Where did Joseph get that tommy gun, the grenade, and the other eleven grenades he tied the first to? Answer: Who cares?
Practically everything that Joseph does, most notably in his final battle with Ultimate Kars. However, unlike most examples, the series gets away with it as it doesn't even bother to sugarcoat the fact Joseph defeated an otherwise Invincible Villain through sheer luck.
Kars suddenly getting the mask with the stone inserted without anyone knowing, just as he's about to be fried by ultraviolet rays. The anime alleviates this somewhat due to a bit of Adaptation Expansion in which Kars makes a seemingly futile leap after first landing on the spikes, giving him a more plausible opportunity to grab the mask and put the jewel in.
Awesome Music: Renowned anime composer Taku Iwasaki was brought on board for the soundtrack of the anime version. Iwasaki brings about many intense battle themes and hammy character themes, but perhaps the most famous would be the theme of the Pillar Men, Awaken.
Kars is either one of the more interesting and sinister villains in the series with a compelling backstory and understandable motivations, or a boring villain who was too mysterious for his own good and got overshadowed by the secondary villains of this part.
Caesar is well-liked by one part of the fanbase for his chemistry with Joseph and his tragic fate. While others consider him an undercooked character who doesn't actually accomplish much for all they build him up to be.
After Wamuu released his masters Kars and Esidisi from their emprisonment, Kars accidentally steps on Wamuu's shadow. This caused the latter to instinctively attack the former. He quickly apologizes to his master and Kars does the same. That being said, stepping on Wamuu's shadow comes across as a Chekhov's Gun, but no. It's never mentioned again.
In the anime, while monologuing to JoJo over the unconscious Lisa Lisa, Kars... starts strumming her legs to air guitar. He does this for no reason other than to be an ass and taunt Joseph.
Broken Base: The English dub for Battle Tendency was better received than Phantom Blood but still polarizing. Fans were still critical of the accents (especially Stroheim) and felt that there were better casting choices for the characters. There was also outcry over the dub changing many of this part's famous lines. Others however saw the dub as an improvement over the Phantom Blood dub with Ben Diskin fitting Joseph's playful personality and the accents being slightly stronger this time around. It is generally agreed among most viewers of the dub however that the Pillar Men all had strong English voices.
Common Knowledge: There is a surprisingly high number of casual fans, and critics, that say that Jonathan was the father of Joseph. This isn't true as Part 2 clearly explains that Joseph is Jonathan's grandson. Even if you discount the Tangled Family Tree that is the Joestar lineage, it's still ridiculous that so many people believe this when one of the main arcs of Part 2 was the reveal of who Joseph's mother is.
Crack Pairing: Caesar views Lisa Lisa as a mother figure, but that doesn't keep some fans from pairing them up.
Crazy Awesome: Joseph himself is a rare example of this for the main character. Fans love his goofball personality and the often-borderline nonsensical levels of trickery he uses to defeat his enemies.
The Pillar Men, especially Wamuu and Kars. The former because of his Noble Demon personality and friendly rivalry with Joseph, the latter because of his looks and for saving a dog when the series would become infamous for killing them. This is discounting the fact that Kars lacks Wamuu and Esidisi's honorable traits (best seen when he backstabs Lisa Lisa), and that Wamuu is ultimately too loyal to Kars to have a HeelFace Turn like many fans wanted.
Rudol von Stroheim is one of the most popular secondary protagonists in the entire franchise for his sheer hamminess and is often referred to as the most likeable Nazi character ever. He even got to be a playable character in Eyes of Heaven.
Wamuu is the most popular of the Pillar Men for being the Anti-Villain of the trio and for the sense of honor he displayed towards Joseph and Caesar. He's the only secondary antagonist in the franchise that is more popular than the main villain of his part.
Epileptic Trees: While it never happened and most likely never will, fans have speculated on what kind of Stand Kars could have developed and how powerful it would be compared to other high-level hero/villain stands. Some fans also speculate on the idea of whether or not Kars as the Ultimate Lifeform would be able to defeat powerful characters like Jotaro, DIO, Kira, and Pucci.
Even Better Sequel: Battle Tendency is often considered by fans to be one of the best parts in the entire franchise for being the point where it truly began to grow the beard. A lot of praise was given to its dynamic protagonists, villains with compelling motivations and backstories, interesting Battle of Wits fights, and being the point where the series began to embrace its own ridiculousness by becoming a self-aware epic.
Evil Is Cool: Almost everything about the Pillar Men reeks of this. Not only are they Aztec vampires with superpowers and lavish designs, but they even have a badass theme song to go along with them.
Fan-Preferred Couple: While Joseph/Suzi Q is not disliked by any means, Joseph/Caesar is one of the most popular pairings in the entire franchise, especially since many fans consider them the first "BroJo'' duo.
Fashion-Victim Villain: The Pillar Men, who seem to emphasize wearing as little clothing as possible. Esidsi at one point had what looked like leather pads sewn onto his skin and the manga even has him Going Commando in his debut.
Joseph/Wamuu has quite a bit of subtext as the two slowly become each others Worthy Opponent over the course of the arc culminating in Joseph bidding farewell to Wamuu by giving him some of his blood to ease his passing. Wamuu's last words noting that perhaps he lived so long to meet a warrior like Joseph, taken out of context, wouldn't sound out of place in a Love Confession.
Joseph pretending to have lost his hand to Santana was Played for Laughs. He ends up losing his hand to Kars in the final battle instead.
After Joseph gets poisoned by Wamuu and Esidisi's Wedding Rings of Death, he makes a joke about committing bigamy now that he has two wedding rings. Turns out in Diamond is Unbreakable that he had cheated on Suzie Q and unknowingly fathered an illegitimate child as a result.
Germans Love David Hasselhoff: While generally ignored in Japan until the 2012 anime came out, Battle Tendency is widely loved in the West for its Crazy Awesome nature and the fact that it refuses to take itself seriously while still being genuinely dramatic at key points (i.e. Caesar's death). Joseph himself is also a massive fan-favorite in the West, often being considered one of the best protagonists in the series.
Growing the Beard: After the Slow-Paced Beginning of Phantom Blood, Battle Tendency is generally considered the part where the series improved greatly, with more interesting characters, creative fight scenes where the characters frequently attempt to outsmart each other, and a globe-trotting plot that ups the scale. This is also reflected in the anime, where the animation quality sees a noticeable improvement.
For most of his life Joseph believed that his father abandoned him. Come Diamond is Unbreakable, Joseph would find out that he has a teenage son in Japan that he had unintentionally neglected for several years.
Adding to the above point, the scene where Suzie Q is happily rejoicing at being married to Joseph when they attended his own funeral can be considered harsher and even really awkward and cringing due to the fact that after a seemingly happy marriage, many years later, Joseph cheats on her with a younger woman and has an illegitimate son out of it (and it was before Stardust Crusaders). And we find out in Diamond is Unbreakable that she not only found out but is (understandably) angry at this. Although the narration later states she forgave him after being mistakingly furious regarding his adoption of Shizuka Joestar.
Erina and Speedwagon hid the Joestar family history from Joseph fearing he might end up like his great-grandpa, grandpa, and his father before him (all 3 of them fell to Dio, or his minions). Not only was Joseph presumed dead during the end of Battle Tendency (seemingly confirming their worst fears) before they found out that he managed to survive the re-entry, but after almost 50 years, Joseph does indeed die in the final chapters of Stardust Crusaders by the hands of DIO himself, judging him as a threat due to his Hamon, although his grandson Jotaro managed to save him in the nick of time by an emergency blood transfusion.
After Santana is defeated, the Speedwagon Foundation confirms that he is still alive, and he is never mentioned again. Which leaves some fans to believe that Santana could have potentially made a comeback in future parts. Though another common fan theory is that Joseph destroyed Santana before he left for Italy.
Inverted with Kars, who some thought had the potential to make a comeback if he returned to the Earth's atmosphere. Hirohiko Araki however confirmed that he wrote Kars' final fate the way he did to ensure that he'll never return.
Joseph always dreams of becoming a pilot like his father, and Araki often draws him with airship goggles. His english voice actor, Ben Diskin, voiced Numbuh 2 from Codename: Kids Next Door, who also wears airship goggles. Made even more hilarious and ironic since Numbuh 2 is an Ace Pilot, while Joseph is a Captain Crash.
Related to the above, Joseph also shares the same voice actor as Numbuh 1, another badass Brit. He also voiced Jupis in Rogue Galaxy who has an attack that is literally using clackers as a weapon.
During his fight with Kars, Joseph sets up a dummy with a henohenomoheji face on it as a decoy. One of the most famous roles of Kazuhiko Inoue, Kars' VA, is Kakashi in Naruto, whose namesake refers to scarecrows which in Japan are often marked with a henohenomoheji on their faces.
Ho Yay: The source of some of the series' most infamous examples, even in context. See the main page for details.
Kars is the leader of the Pillar Men, a group that seeks the Red Stone of Aja so as to become immune to the sunlight that harms them and reign as the "ultimate lifeforms." Awakening in the present day after centuries of slumber, Kars dispatches his loyal friends Wammuu and Esidisi to search for the Red Stone, and showcases his love for nature and its creatures when he murders a group of men who tried to kill a dog. Manipulating Joseph into assisting him in his quest for the stone by threatening the life of Lisa Lisa, promising to play fair only to use pragmatic tricks to win the day, Kars obtains the Red Stone of Aja, using it to become a god. Kars gives Joseph the fight of his life, as he constantly adapts to each and every thing the Hamon user throws at him, until he is finally outwitted and blasted into space only by sheer luck on Joseph's part.
The affable Esidisi is Kars' best friend and the second-in-command of the Pillar Men. Upon confronting Joseph when looking for the Red Stone of Aja, Esidisi quickly proves to be an expert in messing with his opponent, temporarily leaving Joseph unable to get a read on him, and leading to Esidisi nearly killing Joseph with his tactics while praising him for being a Worthy Opponent. Even when Joseph destroys Esidisis body, Esidisi reveals his plans went deeper after all, using his surviving brain to possess Suzi Q and mail the gemstone for Kars to pick up. He then shows his conviction to the Pillar Mens cause by being willing to sacrifice his own life in an attempt to take out the heroes by using the possessed Suzi Q as a boiling blood bomb, earning Josephs respect for Esidisis devotion to his allies.
Your next line will be: "[X]" ! Explanation Part 2 Joseph had a knack for predicting his opponent's next sentences. He always guessed correctly.
[X]! ... Uh!? Explanation The usual reaction from the above; some responses alternatively read "[X]! ... Nani?!"
"SHIIIZAAAAAAAA!!!" Explanation (spoilers) Joseph's response to finding Caesar's dead body following the latter's unsuccessful fight with the Pillar Men. The tongue-in-cheek usage of this quote tends to be most commonly applied in conjunction with various jokes about the large amounts of Ho Yay between Joseph and Caesar.
The infamous anatomy description that appears for Kars when he becomes the Ultimate Being. Partly because it's reminiscent of many a bad DeviantArt Marty Stu, but especially for one stand-out entry pointing out that for Kars, "Sex:USELESS".
Esidisi crying: both his face and the sound he makes when crying in the Japanese dub ("HEEEEEEEEEY!") have become rather popular.
SEKAI ICHInote Based on Stroheim's ham-tastic declaration that "German science is the best in the world!" Frequently typed in all caps, often followed by multiple exclamation points, additional 'i's optional ("SEKAI ICHIIII!!!")
Ahh! Sto-sama is dead!/あーん!スト様が死んだ! Explanation with mild spoilers for Battle Tendency Tankobon releases of the manga used to have a section for fan-submitted art. One of the pieces chosen was of the slightly unhinged artist bawling on Straizo's chest at the end of the volume in which he dies. Likely kicked off because of the hilarious FangirlSelf-Insert going on, and goes to show you that Estrogen Brigades as we know it (and the Draco in Leather Pants aspect for that matter) predate the Internet by a loooooong shot.
The opening Bloody Stream has become a meme in of itself. Not only is it used in many JoJoke videos, but a lot of parodies will often use that opening as a template, replacing the characters with other people.
AIAIAIAIAIAIAIIIIIIIIII/Pillar Man Dubstepnote "Awaken", the Pillar Men theme from the anime, has become memetic in the fan community.
SpeeeeeeeeeduwaGONNN.note Stroheim's Japanese VA has an... interesting way of addressing Speedwagon in one of the earlier episodes.
I'll never forgive the Japanese!Explanation A quote by Old Joseph lamenting that Holly had to live on the other side of the world. It was quickly appropriated by the anime culture, blaming Japan for their weird tastes in storytelling or accusing the Japanese of getting them addicted to anime porn.
Eventually, Joseph stopped thinking. Explanation (spoilers) Fans used this quote to parody the narrator quoting Kars' fate. It's commonly used to describe Joseph's reaction upon discovering that Lisa Lisa (who he peeped on earlier) is his mother.
Mis-blamed: Due to official translations' tendency for rather clumsy name changes to get around trademark issues, many fans assume the same happened with the names of the Pillar Men as well. However, in this case the My Nayme Is aspects come from the original JapaneseExamples "Esidisi" is a direct transliteration of his name エシディシ, whereas the band uses エーシー・ディーシー; likewise Wamuu's name is written ワムウ in Japanese, while the band Wham! is known as ワム, meaning the "changed" names are the accurate translations.
Straizo crossed it by betraying Speedwagon and leaving him to die in order to take the mask and become a vampire himself.
Kars' fight against Lisa Lisa involves using a body double to defeat her via cheating despite promising to fight her fairly is seen as this at least in the eyes of Joseph, since it disrespects the wishes of his deceased allies Esidisi and Wamuu.
Kars becoming the Ultimate Being is supposed to be a terrifying, momentous scene that signifies a Darkest Hour for our heroes. A pity, then, that Speedwagon hams it up so hard you can practically feel the honey glaze dripping off the screen. Kars' facial expression doesn't really help either.
YouTube Commenter: Speedwagon has been waiting to go full Speedwagon for lord knows how many episodes.
Stroheim's English dub voice is quite hard for some fans to take seriously, partly due to Woren's poor attempt at a German accent and partly due to his cheesy delivery.
Although the OP, "Bloody Stream," is an awesome song, its name might remind viewers of something else.
The Italian accents that appear in Battle Tendency, particularly Caesar's, are so poorly done that they wreck just about any line that they're spoken in. That being said, they are hilarious, and Caesar's VA reins in some of his accent's more exaggerated parts when the mood needs to be serious.
Stroheim's voice in the English dub, despite his corny delivery, is seen as this since it does befit Stroheim's character.
Caesar's death is played for all the melodrama it's worth, especially in the anime, where they even break out the opera music. It's still one of the most tragic scenes in the series.
The narrator in the English dub maintains his breathless, serious delivery in even the most ridiculous parts of Battle Tendency... which ends up making them even more ridiculous.
"The cat stance! A fundamental element of kung fu! Caesar has never heard of kung fu!"
Self-Fanservice: The Pillar Men get a lot of this, toning down their highly exaggerated physiques and features into more typical Hunks. Kars will get slimmed down even further into a Long-Haired Pretty Boy with feminine hips.
Shocking Moments: This is the point where the franchise begins embracing its own absurdity. Battle Tendency is a globe trotting adventure in the spirit of Indiana Jones that involves cyborg Nazis, ancient Aztec vampires, and to top it all off the main villain tops Dio by becoming the Ultimate Lifeform.
Esidisi's nails flipping up and extending veins as tentacles.
Esidisi, when reduced to a brain. You can see slime left on Joseph's back and on the doorknob to Lisa Lisa's bath. When he possesses Suzi Q, he ends up mutilating her and trying to make her explode in order to shower his enemies with blood.
The scene of Kars transforming his arms into wings includes the thumb claws rippling under and bursting through the skin, as lovingly animated as the rest of the sequence.
Joseph's perverted antics on Lisa Lisa, like peeping in on her bathing or even trying to sniff her panties, are extremely gross already; but they become a thousand times worse with the revelation later that she is his mother. Even he'sutterly horrified when he realizes what he's done.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The English dub removing most of Joseph's instances of saying "Oh no!" and changing the German soldiers saying "Tacos!" to "Ouchies!" Also "German science is the greatest in the world!" was changed to "German science is the FINEST in the world!"
Santana shows a lot of potential to get stronger during his fight with Joseph. He begins to slowly learn the English language and even think past some of Joseph's tactics. Although the series makes a point of him surviving his fight with Joseph and Stroheim, he never appears again.
Despite his prominence in the anime opening, Caesar Zeppeli appears for less than half of the story, being introduced after the Santana fight and dying before the chariot race. He is only victorious when he helped Joseph defeat Esidisi after the latter was already reduced to a brain and spinal cord and his Heroic Sacrifice is rendered almost null when Joseph refuses to take the antidote until he defeats Wamuu. Araki himself may have felt the relationship between Joseph and Caesar had untapped potential, which is why Steel Ball Run has the Joestar/Zeppeli bond front-and-center.
Due to Executive Meddling, Lisa Lisa suffers from this during the final arc. Despite being a Hamon master and thus being more experienced than Joseph and Caesar combined, has only two rather short fight scenes, one against a one-shot vampire and Kars where she is defeated easily, and then spends the rest of the final battle unconscious. Her past and being Joseph's mother was revealed by other characters. Even if she survives the events of Battle Tendency, not much else of her is revealed aside of remarrying, implying that she lived a normal life. Worse yet is that Joseph actually mentions her in part 3 when he tells Jotaro that Dio is back, implying that she might still be alive, yet the manga never lets her appear again after part 2.
Too Cool to Live: Caesar. He's a way more accomplished user of the Ripple than Joseph and just oozes style. So of course he has to die before the final act.
Values Dissonance: The fact that Stroheim is an unrepentant Nazi, has done some horrific things in-universe (though he's at least portrayed as A Lighter Shade of Black), and is still on the side of the heroes makes a lot of his scenes come across as awkward today, especially among Western audiences. At the time, Japan's alliance with Germany in World War II was still a relatively recent memory, and the Nazis, while their crimes were known, weren't as looked back on as negatively as they were and are elsewhere. Could be considered Deliberate Values Dissonance, since the story is set in 1938, before World War II started and the true extent of how evil the Nazis were became widely known.
Vindicated by History: Battle Tendency didn't really get much attention in Japan when it was first serialized, as the franchise had yet to achieve widespread popularity. However, the 2012 anime caused the popularity of this part to skyrocket, and it's often considered the best part by many fans. In fact, many fans who got into the franchise through the anime believe that Battle Tendency is the best part that has been adapted into animation so far.
What an Idiot!: During Caesar's fight with Wamuu, he manages to use his Hamon bubbles to reflect light into the hotel, immobilizing Wamuu. All that remains is to finish him off. You'd Expect: Caesar to remain cautious, since Wamuu had previously proven to be clever enough to adapt to unexpected situations. Instead: He leaps directly at Wamuu, putting himself between the light and Wamuu. The Result: Caesar's body creates a shadow, giving Wamuu the opportunity to counterattack with a Divine Sandstorm that fatally wounds Caesar.
The English dub changes Joseph's taunts toward Santana from untranslatable Japanese wordplay to pretending that Santana is a model. Considering the Pillar Men's reputation in the fandom for looking like strippers, it makes perfect sense.
Joseph:Oh, I get it. You're one of those strong, silent types, right? Ever thought about modelling? You've got a nice look there!
During the final battle between Joseph and Kars, Joseph does his "The next thing you'll say is:" gimmick as a way to prove he is winning the fight. In the original Japanese version, Kars just ends up starting to say the line before being hit by rocks, at which point he says the line fully. In the dub, Kars actually subverts it by asking him how he always knows before scalding rocks launch him even higher, followed by him actually saying what Joseph predicted. This change was well received since it reinforces Joseph's internal line about actually just making it up, since it means Kars fell for it. Fans have also semi-jokingly interpreted this scene as the universe punishing him for saying the wrong line.
WTH, Casting Agency?: Fans were not fond of the dub's decision to give Stroheim an Arnold Schwarzenegger-like accent instead of having an overly hammy English voice actor much like the Japanese version.