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YMMV / JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Steel Ball Run

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Was Valentine truly motivated by a desire to help his country? Or were his ideals just a self-righteous excuse to Take Over the World? His words at the end of the part suggest the former, but his speech about the "taking first napkin" heavily suggests the latter.
    • More importantly, did Johnny truly like Gyro’s song, or was he being sarcastic when he said he liked it?
  • Badass Decay: Alternate Universe Diego's stand, THE WORLD, has the same powers and abilities it once had back in Stardust Crusaders. But it's gone from the unstoppable force it once was, that only Star Platinum could go toe to toe with in Part 3 to being rather underwhelming and lackluster. Diego only uses its signature Time Stop ability to set up traps for Johnny and nothing else. We never see it in direct combat and the only reason Diego even had a chance to beat Johnny with it was because of Funny Valentine telling him about Tusk's abilities.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Many of Gyro's jokes, typically preceeded by Gyro announcing he's about to tell one, and typically followed with Johnny looking very unimpressed shortly before showering Gyro's skits with praise. None of them have been treated kindly by fan translations — they rely on Japanese-only punsExample  or references to Japanese cultureExample  — and not a single one of the gags are mentioned ever again after they debut.
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    • The most famous "gag" is Gyro's song about two different types of cheese, which doesn't use any words except "Pizza mozzarella" and "Gorgonzola". Unlike his recurring bizarre sense of humor, his desire to sing never gets brought up ever again.
  • Broken Base:
    • Is the Art Evolution that took place a good thing? Fans are split between those who like the more detailed and realistic art, saying that it pushed JoJo to a level it's never been before, and others bemoan it due to it making Araki fall into Only Six Faces and stiffer facial expressions as the series went on. Some are more in the middle, claiming that it was improvement in some ways but not all.
    • Dio vs. Diego. While fans do agree to liking both characters, which one is the better character is up for debate. Was Dio better because of how unapologetic an antagonist he was which in turn made him one of the most memorable shounen villains, or was Diego the better character since he had his evil tendencies toned down, went through Character Development, and still kept the unapologetic charm of the original Dio?
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    • The final battle being against an Alternate Universe Diego instead of Funny Valentine. A lot of fans were disappointed that Funny Valentine who is often regarded as one of the best antagonists in the series didn't get the grand finale he deserved and that Araki was just trying to pander to nostalgia. Others however thought it was a nice call back to Stardust Crusaders and that as good a final villain as Valentine was he wouldn't have made for an interesting final battle. There's also the fact that some fans were disappointed by the Stardust Crusaders final battle and feel as if this battle makes up for it. A third contingent argues that, while not the finale battle, Valentine's finale fight against Gyro and Johnny is still very much one of, if not the best in the part, maybe the whole series, and the battle against Diego was if anything a continuation of Valentine's battle given how he was only there because of him and leads to the Corpse not being able to be used against America, ensuring that Valentine's greatest fear wouldn't come to pass.
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    • Steel Ball Run starting a new continuity in the franchise. Considering the acclaim this part has received, a lot of fans like the idea of Araki being able to revisit alternate versions of old plotlines as his writing skills have improved over time. Additionally, Funny Valentine's Stand opens up the possibility of a multiverse, which could potentially mean a crossover between the old parts is possible. Others, while fine with Steel Ball Run (and its direct sequel JoJolion) as a whole, aren't fond of the fact that Araki has abandoned the initial continuity, especially those who wanted to see sequels to Diamond is Unbreakable and Vento Aureo.
  • "Common Knowledge": Pocoloco's Stand, Hey Ya!, is subject to two different widespread misconceptions. Some fans mistakenly attribute Pocoloco's immense luck to Hey Ya!'s ability: this is wrong, he was simply blessed with good luck for a few months according to a fortune teller. On the other hand, some claim that Hey Ya! is a completely useless Stand that doesn't do anything other than cheer for Pocoloco, which is also wrong as it is shown to be nearly omniscient, using its knowledge to give extremely useful advice.
  • Designated Villain: Quite a few fans consider Diego to be this, especially compared to his alternate world counterpart —both of them. Whereas Dio weasels his way into the Joestar family, taking Jonathan's father's love, killing his dog and ultimately ruining Jonathan's life (and by extension the lives of all his descendants), Diego is... a really good jockey who Johnny's dad just happens to like and is mildly antagonistic to Johnny as a competitor in the race, even eventually working towards Johnny and Gyro's goal of killing Valentine, albeit in his own way. He's searching after the Corpse Parts just like everyone else, but outside of some Jerkass moments, doesn't do anything that would cement him as significantly more evil than the rest; the closest he gets is the unproven rumor that he married an old woman and poisoned her to inherit her fortune.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Diego, Valentine, and Ringo Roadagain frequently undergo this treatment in the fandom. Being some of the best examples of Evil Is Cool and Evil Is Sexy in the entire franchise as well as lots of sympathetic traits probably have something to do with that. This hits Valentine especially hard, with some fans saying that he has noble goals and only wants what's best for his country, while ignoring that his plan, had it succeeded, would have turned every country except the United States into a living hell. Some people are also ignoring the fact that he attempted to force himself on Lucy, who's only 14.
  • Ending Fatigue: After Valentine's death, you'd think the arc would have finally ended, right? Nope. It turns out had one more ace up his sleeve in the form of Alternate Universe Diego.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
  • Evil Is Cool: Funny Valentine is a fan favorite among readers for having one of the most powerful Stands in the series and being very charismatic and memorable.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Although whether him being evil is up to debate, Diego Brando still fits thanks to his Bishounen looks. He's even considered one of the most attractive villains in the entire franchise.
    • Funny Valentine fits this department as well, thanks to Art Evolution making him significantly more chiseled than in his initial appearance.
  • Fanon:
    • Araki has yet to confirm if the Steel Ball Run universe is the one that was created at the end of Stone Ocean. Several statements made by him afterwards seem to suggest, that it exists in a completely different continuity to the first six parts. However, many fans believe that it is, since Johnny, Gyro, Lucy, and Diego are clear counterparts of characters in the first six parts, in a similar vein to the counterparts introduced at the end of Stone Ocean.
    • Mountain Tim being an alternate universe counterpart to Robert E.O. Speedwagon is also a common theory among fans. While "Speedwagon" is mentioned early on as one of the sponsors of the Steel Ball Run Race, Tim's facial scar and one-sided crush on Lucy as well as the fact that Johnny, Gyro, Lucy, and Diego were all explicitly based on the core cast members of Phantom Blood cause a lot of fans to come to this conclusion.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • In typical Jojo fashion, Johnny/Gyro, due to the focus on their friendship together.
    • Diego/Hot Pants started getting popularity after the two teamed up to defeat Funny Valentine.
  • Fetish Retardant: Lucy Steel is one of the most attractive and cute female characters in the franchise. Yet in spite of her well-developed body, she's only 14-years old which turns a lot of fans away from her.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • While Steel Ball Run is not unpopular in Japan, it's still not as popular as Stardust Crusaders and Vento Aureo over there. In the United States, however, Steel Ball Run is widely considered to be the best part of the entire franchise. It's probably the only part in the series that basically everyone unanimously loves with very few disliking it.
    • Funny Valentine is one of the most popular villains among the Western fandom for his patriotism and Gray and Grey Morality motives.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • Many fans admit the beginning can be a little slow, but the appearance of Stands and especially the battle with Ringo Roadagain are cited as the point when SBR begins to truly shine.
    • Is often seen as another jump forward for the series itself much like Battle Tendency and Diamond is Unbreakable. The shift from Shonen to Seinen allowed Araki to write something he was more comfortable with, and when this part went monthly it allowed for more fleshed out stories and fights. Needless to say, many fans were pleased with the more mature approach Araki took with the franchise.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: During the fight against Civil War, none other than Jesus Christ himself shows up to give Johnny some pointers.
  • Ho Yay: To be expected, given the setting and focus on Johnny and Gyro's bond. It's hard to find moments between them that don't fall into this trope.
  • Hype Backlash: Not since Diamond Is Unbreakable has a part received an such praise with a significant portion of fans considering Steel Ball Run to be the best part of the franchise. It's thus inevitable that some felt that it did not live up to the standards that fans made it out to be.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Johnny has suffered through the death of his older brother, is largely ignored by his father, and lost the use of his legs. He does get better however as he adventures with Gyro and his father eventually comes to root for him in the final leg of the Steel Ball Run. But then again, Gyro ends up dying and he doesn't win the Steel Ball Run. Jojolion later reveals that he didn't live much longer after the events, as he dies trying to save his family from a disease.
    • Diego has a horrible case of Abusive Parents as his father tried to drown him when he was a baby in order to have one less mouth to feed. His mother saves him but later lived at a stable where she has to put her health on jeopardy in order feed him regularly.
  • Les Yay: Scarlet Valentine is openly infatuated with Lucy and many of her interactions with her lean on this trope.
  • Moe:
    • Lucy Steel is a rare female example of this trope in the franchise. Especially gets such portrayals in fanart.
    • A lot of fans would describe Johnny as this, at least until he Took a Level in Badass, due to his emotional vulnerability.
  • Memetic Molester: Tusk ACT 4. No matter what doors or walls you put up to protect yourself, it will break them down trying to get you while crying "chumimi~in".
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Funny Valentine wants to "Make America Great Again!" note 
    • Pizza Mozzarella note 
    • "Filthy Acts At A Reasonable Price"note 
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: While by no means unpopular in the series' native Japan, Funny Valentine sees a lot of love in America, mainly thanks to his genuine patriotism (which can be spun into endless jokes) and quirkiness.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Alternate Diego Brando crosses it when he uses his female fans as Human Shields against Johnny, and having the audacity to blame Johnny for killing them. Trying to have his way with Lucy does not help either.
  • Narm: Johnny Joestar's scream of "I MUST KNOW THE SECRET OF THE BAAAAALLLLSSSS" is more hilarious (or ridiculous — take your pick) than the serious and emotionally impacting line it's supposed to be.
  • No Yay: Both the Valentines' and alternate Diego's advances on Lucy, especially taking into consideration the fact that Lucy is only 14 years old.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Gray morality is a common theme in Steel Ball Run as Johnny, Diego, and Funny Valentine all have understandable motivations and all do things that aren't necessarily justified. In spite of all of this, Johnny and Gyro are still undeniably the protagonists, but some fans choosing to side with Diego or Valentine instead. Then again there are fans who chose to root for all three sides.
  • The Scrappy: Pocoloco in Part 7. A boring fool with an absurd amount of luck who never grows as a person because of his complacent dependence on his power. No surprise that Araki put him on the sidelines when he kicked off the real plot. Him winning 1st place in the Steel Ball Run instead of Johnny only spouted more hate for him.
  • Spiritual Licensee: A lot of fans have called this part Japan's take on Wacky Races.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Of sorts. A lot of fans thought a Steel Ball Run contestant based on Hol Horse would have fit perfectly, given the Western setting and the presence of other Expies based off of characters like Avdol and Stroheim.
    • A complaint for the supporting cast established early on in general. The first few chapters barely treat Johnny and Gyro as much more important than any other racer with an established personality, in particular the first stretch of the race and sections immediately after focusing quite a bit on the likes of Pocoloco, Mountain Tim, and Sandman. Mountain Tim is almost killed and exits the plot before too long, ultimately coming Back for the Dead midway through, Sandman is hyped up a lot as someone with a lot to gain from winning the race, a potential sympathetic stand user at that, only to, again, drop off the map for a little while only to come back later as an enemy and die, and Pocoloco, despite winning the entire race on a technicality, barely does anything after the opening of note. Of the characters we're introduced to in the very beginning of the story, only Johnny, Gyro, and Diego really get to be as relevant as they seemed to be, potential core cast members sort of sidelined for the growing buddy dynamic of Johnny and Gyro.
    • Norisuke becomes a retroactive example of this after Part 8. We learn that Johnny marries his daughter and that the Higashikata family descended from him. And yet, he has a relatively small role in the story.
  • Ugly Cute: Tusk Act 1 is a small sized Stand and it makes a "Chumimi-n" noise.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Oyecomava has one of the tackiest character designs in the entire franchise with what appears to be a net covering his entire face and conspicuously white skin.
    • The more realistic art style leans into this towards the end of the series, particularly the colored lipstick and accusations of sameface. Made even more apparent when Araki draws his older characters in this style as seen on the Jojonium covers.
  • Unexpected Character: No one really expected the appearance of an alternate universe Diego Brando, with THE WORLD as his stand instead of Scary Monsters.
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