The Ascendant One (神となった男 Kami to Natta Otoko) is the twenty-sixth and final episode of season one of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure anime. It is also the seventeenth and final episode of Battle Tendency. It covers the end of Chapter 111 through Chapter 113 of the manga.
Joseph's victory, along with his arm, is cut short when Kars manages to survive the volcano by forming a shield of air bubbles to protect him from its deadly lava. It is explained how Kars (and the other Pillar Men) was a member of a fourth race of humanity who lived underground, which he exterminated when his desire for power led to the creation of the Stone Mask. Joseph attempts to fight back, but becomes shocked to discover that Kars has also learned how to use the Ripple, and at a potency one hundred times more powerful than Joseph's, then causing Joseph's leg to start melting away. As Kars prepares to kill Joseph using his Ripple, Joseph subconsciously holds up the Red Stone of Aja just as Kars is about to strike, causing the island to erupt, launching both Joseph and Kars into the sky. Distracted by Joseph's severed arm hitting him, Kars is launched further into the sky by volcanic debris, pushing him outside of the Earth's gravitational pull. On the chunk of Earth that had dealt the final blow, Joseph finally rests. Stroheim, watching on in horror, realizes the inevitable. Eight hours later, he informs Speedwagon of the events. And on February 28, 1939, Joseph Joestar is pronounced dead.
Kars does all he can to try to attempt to return to Earth and avoid his own death, but all attempts are in vain. He eventually turns to stone and travels throughout the universe. Unable to move and unable to die, Kars eventually stops thinking entirely.
At Joseph's funeral in April, Smokey, Speedwagon, Lisa Lisa, Messina, and Erina gather to pay their last respects, until Joseph arrives, complaining that no one picked him up at the airport. Fitted with a new prosthetic arm from Stroheim, everyone is shocked that he is still alive but he is more shocked that they are holding a funeral for him. Suzi Q arrives, flaunting her new wedding ring, and everyone shocked once more that she and JoJo are married. JoJo reveals that after the rock he was on landed, it acted as a life raft, and he was eventually picked up near Venice, where Suzi Q nursed him back to health, but she reveals she forgot to send a telegraph to tell the others he was not dead.
Over the next several years, everyone peacefully lives out the rest of their lives. Joseph learns that Lisa Lisa is his mother Elizabeth, and they all travel to America, where she eventually remarries a Hollywood screenwriter. Erina lives out the rest of her life teaching at an elementary school, until she dies at the age of 81 in 1950 with her loved ones at her bedside. Speedwagon dedicates the rest of his life and fortune to medicine and science, dying of a heart attack in 1952 at the age of 89, having never married. Smokey Brown pays his way through college and studies political science, ultimately becoming the first black mayor of his hometown in Georgia. Stroheim never meets JoJo again; in 1943, he dies an honorable death on the front lines at the Battle of Stalingrad.
It is now 1987. In New York's JFK Airport, a 67-year-old Joseph Joestar lashes out at a Japanese tourist after the man runs over his foot with a luggage cart, sorely upset that he has not seen his daughter since she married a Japanese man and moved to Tokyo. Four years earlier, a strange coffin was salvaged from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the Canary Islands, engraved with the name "DIO". Back in the present, a teenage delinquent sits alone in a Tokyo jail cell.
- Additional scenes for the character epilogue were added including Erina at her deathbed, Speedwagon walking away after making a business deal, Smokey during his term as mayor, Joseph and Lisa Lisa together after his "funeral" and Stroheim going into battle.
- Joseph is shown listening to the The Beatles on his Walkman in the manga. In the anime, the name on the cassette isn't revealed, though it is assumed he is listening to BLOODY STREAM after it subsequently starts up during the credits.
|“|| Our senior animation director Takako Shimizu personally handled this episode's animation. We took the best of the staff for the key frames. For Toshiyuki Kato (storyboard, direction), it was apparently the comfiest episode to work on (laughs).
The level of finishing touch is worthy of what you'd expect for a final episode. The spectator is constantly surprised by the twists until Kars' final defeat. "This time, we did it! Crap, we're screwed!" Up to the climactic final where Kars stops thinking. Summarily, the shonen manga in all its glory.
I think Kars is the centerpiece of Episode 26. We already know Joseph well, it's more interesting to go look at the antagonist. We had planned more scenes to flesh up his past, but the lack of screen time pushed us to select only a few...
The cemetery scene happens completely in the rain in the manga. However in the anime, the sun progressively comes. It probably fits more in the spirit of a "final episode".
"Thanks to your unwavering support, Stardust Crusaders will also be adapted into an anime." This is the message you have to receive when you see Jotaro at the very end as a bonus. Because, in truth, a typical end twist with the dreadful coffin coming back from the abyss would have been the perfect end.
—Naokatsu Tsuda, Blu-Ray limited edition commentaries
- The episode features two scenes from Stardust Crusaders at the end: DIO's Casket being found by fishermen and Jotaro's first appearance in the jail.
- The Blu-Ray version of the last scene of Jotaro's first appearance added the signature "To be continued..." arrow, hinting at the anime adaptation of Part 3.
|Season 1 Episodes|
|Season 2 Episodes|
|Season 3 Episodes|