Manga Chapter of the Week: Diamond Is Not Crash Chapter 123 (Highway Star Part 5)

20th Century Boys, and Naoki Urasawa’s work in general, may borrow from popular culture quite a bit. However, he may be ill-matched by Hirohiko Araki, the author of long-runner Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. If you know of JJBA, you may be aware of the fact that the author regularly copies the poses of fashion models and the everythings of the music industry. He also, midway through the series’ fourth installment, manages to parody the movie Speed. You know, the one where a large number of innocent commuters are stuck on a bus and if the bus goes slower than 50 miles per hour, it blows up? Just replace the bus with a motorcycle and the blowing up with crippling dessication, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of how this arc goes.

The difference? Comedy. Unlike Keanu Reeves, Josuke doesn’t have a radio link to his backup. So when he needs a phone, he resorts to sticky-fingers swiping it from a person who happened to need his to close a million-dollar deal:

JJBA-pt4-c123-1

And it doesn’t even work, so he has to break up a marriage proposal too:

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JJBA gets up to plenty of out-and-out ridiculous stuff, but these phone-grab scenes are some of the better examples of it nailing under-the-top comedy with the practiced finesse of an author who’d already been in this business a decade since a decade ago.

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