. I wasn’t a fan of it then, and I’m still not impressed with it.
Otherwise, this was a great way to kick off the next part of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. I’m looking forward to seeing how Ermes, Jolyne, and F.F. defeat Sports Maximum. Hopefully, Ermes will be the one to finish him off.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|
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