Fate has always been a part of the JoJo franchise with destined encounters and history repeating itself through the generations, but Diamond Is Unbreakable establishes the first time it becomes anything more than window dressing. Palm readings and horoscopes now lay the building blocks, instead of the ceiling. Note: Spoilers should be a given by now, but I just want to let it be known, since it’s currently airing.
Dialing back the scale to the suburbs of Morioh refocuses its priorities on home invasion, so conflict emerges more personal than ever before, as a means to repair broken family ties. In addition, this part marks the first time a JoJo actually has a meaningful backstory. Amidst a blizzard, a young man with a familiar hairstyle saves a fever-stricken 4-year old Josuke from being stuck in the snow at the cost of his own jacket, which breeds the pride in the pompadour and the incentive for Crazy Diamond’s ability to heal everyone else but Josuke. The significance childhood holds in our futures dovetails into the inspiration behind Rohan’s creative process and how the convenience store Koichi frequents for bizarre manga adventures is right next door to a trip down memory lane. Despite Josuke and Rohan being complete opposites (especially when it comes to backscratchers), the acts of selflessness displayed by the role models of their youth unites them in carrying the torch to protect the flames of tomorrow.
Josuke can restore things to how they used to be, but they might be a little different the second time round and this overturning of fate extends to the remaining members of the core cast too. Koichi reimagines an initial weakness into his own strength, Okuyasu’s reach is akin to the powers that be and Rohan has the power to rewrite another’s history. Even if Rohan refuses to use his stand for such a purpose, the point is that the potential for change exists in all of them, collectively. Morioh fosters a tenacious community (best communicated by the joining of hands in the OP’s Pearl Jam homage) in danger of being torn apart and this cements why not a single individual, but a group effort is able to finally get the upper hand on Kira.
As fate would have it like premeditated murder, the deceptive voices along the hidden path, Akira’s disguise and Surface’s mimicry design the blueprint for Kira’s life of secrecy and eventual impersonation of a family man. His ritualistic behavior, involving annual measurements of nail clippings and severed hands, declares that things need to happen in a certain fashion. Furthermore, they will keep happening, over and over again until the dawn of a new day arises when Reimi is freed from eternal mourning for the lost souls every time Another One Bites The Dust.
Kira aims to control fate, not unlike the Bow and Arrow forcing stands into existence and how its various owners inevitably come into contact with harm’s way. Yukako almost makes the same mistake, but discovers love blooming naturally in Koichi’s genuine DBZ-style character growth (in comparison to a static DB Evolution), directly reflected in the rule that one may only look forward when leaving the hidden path. The clock can’t be turned back for the fallen victims, but the remaining citizens of Morioh can safely push onward without destiny disturbing the peace ahead. Hard to say how much of this is intentional and not just born out of sheer convenience, since Araki has a reputation for flying off the seat of his pants, but it’s an interesting peek at what’s to come in Steel Ball Run.