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GENRE: Anime ORIGINAL AIR DATES: January 9 - June 19, 2015
// review by Matt

When I look at an anime series in depth, there are going to be spoilers. If at any time during this review you are interested in watching the show you are reading about, please stop immediately and begin watching.

Whereas JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders was a large sprawling journey, the Battle in Egypt arc is, funnily enough, based entirely within Egypt. It is focused more on the fights with DIO's strongest warriors, whose stands are based on the Egyptian gods. The tone is dark once again, in keeping with the style originally set in place by Phantom Blood, where blood is spread by the bucketful and viscera is the fish of the day. Jotaro and the crew ultimately get their wish of defeating DIO for good granted this season but not without heavy casualties. Three members of the team don't make it to the end, and it's pretty sad really, seeing as you spend so long getting to know them.

My favourite new character is the coffee-flavoured chewing gum-obsessed pup Iggy, a dog stand user who likes to fart in his opponent's face. While he is introduced as an absolute pain in the jacksy and as more of an obstacle to Jotaro and team, he eventually becomes an incredibly valuable member and saves their lives on multiple occasions. Other new and memorable characters include Zenyatta and Mandatta (Oingo and Boingo in the original Japanese), who serve as much needed comedic relief in this darker themed chapter of the JoJo story.

This arc really focuses on the battles between DIO's guards, with several multi-part episodes filled with clever strategies and tactics. One part that really had me on the edge of my seat was Jotaro blagging his way through an entire poker match so convincingly that he makes his opponent fold even though they had a much stronger hand — a match that, if Jotaro had lost, would have resulted in his mother's and all his friends' souls turned into poker chips and lost forever. Even though this season is darker, there are still gloriously funny moments. One such moment sees Joseph and Avdol struck by a stand user who can make people magnetic, which forces Joseph and Avdol to get stuck together in embarrassingly compromising positions while members of the public look on.

While the build up to DIO was a nail-biting experience, I do feel the ending was a letdown of sorts, with DIO's stand power going from outright frightening and absurdly dangerous to very easily beaten in a matter of minutes due to Jotaro suddenly being able to use DIO's fearsome power with little actual explanation as to why or how. Still, the ending tied up the story neatly and felt like a worthwhile experience overall, though the season could have certainly done with a bit more of the awesome brotherly team vibes that made Stardust Crusaders such a joy to watch.

I remember starting these JoJo reviews stating that I didn't understand how anybody could consider Phantom Blood to be the worst JoJo's Bizarre Adventure season, but I think I understand now. It's not a case of Phantom Blood being the "worst" because that implies a lack of quality — it's just simply that Stardust Crusaders (when both halves are considered as a whole) trumps Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency so significantly. However, when judging each arc as a separate entity, Battle in Egypt cannot and does not even compete with the first Stardust Crusaders arc, due to a lot less of the "bunch of friends just having fun" vibe that carried through the previous season.

This is really splitting hairs though; if you've come this far with JoJo, of course you're going to watch Battle in Egypt, if not just to see the menacing DIO absolutely dissolved and gotten rid of for good. Hmmm... hold on, this is DIO we're talking about; that bugger will probably come back again anyway, somehow.


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