I first stumbled across JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure many, many years ago, in the mid-2000s, when I kept coming across references to Jotaro, Dio, and Stardust Crusaders around the internet. At the time, I did limited research into the series, but quickly discovered the appeal and charm of the franchise. It was at that time that I watched bits and pieces of the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure OVA (1993), including what became my favorite moment in the series thus far: the “fight” with D’Arby the Gambler.
The fight against D’Arby the Gambler in Part III became my favorite part of JJBA because of how grand, ridiculous, over-the-top, overwhelming, and awesome it was. Unlike every other fight which involved Stands or superpowers, the struggle against D’Arby was all psychological and mental, asking the characters to use a side of them that wasn’t as pronounced in a series known for action and fighting. And through this trial, we witness a new aptitude and grew more appreciation for Jotaro’s character, given that this was something he, and only he, could accomplish. Not to mention, Jotaro’s stoic, suave, and savvy nature quickly became strengths for his character, rather than nuisances against his behavior elsewhere in the series (I can’t say that Jotaro is my favorite protagonist in the series). And all this without saying anything about the perfect antagonist for the pinnacle, my pinnacle, of the series, the composed and confident D’Arby. Everything about this scene appealed to me, and you can be sure as hell I was looking forward to this scene when the 2012 anime was announced.
And since the 2012 anime began, I was patiently awaiting the day that D’Arby the Gambler was to be broadcasted again. Of course, times were different now, and the situations were not at all similar. By now, I was well versed in anime fandom and sat through the entire anime up to this point. My knowledge for the series had grown exponentially and my appreciation for anime now dwarfs whatever feelings I possessed a decade ago. So given these changes, I wondered whether I would enjoy the scene as much as I did the first time, especially given the fact that my interest in JJBA was waning given the length of Part III. But those feelings of trepidation were immediately dispelled when D’Arby showed up and the game began.
The scene did not disappoint; the fact that D’Arby the Gambler is still my favorite scene in the series (to date) speaks volumes for how well it performed, especially in regard to my lofty expectations and super-especially with how Part III ended with Dio’s fight. Although the content was the same as before, there were new levels of creativity and expression that were now new to me. From the use of colors, to alternative art, to an unfortunate cigarette censor (which made me laugh), I found this scene to be an improvement on the 1993 OVA and an improvement on what had always been my favorite scene. And because of that, D’Arby the Gambler makes my 12 Days of Anime list for 2015.