A Letter from the Past (過去からの手紙 Kako kara no Tegami) is the second episode of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure anime. It is also the second episode of Phantom Blood. It covers Chapter 6 through Chapter 10 of the manga.
In 1888, seven years have passed since Dio came to the Joestar mansion and the mysterious Jack the Ripper has begun his murders. Elsewhere, the battle between Jonathan and Dio begins... A rugby match is occurring at Hugh Hudson Academy and the hero of the team is Jonathan himself. Jonathan runs with ball in hand as many other opponents get on top of him. Jonathan just keeps dragging until a fourth player gets on him as well. With that, Jonathan passes the ball to Dio with which he's able to score and win the final match before graduation. Dio is graduating the top law student while Jonathan has written a magnificent thesis in the archaeological field. Jonathan even notices that Dio is referring to George as "father" instead of "Lord Joestar" as he used to call him. While everything seems good on the outside, Jonathan still can't feel any friendship for Dio. In reality, Dio has been acting good just to get through the years before he could be of legal age to gain the fortunes of the Joestars.
Back at the Joestar Mansion, George is shown to be sick in bed. At first it was thought to be a common cold, but it seems to be getting worse. George congratulations them on their rugby victory and is very proud of his two sons. That night, Jonathan is testing out the Stone Mask by putting a drop of his blood on it. Just like what happened seven years ago, tentacles sprout from the mask but soon go back to normal. While looking through some books, Jonathan accidentally drops a case. Inside the case is a letter from seven years ago that was sent from Dio's father, Dario, while on his death bed. To his shock, Jonathan realizes that the symptoms that Dario is describing are the same ones that George has. Jonathan goes to Dio to confront him.
Jonathan learns that Dio killed Dario, Dio's father and is trying to use the same poison to kill George. Dio denies this claim but Jonathan says that he plans to investigate the medicine to see if it's legit. Dio tries to make Jonathan return the medicine to the tray but he refuses. However, Jonathan says that if Dio swears his innocence and on his father's honor, he will return the medicine and never speak of it again. However, Dio refuses and says that some like Dario had no honor at all. The thought of Dario causes Dio to hit Jonathan. However, the years have past and Jonathan is much stronger now. Jonathan grabs hold of Dio and throws him down from the second story of the house to the first. Jonathan knows that they never were friends and says he'll make sure to get the medicine analyzed and send Dio to jail. Dio knows it will take Jonathan at least three days to find proof of the poison and says that he'll have to finish off Jonathan before then.
Jonathan goes to his father and says that he'll be going to London for two or three days and asks him to allow these doctors he brought to take care of him. He also tells George not to accept any medicine from anyone other than the doctors. George decides to follow what Jonathan is saying, trusting his son. Jonathan leaves for London and promises that he'll protect his father. In the Joestar Mansion, Dio reads the notes that Jonathan had written about the Stone Mask in his research. He decides to kill Jonathan by putting the mask on Jonathan and let the tentacles in the mask kill him. By doing this, no one would suspect Dio of killing Jonathan. In London, the carriage that is carrying Jonathan stops and the driver says that he won't go any further due to the danger of the area they are in, Ogre Street. Jonathan decides to continue on alone even if it costs him his right hand. When hearing that Jonathan is in Ogre Street, Dio is determined that Jonathan is either dying or dead and he won't have to kill him after all. Jonathan sees the danger of Ogre Street when he sees a cat eating a puppy. After that, three men come in with the intention of killing him. Jonathan, determined, grabs a knife with his hand and says that he doesn't care what happens to him as long as he can save his father. Of the three men, a Chinese man attacks Jonathan however, Jonathan is easily able to beat him with one hit and then asks him the location of the store that sells the Oriental poison.
As Jonathan drops the knife to the ground, the last of three men rushes towards him with killing intent. The man's bowler hat begins to spin and is revealed as a spinning blade top. Jonathan is forced to move into a defensive stance as the man prepares to launch his hat. Thinking quickly, Jonathan kicks the knife he had dropped earlier and sends it flying towards his opponent. The man is easily able to dodge the knife, and follows with throwing his hat. He succeeds at cutting deep into Jonathan's arm. Jonathan does not flinch however, and the man is completely caught off guard, taking a heavy kick to the face. Having defeated all three men, Jonathan is suddenly surrounded by a mob of thugs who proceed to attack him. The same man who Jonathan had defeated earlier tells the mob to not harm him. He introduces himself as Speedwagon and asks Jonathan why he did not use all his power into the kick that sent him flying. Jonathan claims that he is simply looking for a way to help his father and figured Speedwagon must too have a family that cares for him. Amused by Jonathan's naivety, as well as nobility, Speedwagon offers to take Jonathan to the oriental shop.
Back at the Port City outside the Joestar Mansion, Dio is distressed by suspicions towards Jonathan. He is worried Jonathan may have found the medicine that would be able to cure his father. Because of this, Dio had taken up drinking and curses himself for doing the same thing his own father did.
He eventually bumps into a couple of hardy men on the street, and they proceed to taunt him for being out so late at night. Dio swings his bottle of booze and smashes it into one of men's faces. The other man retaliates and pulls out a knife to attack. Dio decides this would be a good time to test out his plan for killing Jonathan. Dio brings out the Stone Mask and places it on the man with the knife. He then grabs the man's hand and forces him to stab his partner in the neck. A bright light suddenly bursts forth from the Stone Mask.
The Stone Mask begins to shine as tentacles sprout forth from it and impale themselves into his head. The man falls down a moment later, and the light completely disappears. Jonathan's research had apparently been wrong, since the man had not morphed and appeared to be quite dead. Upon walking away, however, the man gets up and attacks Dio from behind. Dio manages to pull out his knife and dodge the man's strike, whilst managing to cut his assailant's hand in half. The momentum behind the attack forces the man's fist into a wall of a nearby building instead, causing a large crater to form around where his fist struck. Dio is amazed at how much power the man has, as well as the fact that he doesn't seem to feel any pain from his injured hand. The man's aging process had seemed to reverse as well as his physical appearance diverted back to an age no more than 25. He grabs Dio by the throat and begins sucking blood from him via tentacles from his fingers, but just before Dio falls unconscious from bloodloss, the sun appears over the horizon, and the man is disintegrated.
Dio arrives home only to find Jonathan waiting for him.
- Jonathan lamenting that he studied archaeology instead of medicine so he can help his father after George tells Jonathan and Dio that he's getting better is removed in the anime.
- Dio's flashback to him bringing his father some medicine after making money with chess, his father punching him and demanding that he buy alcohol instead and yelling at him to sell his dead mother's dress is shortened (only the part where the dress is thrown is shown) and placed when Dio is walking away after punching Jonathan and being thrown in the anime.
- The servants asking Dio what happened after he was thrown from the upper floor through the railing (Dio states that he slipped) and Dio thinking that it'll take the police a few days to analyze the poison and he has to finish Jonathan in 3 days is cut in the anime.
- Dio pricking his finger to put blood on the Stone Mask and thinking that he also knew about the Stone Mask being activated with blood is cut from the anime. The manga also clarifies Dio's plan a bit more: Dio will put the Stone Mask on Jonathan and kill him with it, so the police would just think it was a research accident due to Jonathan's notes instead of murder.
- Dio tells the coach to not tell George about Jonathan going to Ogre Street in the anime instead of a servant. It is also moved to after Jonathan defeats Speedwagon.
- Dio kicking the vagrant after putting the Stone Mask on him is removed in the anime. He also doesn't mention that his body can't keep up with the power given and that his body is being destroyed when he attacks.
- The part of the manga where Dio buys the medicine from Wang Chan was shortened to a few shots in the anime.
|“|| Toshiyuki Kato has been remarkable for the second episode where he was in charge of the storyboard and the direction. We have many manga fans in the team but Kato was one of those who read it for the anime. Yet, he immediately grasped the work. With the excellent Manubu Akita who handled the key animation, it gives a high-quality episode, don't you think?
I especially enjoy the second part with Dio's aggressiveness, then this final scene softly transitioning into the ending. Moreover, the parts blackened for the TV broadcast will be revealed in detail in the disks.
It's also the episode where Speedwagon is introduced. The character gives off a very strong presence, it's impossible to do things half-hardheartedly with him (laughs). Everyone in the team had a hard time giving him life, we had to work twice as hard. A lot of secondary characters accompanied Speedwagon, but the one in charge of this part managed to give them all a true bad guy's look.
—Naokatsu Tsuda, Blu-Ray limited edition commentaries
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