Tag Archives: Music

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!