JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean is yet another compelling installment, this time featuring Jotaro Kujo’s daughter Jolyne Cujoh. There’s a lot happening here! Which means many reasons for folks to get invested. But one of the biggest ones is the relationships that develop between Jolyne and the rest of the cast. Even in the brief number of episodes available so far, these interactions help define her as a person and propel the story forward. After all, things are happening in a prison and in high-stakes settings. It means we don’t get the slice-of-life opportunities to get to know people. The interactions between others establish her identity.
Editor’s Note: There will be some JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures: Stone Ocean spoilers regarding people Jolyne meets and her relationships with them throughout the first 12 episodes.
The very first one of the relationships we see in Stone Ocean is the one that kicks everything off. Jolyne ends up arrested, on trial and imprisoned because of her boyfriend, Romeo. Following an accident where he killed someone, she ended up taking the blame. However, it turned out to be a set-up all along. So we see someone who, over the years, didn’t always have relationships where she could trust the other person. When she attempted to take a plea deal to help a person she loved, it backfired on her. She ended up sentenced to 15 years. So right away, we see the sense of loyalty she possesses, even if it puts herself in peril.
From there, we meet Gwess. Jolyne’s cellmate, it’s clear from the start that something is “off” about her. Especially since we soon learn she ended up with the locket Jotaro left for Jolyne and engages in suspicious behavior. She antagonizes and outright attempts to control Jolyne. But even though Jolyne could get revenge, she doesn’t. From there, we get the sense that Jolyne is someone who can turn even enemies into at the very least people she can interact with in positive ways after, if not friends. Despite earlier animosity and a situation where Jolyne and Gwess would (rightfully) not want to interact or assist each other, Gwess even offers helpful advice to ensure Jolyne can get along in jail. It shows Jolyne’s intelligence. She’s able to take advantage of a situation.
Stone Ocean also shows that despite her past, Jolyne is willing to trust and reach out to people. Despite not knowing Ermes Costello well, Jolyne uses Stone Ocean (aka Stone Free) to protect her from guards. She seeks her out. She trusts her advice and puts her life in her hands. When she had an opportunity to save herself, she showed a willingness to stay behind to ensure Emporio’s safety too. Her mind goes to helping the child. She spares an opponent who’d already shown a willingness to kill. She even shows kindness to a nameless prisoner being taken advantage of, allowing her an opportunity to gain some respect and stand up to those fleecing her for money. There’s a sense of justice, kindness, and loyalty that endures in spite of her situation.
But the most important of all relationships in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean’s first 12 episodes is the one between Jolyne and her father, Jotaro. He’s been an absent father. People could even attribute Jolyne’s delinquent behavior as lashing out as a result. She has a right to hate him. But she gets a stand because of him. He puts himself in danger to see and help her. Once she gets that chance to see him as an adult and fight alongside him, we see a change in perspective. We see the respect between them. The anime shows that even though the bond is in ways broken, it’s there. Jolyne loves him. She’s willing to put herself at risk for him. It’s after this interaction that secrets are revealed. Jolyne gets a new reason to move forward. Tensions rise. There are suddenly new stakes.
The nature of Jolyne’s life and conflicts around her provide narrative challenges. She’s in an extraordinary setting. Which means she’d need to be guarded. We might not always get to see the “real” her, due to the situations. But because of the relationships we see between Jolyne and people like Jotaro, Gwess, and Emporio in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean, we get to see qualities that might otherwise not have been as notable due to current circumstances.
The first 12 episodes of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean are available on Netflix worldwide.