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Video Game / Viewtiful Joe

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"Henshin A Go-Go, baby!"

Viewtiful Joe is a combination of Platformers and Progressive Beat 'em Ups with Stylish Action elements developed by Clover Studio and published by Capcom. The games were originally released on the Nintendo GameCube, and also appeared in enhanced form on Sony PlayStation 2, with a third game on the Nintendo DS.

The story begins when film fan Joe and his girlfriend, "Sexy" Silvia, go to see an old tokusatsu movie called "Captain Blue". However, when the titular Captain Blue is defeated by the villain, said villain reaches out into the real world from the movie screen and kidnaps Silvia. Joe is also brought into the movie by Captain Blue's ship, the Six Machine. Now inside the world of "Movie Land", Joe meets his hero: Captain Blue, who has grown fat and old. Seeing immense potential in Joe, Captain Blue gifts Joe with the V-Watch, which with Joe, by saying the word "Henshin" (or, as he likes to say it, "Henshin-a-Go-Go, Baby!"), can turn into the superhero called Viewtiful Joe.

The first game saw Joe venturing through the various movie sets of Movie Land, fighting against the forces of Jadow, the evil syndicate that defeated Captain Blue and kidnapped Silvia. Joe fights and defeats the Mecha-Mooks that make up Jadow with his powers of VFX: VFX Slow, VFX Mach Speed, and VFX Zoom.

In the sequel, Joe and Silvia (who now has a V-Watch and can transform into a superhero, too), must stop another evil syndicate: Gedow. Led by the enigmatic Black Emperor, Gedow means to find the seven Rainbow Oscars, colorful statues that represent a force known as "the Power of the Happy Ending". Gedow captures and turns Captain Blue into one of these Rainbow Oscars, prompting Joe and Silvia to venture through new locales in Movie Land to find the remaining Rainbow Oscars and rescue Captain Blue, before the Black Emperor finds them and uses their power to escape Movie Land and take over the real world.

A third game, subtitled Double Trouble, was released on the Nintendo DS. It has similar gameplay, but new moves which take advantage of the double screen. Unlike the first two games, this one takes place in the real world, in an amusement park called... Movie Land. (Yes, seriously...) However, villainous entities within the actual Movie Land have finally managed to escape the realm and enter the real world. This new syndicate, Madow, is wreaking havoc in the amusement park, going so far as to steal the reel of a film Captain Blue's making starring Joe's sister, Jasmine.

Joe, of course, goes forth to defeat Madow and get the film back... but since he's in the real world, he doesn't have his V-Watch, thus can't transform into Viewtiful Joe. Blue and Silvia help him transform by constantly filming Joe with a special "V-Cam", which channels the "movie energy" Joe needs in order to transform into his superhero alter-ego and fight against Madow.

The official website for the first two games can be found here. There has also been an anime adaptation, which maintains much of the feel of the original (but only lasted one season in the U.S.) and a manga adaptation.

There is also a Mascot Fighter, Red Hot Rumble, featuring characters from the animated series, as well as a few from Devil May Cry in the PSP version of the game. This game is not connected to the main series, and its gameplay is similar to that of the Super Smash Bros. games.

Unfortunately, Clover shut down in 2007, and the lead designer is now with another company. Though he's expressed interest in completing his console trilogy, the outlook is grim.

Capcom has not left Joe out to dry, however. After Clover's demise, Joe has appeared as a playable character in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom and then Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds. Regardless of what happens to his home series, Joe has found acceptance in Capcom's stable, ensuring he at least stays visible for the foreseeable future.

The series provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Superpower Change:
    • In the games, VFX is implied to be the power of movie magic itself, merely altering the user's perception of the world around them, and Joe has to learn it directly from Captain Blue. In the anime, however, VFX is recognized as Captain Blue's power even in-universe, and Joe is able to learn it himself just by remembering scenes where Blue used it.
    • In a more specific example, the anime also changes Zoom from a stance to an actual power, allowing the user to literally zoom their vision in on enemy weak points, likely because the way Zoom works in the games would have been difficult to adapt into a medium that already has dynamic camera angles and close-ups.
  • Ability Depletion Penalty: The games have a VFX meter that limits your super power use. Deplete it entirely and the player character will lose their superhero transformation until the first (and longest) bar has refilled, during which time they cannot double-jump and receive double the damage if hit.
  • A God Am I:
    • King Blue wishes to escape Movieland and take over the real world.
    • Emperor Black wants to take the Rainbow Oscars for himself and use their power in the real world.
    • Both have a My God, What Have I Done? reaction after Joe beats them back to their senses; Jet Black in particular claims that he was being controlled by the Black Film, and in doing so hints that there was someone else controlling him. The third game probably would have addressed that...
  • Airborne Mooks: Verdy enemies in the first game.
  • Alien Invasion: GEDOW. The grunts of the army, the Flatties, even resemble the infamous "Flatwoods Monster" of UFO lore.
  • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Silvia's hero name is "Sexy Silvia", and her costume is modeled after a cheerleader uniform.
  • Animated Actors: Taken seriously for once, as the plot of Captain Blue's movie somehow changes before Joe and Silvia are pulled into it, and now Joe must Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: 2 allowed the player to replay specific scenes, making the elusive Rainbow-V stage rankings much less frustrating.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Black Film. Complete with mind-manipulating abilities.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Joe has been a huge fan of Captain Blue since childhood, and is more than happy to receive a V-Watch and become a hero in his own right.
  • Ass-Kicking Pose: Viewtiful Forever, one of the most expensive upgrades, actually damages Joe's opponents when he uses it — too bad it does crap for damage and gobbles up practically all of VFX. On the other hand, Joe IS invincible during the animation, which can give you a little breather during combat, and with a VFX Turbo Charger, the invincibility lasts long enough to turn back into Viewtiful mode.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Six Cannon. Unlike the other Viewtiful Touch moves, the VFX gauge needs to be extended almost all the way up to the maximum. It also requires a good deal of time for charging, which leaves you vulnerable for the duration (and if you're hit, you have to start over again). And then when you finally get around to firing it, it turns out that this attack is better for mook crowd control than against a boss. However, use VFX Slow and you'll be rewarded with a crawling blast of death that bites CHUNKS out of any boss's lifebar.
  • Back from the Dead: In Double Trouble, Queen Heinderella is really Junko, Joe and Jasmine's deceased mother who has descended from Heaven for a day to see how her children have grown.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: After his defeat, Big John in the second game tries twice to hijack the boss fights in future stages, only to get taken out by the actual boss.
  • Battle Couple:
    • Joe and Silvia act as this in the second game, with the player able to switch between them on the fly.
    • Blue and his wife Ivory form this, but only during the ending of the former's story in the first game.
  • Battle Strip: In 2, Silvia's normal superheroine outfit dispatches the top, skirt, and stockings for a leg-baring, midriff-baring, and buxom-flaunting outfit of a bikini and hot pants.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: To put out Fire Leo's flames so he can be attacked directly, Joe's only option is to set himself on fire with a flame that burns hotter. The only way to do that is to use the meteors he leaves behind and hammer them with Mach Speed until you catch on fire. (Or you can Zoom In during a Red Hot Kick to perform a flaming Spiral Dragon Kick.)
  • Big Bad: King Blue/Captain Blue in 1, Dark Emperor Jet Black in 2, Queen Heinderella (who is actually Junko) in Double Trouble, Tsukumo in Red Hot Rumble.
  • Body Surf: Tsukumo does this in Red Hot Rumble.
  • Book Ends: In the first game, the "Plot Twist" speech. Uttered by Joe against the first boss and Silvia at the end.
  • Boss Battle: In the final segment of each stage.
  • Boss Rush: The penultimate level in three of the four games.
  • Bowdlerization: In the English dub of the anime, Silvia's Henshin form was changed from "Sexy Silvia" to "Go-Go Silvia" and "Six Machine" was changed into "Machine Six" (presumably to prevent it from being heard as "Sex Machine"). In addition, Joe making a "VJ" with his hand is changed to a "hang loose" gesture due to its resemblance to Flipping the Bird, and most shots of Sprocket zipping up her dress are edited to have it already zipped up, though oddly the sound of her zipper is still audible in some scenes.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • You can play as Captain Blue, who can jump as high as a double jump, float indefinitely as long as you hold the jump button, with his only drawback being the inability to see skulls that telegraph enemy attacks. You only unlock him by beating "Ultra V-Rated" mode in the first game, the hardest difficulty.
    • You can unlock Unlimited VFX by beating every level of the game with a Rainbow V ranking. Given the game is already rather difficult, by the time you've unlocked it, you've probably beaten everything the game could throw at you. The sequel gives the same reward for beating all of the challenges in the 36 Chambers of Viewtiful, many of which unlock after doing something within the game itself, meaning you've already beaten the base game by the time you're able to use Unlimited VFX.
  • Brother–Sister Team: Joe and Jasmine apparently become one at the end of Double Trouble, although they did work in tandem quite well even before Jasmine became a superheroine.
  • Bullet Time:
    • The Slow ability. Naturally, it homages The Matrix by having Joe automatically dodge bullets just when they're about to hit him, at the expense of some VFX (though VFX Slow can't auto-dodge everything). It can also be used to punch said bullets back at whoever fired them.
    • Zooming in as you do a VFX dodge is how the aforementioned Viewtiful Forever move is performed.
  • Butt-Monkey: Alastor; he's always given the short end of the stick.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!:
    • "Henshin a go-go, baby!"
    • There are several variations too: "Henshin!" for Silvia and Captain Blue, "Devil Trigger!" and "Trigger me!" for Alastor, "Devil May Cry (is rockin' baby yeah)!" for Dante, "Tenshin!" for Jet Black, "Jushin a go-go, baby!" for Jasmine, and "Henshin a yo-yo, baby!" for Captain Blue Jr.
    • Joe also says "Henshin around!" sometimes, apparently just for the variety.
  • Cel Shading: The games go very far with the aesthetic made possible by it.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The V-Film in Double Trouble. Not only does its essence allow Joe to regain his VFX powers in the final battle, but it also allows Jasmine to transform in the epilogue as well. When players are first introduced to it, it is nothing more than Captain Blue's latest film.
  • The Cameo: The final stage of the first game in the Gamecube version has multiple R.O.B.s in the background.
  • Canon Immigrant: Captain Blue Jr. and Sprocket become playable in Red Hot Rumble.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Used to restore the heroes' powers at the end of the second game.
  • Combat Stilettos: Just about every female character, although some of these apply exclusively to their Henshin'd forms.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Statues of Gran Bruce, a boss from the first game, appear in Alastor's boss stage in 2.
    • The wreck of the submarine that Joe destroyed in the first game is seen in 2 during the Six Machine section of the fifth level, along with a small liferaft filled with Biankys trying to get rescued.
  • Cool Helmet: Joe and Captain Blue have one.
  • Corridor Cubbyhole Run: Episode 4's torpedoes in the first game.
  • Cut Short: The series was meant to be a trilogy; however, since Clover stopped to work on two spin-offs, then got canned by Capcom, the third main-series game was never made.
  • Deadly Doctor: The nurse Elite Mooks.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Silvia, Alastor, Sprocket, and Blue Jr. in the anime.
  • Degraded Boss: Fire Leo in Viewtiful Joe, Drill Sergeant Big John in Viewtiful Joe 2.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: King/Captain Blue. He gets better, though.
  • Distressed Damsel: Silvia in the first game. In the second, and one New Game Plus mode of the first, she becomes an Action Girl.
  • Do Androids Dream?: Miss Bloody Rachel learns to feel emotions after experiencing the Viewtiful nature of life at Joe and Silvia's hands. This doesn't fly with Dr. Cranken, who promptly electrocutes her. She gets better.
  • Dumb Muscle: Gran Bruce needs a second to think before he does... uhh... dehh... ANYTHING!
    • Except for telling Joe every detail of their dastardly plan.
  • Elemental Barrier: By attacking rapidly while in Mach Speed, Joe obtains a fire aura. In the second game, Silvia gains a lightning aura by using her Replay power. These auras protect the player from fire and lightning, respectively, as well as solving fire and lightning-related puzzles (like lighting torches and activating machinery). Switching out between characters also passes any active auras onto the other character, meaning that Joe can briefly gain Silvia's electric aura and Silvia can gain Joe's fiery one.
  • Elemental Powers: Joe's fire aura adds heat to his attacks, setting enemies on fire. Silvia's lightning aura causes some of her attacks to shock enemies. Both add additional damage.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: The last levels of Viewtiful Joe 1 and 2. There's also an elevator fight in one of the levels of Red Hot Rumble.
  • Foreshadowing: In the very first part of Viewtiful Joe, Silvia notes that there's something familiar about Captain Blue; at the end of the game, you find out that Captain Blue is Silvia's father. Alastor also talks about the ritual that would release Jadow as requiring a donor who shares his master's DNA, which doesn't seem to make sense until it's revealed Captain Blue originally wasn't a denizen of Movie Land.
  • Fourth Wall Shut-In Story: The director Captain Blue fits this trope when he gets trapped in the Movie Land he had filmed. Although he isn't the hero of the actual video game.
  • Fragile Speedster: Silvia Viewtiful Joe 1. On Adults (the default difficulty), she'll receive four times as much damage as the others, but she has the highest speed of any playable character.
  • Friendly Enemy: Alastor to Joe in the anime. This is even lampshaded at one point.
    Alastor: "We're supposed to be enemies, but you treat me like I'm your cousin or something."
  • From Bad to Worse: In the first game's sixth level, you consecutively fight all the previous bosses except Alastor, then if you beat that without dying, you fight Fire Leo, and then in the next level, you fight multiple robot clones of Fire Leo several times, and if you should get past that, you fight King Blue and Captain Blue in succession. Yeah, have fun with that.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The PS2 demo version from 2 in the PlayStation Holiday Disc 2004 caused all save files in their memory cards inserted in the console to be deleted. It even as a warning that it is strongly recommended to remove their memory cards before launching the demo.
  • Genre Savvy: Joe, Alastor, and quite a few others. Justified to the extreme in that they are all characters in an action movie and are entirely aware of that fact. Oddly, the first game's main villain, King/Captain Blue, averts this Trope; he's supposed to be the guy who makes these films, and knows their cliches and ideas in and out, so how is he not a more dangerous threat if he's got those traits?
  • Genre Shift: In the very last level of the first game, when you find out the main villain is none other than Captain Blue, the tone becomes far more serious, with Joe downplaying his quipping as he treats the situation more seriously.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss:
    • Given who he is and what powers he has, this is to be expected with Another Joe.
    • Frost Tiger. As hard as Fire Leo is, at least he didn't constantly run away shooting up fireballs from the ground. If you fail to make Frost Tiger dizzy by dodging his attacks the first time, he runs away and engulfs his body with frost again. Fire Leo is frustrating because he's so hard to beat; Frost Tiger is frustrating because he never stays still.
    • Dark Kaiser revolves around this — you have to catch up to the enormous mecha before it lays down punishment, because Dark Kaiser is invulnerable to attack until it opens its chest to unleash a missile strike, Jupiter pinball attack, or Saturn ring attack that traps you in a confined space. Also, those fire dragons can't hurt you if you punch the earth at Mach Speed and get a fire aura going. Yes, you have to punch out the freakin' Earth to keep giant flaming space dragons from burning your balls.
    • Dark Hero Jet Black is the same, but with him, if you follow him as he flies away, it's likely you're gonna get butchered by a sudden shitstorm of attacks. Wronski Feint much?
  • The Good Captain: Captain Blue, of course!
  • Gosh Darnit To Heck: When Joe gets frustrated with Gran Bruce's ditzy nature and has to finish one of his sentences.
    Joe: "Gum! G-U-M! Gum! Gosh, do I have to spell it out on a chalkboard for you!?"
  • Hearts Are Health: If you lose all of them, the director will cut the film and you lose a life.
  • Hellish Copter: The second mini-boss you face in the 1st level is a Black Thunder Helicopter. Upon being killed, it flies out of control, crashes, and explodes into large V points (this game's currency).
  • Henshin A Go-Go Hero: Not just the heroes, but the villains, too.
  • Heroic BSoD: Only in the anime adaption, when Joe finds out that Captain Blue is the Big Bad. It takes Blue Jr., Silvia, and people Joe met through Movie Land to get him out of it.
    • He had a minor BSOD at the same moment in the game, too ("How? Why?"), but quickly snapped out of it himself.
  • Homage:
    • The entire final level of the first game is a homage to Star Wars. There's a good deal of this in 2, as well, not least of which is Dark Kaiser being a giant mech whose torso is the Death Star.
    • Joe's father, Jet, shares near-exactly the same hairstyle, outfit, and color scheme as the father of a little girl in an episode of the Ruby-Spears Mega Man (Ruby-Spears) cartoon. That character's name? Jet. The characters are otherwise unrelated, as the Jet from the cartoon lives in the future with his daughter under evil totalitarian rule. Joe's father, however...
  • Humongous Mecha: Ups the ante to ridiculous levels, as Six Majin is big enough to walk around the Earth in a few strides, and Six X Six Majin is bigger than most planets.
    • The only thing in the Solar System that Dark Kaiser is not larger than is the Sun. King Blue is the same size as Great Six Majin. In Double Trouble, Alastor gets his own mecha in the form of Rex Majin, which is as big as Six Majin (read: Godzilla-sized).
    • The size of Six Majin is a bit muddled. In the beginning of the first game, and in Double Trouble, it's skyscraper sized. But in the penultimate battle of the first game, and in the transformation sequence where it combines with Great Six Majin, it is taller than mountains.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Hulk Davidson brags about how he gave Captain Blue his scar, then screams "Not in the Face!" when attacked.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels:
  • Idiot Hero: Joe. In the anime, at least.
  • "Jaws" First-Person Perspective: Gran Bruce.
  • Jumped at the Call: Joe.
  • Justified Tutorial: In the first game, Joe is unsure how to use his V-Watch and has to be told how to use his powers by Captain Blue.
  • Killer Yo-Yo: Captain Blue Junior uses one in the anime, before he starts duel-wielding them in Henshin mode.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Too many to count!
  • Laser Hallway: An incredible source of Fake Difficulty in the first game, since they move in 3D while you're limited to 2D, with terrible depth perception; also, they're hard to see while in Slow-mo, since the screen darkens.
  • Land, Sea, Sky: The first three bosses of the first game are a bat, a rhinoceros, and a shark, respectively. They form something of a Terrible Trio in the anime.
  • Launcher Move: Punching while crouching will result in an uppercut, which will send most enemies flying into the air. Using Slow will allow you to launch enemies even higher.
  • Life Meter: Every boss and significant enemy has one of these, and some most of them are compounded.
  • Light Is Not Good:
    • Dark Hero, Jet Black, the Final Boss of 2.
    • Queen Heinderella follows in Jet's footsteps for the second phase of her battle in Double Trouble, implying that the trait rubbed off at some point during their married years. However, since she actually isn't evil, Junko is invoking yet subverting this trope instead of playing it straight.
  • Long-Lasting Last Words: Seen in 2:
    • The third boss Cameo Leon's death quote isn't just long, but also said very quickly.
    • Frost Tiger outright recites a poem after you deplete his health.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father:
    • Silvia, Captain Blue is your dad.
    • Used in all three main games. Viewtiful Joe 2 has The Dark Emperor as Joe's father and Double Trouble has Big Bad Queen Heinderella as Joe and Jasmine's mother, come back from the dead for one day to see how her children have grown.
  • MacGuffin: Arguably, the Rainbow Oscars in 2.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Cranken in 2.
  • Make My Monster Grow: The main villain of the first game is Captain Blue, who can transform into the gigantic, menacing King Blue at will.
    • Played with in the third level of Double Trouble. Vanilla is a stylish, tiny little commander (about the size of a figurine) who is in charge of defending a giant movie studio... where everything is also appropriately tiny, obviously to utilize the Miniature Effect and People in Rubber Suits methods of filmmaking. When she transforms using her heroic power, she becomes Alter Woman, an acrobatic, beam-blasting wonder who looks just like a female Ultraman... and now, 50 times bigger, is barely taller than Joe.
  • Mana Meter: The VFX gauge.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Every single enemy.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Fail too often and the game will give you a few seconds of invincibility as regular Joe.
  • Mirror Boss: Another Joe, complete with a Boss Remix of Joe's theme from the first stage.
  • Money Is Experience Points: You can use V-points to increase Joe's health and buy new abilities as well as various items for healing and combat.
  • Money Spider: You knock the V points out of enemies, which become coins. Larger enemies and bosses give you bigger coins, and sometimes points are hidden in boxes.
  • Mook–Face Turn: Silvia and two Mecha-Mooks.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Silvia in 2. From a Stripperiffic outfit during boss battles to loads and loads of panty shots (thanks to the Underwear of Power, if she's not wearing a leotard) to the most sensual Zoomed-in pose you'll ever see, Silvia has this one in the bag. Sprocket does give her a run for her money in the anime and Red Hot Rumble, though.
  • Multi-Take Cut: In 2, Sexy Silvia's exclusive power is to playback the same attack three times for triple damage, even though you only attacked once.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Joe. In everything he does.
    • All he has to say to transform is "Henshin." The other words are just for fun.
    • VFX Power Zoom. It consists of zooming in the shot on Joe, adding blur and motion lines everywhere to focus on the hero, and Joe striking an heroic pose. It also adds crazy effects to his attacks in the name of making everything awesome, like making his jumps into flying drills, his falls into earth-shaking Ground Pounds, his kicks into windmill strikes of death, turning his punch into a blindingly fast flurry of blows, and the Red Hot Kick into a burning dragon drill drop! Last, but not least, is the Viewtiful Forever, which has Zoom turn his Bullet Time dodge into a weaponized Ass-Kicking Pose!
    • In the beginning of 2, Joe learns that the V-Watch can change the clothing of their users in accordance to their desires. Then comes this event:
      Joe: "Go-Go phat hat!" (a "V" poofs onto his nice hat) "SHAZAM!"
  • Mundane Utility: It's easy to overlook the Shocking Pink item, but it has the useful quality of letting you break open containers in the background (normally you'd have to mach-speed-punch an enemy, but you can punch the bomb instead if none are around). This is more useful as containers can contain health, coins and most-importantly the v-cans you need to extend your VFX bar, which is important seeing as the game is Nintendo Hard on higher difficulties.
  • Music Video Credits Sequence: Or after-credits sequence. Joe, Alastor, Silvia, and others are shown in a Performance Video (it's a proper music video in the PS2 version) after the credits singing "Viewtiful World."
  • Mystical 108: "Thunder Boy Lives Twice" in the second game has a segment where you have to ring a giant bell 108 times (by hitting it) in order to continue, though knocking an enemy into the bell counts as 10 rings.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: JADOW in 1, GEDOW in 2, MADOW in Double Trouble. (How do they come up with those names?)
  • New Game Plus: After beating the game, you can start again with all the upgrades you bought the first time through. You can even change difficulty levels (if you finished the first time on Normal or harder) and keep all your upgrades.
  • No Fourth Wall: Alastor plugs the first game before his fight in the second.
    Alastor (addressing the player): "I'm not about to introduce myself. If you wanna know who I am, go to your nearest discount store and get a copy of Viewtiful Joe. Go! Now!"
    Alastor (to Joe, reading from a script): "For many years we have fought against Captain Blue for control of the world of movies. However—"
    Joe: "Heyheyhey, wait up there. That's the old script!"
  • No Inner Fourth Wall:
    • One of the best examples, and the source of a lot of the humor. Joe is fully aware of every old movie trope he encounters, though he remains oblivious to any video game tropes he runs into unless the two overlap.
    • The best example has to be Six Majin and King Blue literally reaching through the fourth wall to pull Joe and Silvia into Movie Land.
  • Old Superhero: Captain Blue.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: It takes some work to get the game that way, but playing Silvia in the 1st game (takes twice as much damage as normal) on Ultra-V mode (you take 4x as much damage as normal) turns you into a two-hit wonder at maximum health, with anything that normally takes more than one heart's worth of damage turning into an instant kill.
  • Only One Name: Joe, Silvia, and Jasmine (and by proxy, Goldie, Ivory, and Junko) are never given a last name. However, given that Jet Black is Joe and Jasmine's father and Junko's husband, it's likely that Jet's family shares his surname.
    • According to Hideki Kamiya, Wonder-Cheerleader from The Wonderful 101 is meant to be Silvia herself, meaning that Silvia's full name is actually Silvianne Lumiere. It thus stands to reason that Blue, Ivory, and Goldie's last names would therefore also be Lumiere.
  • Power Copying: Joker, a recurring King Mook Mini-Boss from the first game. In your first encounter with him, his combat skills are limited to the standard Bianky punches and kicks, but in subsequent encounters, he adds additional abilities used by other Mooks to his repertoire, up until your last encounter with him, where he has learned most of them.
  • Playing with Fire: Fire Leo. Also, when Joe uses his Mach Speed VFX Power, it can send him into Red Hot Mode, where he does added fire damage and is immune to fire.
  • Plucky Girl: Jasmine. Silvia to a much lesser extent.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: While the anime is largely faithful to the games, they do change a few things up. The second season changes a lot of the story from the second game... And yet, somehow, it works.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Present in the anime, made up of the weaker bosses from the first game.
  • Rank Inflation: You need to avoid getting one "C" rank or else your entire rating won't be "Viewiful."
  • Recovery Attack: Joe's Ukemi can be used to recover, attack, and decrease damage taken all at once, but requires strict timing to properly activate.
  • Recurring Boss: Big John shows up in every level of the second game.
    • Originates in the first with Joker and his slot machine.
    • Also Captain Blue in the first game.
  • The Rival: Alastor.
  • Running Gag:
    • Whenever Alastor is defeated, he appears to "die" honorably. The narrator gets very sentimental over this. However, Alastor usually appears immediately afterwards to lament his lack of screen time; in the first game he appeals directly to the players, and in 2 he speaks with Jet.
    • Big John has a slightly more minor once (see Bait-and-Switch Boss above).
  • Sentai: An Affectionate Parody.
  • Second Hour Superpower: Joe's titular V-Watch.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • Invoked at the end of the first game and the second game. The first game specifically states that the world will be threatened "two more times." The third threat has yet to be seen.
    • Double Trouble also invokes this, but with a new menace not connected to the second game's cliffhanger.
  • Sequence Breaking: In the fourth "episode" of the first game, it's possible to run across the torpedoes without deactivating them, which allows you to skip the first "mission" of the area and go right to the chapter end boss.
  • Shared Life-Meter: Both Joe and Silvia in 2 share a life and VFX meter.
  • Show Within a Show: Well, more like Movie Within a Game, which is where most of the action takes place.
  • Speed Stripes: They appear whenever you activate Mach Speed.
  • Spiritual Successor: An intentional example; Viewtiful Joe is very much a sidescrolling, toku-themed Devil May Cry, full of Mythology Gags to its sister series and having very similar gameplay, being an easy to pick up, but hard to master action game that grades your performance at the end of each stage to motivate improvement.
  • Spin to Deflect Stuff: The spinning part is optional; you only need to be in Slow-mo. For maximum spin and maximum deflection, you can use the Zoom-In Spin Kick.
  • Start of Darkness: Jet Black uncovering the Black Film and Black V-Watch. Double Trouble implies that the untimely death of his wife Junko also pushed him over the edge. For Blue, it was his fade from popularity in the movies as well as his willingness to live in the movies.
  • Staying Alive: Alastor. He's never dead, no matter how sad the narrator gets over his death; he's just somewhere not getting any more screen time for the rest of the game. And complaining bitterly about it.
    Alastor: "Aww, come on, help a brother out!"
  • Steam Vent Obstacle: In the third level of Viewtiful Joe 2, an air vent serves as an obstacle in a puzzle. There are two settings you can activate. Either can block the path below, or let you ride the wind inside it, depending on which side you come from.
  • Stripperiffic: Sexy Silvia's cheerleader-themed outfit (complete with a perpetual panty shot) is actually modest. For most boss fights in 2, however, the getup transforms into a midriff-baring combination of a bikini and hot pants. Also, there's Sprocket.
  • Super-Speed: Joe moves so fast that in VFX, he slows down time for the other enemies.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Many of the GEDOW enemies in the second game are, with minor design changes, functionally identical to those of JADOW from the first. Ditto for MADOW in Double Trouble.
  • Tag Team: Joe and Silvia, using their Viewtiful Touch moves.
  • Take Over the World
  • Terrible Trio: Charles III, Hulk Davidson, and Gran Bruce form one of these in the anime, though it is downplayed, as they are all roughly equal in rank - and equally incompetent, though Charles is the least incompetent of the three.
  • Theme Naming:
  • Threatening Shark: Gran Bruce in 1.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Joe's favorite food are Cheeseburgers in the anime, and in the games they recover his health.
  • Transformation Trinket: The V-Watch, V-Yo-Yo, etc. Also the Black V-Watch.
  • Trapped in TV Land: The first two games take place almost entirely in Movieland, the world inside the silver screen. The plot of the first game is kicked off when Joe and Silvia are watching an old Captain Blue movie, only for JADOW's leader to reach through the screen and capture Silvia, leaving Joe to follow after them and save her, and it takes until the end of the second game for the two of them to return to the real world.
  • The Triple Take: In the second game, Silvia has this as a power instead of Super-Speed. Unfortunately, if you're hit while you're using the power, you take three times the damage.
    • That's why you protect yourself with Slow and up your damage with Zoom.
  • Tsundere: Silvia from 2 on, although she shows brief flashes of it in the first game.
  • Twincest: More than likely unintentional, but in the first game, all playable characters have the exact same actions in their cutscenes. Meaning that Silvia attempting to make out with Joe during the game's intro sequence carries through with Silvia and her sister Goldie.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: In one of the final episodes of the anime, Alastor tells this to Joe as he saves Joe from Fire Leo. This is also the reason Alastor intercepts Queen Heinderella's fist after his duel with Joe in Double Trouble.
  • The Smurfette Principle: In regards to the Mecha Mooks that make up the rank and file of the villainous organizations, there's always one Elite Mook type that's explicitly female. The Biankies of Jadow has Rosetta, a biker girl in pink; the Flaties of Gedow have Infir, Infer, and Enfer, a trio of pink-clad nurses; and the Clownies of Madow has a pink-haired policewoman (her name's unknown, however, as there's little information on Double Trouble and her name's never stated in-game).
  • The Unintelligible: Applies to cutscenes for the extra characters in the first game. Most of the dialogue is pre-existing audio scrambled and played backwards. For Secret Character Dante, his lines come from the original Devil May Cry.
  • Updated Re-release: The first game had a Japan-only one called Viewtiful Joe: Revival, which added a "Sweet" difficulty. This was also included in the PS2 version.
  • Unreliable Narrator: The Narrator persistently attempts to make Joe's showboating look heroic.
  • Vague Hit Points: While the player's health is pretty clear-cut (The games use hearts as health where each heart=1 HP), the same can't be said for enemies and bosses. Enemies don't display their health, while bosses have health bars but don't tell the player what their HP is.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Hulk Davidson in the first game, Flinty Stone in 2.
  • Walkie-Talkie Gag, Over: One of the bosses, Sergeant Big John, frequently talks over the military radio and as such he always ends his sentences with "over". Even when he's disguising himself as "Big Lee" later on, he still says "over" after his sentences, which easily gives up his identity to Joe and Silvia.
  • Warrior Poet: Frost Tiger in 2. He even utters some poetry in his death throes. It makes his death all the more epic.
    Frost Tiger (after dispatching Big John): "Though I have slain/ my heart aches/ the piteous beast fades/ as morning dew."
    Frost Tiger (pre-battle): "Cast aside your desires/ and fight/ or this arctic wasteland/ will become/ your frozen grave."
    Frost Tiger (upon defeat): "Through countless battles/ I sought to attain/ the glorious path./ But true viewty comes/ in this late hour of defeat."
  • Worthy Opponent: Alastor, as well as Frost Tiger in 2.
  • You Killed My Brother: Subverted with Frost Tiger. Joe and Silvia expect him to want revenge for the death of Fire Leo in 1, but Frost Tiger is too concerned with having a good fight to care about such petty things. Still, the strategy guide implies that Tiger may be a mite ticked off about the death of his brother.
  • Your Size May Vary: In Red Hot Rumble, Charles, Hulk, and Bruce all are shown to be as tall as they usually are, until you choose them for playable characters where they are considerably smaller (outside of using Zoom, of course). This becomes a little egregious at the Results screen where they suddenly are back to their normal sizes.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Viewtiful Joe 2, Viewtiful Joe Red Hot Rumble, Viewtiful Joe Double Trouble


Gran Bruce

Gran Bruce is an anthropomorphic shark that works for Jadow, while he isn't the smartest (despite being chief staff of Jadow's central intelligence) he is still the strongest none the less.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / ThreateningShark

Media sources: