How Stone Ocean portrayed female characters with strength and vulnerability
The following contains spoilers for Part 6 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Stone Ocean.
Of all the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure rooms, ocean of stone hosts the largest cast of female characters. It is also the only part that follows a female main protagonist, Jolyne Cujoh. Although the characterization of each part of JJBA is superb, ocean of stone is able to masterfully portray its female characters with urgency and strength, addressing their vulnerabilities and how they overcome adversity.
The standard trope for a shonen series – what is it ocean of stone is classified as, given that the manga only went seinen during Steel Ball Run – is to follow a male protagonist, usually supported by a female protagonist or love interest. Although there are certainly exceptions, ocean of stone relies primarily on female leads, similar to Claymore, with only a handful of supporting male actors and a male antagonist. However, that’s not to say that the portrayal of the male characters suffers either. ocean of stone is able to balance a female-led story, developing those characters with diversity and authenticity.
Jolyne Kujo and her growth
Above all, Jolyne, as the main protagonist, is a shining example of how to deliver a satisfying character journey. She starts out as a troublemaker with underlying issues, unable to connect with her reserved father Jotaro Kujo. As the story progresses, she slowly begins to understand the purpose of Jotaro’s stoicism and his intention to protect her as best he could. She assumes her personality in a way that best combines with her own personality and transforms into a force to be reckoned with.
During the fight, Jolyne is able to tactically analyze the situation and get out of it, even when things look dire. It’s satisfying to watch a fight scene and not expect someone to rush to Jolyne’s rescue when the situation seems unwinnable. In many conflicts, like Officer Westwood’s brawling madness or Miuccia Miuller’s convoluted trap – better known as Mew Mew – it’s Jolyne’s ingenuity, resilience and unstoppable determination that lead to his victory, not a male figure running to his aid. . In itself, this shows the ability of a female protagonist to be portrayed from her growth.
The strength of Ermes Costello and the sacrifice of FF
Ermes Costello joined the cast as a tough, outspoken prisoner with a dry sense of humor during Jolyne’s introduction to the prison. Shortly after, she accidentally received her Stand and returned to history, becoming Jolyne’s closest ally. Her vulnerability was explored early in Part Two, as she sought revenge against Sports Maximum for the murder of her sister, Gloria Costello. The pain she endured for years, blaming herself and her weakness for her sister’s death, showed the lengths she would go to find solace. Ermes’ deeper characterization expressed the image of strength and durability as a wall protecting internal suffering from loss.
FF is more of an asexual character, being referred to as “they” throughout ocean of stone, because the character is a collection of plankton that had received an intelligence disc. Introduced as an antagonist, they are quickly turned on the side of good and become the group’s comedic relief character. Foo Fighters gets a lot more depth as the series heads into part two and their fears of losing their intelligence prove to be a driving force behind their character. Even so, FF balances fear and loyalty to Jolyne, ultimately deciding that offering her own life is necessary for the greater good. This representation shows the emotional weight of self-sacrifice.
The purpose of secondary characters
Although there are the three main protagonists, written with a depth and development that is explored throughout ocean of stone, there’s a healthy secondary cast to back them up. Mew Mew’s prominence as a Lead Guard shows Enrico Pucci’s confidence in his leadership abilities, as well as the Stand he bestowed on him. She’s an arrogant villain, unable to imagine being defeated by Jolyne, and she serves her position as a frustratingly capable villain well. There’s a real weight to Jolyne being forever caught in her trap, and the only way to overcome Mew Mew’s Stand is through the Joestar’s sheer ingenuity.
There are a few other characters with smaller roles, like Jolyne’s cellmate Gwess, who acts as one of the first obstacles for the protagonist to overcome, or Gloria who is the catalyst for Ermes’ journey into a life of crime and prison, and the unnamed character of Jolyne. mother. As small as their roles are, there is urgency in their place to help the progression of the main female leads. Even so, they are written as more than just plot tools, but with their own characterization that is reflected in the main characters and their relationships, fitting into the dynamic writing of the character arcs.
The redemption of male characters
Many antagonists of ocean of stone are men – Enrico Pucci, Officer Westwood, Sports Maximum, Johngalli A and so on, all of whom perform as expected. Narciso Anastasia is presented as a fairly wicked man, with a horrific history portrayed by Emporio Alniño, but he dedicates his life to protecting Jolyne for her hand in marriage. One would expect Narciso to heroically arrive at the Ultra Security House Unit and save Jolyne from certain death, but that doesn’t happen. Jolyne proves that she is capable of lifting heavy loads, without presenting Narciso as weak.
There’s a moment in the latter part of the season where The Green Baby has been acquired by Jolyne and Narciso, and he expresses his intent to kill the baby, disregards FF as insignificant, and all around shows his colors as a rather unpleasant man. Yet, when he believes he is about to die and Jotaro’s memory disc comes with him, he uses his last strength to push the disc out of his body and tries to get FF to take the control of his body. The only reason his sacrifice isn’t tracked is due to FF’s own sacrifice, choosing to let Narciso live. Narciso now has a chance to redeem himself and prove his worth.
ocean of stone has a cast of expertly written characters, ensuring that none of the female leads are two-dimensional in their portrayals. They are strong when needed, vulnerable and supportive of each other. Each character’s motivations seem authentic and the actions they perform reflect their internal conflicts, ensuring an urgency with their characterizations. Because of this, ocean of stone is a great example of how to portray a cast of female characters in anime and manga.