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Recap / Death Battle S 05 E 03 Jotaro Kujo Vs Kenshiro

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Death Battle is no stranger to badass, macho heroes, but these two are as manly and stoic as they come.

Jotaro Kujo, the delinquent-turned-hero from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. And Kenshiro, the wandering Fist of the North Star.

The third episode of season five pits these two manly heroes, both capable of Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs. The hosts will pit the power of Stands against Hokuto Shin Ken. It’s ORAORAORAORA vs. ATATATATA as we find out which one of them will survive a Death Battle.


To start the episode, Wiz and Boomstick cover Jotaro Kujo, the third of his bloodline with the nickname of JoJo, and like his predecessor, was a ne'er-do-well troublemaker. At the age of 17, Jotaro turned himself in after simultaneously beating four noted gang members. More troubling than this, however, was the fact that Jotaro was unaware of how he managed to defeat the gangsters, coming to the conclusion that he was possessed by a demon. To emphasize his concerns, he swiped a policeman's gun and aimed it at himself as he fired; to the surprise of the cops and his visiting mother Holy, a third arm seemed to materialize from Jotaro, the bullet held between its fingers. That which plagued Jotaro was no demon, but an entity made manifest through the Joestar lineage, known as a Stand, so named because they become most effective when they stand by the user. Joseph Joestar, Jotaro's grandfather and the second of the JoJos would later enlist Jotaro to rescue Holy from her own stand, part of a greater plot from the family's longtime nemesis, the resurrected Dio Brando.


Though Jotaro is no slouch in a battle himself, being able to break through solid stone and leap several stories high, his true hallmark in a fight comes from his Stand. Stands are an extension of the user's soul, and as a rule of thumb, the only way to harm or even see most Stands is to use another Stand. In Jotaro's case, he happened to get one of the more imposing Stands within the JoJo universe, Star Platinum. While Star Platinum has a conventional array of powers, such as superhuman strength, speed, and senses, it can also phase through bodies to affect an individual's internal organs and extend its fingers to attack from a distance. Combined with Jotaro's own quick thinking and keen intellect in the middle of a bout, this makes the pair an unquestionably devestating combo; yet, despite the unstoppable prowess Star Platinum possesses even as is, the Stand's development would not end there. After Dio grafted himself onto body of the first JoJo, Jonathan Joestar, he gained a Stand of his own, The World, and with it, the ability to briefly stop time. Jotaro and Star Platinum would later do battle against Dio and The World, acquiring their time-stopping powers for themselves. With Star Platinum's own take on the ability, it can stop time for up to five seconds, during which Jotaro can freely move about and affect his surroundings.


The legacy of the Joestars is one that stands proud courtesy of Jotaro and his Stand. Star Platinum has broken the harder-than-diamond teeth of the High Priestess stand, an accomplishment that clocks its punching strength at three million tons. Star Platinum has also traded blows with the Silver Chariot Stand; to contextualize this feat, Silver Chariot could intercept the Hanged Man, a Stand that travels between reflective surfaces at light speed. As this required some forethought on Silver Chariot's behalf, it shows the Stand can at least move at high relativistic speed, and by extension, so can Star Platinum. However, the myriad accomplishments Star Platinum has to its name does not mean it or Jotaro are invincible. A Stand and their user are synchronized; any pain or injury inflicted upon one is immediately transferred to the other, up to and even including death. In addition, a majority of Stands are only powerful when in close proximity to their user; a rule Star Platinum is no exception to as any further than ten feet, and its effectiveness drops off drastically. Its own time stopping abilities cannot be used repeatedly, requiring a cooldown time between uses. And despite his above average physicality, Jotaro himself is still human, able to be seen and subdued by mundane means. However, Jotaro is flawed, but this by no means limits his worth in a fight. Accompanying Joseph, Jotaro assembled a motley crew of allies to travel the world and rescue Holy, putting an end to Dio's evil once and for all. Even after his own adventures had concluded, Jotaro's fate would be one deemed to cross paths with future JoJos, including his eventual daughter Jolyne, the longest lasting and perhaps most iconic in the history of the JoJos and their bizarre adventures.

Jotaro Kujo: (tears a strip of paper out a handbook after punching Steely Dan through a building) Your receipt. You can keep the frickin' change. (walks off after dropping the paper, leaving it drifting in the wind)

After Jotaro's rundown comes that of Kenshiro, a wanderer of the apocalyptic wasteland that the world has become in the last decade of the 20th century. Before the bleak land that he would become best known for surviving in, Kenshiro was one of four orphans adopted by Ryūken, a practicioner of the ancient Chinese martial art Hokuto Shinken. While anyone can learn the basics of Hokuto Shinken, due to its extreme lethality, there can only be one grandmaster of the art, or denshosha, and Ryūken bore the honor of being the 63rd bearer of the title. Likewise, the denshosha is responsible of passing the secrets of Hokuto Shinken onto but one successor, and Ryūken chose Kenshiro as his; Raoh, the eldest of the four orphans, became infuriated that he was denied the role of denshosha, killing Ryūken in retaliation. Kenshiro, meanwhile, found peace while it lasted, finding a fianceé in Yuria. Sadly, tragedy would follow afterwards; society collapsed from the nuclear war, and amid the destruction that followed, Shin, a long-time friend of Kenshiro now turned foe, attacked Kenshiro, leaving him with seven scars on his chest before abducting Yuria. Somehow, Kenshiro survived the attack, leaving countless bodies in his wake as he brought down the tyrants of the land in his pursuit of revenge.

Because of his expertise in Hokuto Shinken, Kenshiro has proven himself to be an intimidating opponent time and again. The martial art specializes in channeling its users' energy and unleashing it on their foe's pressure points; a large number of effects may follow depending on the points struck, but most will usually result in a prolonged and painful death for the victim. Kenshiro utilizes a similarly expansive array of techniques to brutalize his enemies, his trademark attack being the Hokuto Hyakuretsu Ken, a rapid-fire delivery of a hundred punches in a matter of seconds. While a normal fighter can only utilize up to 30 percent of their natural strength, Kenshiro can use the Hokuto Shinken art of Tenryū Kokyū Hō to gain access to the remaining 70 with the aid of his tōki, a special type of ki energy. Tōki can also permit a practitioner of Hokuto Shinken to perform other, more esoteric feats; said feats include leaving mirage-like afterimages in the user's wake, sensing the fighting auras of others, and channeling their tōki into beams of energy. Impressive as such a repertoire of moves may already be, however, there remains one ultimate skill at Kenshiro's disposal, the Muso Tensei; so elusive is this technique that no prior denshosha in the history of Hokuto Shinken has been able to harness it. Only those who embrace the true nature of sadness can unlock its power, and while using it, Kenshiro enters a state of intangibility, attacks phasing through him. The Muso Tensei also lets Kenshiro contact the spirits of fallen allies and rivals alike, supplementing their abilities onto his own.

Pursuing those who do evil and exacting vengeance upon them comes second nature to Kenshiro, and he has the track record to prove it. Beyond the assortment of henchmen slaughtered in his travels across a ruined world, Kenshiro has also put down many others whom follow similar martial arts as himself, even defeating Shin and Raoh in his travels. The strength provided by Hokuto Shinken and Tenryū Kokyū Hō have given Kenshiro an extemely expansive series accomplishments of his name; walking through tank fire, handling lava with his bare hands, breaking a skyscraper in half and walking through it as it collapsed on him, all feats Kenshiro has performed. Even in a land of barbarity such as the world of 199X, Kenshiro remains a beacon to the downtrodden, living that proof strength and kindness can co-exist.

Kenshiro: Omae wa mo shinderu. translation 
Galzas: Nani!? translation  (his stomach pulsates wildly before he groans as it bursts open)

With both combatants given a thorough analysis, they’re ready to stand off. One advertisement for MeUndies later, and it’s time for a Death Battle!

The morning sun beats down upon the Egyptian desert. Passing by a dead squirrel roasting in the sands, are Jotaro Kujo and his grandfather, Joseph Joestar; the second and third of the JoJos. The relatives trudge along silently before gazing upon a pyramid in the distance, when a faint rumble attracts their attention; a dune buggy barrels towards the two, and its driver is none other than Kenshiro, savior of the century's end. Despite Joseph's overwhelming dread, the buggy stops short of grandfather and son. When Jotaro inquires about Kenshiro, the 64th denshosha leaps out, taking on a fighting stance. Jotaro and Kenshiro challenge one another while Joseph hastily backs out from the battleground, keeping his distance from the two combatants.


Kenshiro is the first to make a move throwing a straight hook, but Star Platinum intercepts the blow and vanishes into the air. In Kenshiro's ensuing perplexity, Jotaro become the one to land the first blow, having Star Platinum uppercut Kenshiro into the pyramid. The Hokuto Shinken practitioner soon recovers, jumping out the impact crater and aiming at the JoJo with a dive kick; Jotaro in turn vaults towards Kenshiro. Right before the two men collide, Jotaro calls upon Star Platinum, using The World's ability to halt time, and in that brief moment, the pair have seemingly exchanged places. As Kenshiro looks around, attempting to gain sense of this change of events in the battle, an overhead hook from Star Platinum sends him rocketing into the dunes.

Kenshiro stands upright a second time, using tōki to spot Star Platinum standing right behind Jotaro. With a clearer idea of his real target, the son of Ryūken rushes towards the third JoJo when Star Platinum once again meets Kenshiro's fist with its own. Stand and denshosha launch into a volley of punches, their iconic hollering punctuating the bout for a few seconds until Star Platinum gains the upper hand, a hook to Kenshiro's jaw knocking him backwards. When Star Platinum attempts to follow through with an overhead blow, however, Kenshiro is able to vault backwards and out of the Stand's attack. Star Platinum unleashes its fingers, elongating to close the distance to Kenshiro, but to no avail; the Hokuto Shinken expert leaps skyward and launches a blast of tōki towards Jotaro. The Stand reemerges to take the attack, and as Kenshiro touches upon the sands and unleashes a beam of tōki, Star Platinum brushes it off, shielding Jotaro as he marches forward. A second passes when Star Platinum lunges ahead, throwing another overhead hook at Kenshiro before it finds one several copies standing before it, phasing right through the Stand's fist.

Jotaro and even Joseph watching from afar are taken aback by this sudden development in the match before the Kenshiro clones vault into the sky, descending upon Star Platinum en masse. While Star Platinum bats the Kenshiros away, Jotaro slowly backs off, keeping an eye on his Stand as it fends off the impending horde. The Stand, preoccupied with fighting the swarm of Kenshiros, fails to spot one charging towards Jotaro, thrusting his fingers against the JoJo's chest. Jotaro scoffs at the attack as Star Platinum flings the Kenshiro back towards the other mirages before regrouping; the clones leap upwards once more, firing thin concentrated rays of tōki at the Stand. Star Platinum effortlessly runs past the oncoming barrage until Jotaro orders the Stand to freeze time, beams stopped in their tracks. The Stand identifies the real Kenshiro among the clones and prepares to phase into his body, aiming for his heart.

Jotaro is just barely too late in finishing the match as the time stop's five second duration runs out; in the moments that follow, Kenshiro uses Muso Tensei to evade Star Platinum's grasp and materialize behind Jotaro. The wanderer deems Jotaro as already dead, and Jotaro's confusion is cleared afterward; while Star Platinum was doing battle with the tōki-based illusions, it was no clone that struck Jotaro, but the flesh and blood Kenshiro himself, hitting a pressure point in a moment of vulnerability. Jotaro's horrified face begins to swell and expand rapidly before he erupts into a shower of blood, leaving Joseph to curse this disaster upon the Joestar lineage as Kenshiro walks away from the surviving JoJo.


As Joseph mourns the sanguineous paste his grandson has been reduced to, Jotaro laments his own passing in the heavens above, lowering his hat in a moment of silence for himself; Kenshiro, meanwhile, continues journeying through the desert in search of parts unknown. In what the hosts admitted turned out to be an extremely close match, they acknowledge the fact that Kenshiro would merely have to touch a pressure point on Jotaro to ensure victory, given he himself would stand no chance against Kenshiro, but the inclusion of Star Platinum turned it into an uphill battle. While Jotaro would have the initial advantage in that Star Platinum would do the fighting on his behalf, the Stand is an embodiment of Jotaro's willpower and fighting spirit; Kenshiro has had experience in fighting foes that can only be detected in a similar manner, and once he figured out Star Platinum was no different, it would only take channeling tōki to spot the Stand. This, in turn, leads to a more complex study of the combatants; Kenshiro lacks a stand, and thus would be unable to damage Star Platinum, but the Stand, in turn, lacked the physical strength to inflict any lasting damage on Kenshiro. To emphasize this point, both characters' building-related strength feats are brought up, as Star Platinum snapping a small portion of a building pales in comparison to Kenshiro toppling an entire skyscraper and ignoring the building collapsing on him; Kenshiro, in fact, survives blows more fatal than what Star Platinum could potentially deliver. In addition, while Jotaro is a clever combatant and one that can analyze his foes' strategies mid-fight to exploit, there is nothing to deduce from a strategy as straightforward as Kenshiro's. The time stop and Star Platinum's relativistic speed would pose a problem for Kenshiro, but Muso Tensei's intangibility would help him last long enough to wait out the time stop and survive the cooldown between its uses, while his tōki-based abilities would bridge the gap in speed. Both men are hallmarks of 80's anime and stand out for their rapid-fire fighting styles, but Kenshiro was tough and versatile enough to handle everything Jotaro could throw at him and then some.

Boomstick: JoJo didn't Stand a chance.
Wiz: The winner is Kenshiro!

Next time on Death Battle...

Jotaro Kujo vs. Kenshiro contains examples of:

  • Continuity Nod:
    • The opening acknowledges several other hyper-masculine heroes Death Battle has covered in the past, including He-Man, Balrog, and Thor.
    • Star Platinum's time stopping ability requires a cooldown between use, citing Tracer's Blink and Recall as a comparison.
  • Demonic Possession: Mentioned in passing as Jotaro's original explanation for Star Platinum and why Wiz's pet rat has been making pentagram markings as of late.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": Boomstick gets a good laugh out of Wiz acknowledging how Star Platinum's punches can fracture a diamond's cleavage, mistaking it for the other kind of cleavage.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Boomstick has this reaction when Wiz describes Stands getting the name cause they "stand" by you.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: During the middle of the fight, Kenshiro manages to get past Star Platinum and attempt to strike Jotaro, who leans back and has Star Platinum throw him away. No Ludicrous Gibs, so crisis averted, right? Wrong. Not too long later, Kenshiro says his Catchphrase and it cuts back to that exact moment, where it shows Ken did touch Jotaro with one finger and it was just a Time-Delayed Death.
  • Pummel Duel: Kenshiro and Star Platinum get into one, though for Ken it's more out of defense since he can't hurt Star Platinum.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: Boomstick gives out a question he has no interest in having answered, when Wiz attempts to answer it anyway:
    Boomstick: Kenshiro can stand in lava! Lava! You know how hot lava is?
    Wiz: Well, up to two thousand—
    Boomstick: Yeah, really frickin' hot, that's what.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Fist of the North Star was greatly inspired by Mad Max, given a subtle nod when Boomstick describes the world Kenshiro roams as Mad Max-land.
    • He also mispronounces Hokuto Shinken as different variants of hakuna matata.

How well does it match the trope?

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