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He who is greedy, is always in want (Nami’s Orange Lantern)

2 Dec

Nami is greedy.

This is an inarguable part of the One Piece series. No matter how smart, pretty or wonderful of a person she is, her quirky character trait is her inherent greed and love of money. This stems from her childhood, when she lived a poor life with her adopted mother and sister, often unhappy with the lack of funds they had for food & clothing. This is also true, not only in material greed, but in the need for survival. Nami is bossy and especially when it comes to fighting, will shout out commands to every member of the crew, even Luffy. This is because her main concern is her own survival; she can be a bit of a coward when it comes to taking on the big names of the Grand Line. Where does all this cowardice, self concern and greed get her though? Right smack dab in the Orange Lantern Corp!

Currently, the OLC consists of one member and one member alone, a creature by the name of Larfleeze (although Lex Luthor was deputized at one point.) The Orange Lantern, who sometimes goes by the name of Agent Orange, was sequestered to the outer most reaches of the Galaxy and was only re-introduced to the universe at large. He is unreasonable powerful, able to draw in the essence of the deceased and recreate them in the image of an Orange light construct. As the only member of the Corp, Larfleeze is also immensely powerful, holding up to 100X the power capacity as a normal Lantern. The one fault, the one drawback to this immense power is the insatiable hunger and wanting that comes with the wielding of the Orange Lantern. No matter what they consume, the OL’s are always hunting for something to fill them.

As for their costumes, they seem to fall into the same category as White and Black, meaning that there is no set uniform for this corp yet. When Lex Luthor became one of the corp, his trademark armor was bathed in an orange light. As such, Nami is no exception…

Keeping in the tradition of the last few posts, I didn’t change Nami’s normal attire but instead, worked around it. Lets start off with talking about the colors at play here: orange is obviously the main focus. It is vibrant and works more a base color than black or white had in the other designs we’ve seen. Orange brings an energy to the outfit, without being offensively loud or aggressive on the viewers eyes and I wanted to place that energy where it made sense, in terms of conveying greed (Orange is such a warm, inviting color that I’ve always thought it was a bit of an off choice for greed. Although I just learned that in Christianity, Orange is associated with Gluttony) I chose to put Orange on most of the ‘moveable’ areas of Nami’s person, being her joints, arms and torso, to signify the energy and activity. After all, what good is a thief without her hands and feet?

We crave your hearts and your demise *Spoilers* (Brook’s Black Lantern)

1 Dec

This entry, much like the Franky/White Lantern design, is a no-brainer, as Brook is the perfect One Piece character choice for Black Lantern. *SPOILER ALERT for those who haven’t read that far ahead into the series* Brook is essentially, when you get down to it, a zombie. Formerly part of the Rumbar Pirates, Brook ate the Yomi Yomi no Mi, giving him the power to revive himself immediately after death. The power of the fruit keeps him alive in spirit, but not entirely in body, leaving him as a pair of bones in a nice suit. His apperance, reasons to carry on the torch for his former teammates and overall power make him an ideal candidate for the Black Lantern Corp.

The Black Lantern Corp is a difficult and interesting group to talk about. The members are not willingly chosen but instead judged by their emotional ties to the living and plucked from their graves to fight in the name of Death and the end of all things. As it is described in the comics, the darkness in existence before the creation of the universe is what powers that Black Lanterns. Banished at the dawn of time by the white light of creation, its fighting back causes the white light to be fractured into the emotional spectrum (thus creating all the other corp colors). The events transpiring throughout the titles of Blackest Night are a result of the darkness, once again, fighting back against creation. The Black Lanterns have no special abilities (they have all the same normal capabilities as the other corps do) but they are driven by pure instinct and desire to destroy those around them. As for the costumes, they are similar to the White Lantern design idea: the original costume design stays but the color and logo and switched out. The appearance of the flesh is decomposing, depending on how long the Bl has been deceased.

Here is Brook’s Black Lantern Outfit:

I’m really happy with the shoes. I had no idea what to do with them and the idea hit me last minute. In fact, the whole idea behind this design was to just throw the Black Lantern’s symbol everywhere, seeing as Brook’s outfit is mostly black to begin with. The repetition of the symbol works well for this outfit; there is a constant powerful reminder of what corp he belongs to but its always compilmented and cushioned by the black. You are never overpowered with the bright white of his symbol. Also in white is Brook’s normally purple cane. I wanted to change it to white not only to fit the color scheme of this design but to reinstate in the viewer the importance of bones. Bones structure our bodies, they help keep up together and functional and Brook is a “living” representation of that.

As a side note, as awful a practice as it is, I’ve always found ivory very interesting.

To truly live again *Spoiler Alert* (Franky’s White Lantern)

1 Dec

The reason I chose the Straw Hat’s mechanic Franky as my choice for the White Lantern of this little experiment is really very straightforward. As many of you know, and spoiler alert for those who haven’t read very far in, Franky was a young shipwright’s apprentice, who spent much of his time inventing ships with a lot of firepower, under the tutelage of a shipwright named Tom. Unfortunately, Tom was associated with Gol D. Roger and the World Government came to take him to jail for his involvement with the pirate king. When Tom and his other shipwright’s retaliated, the World Government used Franky’s ships as fire power. In a rage, Franky tried to stop the W.G but ended up getting nearly killed in the process. Using his mechanical knowledge, Franky was able to rebuild his body, giving him the opportunity to live again and to right the wrongs of his past and to work towards dismantling the government that destroyed his body and his loved ones.

The White Lantern corps purpose is in a very similar vein. In the DC universe comics, the WLC, for a short while, was made up entirely of  DC characters that had died and somehow come back to life. The WLC is associated with a willingness and determination that trumps even the Green Lantern corp. There is still much mystery surrounding the White Lanterns: who is going to be the “chosen lantern”, their purpose in the scope of the entire universe and their overall abilities but I notice something interesting about the White Lanterns. When a character assumes the identity of  White Lantern, there is no set costume to go along with the corp. The symbols and colors cover what the person is already wearing. Thus, Franky’s costume was very simple and fun to make.

Pretty straightforward, like I said. Just more or less change everything (including the stars) he has on, which is not much, to white. It’s a great color for Franky; normally he’s wearing so much that he’s too loud in my opinion. Although he is a character who is loud & proud, his hawaiian shirts are just too much. White represents new beginnings, wholeness and completion, which is just perfect for Franky.

Hope is Selfless (Nico Robin’s Blue Lantern)

30 Nov

After enduring the loss of her home, her mother, the mentors who made her who she is and being on the run for twenty years, you would think that Nico Robin would’ve given up hope by now. She has been beat down, cursed at, betrayed and left to die but yet, she still gets up. She still has goals, dreams and hopes for the world. She has things to complete in life and faith that she can accomplish them. She, like many recruits of the Blue Lantern Corp, has never let her light die out.

The Blue Lantern Corp was started by two former Guardians of the Galaxy, an immortal race that is responsible for creating the Green Lantern Corp. Sick of abandoning emotion and sitting atop their high horses for so long, these two create a light so powerful that it can restore the life of a dying sun, heal wounds, neutralize the effects of other rings and create constructs that mainly target the target’s psyche. This light and corp are created to help guide the other lights & unite them, although none of this can be accomplished without the presence of a Green Lantern, as Hope is nothing with the Willpower to enact it. The Blue Lantern design is similar to a Green Lantern uniform: the main portion of the suit is black with a Y shaped blue crest covering the chest of the Corpsmen. Many of the members wear clothing or appear as figures that are normally associated with religions. For instance, Brother Warth is unmistakably the Indian God, Ganesha and Brother Hynn is dressed in Shaolin Monk robes. Even though Robin would look good in robes, I again, didn’t want to rob her of her individuality…

Once again, lets jump right into the colors there are happening. There is that presence of black, bringing out that sense of dominance and credibility but it really stays in the background in comparison to the blue. I kept the Y shape near the top of her jacket and chest to keep in accordance with the Corps common appearance but also tried to incorporate it everywhere in some way. Blue is meant to open the flow of communication, which is why I made it a point to have the bottom half of the jacket arm blue; I want to the people she is reaching out of to feel comfortable. The blue band on the hat represents broadening your perspective and trying to understand others and the rest (top, skirt, etc.) is just there is relax the viewer. Blue is meant to create an air of familarity. I added in the White (not normally a part of the costume) because I think its presence helps to clear away any other thoughts and focus on the calming effects of the blue.

All in all, and I think you are finding most of this with my redesigns, I don’t want to change who these characters are but focus on what I see in them and let that shine. I think Oda has done a great job with these characters; they are real, honest people and while they’re situations are much more extreme than ours will ever be, their feelings are so true to human life that it is uncanny. I can’t tell you how many times that this series has touched me and made me tear up, thinking about my own experiences in life. I hope it touches you in the same way.

To alleviate another’s suffering… (Tony Tony Chopper’s Indigo Tribe)

29 Nov

Quite possibly the most loved character of the series, Tony Tony Chopper has been an amazing addition to the One Piece mythos. As the crew’s Doctor, he actually has the expertise and knowledge that characters, like Usopp only brag about, yet he isn’t cocky or overly confident in his abilities. In fact, Chopper has such a caring compassionate heart (just look at his backstory!); a real need to belong, that his main concern is finding friends and being a part of the group. He pals around with Luffy & Usopp, reveres the grand, tough manliness of Sanji & Zoro and adores Nami & Robin. He is the perfect fit for a Indigo Lantern.

A little background on the Indigo tribe before we get started. They are a elusive tribe of nomadic peoples who travel the universe, instilling compassion onto those who either need it or lack it. Meaning that the tribe helps those in pain, in suffering and subsequently punishes those who do harm unto others. They have a power ring, much like the GLC but instead of creating its own light, it has the ability to channel the other emotional lights & their effects. They also wholeheartedly devote themselves to the cause, forgoing any individuality they might have had previously. This leads their Corps appearance, unlike the GLC, to be absolutely one in the same; complete with tattered indigo loin cloths, painted symbols on the arms and legs and a collar depicting the Corps symbol, leaving Chopper to be no different:

Upon writing this, I realize that I didn’t exactly follow my own rules. Chopper’s trademark hat is still present, although the color and symbol has changed to fit his new job. I’ve also added some tassels and cloth to his horns intentionally.

Either way, I am pleased with this costume. The simplistic style fits Chopper well and I am glad that he isn’t too covered up; there is a nice balance of indigo and his natural fur color. Speaking of Indigo, it is a good color for Chopper, especially with his heightened intellect. Indigo, according to color theory, symbolizes a mystical borderland of wisdom, self-mastery and spiritual realization. It allows us to step outside of our boxes and look at the world in a new way, much like how Chopper felt when he joined the crew.

In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night (Luffy D. Monkey’s Green Lantern)

28 Nov

I can’t think of a better One Piece character to start off with. Luffy D. Monkey is the hero of our title this month and the captain of the Straw Hat Pirates. Although he can be absent-minded, overly boisterous and just down right exhausting, Luffy is a man with a golden heart. He is willing to literally stick his neck out for his friends and often puts his own life on the line for the safety of not only their physical being but their hopes and dreams. He is the perfect choice for a Green Lantern and before I get into why exactly, let me tell you a bit about the Green Lantern corp itself; in terms of admittance, design, etc.

The GLC is an intergalactic police forces that patrols up to 3600 sectors of the universe, accumulating over 7200 members in the entire corp, as two lanterns are assigned to patrol each sector. Members are chosen by the ring for being able to overcome great fear, as well as for their notable responsibility and honesty. Upon recruitment, each  Lantern receives a Power Ring, a Power Battery shaped like a lantern (with which the ring is recharged), and a uniform. The default uniform design was a green section covering the torso and shoulders, black arms and legs, green boots, white gloves, green domino mask, and a chest symbol of a stylized Green Lantern icon on a white circle (Reference Picture here). Lanterns were allowed to customize their uniforms as long as the color scheme and the symbol were present .

What I present to you now, is Luffy’s Green Lantern uniform

Luffy’s costume was very easy to design, because although Luffy fits the honest and strong willful nature of a Green Lantern, I see him being very particular about what he wears. Meaning he wouldn’t be too keen on wearing a uniform like everyone else. So I didn’t want to take that individuality from him. Also, what he’s wearing originally synchs up with what a Green Lantern stands for. His vest, which is usually open, and torn shorts show that Luffy isn’t afraid of hiding anything about him; he is exposed to the world around him.

Despite the individualistic differences, this look is still very uniformal though. Black is the most dominant color, creating a sleek, powerful look, which is accented by the green at the top of his vest & hat. It’s color theory in action; the Black, a color normally associated with power, grounds & empowers Luffy while the Green, close to his heart and mind, allow him the freedom to pursue new ideas. Its a very balanced look and gives Luffy a much-needed composure, which make him perfect for fighting crime. I really like subtly, especially when it comes to symbolism, so instead of going for the big, bold Lantern smack dab on Luffy’s chest, I placed it off to the side, as well as on the left side of the pants. David Welsh or the Manga Curmudgeon said that they reminded him of pockets, which he thinks Luffy would need considering all that he eats.

All in all, as I said before, I think Luffy is the perfect candidate for a Green Lantern, especially when it comes down to the Straw Hats. It was and wasn’t a tough decision; of all the emotions to choose from, Luffy can be paired with a number of them. He is hopeful in his dream to find One Piece and form his ultimate crew. He is compassionate towards others, especially his crew; look at the Arlong Park arc, as he comforts Nami in his own way before jumping into battle. When Luffy sets his mind to something, he will stop at nothing until it’s complete. And that’s why he’s a Green Lantern.

One Piece MMF: Introduction Piece, so you know what I’m up to…

28 Nov

I’ve always been a big fan of both American and Japanese comics and as someone who tends to read books side by side, the streams start to cross for me. I’ve often dreamed of what it would be like if Fumi Yoshinaga did the X-Men shojo or what horrors Kazuo Umezu could add to movies like Alien but the most recent amalgamation came from an American event book that came out last summer, called the Blackest Night from DC Comics.

The Blackest Night, written by Geoff Johns, is a story that centers around Green Lantern; a character whose sheer willpower allows him to create solid light constructs via an alien technology. In this universe, there is the Green Lantern Corp, which consists of beings from all over who have been chosen to wield the rings and act as a sort of space police force.  It was revealed that before the beginning of this event that alongside the Green Light of Willpower, there are 7 (now 8) other lights, each represented by other colors (Red, Yellow, Blue etc.) representing emotions (yes, willpower is considered an emotion) As a result, other emotionally colored corps start emerging (the main antagonist being a light of Blackness/Death ), causing a war of light to erupt. Sounds a tad complicated but it is still an interesting system to put into place for the comic universe. You really start to categorize other characters and even your friends according to the Ring system…

All while I was reading this, I was also beginning to dig really hard into Eiichiro Oda’s epic masterwork One Piece. If you are not already reading One Piece, pick it up. There is no reason that this work should be ignored; it has touched me on so many emotional levels with its insightful story-telling. As I progressed through the series, I began to see that each character really began to represent certain aspects of human emotion. While they all act as whole dynamic people in there own right, the individual members of the Straw Hat Crew act accordingly to a specific purpose. They each have specific desires to see achieved or different problems to overcome.

With my mind currently in categorization mode, it wasn’t long before I started to place the One Piece characters into their respective corps. For those of you who follow me on Twitter (shame on you if you don’t), I’ve already posted picture of the designs for each characters corp look and feel. What I haven’t done, is explained why I think they’d be good for each corp, why I designed things the way I did and what design I liked the best in terms of feel and communication of the ideas behind the Corps.

So with:

Luffy as a Green Lantern (Will)

Zolo as a Red Lantern (Rage)

Sanji as a Star Sapphire (Love)

Usopp as a Yellow Lantern (Fear)

Nami as an Orange Lantern (Avarice)

Robin as a Blue Lantern (Hope)

Franky as a White Lantern (Life)

Chopper as an Indigo Lantern (Compassion)

Brook as a Black Lantern (Death)

…we begin our exploration into the wonderful world of emotional pirates!

Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light (Josuke Higashikata’s Crazy Diamond)

14 Nov

The Song:

Shine On You Crazy Diamond” is a nine-part Pink Floyd composition written by Roger Waters, Richard Wright, and David Gilmour. The song is a tribute to former founding band member Syd Barrett, who left the group in 1968 amidst speculations of mental illness which was exacerbated by  Barrett’s heavy drug use, although it was not originally explicitly written with him in mind. The song is a part of Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” and was spilt into two parts that bookend the album. Parts 1–5 of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” became a staple of Pink Floyd’s live performances from 1987 until 1994.

http://www.youtube.com/v/vyqgjCKm9nQ?fs=1&hl=en_US

The Stand:

Crazy Diamond is the Stand that is used by the Series Four hero, Josuke Higashikata. Just a little background on Josuke, as he is a major character. Josuke is the illegitimate son of Jospeh Joestar, hero of Series Two and grandfather to hero of Series 3, Jotaro Kujo. Joseph had an affair with Josuke’s mother and never know of Josuke’s existence until Jotaro comes across him while investigating some missing Bow and Arrow’s.

Before I get into Crazy Diamonds abilities, I just wanted to talk about the overall design of the Stand. While it’s humanoid in its appearance, which isn’t anything new, Crazy Diamond is really one of the few Stands up until this point to start use symbols in its appearance. If you look at the top of its head, shape of the shoulders, mid torso, belt and knees, there are hearts everywhere.

This Stand is capable of repairing damages and healing injuries, often reverting an item back to its original components; ie; reverting a table back into the very lumber it was before, meaning that it can theoretically regress the timeline of an object. This ability allows Crazy Diamond to perform a number of interesting non-offensive tasks, including trapping the enemy, breaking & entering with ease and tracking. However, Crazy Diamond cannot resurrect the dead, Josuke cannot heal his own wounds and if used in a foul mood, the restoration will warp and cause that item to be improperly restored.

Connections:

Lets start with the most obvious observation, the connection between the songs message and the ability at play. The song, though not originally intended to be, is more or less a message to Syd Barrett, informing him that “though times are tough right now, we know how much of a good, successful person you are. Keep at it, keep trying and please come back to us as you once were.” If you don’t believe me, check out these lyrics:

Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now there’s a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond.

Crazy Diamond’s ability is this message put to action; restoring what is broken to its former glory. Which make you wonder how much of an influence this song had over the conception of this Stand’s ability.

Conclusion:

This is a difficult one to assess. While the overall message of the song is amazingly similar to the Stand’s abilities, there are many other aspects of the song that play no part whatsoever. For example, there is quite a bit of technical and instrumental analysis of the song, seeing as this is considered a groundbreaking piece of music. Also The song, as I previously mentioned, is spilt into two parts and used to book end performances; Crazy Diamond as a Stand does not ever deal with technology or the idea of dividing or multiplying itself. It never changes form either. Thus, while the parallels are interesting, I am going to have to credit this reference purely on name alone.

All in my brain…(Pannacotta’s Purple Haze)

2 Nov

The Song:

“Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix is undoubtedly his most well-known song. The song was recorded and originally appeared on Hendrix’s 1967’s album Are You Experienced. Hendrix claimed that the song is based on a dream of his (as is most of his music) where he is lost underneath the sea, aimlessly wandering. This song has also been linked to a variety of Drugs, including LSD in a purple capsule form and certain Marijuana strains. Hendrix has also been noted as stating that the song is a reference to a science fiction story.

You can view the video here on Youtube.

The Character/Stand:

Purple Haze is a Stand used by the character, Pannacotta Fugo who is one of the six main heroes in the fifth series of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, known as Golden Wind. This is how he appears in the comics:

Purple Haze had a rather short run in the series, showing up in the background but mainly in a fight with antagonist, Illuso and his stand, Man in the Mirror, early on in the series. During the fight, we learn of Purple Haze’s frightening ability; on each of his hands are three bulbs, each of which contains a dangerous airborne virus that causes flesh to melt. While this may seem like an extremely useful weapon, Purple Haze cannot differentiate between friend or foe, endangering all life around him. On top this, Fugo has an incredibly difficult time controlling this Stand, as it is quite unstable and has a hair-trigger temper. This later became part of the reason why Fugo/Purple Haze was written out of the story, as Araki felt he had made him too powerful of a Stand and couldn’t be used effectively in the story.

Connections:

There is certainly a connection between the song title and the dynamics of the ability. Viruses are often described as airborne particles (especially emphasized on their appearances during air travel), which is the method that Purple Haze uses to spread its virus in the comic. The word, Haze represents a natural phenomenon where airborne particles, including dust and smoke, alter the clarity of the sky, often obscuring the sunlight so that connection is obviously clear.

As the comic isn’t printed in color and the Stand never appeared in any colored pages (although the character and the virus appeared in darker screen tone), it is impossible to fully make a connection with the designated color Purple. When Araki normally assigns a color to a Stand’s name, it is evident in the appearance and design of the Stand (for example, Hierophant Green shoots Emeralds), which suggests that Purple Haze was used more as a name alone than an actual creative influence.

There is an interesting disconnect between the two in the origins and intentional meanings of the song, which is supposed to be representative of a dream-like or drug induced state and the temperamental & violent nature of the Stand. There is, however, a connection in the lyrics despite these perceived differences. Many of the lyrics (Purple haze all in my brain, Purple haze all around) suggest a confused mental state, due to the interaction with the Haze, which can be attributed to the unfocused nature of the Stand. He can’t seem to tell the difference between friend or foe, despite his user’s best attempts. The lyrics also, however, are a literal cry for help in escaping this confused state. This can also be attributed to an aspect of the Stand, its user Pannacotta Fugo. Fugo is well aware of his Stands inability to perceive friend from foe and he has to warn his teammates during his fight, making him the voice crying out from the confusion.

Verdict:

Aside from the associations with drugs, Araki was able to understand and utilize some core ideas of the song, making them into a semi-interesting character.  Though never fully developed enough for us to care about him, Fugo and Purple Haze represented something that Araki hasn’t really shown us before; a character with an imperfect control over his Stand, as most of the Stand Users in the series have always had a mastery or at least intense control over the abilities they wielded.

Coming up next is Purple Haze’s opponent, Man in the Mirror!

Please help me Under-STAND! A look at the Stands from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

1 Nov

I figure that since I am about to undertake a project. where I describe the musical influences that Hirohiko Araki used in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, I should explain that the concept of Stands from the popular Manga series. For those of you not familiar with the series, The manga, published by Shueisha in their magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump, started in 1987 and went on to 2002. The story follows a family called the Joestars as they battle the supernatural forces surrounding their daily lives. Each series (there are seven in total so far) focuses on a different generation of the Joestar bloodline and often have overlapping appearances. It is currently Weekly Shōnen Jump’s second longest running manga with 100 volumes and counting

A Variety of Stands

Derived from the term, “one who stands by me”, Stands are a manifestation of one’s psyche and control over our innate power. Only those with unusually strong spiritual power and determination can produce stands, as they reflect our true values, whether they be of good or evil intention. Stands, in some instances, can be developed by way of using an external tool to bring them out, (the Bow and Arrow in series Four). If a person cannot physically or willingly handle the emergence of a Stand though, they will die. Families, like the Joestar’s, that have a unique history of Stand Users often produce offspring with Stands that automatically function, without having to be awakened. There have also been instances of Stands being produced artificially by other stands (Whitesnake in Series 6 is able to take others Stands and insert them into non-User via discs).

Stands retained a Humanoid appearance at first introduction in Series 3 and mostly consisted of using elemental abilities, such as Fire, Plants and Water, as well as more simplistic abilities. The four, fifth and sixth series introduced Stands with a more mechanical and more abstract appearance often trading the humanoid appearance for either more cartoonish or object based stands. Newer abilities followed, changing from elemental, almost magical abilities, to more intricate and specific (manifesting a plane and controlling it, giving life to inanimate objects, creating Zippers on objects to open them). More limitations were put on the abilities as well. Some abilities, however, are outside of the User’s control and often restrict them from movement, speech or another function. There are also Stands capable of acting outside of the will of their User, deeming the name “Automatic” Stands. The Users of these Stands often set commands and are not aware or in control of what the Stand does when it is “out in the field”.

Jotaro and Star Platinum

For the most part, Stands apperar over and above the users, when summoned remaining visible to only other Stand Users . When those who cannot see them experience Stands, they are often described as Ghosts, ESP or some other supernatural event. Some, like Strength and Wheel of Fortune from Series 3, are bound to physical objects (ships, hair, cars) and thus can be viewed by Non-Users. Other, like the Emperor and Beach Boys, appears as visible tools (in these cases, a gun and a fishing rod.)

Stands share an incredible link with their User. Users can ‘sense’ through their Stand, hearing and seeing up to one hundred times their normal human ability. Stands are not independent beings from their users though, as they relie on them as a battery or source of power. For instance, when Jotaro is suffocated during the beginning of Series 3, his Stand begins to disappear because of loss of breath. Stands also account for their User’s body. If a Stand is injured in a fight, those injuries get carried over immediately to the User.

Music plays an large role in the naming of the characters and abilities in the series.  Throughout the first two series and most of the third, many of the main characters from the various heroes, allies to villains such as Santana, Kars, J. Geil, Oingo and Boingo have names that can be accounted for by music. By the end of Series 3, Araki began using musical terms for a couple of his final Stands alongside the character, such as Vanilla Ice having an ability known as Cream. In Series 4, the musical references were more focused on the Stands and abilities of the enemies, where there was a fine balance between good and bad Stand Users in Series 5 & 6.

What I think is most interesting about Araki’s work, especially Jojo’s, is the insertion of popular culture into his creations. It has always raised the question for me though, is Araki really being influenced by the music around him and is enough  of a creative writer to interpret & create his own creations or is his real intention to use these interesting and popular titles to popularize his works and make them, atleast at the time of publication, culturally relevant?

Let’s find out, shall we? As I examine a few dozen Stands from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure!