Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is incredibly dear to me (just take a look at my multiple past articles on the topic. It’s the one series I’ve written the most articles about on this entire site). One of the biggest highlights of the series lies in its stand abilities; those classic rock named powers that are home to some of the most creative (if not humorously confusing) skills that are just plain entertaining to watch. It’s no secret though that mangaka Hirohiko Araki, through the franchise’s 30 year long history, has managed to make a few stands that are practically carbon copies of one another. Today, we will look at five examples of these stands, what sets them apart, and which would reign supreme in a hypothetical 1v1 scenario. By the way, spoilers for the entire series inbound, so strap in cause we’re going on a journey.
Justice vs. Fun Fun Fun
Justice is the stand of Stardust Crusader’s loveable arrow wielding hag, Enya. In a horror focused arc featuring Jotaro and the gang, the stand commands an army of puppeted townsfolk through its ability to marionette body parts through open wounds and essentially create a legion of the undead. It is an incredibly powerful stand, due to its corporeal form being a body of fog that can envelop an entire town in its wake, possessing whole armies at a time. It’s method of defeat however (Star Platinum inhaling the stand in a completely unprecedented move) basically betrays how oppressive the stand could actually be. In a scenario where Justice has no BS counter that has never been touched upon since, it’s destructive capabilities are unrivaled.
Jojolion is home to some of the strangest, most intricately specific stands in the series. Where else could you find the ability to store memories in chess pieces when the target tells a lie, where the method of defeat is standing in the user’s shadow? Ojiro Sasame’s Fun Fun Fun however, holds all of the complexities of a dangerous stand with an incredibly questionable payoff as the end result. The stand takes control of the victim by puppetting their open wounds, forming a mark on the area that shows they are now under Sasame’s direct influence. The catch? It only works on a single target at a time, AND it must be direct above the target to direct their actions. Whereas Justice has an incredibly easy trigger to activate it’s assault, and continue said assault, Fun Fun Fun just falls short in a direct comparison. To be fair, later on Sasame gains the ability to form the marks without the need for an open wound, implying the stand’s potential is (or rather, was due to his untimely demise) extremely high. Perhaps at some point it could’ve even surpassed Justice, but as it stands Enya stomps the Beach Boys based ability out of commission.
Little Feet vs. Goo Goo Dolls
As the first of Vento Aureo’s La Squadra Esecuzioni fights, Formaggio and Little Feet present a decently formidable foe for Narancia’s Aerosmith, shrinking the duo with a scratch until the afflicted eventually shrinks out of existence. The user can also shrink and grow himself as well, allowing for espionage tactics and make Formaggio an incredibly difficult target to hit in direct combat. The downsides to the stand lie in it’s weak damage rate and speed; once the target is scratched, the shrinking is marginal which allows a wide window for counterattack. Also the scratch needs to be physical, which prevents Formaggio from attacking from a distance and simply waiting for the target to vanish. Downsides considered though, Little Feet being able to resize the user at will comes at a huge boon, and outweighs the weaker offensive capabilities the stand possesses.
Goo Goo Dolls is a similar stand in that it has a physical manifestation (unlike, say, Hermit Purple) and shrinks it’s target. However, after you get past the base comparisons it’s clear the two suit different needs in this approach. In one of the earlier arcs of Stone Ocean, Jolyne falls under the attack of her cellmate Gwess, with Goo Goo Dolls instantly shrinking her to the size of a rat and forcing her to become Gwess’ plaything. The stand then lingers around the shrunken target and kills them, almost autonomously, should they try to break free of the user’s control. Where Little Feet can be read as a more directly wide-spanning combat oriented ability, Goo Goo Dolls reflect’s Gwess’ need for dominance and as such controls a single target, but does so extremely well. It’s downfall, as shown by Jolyne’s resolve completely overpowering the stand attack, lies in Gwess’ own weakness in a way Formaggio (being a hardened Italian gangster) wouldn’t falter to. In this way, both offensive and defensive, Little Feet comes out on top.
Hanged man vs. Man in the mirror
Revisiting Stardust Crusaders (which is a common theme among stand comparisons, since essentially part 3 was a dry run of the abilities before Araki got really wild with them) we have J. Geil’s Hanged Man, a stand that lives in the “mirror world” and can teleport at will to other mirrored surfaces to begin it’s incredibly speedy assault. Or well, that’s what it seems at first to the Crusader gang. In reality Hanged Man is based entirely around light, using facet’s that reflect in order to “jump” between surfaces. It then uses its sharp wrist blades in order to strike from the “mirrored” object. It can be obscenely offensive before it’s real ability is revealed, but after that it can be exploited into defeat pretty easily, giving the illusion of a much stronger stand that has an Achilles Heel in it’s predictability.
Man in the Mirror (besides having the honor of being the only Fugo beatdown in the entire part, at least canonically. Read Purple Haze Feedback everyone) once again is more of a defensively oriented stand, though here their “gimmick” can make the user, Illuso, near impossible to defend against once the attack has begun. Man in the Mirror pulls the desired target into the “mirrored world” itself, where Illuso can choose which part of the enemy are allowed to enter, including leaving their entire stand just outside the user’s reach. From there they can strike directly, since now the target is vulnerable and has very little to no means of escape from the reflected battlefield. Illuso can also hide and exit the mirror world at will, allowing for him to leave a target isolated until they die naturally or use the world for stealth tactics in assasination. The issue is that his real strength lies in tricking his target into entering the mirror world to begin with, which once they’re aware of its existence is near impossible. This means Illuso has to avoid all means of direct confrontation, and instead rely on trickery to execute his plans. Where both Hanged Man and Man in the Mirror have glaring faults, I would say Man in the Mirror takes the edge for the sheer destructive capabilities of the mirror world; when you’re pulled inside it basically becomes a death sentence unless you had allies on the outside like Giorno and Abbachio helping Fugo. Hanged Man has the speed and strength, though an easy counter and no real oppressive gimmick by the user makes this a clear choice.
Space Trucking vs. Enigma
Back to the golden hearts of Morioh in part 8, here we have the stand of the matriarch herself, Kaato Higashikata and Space Trucking. The stand materializes as a deck of playing cards, with the user being able to “store” any object between cards on the deck and reveal them at will. This allows Kaato to hold any object on her person at all times and act as a “hammerspace” so long as she had stored the object prior. The stand does possess a robotic manifestation, though little was known about it’s offensive capabilities or even the deck’s potential to store larger items since Kaato passed in the last chapter of Jojolion. For what we had seen though it could have had tremendous offenses since the storage options could have been endless.
Enigma and it’s user, Terunosuke Miyamoto, prey on their victim’s fear in order to begin their attack. Once the target shows a display of fear ( their “tell”), they are sealed in a piece of paper and are at the complete will of Terunosuke. Should the user tear up the paper or destroy it in any way, the victim will die along with the sheet they are encapsulated in. Enigma can also contain full objects too, which is where Space Trucking’s similarities come in, allowing the user to store a loaded gun or other dangerous objects as traps for whoever opens the sheets. Where Space Trucking’s had the potential to be destructive, we would have needed more screen time due to Kaato’s untimely death to decide whether that or Enigma would reign supreme. As is such, Enigma’s bizarre paper based abilities win out.
Echoes ACT2 vs. In a Silent Way
Koichi Hirose, the loveable (and reliable) guy from Diamond is Unbreakable, was the first debut of a multi-ACT based stand. His Echoes undergoes multiple evolutions, pokemon style, each time gaining a new manner of versatility that reflects Koichi’s own growth as a person and his newfound confidence, each being themed around sound manipulation and using Jojo’s own iconic onomatopoeias to their fullest potential. ACT1 “writes” kanji on any area or person, and once it does the words influence the target’s state of mind, repeating endlessly should Koichi will it. ACT2 though takes this a step further, now being able to write on a surface, with said surface acting out what was inscribed on it (for example, writing “fwoosh” would cause a gust of wind to flow) once touched by the user or whoever interacted with it. For now our comparison will lie only in ACT2, since the ability following this
Steel Ball Run holds the virtue of dialing back some of the more needlessly complex stands, while also carving its own identity ability wise. At one point, Johnny Joestar and Gyro face off against fellow competitor Sandman and his stand, In a Silent Way. the stand has the ability to “store” sounds in objects or people, allowing the user to ambush foes with traps set in their desired environment. This also is visually portrayed and kanji enveloping the affected object, which has led many to believe that In a Silent Way is a direct copy of Echoes ACT2, though there is some advantages to the ability that set the two apart. For instance, Sandman can paste his ability even onto concepts like the swoosh of a knife, creating a physical barrier. Sandman can also give his sounds physical form, which at one point Diego Brando gives the characters dinosaur bodies under Scary Monsters to create a mobile, destructive ticking time bomb of kanji. Though Koichi still has ACT3 to rely on in terms of raw strength (which is oddly confusing in its own way since it seems to abandon the word based abilities) in a direct comparison In a Silent Way wins out for it’s sheer versatility. Come on man, Kanji-saurs?? You can’t beat that.
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, even when some of the abilities may seem redundant, often presents a wealth of creativity when it comes to both stand applications and intricacies. Take Enigma and Space Trucking, for example. It’s as if Araki asked “what if a sub-ability to another stand was in the hands of the protagonists?” It all lies in the context, and that’s what makes Jojo’s such a wild adventure that keeps the abilities consistently fresh. We’re all just along for the ride. -Victiny