JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc
Episode 14

by Jacob Chapman,

At long last, it's Iggy's time to shine! And what's this? He can talk?

Well, kind of. It's just doggy-speak, conveniently translated for the audience. Those only familiar with the OVAs have certainly never heard Iggy speak, and fans of the manga have only imagined his written inner monologue, so unless you've played the JJBA fighting games where he had spoken victory lines, hearing Iggy's voice out loud is a real head-spinner. I don't think he's ever had mouth flaps before, so that's definitely new. It's fitting that his grouchy little voice is equal parts cute and ugly to match his looks.

This episode spotlights everyone's favorite grumpy Boston Terrier as he once again strikes out on his own. Those dumb wannabe hero Stardust Crusaders are still looking for Dio's hideout, but Iggy couldn't care less about their problems. While it is pretty weird to hear him speak out loud about his feelings, the fresh insight in these doggy monologues adds a ton to his character. Put simply, Iggy is a giant hypocrite in a tiny body. He claims to believe in only "survival of the fittest," friend to no dog and no man because the world should only help those who help themselves. He talks the talk on this one, but he's definitely not walking the walk. He may refuse to help the Stardust Crusaders, but he's still constantly living off their charity. With no other friends in his little puppy life, it's not so bad to travel with people feeding you and giving you warm places to stay every night. However, before we can shame him for being a hypocrite in a negative way, he puts a positive spin on things and becomes a hypocritical hero too.

Purely by accident, Iggy finds Dio's hideout all by himself, and catches the eye of its bodyguard in the process. It's another animal stand user, a falcon named Pet Shop with super speed, super agility, super eyesight, and super ice powers that make for a stormy combination of frosty death, courtesy of the Egyptian God Horus (of courus). This bird is a tough customer, and Iggy knows it's in his own best interest to just act like a dumb mutt and wander away from the hideout. Heck, the Stardust Crusaders don't even need to know, and how would he tell them anyhow? He's a dog. He "says" as much to a little boy who tries to strike up a conversation with him, but even though he thinks the kid is a moron for trying to talk to a dog, he's too good at heart to let him die. Iggy betrays his "survival of the fittest" philosophy when the kid wanders right into Dio's hideout, dropping the "dumb puppy" act to save his life and reveal his stand to Pet Shop.

From there, it's a fight to the death between two wild animals, which is either exciting or horrifying, depending on your reaction to seeing cute animals in peril. Personally, I loved watching the unique ways both characters could express themselves with their animal features, and any sadness I felt from seeing cartoon dogs get injured had to be deadened long ago to get this far in JJBA. It turns out Iggy's less of a heartless beast than he thought he was, offering mercy to Pet Shop, trying to negotiate with him, and overall acting more like a heroic Stardust Crusader than he thinks he is. Apart from the very creepy ability to smile with his beak, Pet Shop has no such human traits. There is no mercy in his heart, and he has no understanding of chivalry in battle. He's going to take down Iggy and eat him alive even if he's not a threat, and even if it takes him away from his post and his master. All Pet Shop understands is carnage, murder, and death. Iggy has definitely met his match.

Maybe Iggy will learn something from this encounter and rethink his already wavering stance on "survival of the fittest." He's braver and more soft at heart than he gives himself credit for, and biting the hand that feeds you can only get you so far in life. There may be a hero hiding in that gassy little body after all. Not that he'd ever admit it, of course.

Rating: B+

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Hope has been an anime fan since childhood, and likes to chat about cartoons, pop culture, and visual novel dev on Twitter.

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