You could probably gather from my last article that I love JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. This series has it all: It’s funny, dramatic, terrifying, hopeful, quirky, weird. There’s pretty much something for everyone here. And one of the things I think it does better than most series is to give us the best kinds of villains.
The villains in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure are the best kind of arrogant, cocksure jerks that always think they have the upper hand. And for the most part, they do! They have powers that put the heroes at significant disadvantages and force them to come up with creative ways to turn the tides. Making a character arrogant and not giving them the ability to back it up is boring, so Araki makes sure they’re as powerful as they say.
Which makes it all the more satisfying when these characters are finally defeated, pleading for mercy from the same people they were just tormenting, and our heroes give them a well-deserved pummeling. These villains can end up in some pretty rough spots, too; our heroes aren’t afraid to get mean with their justice.
So with all that said, I wanted to compose a list of the most brutal wipe-outs in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure – the worst fates ever to befall a villain. I had one rule going into it: I wouldn’t use characters that died. I wanted to find defeats that forced the villain to live and suffer as much as possible.
Let’s get started, shall we?
10) Steely Dan – How Could a Lover Be So Hated
The Lovers card represents unity, love, and choices. So it’s perfect, then, that Steely Dan’s The Lovers represents absolutely none of those things. Steely Dan is a scumbag. You’d be hard-pressed to find a guy more cowardly and treacherous. He’s not afraid to threaten innocent people, or kill his own allies without any hesitation. Not to mention, he put Jotaro through an ’80s movie montage worth of humiliation and shame.
Steely Dan had Jotaro completely dead to rights. While the others worked to save Joseph from The Lovers, Jotaro had to keep Steely Dan busy by giving in to his every whim. He used Jotaro’s big bara body as a bridge, forcing him to scratch his back, and making him take the heat for something Steely Dan stole. And the worst part? The guy had no reason to do this! He was hired to take down Enya and that was it. He only decided to mess with the Crusaders for fun!
It’s pretty cathartic to see this guy get his comeuppance after all of that. He’s the perfect example of a villain who, when their plans become unraveled, they completely fall apart. Steely Dan turns into a total coward when The Lovers is restrained, begging and pleading for his life while trying to bribe Jotaro with DIO’s money. Of course, what Jotaro wants is way more satisfying. He deals Steely Dan the longest, most brutal beatdown in his personal history: A three page, 20 second Ora Ora that sends Steely Dan through a wall. This is only topped by Chioccolata’s SEVEN PAGE beatdown in Vento Aureo, which didn’t make the list because he died.
Still, it couldn’t have happened to a worse guy. And to top it off, Jotaro’s “Here’s your receipt” one-liner is so perfectly corny that it seals the deal on earning Steely Dan the number 10 spot.
9) Mirashon – Batting a Thousand
Whether she wants to admit it or not, Jolyne has inherited a lot from her father. Case in point: Her expertise at delivering divine retribution in the form of Stand-based beatdowns. Stone Free may not have the strength of Star Platinum, but that just means Jolyne has to get creative.
Mirashon herself could be seen as a predecessor for the D’Arby brothers. The D’Arbys and Mirashon both trap their Joestar opponents by convincing them to gamble in a simple game. This time, it’s a physical challenge. Jolyne, Foo Fighters, and Ermes have to play a game of catch that lasts 1000 passes without cheating. But that doesn’t mean Mirashon plays honestly herself! As she tries to bail on the game and put Jolyne and Foo Fighters through a running gauntlet of obstacles, it eventually comes out that Mirashon was cheating the entire time. She set things up earlier to ensure their game of catch would fail.
As payback for stealing Ermes’ kidney- Wait. Did I not mention that? Let me rewind a second: Mirashon’s Marilyn Manson works by sensing the darkness of cheating in a person’s heart, and takes the equivalent payment from them. Because Ermes was caught cheating earlier, Marilyn Manson ripped out her kidney, on the basis of it being worth the equivalent payment on the black market. So a simple wager on a game of catch literally turned into a life-or-death situation. It’s that kind of series, folks.
Anyway, as payback for stealing Ermes’ kidney, Jolyne challenged Mirashon to another game of catch. 1000 passes back and forth, right? But this time, Jolyne used Stone Free to throw the ball. The results, as you could expect, were not good for Mirashon’s health.
One thousand rapid-fire fastballs to the face is what earns Mirashon the number 9 spot.
8) Terunosuke – Take a Look, It’s in a Book
No one can hope to match Josuke Higashikata when it comes to cruel and unusual punishment. For a kid who takes a hard stance on not killing, he sure is keen on leaving his opponents in hellish states from which there is no escape. Not everything on this list is just a savage beatdown.
See, Terunosuke’s mistake wasn’t just being a cruel person who preyed on people’s fears. His mistake was going after the people Josuke cares about. Not just Koichi, but Josuke’s own mother? What did he think was going to happen?!
Well, I bet he didn’t expect to get turned into a book.
After Yuya frees Josuke and Koichi from Enigma’s trap, Josuke utilizes Crazy Diamond to “revert” Terunosuke and seal him inside of a book forever. Unable to move, barely able to talk beyond agonized whispers, the narration confirms that Terunosuke is moved to a restricted part of a local library and becomes something of an urban legend. This is Josuke’s legacy: He defeats opponents so hard that they end up as folktales. That’s hardcore.
On the one hand, this might seem like cruel and unusual punishment. Does Josuke have the right to do this to another person – to seal their fate eternally? Maybe, maybe not. Then again, Terunosuke tried to kill Koichi, so screw him.
For his cruelty and then utter cowardice in the face of defeat, and also the fashion crime of his stupid Yu-Gi-Oh hair, Terunosuke earns himself spot number 8.
7) Santana – Lights, Camera, Inaction
If Jolyne inherited her beatdown expertise from her father, then surely Josuke inherited his cruel and unusual punishment expertise from HIS father. Santana is the second major victim to Joseph’s trolling nature, and he learned a lesson he’ll never forget – because he’s literally incapable of forgetting, or doing anything ever again.
Desperate to avoid the sunlight during his battle with Joseph, Santana drags him down into a well. Too late does he realize that this was Joseph’s plan all along, as it’s impossible for Santana to escape when the sun shines straight down into the well and turns the injured Pillar Man to stone. From there, he’s quickly secured by the Speedwagon Foundation and kept under UV lights, in order to keep him from awakening.
So here’s the interesting part (and I’ll cover this in more depth with the next character on the list): This is the last we ever hear of Santana. He’s never mentioned again. He’s just left there, in the Speedwagon Foundation basement, forever trapped in his stone form. With Terunosuke, we at least got a bit of closure. We knew that he was still in the library and that he was still sentient. With Santana, we don’t get that. Is he conscious? Is he aware of where he is? It’s unclear. Perhaps the last thing he knows is the pain and the dread he felt as his body was turned to stone. He was defeated in 1938, and since we don’t hear anything from him all throughout the rest of the series, we can only assume he’s just… still down there. Imagine being the guy who has to guard the ancient Mayan vampire god to make sure he stays frozen!
Santana’s perpetual defeat earns him the number 7 spot.
6) ZZ – Left Hanging
What could be worse than the ambiguous fate of being left in the basement of a facility? How about an ambiguous fate of being left tied to a boulder?
ZZ’s probably best remembered for being the first character in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure to actively break the fourth wall. Or maybe he’s remembered for having big beefy arms that would make Trogdor nod in approval. Either way, he’s not usually considered a highlight of Stardust Crusaders.
When compared to the other villains in Part 3, he doesn’t really stand out. He’s a pretty minor villain and you wouldn’t blame a casual fan for forgetting the Wheel of Fortune arc entirely – which is why it’s so surprising that his defeat is this brutal. After getting the usual pummeling from Star Platinum, the Crusaders don’t just leave him behind for the authorities. Instead, they chain him to a boulder and leave a sign instructing passers-by to leave him alone, as he is a monk in meditation.
This is pretty ruthless coming from the Crusaders, to leave him in the desert to rot with no chance of escape! And ZZ didn’t even really do anything that bad! He was just an average opponent. As I mentioned with Santana, ZZ’s fate is left completely ambiguous. We have no idea if he was eventually freed or if he starved to death in the hot summer sun.
There’s a trope out there called Offscreen Inertia, which means that when the camera pulls away from a character, we can only assume they’re still doing what we last saw them doing. The last we saw of Santana, he was underground in a facility. The last we saw of ZZ, he was tied to a boulder in immense pain. He most likely died out there, but… We’ll never know for sure.
ZZ’s ambiguous – but most assuredly horrible – end has earned him the number 6 spot.