So, sometimes I end up on a tear either in Reddit comments or on Kintsugi and I want to have any smart things I say mirrored here, just in case someone might enjoy them. So, to start off, here’s some yelling about my brave beautiful daughter Jolyne.
Thesis: I fucking love Jolyne and Stone Ocean
- Jolyne is richly drawn in terms of her emotional state and how she thinks. This lets us empathize with her on a deep level, beyond the basics of “I am mad at my dad because he was never around” or “I want to break out of jail because jail sucks.” We get front-row seats to a lot of her inner thoughts, maybe more than we get with any JoJo before Johnny. Miles more than any female JJBA character before part 6, for sure. She feels like a real person in a way that, say, Sugimoto Reimi can’t really compare to. We know way more about her feelings about her dad than how her dad feels about her. (Sidebar: We know approximately jackshit of how Jotaro feels about his wife, which is maddening to me. Do you love her, Jotaro? How did you meet her? Do you keep in touch? Is she a beard? Did get married out of a sense of obligation to carry on the Joestar lineage? TELL ME.)
- She has agency over her sexuality. One of the very first things we learn about her, chapter 1 of Stone Ocean, is that she has a working understanding of how her privates work and awareness of her own sexual desires. This is more than we can say for some of the other JoJos. (Frankly, I suspect George Joestar II happened by accident.) This also affords more agency than the kind of accidental, passive sexuality that the average hot anime girl gets. When sex comes up with Jolyne, it’s generally because she brought it up (Remember the snail thing?) She’s as sexy as she wants to be.
- Remember the flashback where an adolescent Jolyne is in the police station and she overhears the psychoanalyst talking about how young women with absent fathers naturally become delinquents who look for love in all the wrong places? That scene is awesome, and here’s why: At the point in the story when it appears, the reader has gotten to know Jolyne. We’ve seen her rise above the shitty situation she’s wound up in. She’s been shown to be smart, compassionate, with nerves of steel and rock-solid integrity of character, and hearing the analyst imply she’s just a troubled teen with daddy issues is off-base enough to make the reader want to smack him. Araki deliberately invokes that trope in a way that invites the reader to critique it. We’re not satisfied with that idea of Jolyne, and neither is she.
Conclusion: I fucking love Jolyne and Stone Ocean