Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean Part 2 Review – A brutal & bizarre follow-up to an imprisoned adventure

Season 1

 Season 2

 Season 3

 Season 4

 Season 5 Part I 

Season 5 Part II

Episode Guide

Smack of Love and Revenge Part I -| Review Score – 4/5
Smack of Love and Revenge Part II -| Review Score – 3/5
Ultra Security House Unit -| Review Score – 4/5
The Secret of Guard Westwood -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Enter the Drake’s Dream -| Review Score – 4/5
Enter the F.F. -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Birth of the “Green” -| Review Score – 3/5
F.F. – The Witness -| Review Score – 3.5/5
AWAKEN -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Time for Heaven! New Moon! New Priest! -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Lock of the Jail! -| Review Score – 3/5
Jailbreak… -| Review Score – 4/5

 

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean Part 1 was a decent start to this new “behind closed doors” adventure involving the franchise’s first female protagonist, Jolyne Kujo. It introduces the story at a wonderful pace and features intriguing side characters and villains. The first part had some visually stunning action and lighthearted scenes. Unfortunately, the first part also had its share of issues.

Some villains in the first part didn’t leave me with a lasting impression. The use of computer animation made some characters look strange. While some side protagonists have great personalities and abilities, they didn’t get as much screen time as our female heroine. I also felt Jolyne and Jotaro resolved their issues too swiftly, making her resolve to save him a little non-genuine.

Enter, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean Part 2. This part tackles episodes 13-24, and each  falls within the runtime of about 25 minutes. As one can tell, this part had a lot of shoes to fill as a follow-up and continuation. Although it improves upon the first part in multiple ways, some old and new issues crop up, hampering its chances at a home run.

The second part of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean takes place several days after Jolyne sent her father’s Stand disc to the Speedwagon Foundation. She finds herself imprisoned inside the prison’s punishment ward after being accused of deadly mishaps taking place inside the prison. In the punishment ward, she attains information concerning Whitesnake’s plot involving Dio’s bone.

Numerous fights ensue, but Jolyne comes out on top, thanks to her allies. One of them informs Jolyne that Whitesnake’s Stand user is Enrico Pucci. However, some unexpected circumstances befall our heroes, allowing Pucci to complete the next phase of his plan involving Dio’s bone. Meanwhile, Jolyne and her allies end up in prison again.

The prison’s lead guard, Mew Mew, who is in cohorts with Pucci, gives them trouble with her mind-numbing Stand “Jail House Lock.”Jolyne defeats Mew Mew thanks to the help of her companion, Emporio Alniño. This part concludes with Jolyne and her friends’ attempting to escape the prison in hopes of preventing Pucci from enacting the final phase of his and Dio’s long-term maniacal plan.

As a continuation of the first part, Stone Ocean Part 2 follows a similar formula but with more additives. It introduces more villains for Jolyne to fight but gives some needed screen time to our side heroines. We also see developments regarding Dio and Pucci’s relationship and receive some history regarding Stands. The latter is not focused on heavily enough, though.

The topic does not get addressed outside of one scene, and I wished it would have. Nonetheless, I enjoyed seeing Stone Ocean tackle something I had not expected nor seen other entries in this franchise do. Although part two’s plot line features neat ideas and ended with an exciting cliffhanger, many aspects did not vibe with me.

For instance, the villains introduced in this part gave me mixed flags. I adored enemies like Kenzou and Westwood because the anime spent time building upon their characteristics, personalities, and abilities. However, there are others like Sports Maximum, Guccio, and D an’ G who felt like wasted potential despite being hyped up through dialogue or dramatic scenery.

While the result of many fights in this anime are filled with glee and shock, some end on a sour note. For example, I wasn’t pleased with Kenzou’s fight with F.F. (Foo Fighters), as its conclusion felt too goofy and less satisfactory. I would have much preferred it to conclude after F.F. locks herself and Kenzou together in the electrocution chair.

It would have made it feel more dramatic and rewarding, especially for F.F.’s character. While F.F. attains victory in future encounters, none carry weight and are given to her to move the plot forward. This is why Kenzou’s fight with her should’ve concluded with F.F. being the one to defeat him alone and not through the help of Anastasia and Jolyne.

On top of those issues, part two handles “time” awkwardly and features an overabundance of plot convenience. For example, there were many times when the story switches back and forth between different timely scenarios. The transitions weren’t smooth, and there were no “text indicators” informing the audience when we were in the present or past some times.

It seems simple to add a text layer over the animation reading “__ years later” to help viewers stay in the know. It’s an odd decision that does make for an uncomfortable experience at times. As far as plot convenience is concerned, there were numerous times when the anime made questionable decisions. F.F. squabble with Enrico Pucci comes to mind.

Pucci’s responsible for giving most of our villains their powers, but carrying a specific disc to neutralize F.F.’s powers seems illogical. Guccio’s defeat at the hands of Anastasia also feels off-putting and overly fortunate. The whole scenario feels off, as I would have much preferred our heroes to defeat Guccio through traditional means.

The second part of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean handled most of its returning and new cast remarkably better. Unlike the first part, Jolyne doesn’t receive all the attention here. She’s still a great character and seems like a different person. Mind you–she retains her fierce, crude, and boisterous traits from before.

Conversely, the fights and scenarios she ends up in build upon her thoughtful and sympathetic persona well. I felt they tackled her newfound respect for Jotaro better here than in the first part, as we see a heartwarming, spiritual moment between them.

Though I enjoy Jolyne’s company, I’m thrilled the anime spent more time fleshing out our other heroes. Among the cast, Ermes and F.F. made the best impact on me in this part. Ermes receives a chilling backstory full of guilt and sorrow. While Sports Maximum doesn’t utilize his abilities to their fullest potential, I argue his fight with Ermes carried immense weight and energy.

Witnessing him toy with Ermes and tell her her sister deserved death made my blood boil. It made me satisfied to see Ermes throw countless punches toward his face. It was an act of redemption with a great pay-off, as seeing Ermes’s sister’s spirit cradle her afterward brought a tear to my eye. Thankfully, I found myself enjoying F.F.’s character to an equal extent.

Although F.F. doesn’t come from a similar emotional background as Ermes, she offered a lot to this narrative. With its decision to sideline Jolyne, we get more development for F.F.’s character. Despite living life as a bug, F.F. aims to become more human and goes through multiple steps to achieve her goal. On the other hand, we get to see her pull her weight in fights.

Despite my gripes with some of her fight’s outcomes, I found her use of human and bug-like intellect fascinating in them fascinating and appealing. The anime succeeded in making me care about a non-human organism. Although I wish we had seen her spend time with Jolyne outside of battle, her final words to her still strike me at my core.

While I enjoyed the anime’s handling of Ermes, F.F., and Jolyne, I argue the others left me with mixed feelings. On that note, Anastasia and Emporio’s characters felt like a mixed bag. Both characters’ Stand powers are intriguing, but their personalities are slightly bothersome and too quirky. For instance, Anastasia’s love for Jolyne feels contrived.

The comedic scenes involving the two are funny but vexatious. It would have been better if this romance had started in part one to make it feel more wholesome and funny than awkward. Emporio is an intriguing case. For most of the series, he acts as the worry wort of the team. He’s shown providing pessimistic takes on matters, and his voice has this level of irritation that often gets on my nerves.

However, his effort in Jolyne’s fight with Mew Mew made me appreciate his fragility somewhat. For a child protagonist, his research skills are top-notch. His binary system code allows Jolyne to strike a victory over this part’s most annoying and mind-numbing villain yet. This fight gives him some character development too. While I didn’t enjoy his character’s inclusion, he grew on me, unlike Anastasia.

As for the series’ villains, some were incredible while others were disappointing. As stated earlier, many villains received massive build-ups but failed to meet my expectations. Some villains like Kenzou, Mew Mew, and Westwood had amazing fights and time spent on them. Unfortunately, others feel victim to being non-memorable training fodder for our heroes and nothing more. If the series had cut out some of its goofy-centric content, there could’ve been more life put into its villains.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean Part 2’s animation is a big step-up from the previous part. This part does use CGI for some Stands like Kenzou’s Dragon’s Dream and Pucci’s Whitesnake, more for the former than the latter. However, those Stand models look better than the atrocity we ended up getting with Lang Rangler’s Stand, Jumpin’ Jack Flash. They move fluidly in fights and look great in still shots. The issue I came across this time would be in its background character art.

Characters in the background don’t receive full detailed models and appear as silhouettes instead. This stylistic decision didn’t destroy my connection with the environment, but it did make its lighthearted sequences feel lackluster in retrospect. Otherwise, I enjoyed the new scenery, visuals, and stunning animation whipped up for part two. The action was fun and engaging. I adored the spiritual and symbolic imagery involving Ermes’s sister, F.F., and Jotaro the most. I wish Stone Ocean’s animation studio the best of luck in the next part.

Part two’s music is as enthusiastic and upbeat as the first -but with a bit more memorability. The soundtrack used for its action-oriented scenes is a blast to listen to and made some fights in this part stand out more. Hearing the character’s bones break and necks snap are particular highlights.

The sound effects in Stone Ocean recreate the intense atmosphere of its predecessors, such as Phantom Blood and Stardust Crusaders. Unfortunately, Stone Ocean’s opening theme didn’t change. I still feel the song lacks impact like other JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure parts. Other than that, the soundtrack serves its purpose well and is certainly an improvement over part one.

Despite its issues, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean part 2 is a worthy follow-up to the events established in part 1. It spends more time fleshing out its side protagonists and features a slew of new ones that’ll leave an impact on you – or make you question humanity. Hopefully, the next part will be able to improve upon this part’s problems and leave us all feeling satisfied with its conclusion.


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  • Verdict - - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
7.5/10

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