Art Critique

So some folks have tried to steal my essays to make videos out of them claiming they wrote everything themselves. This is extremely stupid because these essays contain more personal flourishes and inside jokes specific to me than you realize, and also because these essays were first published in timestamped posts on an internet forum so good luck proving ownership.

Whatever you do, don’t be like this dipshit who copied my diagrams and creepily repeated all my weird jokes and comments verbatim as if they were his, then claimed to be two people to come crying to me about the copyright strikes I put on his channel (after I first politely asked him to remove his videos and got no response.)

ScreenHunter 1473

I’ll tell ya’ll the truth: I have zero interest in making my own video series based on my essays. If you wanna do that, all ya gotta do is ask! Heck I might even help you adapt them for pacing. Just shoot me an email,, I will probably say yes, and then all those delicious likes and subscribes off the back of MY work can be YOURS for the low low price of saying “this video is based on the essays of Xibanya which can be found at ” which would take like 5 seconds.

Otherwise, I WILL find out, and I WILL put strikes on your channel. You’ve been warned.


Let’s Read Diamond is Unbreakable! Yukako’s Love (Part One)

Let's Read

We made it to Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Volume 32!  Given the fact that those three handsome devils up there turn up most frequently on promo images for Part 4, I’m gonna assume we’ve pretty much met our entire main cast at this point.  And who are these fabulous well-coiffed teenagers?  I’m glad you asked!

Josuke Higashikata

ScreenHunter_207 Apr. 20 17.09

Has Joseph Joestar’s genes and ability to pull off wily schemes that should in no way work yet somehow do.

Koichi Hirose (u dont need to remember)

ScreenHunter_208 Apr. 20 17.09

A boring teenager from a boring suburb who shows some interesting promise.

Okuyasu Nijimura

ScreenHunter_209 Apr. 20 17.10

A libertarian.  Sorry, constitutionalist conservative.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Chapter 294
Chapter 29 of Diamond is Unbreakable
Yukako’s Love (Part One)
Translation: Invincible Trio

We open on a well-composed set of panels with lots of great eye-directing going on, leading us down into the speech and then off to the left.  Looks like Josuke and a friend are walking to or from school.

“…So, that Hazamada guy…doesn’t know…anything about…”

I really like this set of panels as an introduction to this chapter.  The separation of the top panel with the bottom panel creates the effect of a pan down without actually using a narrow vertically oriented panel (So I don’t end up needlessly repeating myself, if you’d like to see more on how comic books recreate cinematic effects, refer to my Art of Dragonball series.)  We don’t know who this is, but their speech is halting – we get this not just from the liberal use of ellipses but also from the speech bubbles themselves.  They’re like puffs of smoke.  You get the sensation that a greater amount of time passed between the words in the second and third bubbles than the other ones because of the literal distance between them on the page.

“The ‘Electricity Guy’ that killed my bro?!”  (I’m guessing Okuyasu is using aniki here; I’m curious about why “electricity guy” is in quotes, so maybe in the original dialogue Okuyasu used some sort of interesting nickname?)

The speaker is Okuyasu!  He was speaking haltingly about the murderer of his brother.  This is a great bit of character building because it shows us that this is a very emotionally fraught issue for Okuyasu without delving into an inner monologue.  This is a good choice in that it keeps the pace of the story moving but also because Okuyasu’s relationship with his brother, and thus his feelings about his brother’s death, are very complicated and I’m not sure a teenage boy like Okuyasu would realistically be able to articulate exactly how he feels when mature adults in real life have struggled to recognize their own emotions coming out of similar situations.  At any rate, this is great exposition ’cause it not only gets us up to speed on how Okuyasu’s been doing, it shows us more of his personality: he’s a guy with a lot of emotions simmering underneath who tries to have some restraint but can’t completely hide how he’s feeling.

Heh, and Josuke is Okuyasu’s emotional opposite in this panel here.  Not only does he look pretty relaxed, check out how much he’s talking.  That’s words words words right there.

Josuke and Okuyasu are talking about the intel Josuke and Jotaro tried to get from Hazamada after he got the shit beaten out of him in the previous chapter.  Oh, yeah, so how is Hazamada doing these days anywa-

AAGHH!  Holy shit!  Well, that fucker deserved it.  Anyway, looks like Hazamada doesn’t know shit about the stand user who killed Keicho and tried to intimidate Jotaro on the phone.  He does mention that he believes that stand users are drawn to each other so it’s inevitable that more will cross paths with Josuke.  (I knew that already by virtue of this being a shonen manga!)

I like how Araki often shows his protagonists from the emotional point of view of the villains – as downright scary motherfuckers.  You don’t see that too often in manga, probably because it invites you to sympathize with a “bad guy.”  I like it though – it makes both the heroes and villains a bit more complex.  At any rate, Hazamada was pretty much useless as far as intel goes, except for the detail that the user of Red Hot Chili Pepper is out to get Jotaro, which we kinda knew already.

Transitioning out of that flashback, we return to the streets of Morioh.  Okuyasu has spotted something interesting!  I like the shift as we pretty much literally jump into Okuyasu’s point of view.


“Hey!  It’s Koichi…”

This is a great little panel. Okuyasu is happy to see Koichi out and about.  Josuke notices Koichi’s emotional state right away.  It’s such a small moment, but it shows us more about who these characters are.  Okuyasu, despite seeming tough, is actually very friendly, and Josuke, despite being a teenage boy, is actually extremely attuned to the emotional states of others.  (He noticed that Koichi was nervous from across the street.)

Okuyasu begins to call out to Koichi when he sees something shocking!

I like how Okuyasu’s look of shock wouldn’t be out of place in a scene in which someone got dismembered or something.

Holy shit, Koichi is meeting a hot girl!  You can tell he was expecting her to arrive by his expression.  He’s not shocked at all.  Heh, and I like the use of screentone here to make her look like she’s glowing.

Oh, that’s nice, Koichi is meeting a girl.  Guess Okuyasu and Josuke will keep walking and meet up with Koichi later, right?


You can tell from Josuke’s surprise when Okuyasu pulls him behind the corner that he never would have decided to spy on Koichi’s date of his own initiative, but now that he’s in on the scheme you can tell he’s enjoying the shit out of every moment.  This is such a great depiction of high school bffs.  Ahh man, I wish Okuyasu were my friend, we’d have all kinds of excellent adventures.

Okuyasu let’s Josuke know that the girl is Yukako, one of his classmates, and laments not having a pair of binoculars.  (I should have known a libertarian would have hoped to externalize the cost onto someone else!)

The girl begins to speak to Koichi.  She was the one who invited him out!  When I see the way Koichi is drawn, given the way Araki plays fast and loose with Jotaro’s size in relation to various objects, I take it to mean that Koichi is not literally half the height of the rest of the cast.  The way I see it, his features which would stand out the most in real life have been exaggerated.  So I believe that Koichi comes off as being a few years younger than he really is – he probably looks like he’s 13 or so but not like a literal elementary school student.  On the flip side, Yukako here looks WAY older than Koichi despite being the same age.  The way I interpret that is that we’re supposed to be seeing Yukako the way the cast sees her.  And the cast is made up of boys who probably don’t have any girls among their close friends.  So she seems impossibly mature and uh, “developed” as a way of showing the distance between them.  Koichi and Yukako are both 15-16 and if they existed in real life wouldn’t look vastly different in age but have had their features exaggerated here to emphasize the gulf the main characters feel exists between them.  So we’re meant to share the characters’ surprise – why would a hot chick like Yukako ask the boyish Koichi out on a date?

As a side note I’m not crazy about how often this happens in comics (girls are amazing unattainable creatures far removed from we normal people, aka boys, amirite?) but it works for this story.  (This is the one arc I’m going into having already read the whole thing because of the Duwang cold reading shennanigans I got up to.  Full disclosure!)

There’s some fun Loony Tunes-esuqe humor here as Okuyasu and Josuke scurry around to get a front-row seat of what appears to be an ordinary date and Koichi and Yukako somehow don’t notice.

As Koichi and Yukako chat, it becomes apparent that Koichi doesn’t see this as a date at all.  He isn’t even entertaining the idea – he thinks Yukako has invited him out in order to ask him a favor.  She denies wanting anything from him.  On the contrary, she wanted to let him know that she liiiiiikes him!

I like that the idea that a cute girl like Koichi is more stunning to Okuyasu than to Koichi himself.

Josuke helps Okuyasu contain his outburst.  I love how even with his mouth covered you can tell Okuyasu is making some kind of grimace by how the muscles on the right side of his face (our left) are bunching up enough to cause him to squint on that side.

This is an interesting moment!  Araki often uses a black background in panels that show a character’s inner thoughts in order to isolate the thought from the scene playing out for all to see.  While he avoided showing Okuyasu’s inner thoughts early on in the chapter, he opts instead to make Yukako’s explicit.  I suspect he chose to do this to keep readers from barking up the wrong tree and assuming that Yukako is faking her love for Koichi.  That would be the most likely explanation, so the fact that we basically have an author’s note saying “no really, she means it!” actually makes the story more intriguing, not less.  More proof that “show, don’t tell,” should never be treated as the prime directive of storytelling.  (I also have an entry in The Art of Dragonball on that theme if you want to explore that in greater detail.)

Hm, and Josuke, who could tell Koichi was nervous from 100 feet away, doesn’t look terribly shocked.  On the contrary, he looks calmly pleased.  “Whoa, whoa!  Didja hear that, Okuyasu?  No way, didn’t see that coming, huh?  Koichi!”  He clearly thinks Yukako is sincere, which further highlights the very interesting twist that Yukako is genuinely in love with Koichi.
As for Koichi himself, he needs a moment to process everything.
And he decides that he’s cool with this.

This expression is pretty interesting!  He looks half-crazed.  I guess I can best describe it as a “greedy” look.  It’s the kind of look you’d draw on a character who just discovered a cache of diamonds or something.  It’s worth noting here that Koichi’s reaction here demonstrates that he doesn’t consider himself capable of getting a girlfriend as pretty as Yukako under ordinary circumstances.  He doesn’t consider himself to be much of a catch.  Yukako does though, and she explains that recently she’s noticed that Koichi has been a lot more confident and that he’s got a winning smile.  Confidence really is the sexiest trait a man can have, I’ll back Yukako up on that one.  Confidence, and having a car.

Yukako takes Koichi’s hesitation not at disbelief of his good fortune but as a polite rejection.  She seems to believe, unlike Koichi and Okuyasu, that Koichi is such a catch that another girl has gotten to him first!

Heh heh, Okuyasu has a humorous meltdown out of his envy for Koichi.  Aww, poor guy.  Looks like he’s always wanted a girl but has never had one.  I guess spending his whole life in social isolation helping his brother attempt to create a stand user to kill their father didn’t leave much time for romance.  I bet Okuyasu is hilariously awkward around girls that he likes.

Yukako demands to know whether or not Koichi returns her feelings.  While he’s flattered by her advances, he can’t bring himself to be dishonest – he isn’t in love with her because he barely knows her.

The panel that’s zoomed in on her face is pretty interesting.  It shows that this question is more than just a girl fishing for affirmation and compliments.  This is serious business for her.  Also by cutting off part of her face she takes on a sort of spooky aspect, making her even farther removed from our Everyman Koichi here.

Check out as Koichi struggles to come up with the “right” answer, he has the debate with the teacup rather than Yukako.  I take that as implying that he’s afraid to actually look up at her while he figures out what to say.

Suddenly Yukako switches from serene perfect waifu to scary horror movie abomination.  She actually gets dark circles under her eyes and everything!  And check out how BIG she looks compared with Koichi.  Yiiiikes!

She then switches back to waifu mode as she bursts into tears.  Koichi’s expression says it all.

What the Christ?!

Okuyasu, having become emotionally invested in the proceedings, is similarly stunned.

As Koichi starts to disengage from the shock that had gripped him following his very interesting “date,” he takes a sip of his drink.  (This first panel here is hilarious both for Koichi’s look of terror and for the fact that it shows us that Koichi has been holding that pose since Yukako’s outburst.)

Unfortunately, his drink is now full of hair.


“That chick…can’t be…” a stand user?  Come on Josuke, this is Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.  Of course she’s a stand user.


This chapter is fabulous for its solid character building all around.  While I’m never very fond of the “lol crazy women, amirite?” stereotype in any media, I do like that the mystery set up in this chapter is not “why is this chick pretending to like Koichi,” and instead is related to the air of menace we feel around Yukako.  The fact that we do get a peek inside her inner world also keeps us from writing her off completely as an unknowable crazy bitch.  I’m pretty excited about covering the rest of this arc as it unfolds.

Let’s Read Diamond is Unbreakable: Surface V

Let's Read

Holy crap you guys I’m so so so sorry for the delay. This Let’s Read is still important to me and fun for me and I really appreciate everyone’s patience. To make up for it, please enjoy this picture of me posing at SXSW, which is what I was doing instead of writing this entry 

I’m posing here with notable IRL shounen anime protagonist Michael A. Zekas, Voiceover Talent, who provided standout performances in Slam Fighter II and #Everest.  You should play those games right after you finish reading this Let’s Read!

JJBA Chapter 293
Chapter 28 of Diamond is Unbreakable
Surface V

Translation: Invincible Trio

Jotaro reads the newspaper while seated at a bench at the main plaza of the Morioh Station.
The composition here is interesting because it very strongly leads the eye to the white space on the left side of the panel, the opposite side that the audience should be reading in. The framing is so strong that it’s surely deliberate. I have a few theories on why this was done: first, to increase tension by forcing the reader to read opposite what seems comfortable, and second, to create a sense of expectation – the empty space feels, well, empty, so the scene feels incomplete. From Jotaro’s point of view this is surely the case, as he’s waiting for Josuke. From our point of view, we agree – Hazamada and Surface will be arriving any moment now.

Wanna point out that Jotaro is also comically large in relation to the bench here. Araki has been playing fast and loose with Jotaro’s relative size for ages now, but he’s doing so not because he hasn’t got a model sheet or doesn’t care – it’s more important that we see Jotaro as a man living in a world that wasn’t made to accommodate his size () than we try to work out how big anything is relative to his height, which is a “known” quantity due to character bio pages and the like.

So yeah, not a new observation, but yes, Jotaro is larger than life. Not only does he have neato powers that most mortal folk don’t have, he’s the protagonist of the previous story, so he’s “large” in the lore too.

Meanwhile, Josuke and Koichi are following Hazamada from a safe distance, sight unseen. They happen upon the aftermath of the hyperviolent scene that took place at the end of the previous chapter. (That delightful scene in which Hazamada brutalized some dudes for comparing him to a cricket.)
“He’s doing whatever he wants with your impersonation!” Koichi’s sweating bullets here (also appears to be leaning diagonally for some reason.)

“Yeah he sure is…” Josuke says looking mildly inconvenienced. “What do we do with Hazamada now, I wonder…” Koichi expresses incredulity that Josuke doesn’t seem to be worked up at all.

Koichi explains – with a slickly drafted visual aid – how Hazamada will arrive at the station and encounter Jotaro.

It’s always interesting to see how Araki combines storytelling through symbols (stuff you aren’t supposed to take literally, like Jotaro’s size relative to the bench) with storytelling through worldbuilding (this map here implying that Morioh has a stable, internally consistent street plan.)

At any rate, Josuke’s definitely rockin’ the

He then puts an arm around Koichi and begins to relate to him (but not us!) what will surely be a cunning plan.

We cut to Hazamada and Surface – Hazamada asks Surface if they’re being followed but Surface hasn’t seen any sign of Josuke or Koichi.

They suddenly hear the sound of a train coming. Hazamada lets Surface know that with the fastest path to the station blocked by the passing train, they’ll have to take a detour. They hurry off towards their alternate route.

AAAAahh Koichi did it!

I actually didn’t expect that. Nicely done!

From the pedestrian bridge above the street he had just scampered from, Hazamada spots Josuke and Koichi dashing across the train-free tracks and on towards the station. While this would make anyone do a double take, we are once again treated to signs of a deeper freakout on the part of Hazamada.


Heh, I like this scene transition – it has a lot of impact. We just immediately get all up in Jotaro’s face. It’s almost startling. It leaves the impression that Jotaro didn’t watch Josuke and Koichi approach, he just looked up from the paper and suddenly noticed them.

While he’s not aware of the severity of the danger he’s in, he’s waiting on some critical intel, so he was probably somewhat anxiously awaiting Our Heroes’ arrival.

Koichi and Josuke get Jotaro caught up on the day’s events as Hazamada arrives looking dead tired.

Damn, he looks like a fuckin’ zombie. Well, so driven over the edge that he seems to have lost his humanity. He looks crazy enough to do all kinds of fucked up shit. (Narratively, these panels raise the stakes.)

Incidentally, this is hilarious:

As Josuke gives Jotaro the full story, he nonchalantly grabs a pen from Jotaro’s jacket.

Uh ohhhhhhhhh

”Why the hell am I holding a pen?” wonders Josuke. “Why did I….take this pen from Jotaro’s coat pocket?!”

Jotaro seems kind of…not concerned. Particularly after hearing what Hazamada can do. And Koichi too, what the hell? I thought he was being set up to be reasonably perceptive!

But for Hazamada to be controlling Josuke again with Surface, he’d have to be somewhere nearb-

Oh shit.


Looks like Surface can control Josuke’s facial expressions. Don’t think I need to explain why that’s unsettling.

As Josuke fights Surface’s control, Hazamada takes the time to have a nice internal monologue. Fuck it, I ain’t typin’ that shit out.

This manga is so fucking good.

Hazamada’s insecurity led him to mistreat those biker guys which led them to return the favor, which led to him failing to succeed at his goal – the goal at this point having shifted away from any kind of practical villainy and into attempting to assuage his deeply set insecurity.

Hahaha, Josuke seems calm but he’s avoiding Jotaro’s gaze. This implies to me that he was pretty sure they were fucked. Koichi’s drowsy expression here makes me forgive him a bit since it seems to imply that the last several pages happened over the course of like, maybe two seconds.

Our eyes are invited to linger on this panel by its size and spare black background.

Looks like that blow to the noggin’ was enough to disrupt Hazamada’s ability to project his stand power.

The two biker guys explain that Josuke healed them and told them where Hazamada was heading. Ahh, so this was Josuke’s plan this whole time! I retroactively change my interpretation of his dodging Jotaro’s glance from “I didn’t have a plan and thought we were fucked” to “I was depending on an extremely risky gamble to survive this and I thought it didn’t work out and we were fucked.” Heh.

Oh yeah so then they presumably go on to beat the shit out of Hazamada.

Well, all’s well that ends well, right Josuke?

“Well, guess I’ll just break his doll-thing too. It’ll make me feel better.”

A few Dora Dora’s and Surface is in pieces.


Damn this was a really well-written story. Great themes, great art, and we get a lot of really great moments that show us more facets of Josuke and Koichi.

So, thoughts on this arc now that it’s wrapped up: in short, I thought it was great. Once again, in this arc, I would argue that the real protagonist is Hazamada. Why? Josuke and Koichi don’t really face any dilemma on a personal level. Hazamada is the one who has to grapple with whether or not he can resist taking the kind of self-destructive action that shields him from confronting his flaw (crippling insecurity in this case.) Josuke is pretty much the same person at the end of this story as he was the day before. What is nice about the fact that Josuke and Koichi didn’t really change in this arc is thatour understanding of who they are gets to change. What I mean by that is, this arc allowed us to refine our picture of who these guys are by putting them in some novel situations. We knew before that Josuke could be cool under pressure, but after this story we now have a clearer and more specific idea of how that reflects on who Josuke is as a person. A lack of character growth isn’t bad if the story still allows us to see new facets of a character.

Because Hazamada was the character who was under the most pressure emotionally, I can’t help but compare him to Keicho. Not only was Keicho also someone who would rather behave in a self-destructive pattern than confront their own flaws, Keicho was also undone more or less as a result of his own choices with little direct action by Josuke. I’ll be curious to see if this ends up being how most enemies in this series end up getting taken out. If so, that’s pretty zen – Josuke defeats his enemies by redirecting their momentum back at them. Still, I kind of hope that that isn’t the case as in both this story and Echoes Josuke seemed so cold and detached that he stopped feeling like a teenager to me, which is a shame because I thought Araki managed to strike a pretty good balance between having him seem wise beyond his years and keeping his behavior age-appropriate.

Lumberjack Bonanza

I’ve always loved the way Araki draws blood and gore. Just look at that hit Hazamada takes: the way the blood just soars out of him when he gets hit by the helmet manages to be both comically absurd and deadly serious.


Koichi using Echoes on the train track was the moment Part 4 went from having a sizeable chunk of my interest to having my full attention. Koichi’s little sound effect turtle baby being a critical part in winning this exchange was such a great change of pace from Part 3 and got a good “Fuck, I did not think of solution, but it 100% totally works” out of me. Some good shit compared to how Echoes’ introduction chapter was resolved.

Also Josuke clinching this fight not through any beatdown of his own, but kindness through helping those bikers is cool for thematic and character reasons

Lumberjack Bonanza

Yeah, I really like how helpful Echoes is fighting Surface, in really clever and creative ways. It’s such a step up from the introduction. I know I was pretty obtuse the last time it got brought up but introducing it by having Koichi essentially shout his way to victory still doesn’t sit right. It just seems so… inelegant.


It is pretty rough, but I still appreciated the application of his power going from Making A Man Lose His Mind to Making His Mom Believe Him. I honestly didn’t see much use of Echoes past driving people crazy.


I would say that’s a pretty damn useful power that would work on literally any human if Koichi really felt like doing it.

The way he won was more about him having the confidence to stand up to a weirdo and assert that he is, in fact, strong (and also a good boy). It wasn’t just Koichi yelling at the top of his lungs in defiance.


I stand (heh) by my original statement about Echoes – it is kinda broken.


Now see, this was a much better outing for Koichi and Echoes. I have to notice, though, that he didn’t go Super Saiyan while using Echoes this time around.

Okuyasu Nijimura

I like that chapter a lot because it’s definitely scary and all but has subtle comedic moments that work well. The pen grab is just really funny to me somehow.

Johnny Joestar

the next little bit is definitely going to be interesting in terms of koichi getting some characterization. that and what went on in the events of surface are good at pointing out that he exists as more than just a walking infodump, which is definitely necessary since he starts things out as being the speedwagon of morioh.

Butt Ghost

I always wonders if the bottom panel here inspired early Persona boxart


Before the Part 4 anime was announced, there were some mock Part 4 anime screenshots that I was never sure of the source of. I saw some say they were from David Pro people, but in hindsight that seems dubious. Either way, one of them was from this fight and it owned.

Josuke Higashikata

100% not David


Pretty good for a fake, though.


I agree with everyone else, Echoes was way more fun in this story than in the one in which Koichi was the star. Go figure. I did think the one misplaced thing in this arc was Kobayashi’s appearance as Koichi’s manservant, but I’m pretty interested to see if that has some kind of narrative payoff at some point.

Ah, and with that out of the way, that means we can move on to an arc I’ve been looking forward to for a long time! While I get started, everyone please enjoy this extremely serious video. I know I posted it before several months ago, but damn it it’s good enough to watch again!

Play #Everest!

Play my new game #Everest!  And if you like it, vote for it to win the Community Choice award by Midnight CST 2/17/16!

A lot of people were asking me, you know, “why? Why do you wanna do it?” And that’s-that’s a really common mindset to have. It’s easy to ask “why?” But you know, I’ve always been the kind of person who looks beyond that and says “why not?”


System Requirements:

Microsoft XNA Runtime 4.0
Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0

About the game

Your objective is to get the highest score possible by taking pictures at landmarks. Each landmark is worth more points than the ones than came before them, but the real way to rack up a high scores is by taking photos with lots of zany bullshit. Only your highest scoring photo per landmark is used to calculate your final score.

Get Outfitted

You can’t take any more than what you and your three teammates can carry between the four of you. With inventory space limited, bringing one item means leaving another. #Everest is a game of opportunity costs. you must balance your selection of the props that will get your selfies to earn the most likes with the equipment needed to survive the trek to the next great photo op.

Be unique…ish! Change up the colors of your gear and play as either a dude or a lady.

Voice of Michael A. Zekas

Voice of Manuela Malasaña

Make your mark

Time waits for no mountaineer in the unforgiving altitudes of the mountain locals refer to as “The Holy Mother.” Take too long trying to get the perfect selfie and you won’t be able to make camp before temperatures plunge at nightfall, but make sure you don’t lose your cool because if you forget to pack anything back up, it will be lost on the mountain forever.

There’s no garbage collection service on Mt. Everest. Carry your trash with you or dump it on the mountain. It’s your choice.

Post Your Selfies

The player character will be posting to their fictional in-game social media accounts throughout the game, but you can choose to post the pictures you take in-game to the player character’s real twitter account, @HashtagEverest or connect your own twitter account and post to it through the game! How’s that for meta?

Ziggy Starfucker’s Guide to Chilling on Mt. Everest

  • Make sure each character has enough food, half rations reduce your health/stamina regen and running out completely will slowly deplete your health
  • Most status ailments will go away after enough rest. Having a medical kit in someone’s inventory will help, resting at landmarks and especially the camps will help too
  • Having a sleeping bag for each character and a tent for the whole party increases health and stamina regen while resting
  • Having lots of crazy and heavy junk in your photo will get more likes and comments. Make sure you retrieve your junk before leaving the photo screen
  • Water bottles aren’t necessary but prevent any chance of dysentery. Having a water treatment kit in someone’s inventory reduces the chance of dysentery but doesn’t prevent it
  • Wearing goggles greatly reduces the chance of snowblindness and retinal hemorrhaging, but wearing shutter shades for your photos gives more likes
  • Climbing around bottlenecks will probably get someone killed, but having climbing harnesses and ascenders equipped reduces the chance. Having fixed lines in someone’s inventory and an icepick equipped on at least character helps further
  • Traveling at night reduces movement speed and increases chance of hypothermia. Try resting at landmarks until daybreak
  • You can get a rough estimate of your travel speed by looking at the walking animation speed of your party
  • Blizzards inflict damage and increase the chance of hypothermia and snowblindness unless you rest at a landmark with a tent or at a camp
  • Prevent/heal hypoxia with a breathing mask and oxygen bottles. By default oxygen use is disabled so you don’t burn through your bottles at lower altitudes

Let’s Read Diamond is Unbreakable: Surface (Part 4)

Let's Read
Why hello there, posters surmounting illiteracy! Have I got a Let’s Read for you!

JJBA Chapter 292
Chapter 27 of Diamond is Unbreakable
Surface IV

Translation: Invincible Trio

Josuke and Koichi run as fast as they can to try to get to Jotaro before Hazamada does. The perspective in this panel here drives home that they have quite a lot of ground to cover.

Unfortunately, they have no idea where Jotaro is.

In their haste they don’t notice Kobayashi lying in the tall grass, still knocked flat from his encounter with Hazamada and Surface.

He appears to be dazed but conscious – possibly aware enough of his surroundings to be very confused about seeing two Josukes running by.

We cut to Surface-as-Josuke walking in front of Hazamada some distance away. There are five high school girls in shot and all of them are calling flirtatiously to what they think is Josuke. OK yep, this panel pretty much confirms it – Hazamada is hella jealous.

“Why the hell do you get all the chicks to say bye to you…?”

“I’ve…never had a girl say bye to me, my whole life…heh! There’s only ugly bitches in this school anyway…”

Oh dang my theory from the last chapter was totally correct! By the way, since more than one person has asked me privately – the only chapters I’ve read ahead are Yukako’s love 1-3. If something I predict comes true it’s less that I’m great at guessing and more that Araki does a good job of foreshadowing future developments without beating the reader over the head with them.

A girl gives Surface a love note intended for Josuke and Hazamada FLIPS HIS SHIT. He snatches it away and rips it up.

“What the hell is the difference between you and me…?”
Check out Hazamada’s lack of balance and how all his limbs are bent and contrast with Surface-as-Josuke standing straight up. This visually communicates Hazamada’s internal unbalance (and if you wanna read more about this, I wrote about it in my Art of Dragonball series.)

“What the hell can be so different?!”

idk man, he’s a punk, you’re a massive goth, he’s exotically half white and you’re the Japanese version of wonderbread, or maybe it’s because he has a healthy level of self-esteem and you’re an insecure goon? I mean I could go on…

“Who cares about that right now? Now’s not the time to be lagging around, you know?” This bit is kinda interesting – Surface having this kind of will independent of Hazamada. I’m taking this to mean that aside from being obedient to Hazamada, Surface takes on the exact personality of whoever it is copying at the time.

“Wha–you think you can talk to me like that?!” Hazamaza says looking like a cornered animal.
“What do you mean, ‘like that’? This is how I talk, remember?” Surface says in, yeah, a pretty Josuke way. Hazamada can’t take this anymore and socks Surface in the jaw.


“you OK reatard I am wood. Stupid.”

OK this whole scene here is interesting as hell from a character standpoint. In the words of Strongbad, Hazamada needs some serious clown care, man. Dang, wearin’ that gothy shit all bishonen with the long hair, but insecure to the point of self-destructive instability. What this kid needs is a fat blunt.

AHA holy crap, Hazamada in his internal monologue says he had Surface turn into Junko, the girl he likes, so he could “have [his] way with her” but she got on his nerves and he “couldn’t fucking do anything.” Do you guys realize what that means? If Surface has to be obedient to Hazamada, then it’s not like Surface-as-Junko could refuse to boink Hazamada but I bet she laughed at his dick or something so he wasn’t actually able to perform. Haaaahahaha….


It must be awkward when the physical manifestation of your soul mocks your size down there.

“Aren’t there any nice people in this world? Damn it…” Oh jeez this the very image of an entitled shut-in loser.

Hazamada steadies himself for a second on a parked motorcycle as he walks down the street, leaving behind a handprint on its freshly polished surface as well as some blood – he busted his hand pretty good during his little tantrum. A reatard indeed.

The bikers see this and the one who owns the motorcycle gets pretty peeved that this random kid just undid the his bike’s fresh polish job and he resolves to beat the shit outta Hazamada.

Not really. Maybe it was a good pun in Japanese?

Well anyway, the next thing that happens is that Surface busts the back of the other biker’s skull in holy fuck!

Oh yeah and check out Surface’s eyes here! They’re totally blank and creepy. Does that mean Hazamada is making Surface do something that Josuke wouldn’t ordinarily do? Or is it just to add some extra discomfort to this hyperviolent moment?

Wait, I spoke too soon. It just got creepier.

Hazamada has Surface restrain the motorcycle owner’s arms. He then takes out a box cutter, weapon of choice of maladjusted Japanese schoolkids, if you’ll recall 4chan’s Nevada-tan obsession from a decade ago.

He elbows the now helpless biker guy in the mouth – looks like he may have broken the guy’s nose and possibly knocked a tooth or two out.

He then approaches with the box cutter

note the framing of these shots – the object, then the biker’s fearful reaction. Very classic horror movie composition. Hazamada’s face is removed so the approaching disembodied hand with blade seems more fearsome since it is visually divorced from a human identity.

Hazamada then sticks the box cutter in the guy’s mouth holy jesus fuck he’s gonna like give him a glasgow smile or something holy shit holy shit.

This surprisingly brutal turn of events is interrupted by the high-velocity arrival of shards of glass, which Surface catches looking like some sort of evil owl. (“Most owls can turn their head 270 degrees in both directions. This owl can fuck itself in all directions.” )

Wait, who do we know that likes throwing stuff? It’s Josuke!

Hazamada looks worried for a moment but quickly composes himself. He directs Surface to take control of Josuke again. But much to his surprise, the glass shards Josuke threw before start forming into a bottle around Surface’s hand. Damn, that’s clever!

“That piece of glass that the copy caught…I didn’t throw it ’cause I wanted it to hit you.”

“I threw it so I could ‘fix’ it into its original shape.”

And with that, Surface’s right hand is fuckin’ dismembered as the bottle completely reforms. Nice!

“Well, looks like it’s time to hide…”


That trick with the glass bottle and subsequent hiding was a genuine Joseph Joestar moment.


The best part is Josuke and Koichi could’ve totally just kept running and passed them while they were distracted, but they didn’t cause Josuke wanted to be a dick. The classic Joseph Joestar move.


I love that Josuke’s plan is to just fuck up Hazamada’s plan and walk away, letting the whole thing sort itself out

ascalapha odorata

I’ve been waiting for that bottle moment with Surface, it’s just so great. I liked Crazy Diamond before and all but that particular move is what made me decide that I really, REALLY liked Crazy Diamond.

And Hobgoblin’s right, that sort of trickery is exactly the sort of thing his dad would be super proud of.

Surface picks up the hand in the bottle and tells Hazamada that it won’t turn back into a hand again. Whoa, that’s pretty serious. But Hazamada seems to not be missing any appendages himself, so I guess damage to Surface doesn’t sympathetically affect Hazamada in the manner of other Stand/Stand User pairs. Interesting.

Hazamada reorients himself on his goal of getting to Jotaro before Josuke, but this time his motive is slightly changed! Previously he wanted to get to Jotaro first because, well, if he didn’t his chances of being able to kill Jotaro would be significantly diminished. Now? He wants to get to Jotaro first because he specifically doesn’t want to lose to Josuke. The difference is subtle but significant.

We end on a panel showing Jotaro arriving at the station.

Some of the earlier chapters in this arc had some dodgy art, but this chapter has had some of the best linework I’ve seen in Diamond is Unbreakable yet. This whole chapter was great! Didn’t end with a little doodle though, so I’ll just repost that really cool set of panels from before.

awww, yiss.


These Let’s Reads still real good. I recently read through pieces Part 4 again in color, and oh man am I excited for this anime and further Let’s Reads.

Here’s that two set of panels, but in color.

Agent Kool-Aid

I really like the transition from Hazamada talking to Surface and getting berated by it to the series of panels with him having surface absolutely destroy that biker and setting him up to do even more. It gives a sense that even if Surface is able to take on a personality of its own it’s still, ultimately, a stand. When let to act on its own it takes on a more ‘human’ appearance, but the second you see it directly taken control of to defend its user it suddenly shifts to a much more menacing figure that properly fits the marionette underneath. The poses it strikes seem unnatural and the blank eyes really give the idea that at that moment it has mentally checked out. i don’t think you ever see Josuke use any sort of chopping strike at any point, so if the thing had copied every one of Josuke’s mannerisms it sure wasn’t using them at that time.

It’s a really nice shift from Hazamada being pointed out to be the creep that he is, to him being absolutely goddamn cruel and dangerous. the reader can get a sense of both of those sides in a short period of time and it really comes off as natural given the circumstances.

ascalapha odorata

I started typing a post about how it sort of ups the ante in terms of mean teen Stand users but it really doesn’t, that’s nothing new, so I don’t know what it is about it that’s striking but I think maybe it’s the cruelty that makes it especially striking? Hazamada is fucked up AND he has a Stand. Eesh.

Agent Kool-Aid

I think part of it is that instead of just having Surface absolutely fuck up the dude (which he could do), he personally gets up in there and uses a boxcutter to start slashing at his gums. That personal touch makes it all the more vicious. He has the power to more or less vaporize someone using this wooden puppet thing, but nah, he’s going to get up in there and start digging at his mouth with a knife. what the fuck, Hazamada.