Battle Tendency

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Battle Tendency
Cover of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure volume 8, featuring the Pillar Men, with Joseph Joestar in the foreground
(Sentō Chōryū)
Written by Hirohiko Araki
Published by Shueisha
English publisher Viz Media
Demographic Shōnen
Imprint Jump Comics
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump
Original run 19871989[citation needed]
Volumes 7 (List of volumes)

Battle Tendency (戦闘潮流 Sentō Chōryū?) is a manga series that was written and illustrated by Hirohiko Araki, and serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1987 to 1989. It is the second part of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series, following Phantom Blood (1987), and being followed by Stardust Crusaders (1989–1992).

In its original publication, it was referred to as JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 2 Joseph Joestar: His Proud Lineage (ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 第二部 ジョセフ・ジョースター ―その誇り高き血統 JoJo no Kimyō na Bōken Dai Ni Bu Josefu Jōsutā Sono Hokoritakaki Kettō). Battle Tendency was adapted in the 2012 television anime adaptation by David Production between December 7, 2012 and April 5, 2013.


In 1938, Joseph Joestar, grandson of Jonathan Joestar, discovers his "uncle" Robert E. O. Speedwagon is being held captive in Mexico by a group of Nazi scientists under the command of Major Rudol von Stroheim in a facility studying the vampire-creating Stone Masks and a being known as a "Pillar Man" who is believed to be the Stone Mask's creator. After saving everyone from the awoken Pillar Man Santana with his wits and latent abilities to use the martial art known as the Ripple, Stroheim warns Joseph that his people have discovered three other Pillar Men in Italy. He teams up with fellow Ripple user Caesar Zeppeli, himself the grandson of Jonathan's ally Will A. Zeppeli, to stop the Pillar Men but are too late to prevent the resurrection of Wamuu, Esidisi, and Kars. Joseph manages to convince them to allow him to master the Ripple to become a worthy opponent, and the Pillar Men agree by implanting poison-filled rings into him that only give him a month to live unless he kills them in battle and obtains the antidote. Caesar takes Joseph to meet his teacher, the mysterious lady Lisa Lisa who is the last master of the Ripple on Earth and as such protects a gemstone called the Red Stone of Aja (エイジャの赤石 Eija no Sekiseki) from falling into the hands of the Pillar Men, as they need the gem to become perfectly immortal.

Joseph trains under the woman, eventually killing Esidisi after the Pillar Man kills one of Lisa Lisa's disciples who was to administer a final test to Joseph. After saving Lisa Lisa's assistant Suzi Q from Esidisi's latent control, the group tracks down Kars and Wamuu to Switzerland, where they meet up with Stroheim who has since become a cyborg after the injuries he sustained in the fight with Santana. Caesar tries to fight Wamuu one-on-one but is not strong enough, and is killed, but not before he takes the antidote away for Joseph. Joseph and Lisa Lisa then confront Kars and Wamuu and duel over ownership of the Red Stone of Aja. After a chariot race, Joseph manages to defeat Wamuu in battle, while Lisa Lisa's fight against Kars also seems to be in her favor until he cheats and stabs her in the back, stealing the Red Stone of Aja. Even with the apearance of Stroheim and his army of German soldiers with ultraviolet lamps cannot stop Kars who uses their light, the Stone Mask, and the Red Stone to evolve into a perfect life form, immune to sunlight and the Ripple. Joseph tries to stop him, chasing him into an active volcano, only to lose his left hand. Just as Kars is to land the death blow, Joseph blocks it with his other hand, holding the Red Stone of Aja, which sends both of them flying into the stratosphere. Kars plans an escape, but Joseph distracts him long enough that he is struck by volcanic rocks and sent into space to live undying for the rest of eternity.

Everyone believes Joseph has died saving the world, but he shows up at his own funeral with his new wife Suzi Q at his side, and everyone seemingly lives happy new peaceful lives, until 1987, when Joseph makes an emergency trip to visit his daughter (who had moved to Japan).


Main characters[edit]

Joseph Joestar
Joseph Joestar (ジョセフ・ジョースター Josefu Jōsutā)
Voiced by: Tomokazu Sugita (Japanese); Ben Diskin (English),[1] Hōchū Ōtsuka (Part 3 Video Game)
Joseph is the main protagonist of Battle Tendency and is the grandson of Phantom Blood protagonist Jonathan Joestar. Having been brought up by his grandmother Erina and Speedwagon, he developed a coarser and more rebellious attitude than that of his gentlemanly grandfather, but he still has a noble heart. Like his grandfather, he can use the Ripple, though he is not initially as skilled in its use as Jonathan was. He initially uses a pair of Ripple-empowered clackers in battle, but he relies more on his wits than brute strength in fights, employing his uncanny ability to predict his opponent's actions down to what they say. He returns as a main character in Stardust Crusaders and as a supporting character in Diamond Is Unbreakable.
Smokey Brown (スモーキー・ブラウン Sumōkī Buraun)
Voiced by: Yū Hayashi (Japanese); Robbie Daymond (English)
A young black boy living in New York City who pickpockets Joseph, but Joseph saves him from a pair of racist cops and they become friends. After the end of Battle Tendency, Smokey attends college and studies political science, ultimately becoming the first black mayor of his hometown in Georgia. His name is inspired by the soul singer Smokey Robinson.
Erina Joestar (エリナ・ジョースター Erina Jōsutā)
Voiced by: Ayako Kawasumi (Japanese); Michelle Ruff (English)
Joseph's grandmother and the widow of Jonathan Joestar. She was believed to be Joseph's last living relative, until he discovers the whereabouts of his mother.
Robert E. O. Speedwagon (ロバート・E・O・スピードワゴン Robāto Ī Ō Supīdowagon)
Voiced by: Yōji Ueda (Japanese); Keith Silverstein (English)
An ally of Joseph, and an old friend of the Joestars. Since the events of Phantom Blood, Speedwagon settled in America where he became an oil tycoon and founded the Speedwagon Foundation in order to deal with paranormal threats such as the Stone Mask and, later, the Pillar Men.
Rudol von Stroheim (ルドル・フォン・シュトロハイム Rudoru Fon Shutorohaimu)
Voiced by: Atsushi Imaruoka (Japanese); W.T. Falke (English)
Commander of the Nazi forces who discovered Santana in Mexico. He is responsible for not only saving the life of Speedwagon, but also for trying to help Joseph defeat Santana by blowing himself up. He returns later as a cyborg to assist in the fight against Kars, who slices him to pieces. He is rebuilt and leads an army to help Joseph in the fight against Kars and his vampire forces, having been given ultraviolet lamps to stop them. After the end of Battle Tendency, Stroheim dies in 1943 on the front-line during the Battle of Stalingrad.
Caesar Anthonio Zeppeli (シーザー・アントニオ・ツェペリ Shīzā Antonio Tseperi)
Voiced by: Takuya Satō (Japanese); Bryce Papenbrook (English)
A suave ladies' man and the grandson of Jonathan Joestar's Ripple teacher Will A. Zeppeli. He is rather cool and collected, especially compared to Joseph, with whom he is grudgingly paired to fight the Pillar Men. But over time, Joseph starts to grow on him so much that he is able to understand his strange thought patterns and they form an unbeatable duo. He infuses the Ripple into soap bubbles he creates with his specially-made gloves. Caesar dies in his fight against Wamuu, but not before he can steal Wamuu's antidote for Joseph.
Lisa Lisa (リサリサ Risarisa)
Voiced by: Atsuko Tanaka (Japanese); Wendee Lee (English)
A mysterious lady Ripple master and Caesar's Ripple teacher who lives in Venice. She is the last surviving master of the Ripple and as such possesses the Super Aja (スーパーエイジャ Sūpā Eija), a perfectly cut Red Stone of Aja which she guards from the Pillar Men. She is revealed to be Joseph's mother Elisabeth (エリザベス Erizabesu), who went into hiding after killing her husband's murderer, a zombie loyal to Dio who infiltrated the Royal Air Force. She is gravely wounded in her fight with Kars, but manages to survive. At the end of Battle Tendency, she moves to America and remarries. Lisa Lisa fights with the Ripple by conducting it through her specially made scarf. She is named after the frontwoman of the band Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam. Lisa Lisa is the inspiration behind Street Fighter character Rose.

Pillar Men[edit]

The Pillar Men (柱の男 Hashira no Otoko) are the main antagonists of Battle Tendency. They are members of an ancient race of humanoids that had extraordinary strength, intelligence, and lifespan. They once ruled the Earth, draining the life energy of other living creatures, which led humans to see them as gods and demons. Kars sought to unlock his race's true potential with the Stone Mask, which had a side effect of turning humans into vampires, and the Red Stone of Aja, making them immune to their only weaknesses: sunlight and the Ripple. However, his people saw he was a danger to the world and rose up against him, leading Kars and Esidisi to obliterate their clan, except for the children Wamuu and Santana. The four entered a two-thousand year hibernation in stone pillars, waiting until the discovery of the Super Aja in order to achieve their goals of total immortality. Despite their bloodthirsty nature, they are all chivalrous warriors, and only truly fight Ripple users in fair fights. Each has total control over their body, able to transform it to suit their needs, with most having a unique speciality called a Mode (流法(モード) Mōdo).

Santana (サンタナ)
Voiced by: Kenji Nomura (Japanese); Kaiji Tang (English)
Santana is discovered in a Mexican pyramid in 1938 by Straizo's Speedwagon Foundation team and then taken by the Nazi forces under Stroheim for live human experiments to see if he can be used to power the German army, even using a Stone Mask vampire on him to see how much more powerful he is. Santana escapes, as he can contort his body to escape through a ventilation shaft, and shows he has mastered human language and the mechanisms of the Germans' weaponry when he manages to withstand their attacks. Joseph and Stroheim manage to stop him by escaping to the outside, as Joseph traps him in a well at high noon, turning him back to stone. His remains are taken to a Speedwagon Foundation laboratory while permanently exposed to ultraviolet lamps to trap him. He is named after the long-lived rock group Santana. In English localizations, he is renamed "Santviento".
Esidisi (エシディシ Eshidishi)
Voiced by: Keiji Fujiwara (Japanese); Chris Jai Alex (English)
Esidisi has an erratic temper, quick to sob uncontrollably and just as quick to calm himself down. His Mode is the Heat Control Mode (怪焔王の流法(モード) Kaiennō no Mōdo), which allows him to make boil his blood to 500 °C (932 °F), which he injects into his foes to burn them alive by extending his needle-like blood vessels out of his own body. He faces off against Joseph after murdering Loggins, using his knowledge of Sun Tzu's Art of War to match Joseph's own quick wits in a battle of deception. Joseph gains the upperhand after a cut and restore rope trick, destroying Esidisi's body, but is unaware his brain survived. Esidisi's brain possesses Suzi Q to get her to mail the Super Aja to Kars and then plans to use her blood to kill the others until Joseph and Caesar's contrasting Ripple abilities destroy him once and for all, saving Suzi Q's life. He is named after Australian hard rock band AC/DC.
Wamuu (ワムウ Wamū)
Voiced by: Akio Ōtsuka (Japanese); George C. Cole (English)
Wamuu is Esidisi and Kars' loyal servant, who is a strong and honorable warrior, but reflexively attacks anyone who steps on his own shadow. His Wind Mode (風の流法(モード) Kaze no Mōdo) allows him to control the air in his lungs, turning it into a powerful wind at his disposal, from using it like a razor sharp blade to rendering him invisible. He spares Joseph's life, allowing him to master the Ripple, but uses a lip piercing to poison him to ensure he does as he claims. His next fight is against Caesar, who manages to hold his own, but cannot defeat Wamuu's Wind Mode. He kills Caesar, but not before Caesar obtains the antidote and saves it for Joseph, a valiant effort Wamuu honors by letting Joseph obtain the antidote. He later faces off against Joseph in a deadly chariot race, and Joseph is the victor after using his wits and Ripple masterfully against him, even after Wamuu blinded himself to empower his Mode. As Wamuu lays dying, only his head remaining, Joseph spares his life by giving him his own blood, which Wamuu thanks him for by using the last of his strength to kill a horde of vampires that attempted to kill Joseph in revenge. He is named after the 80s pop duo Wham!.
Kars (カーズ Kāzu)
Voiced by: Kazuhiko Inoue (Japanese); Will Barrett (English)
Kars is the leader of the Pillar Men. He is intelligent, ruthless, and single minded in his dedication to obtaining the perfect Red Stone of Aja, however he holds compassion for other living things. His Mode is the Light Mode (光の流法(モード) Hikari no Mōdo), which allows him to produce bladded appendages from his arms that he attacks with and uses to reflect blinding light at his foes. He faces off against Lisa Lisa, but cheats during his match against her and steals the Super Aja. The ultraviolet lamps of the Nazi forces stop him until he uses the Super Aja in his Stone Mask to evolve into the Ultimate Thing (究極生命体(アルティメット・シイング) Arutimetto Shiingu, "Ultimate Life Form" in English localizations), making him immune to sunlight and obtaining unique genetic abilities like produce living creatures from his body and control them, mutate his body into various forms, and control of the Ripple. He is defeated as a result of his own hubris, using a Ripple to attack Joseph, whose hand he has already sliced off, in an active volcano, only for the attack to strike the Super Aja, sending him flying out into space. As he drifts in the vacuum of space, he freezes into a stone, and longs for death, until he eventually stops thinking. He is named after the 80's new wave group The Cars.

Supporting characters[edit]

Straizo (ストレイツォ Sutoreitso)
Voiced by: Nobuo Tobita (Japanese); Dave Mallow (English)
After Phantom Blood, Straizo replaced Tonpetty as the lama of the Ripple users. After finding a new Stone Mask in Mexico, he decides that he has lived enough of a life of piety to receive nothing in return and activates one of the Stone Masks, becoming a vampire. He then hunts down Jonathan's grandson Joseph so no one in the world can possibly kill him, but Joseph's different fighting strategies ultimately cause Straizo's downfall. He activates his Final Ripple to kill himself, but not before he reveals the existence of the Pillar Men to Joseph.
Messina (メッシーナ Messhīna) and Loggins (ロギンズ Roginzu)
Voiced by: Hidetoshi Nakamura (Messina) and Yutaka Nakano (Loggins) (Japanese); Geoffery Chalmers (Messina) (English)
Lisa Lisa's disciples and servants. They train Joseph and Caesar and give the two their final test. While Caesar successfully defeats Messina, Joseph discovers Loggins has been murdered by Esidisi, who Joseph fights instead. They are named after the pop duo Loggins and Messina.
Suzi Q (スージーQ Sūjī Kyū)
Voiced by: Sachiko Kojima (Japanese); Stephanie Sheh (English)
Lisa Lisa's personal assistant who is ditzy and forgetful. She is possessed by Esidisi and is forced to attack the others, but Caesar and Joseph manage to use the Ripple to save her. She becomes Joseph's wife, and the two have a daughter. She is named after Suzi Quatro as well as the song "Susie Q".
Wired Beck (鋼線(ワイアード)のベック Waiādo no Bekku)
Voiced by: Satoshi Tsuruoka (Japanese); Mike Davis (English)
A vampire created by Kars who can grow spikes from his body. He attacks Joseph and Lisa Lisa, but she quickly defeats him with her scarf. Wired Beck is named after Jeff Beck, who had an album titled "Wired".
George Joestar II (ジョージ・ジョースターII世 Jōji Jōsutā Nisei)
Jonathan and Erina's son, Lisa Lisa's husband, and Joseph's father. After being raised by his widowed mother Erina, he fell in love with Lisa Lisa and wed, having one child together. He joined the Royal Air Force as a fighter pilot during the Great War, but his superior was one of Dio's zombie lackeys who killed George II, who was defenseless without the Ripple.
Donovan (ドノヴァン)
Voiced by: Ken'ichirō Matsuda (Japanese); Ray Chase (English)
Donovan is a Nazi commando sent to track and kill Joseph before he can make it to the Nazi laboratory in Mexico. He reveals the Nazis have been spying on Joseph, and Straizo, for some time, and holds his own in battle against Joseph until Joseph tricks Donovan into slamming into a cactus. In the English localization, his name is Donobang.
Mark (マルク Maruku)
Voiced by: Ryōta Ōsaka (Japanese); Kyle McCarley (English)
Mark is a low-ranking Nazi soldier who is Caesar's best friend. He has a happy outlook on life and wants to go back home to marry his sweetheart. Mark serves as Caesar's, Joseph's, and Speedwagon's chauffeur in Rome, bringing them to the site of the Pillar Men's burial. He is killed when Wamuu steps right through him, dissolving most of his body. Caesar tearfully uses the Hamon to end Mark's suffering, which spurs him to kill the Pillar Men.
Mario Zeppeli (マリオ・ツェペリ Mario Tseperi)
Voiced by: Jin Yamanoi (Japanese); Doug Stone (English)
Will's son and Caesar's father, Mario left home to investigate the Pillar Men, earning the ire of Caesar. However, when Caesar nearly falls victim to a trap laid by the Pillar Men in their burial, Mario pushes him out of the way, saving him, and restoring his faith in his father.

Related media[edit]

Ōtarō Maijō's 2012 novel Jorge Joestar, follows the titular character, the father of Joseph Joestar, and his story as a child in the Canary Islands and pilot in the Royal Air Force, as well as an alternate version who lives in Japan and is investigating strange events regarding alternate dimensions.[2]

The arc was adapted as part of the first season of David Production's television anime adaptation, airing between December 7, 2012 and April 5, 2013. Warner Bros. Entertainment will release this series in English on July 28, 2015.[needs update][3]

The young Joseph of this series appears as a playable character, alongside his older self, in Capcom's 1998 arcade fighting game, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Joseph, Caesar, Wamuu, Esidisi and Kars appear as playable characters in Bandai Namco Games' 2013 fighting game, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle, with Lisa Lisa later appearing as a downloadable character. Joseph, Caesar, and Stroheim will appear in the upcoming JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven, also by Bandai Namco.