|“||My heart and actions are utterly unclouded. They are all those of 'Justice'.||”|
—Funny Valentine, SBR Chapter 89
Funny Valentine (ファニー・ヴァレンタイン Fanī Barentain) is the main antagonist of Steel Ball Run.
Funny Valentine is the President of the United States and the true mastermind behind the Steel Ball Run race. Valentine watches the competition under the curtains and hopes to gather the Saint's Corpse to use the holy relic to further the United States of America's interests.
Valentine adopts two main appearances, differing greatly in build. He is introduced as an old, stout, overweight man.
About the time he takes the rib cage of the Saint, Valentine gains a fit, muscular build and a more handsome appearance.
After this, it is revealed that spanning his back, Valentine bears deep scars, in a pattern resembling that of the 21st century flag of the United States.
He consistently wears long, light hair, curling at its ends into a number of thick, well-defined rings (perhaps in reference to the white periwigs and hairstyles of the 18th century, as worn by several early Presidents).
He also continues to wear a smooth, uniform outfit, including an overcoat closed to the end of his torso. Under which he wears frilled garments and a pair of gloves with a net pattern on the upper half.
Funny Valentine's first and foremost characteristic is his deep patriotism. Marked by the gruesome fate of his father, Valentine's goal is that the United States stand over the rest of the world. To do so, he seeks the blessing of the Saint Corpse Parts, becoming ecstatic when the Corpse blesses him. Despite this, Valentine is callous about the lives of individual Americans, never hesitating to sacrifice his own subordinates in his quest for the Corpse, and going as far as to kill them himself if he deems it necessary.
Valentine is a ruthless individual, having a might-makes-right attitude toward the world. He thinks that power is founded on authority, and part of the reason he wants the Corpse is to obtain a spiritual authority on par with the Vatican. Convinced that everyone's wishes cannot be fulfilled, Valentine chooses to put the United States' prerogatives above the interests of the rest of the world. Valentine respects ambition and ruthlessness and ultimately entrusts the Corpse to an alternate Diego Brando. Claiming that his methods require the least sacrifices possible, they still liberally involve murder and generally violence, and manipulation of the people around him.
Valentine possesses a code of honor, first putting his patriotism above his own interests, and is a man of his words, never killing Steven Steel despite having reasons to only because he swore an oath. Valentine respects the prowess of his adversaries, notably admiring the Spin technique as Ball Breaker tries to breach the dimensional wall. Nonetheless, Valentine will twist this code whenever convenient and isn't above lying to gain an advantage. He is also a very polite man, never losing that politeness and dignity even when pitted against his enemies.
Funny Valentine is generally cold toward any individual. The only person he's admitted to having loved is his father, confessing to have been searching for him across multiple universes, although that claim is dubious. Despite his marriage with Scarlet and the two sharing a certain fondness for each other, Valentine only appeared to be a little disturbed by her death. Infatuated by Lucy Steel disguised as his wife, Valentine tried to rape her and declared that she would bear his child. Valentine keeps a professional distance with his subordinates at best, only caring that they fulfill his orders, whether they die or not.
- Main article: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Valentine's Stand, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (D4C), enables him access at any time to any number of alternate worlds/universes/dimensions; where if desired he may swap bodies with his counterparts, granting him pseudo-immortality.
When Lucy develops Ticket to Ride, Valentine may utilize a protective wall of light emanating from her which deflects all misfortune, bolstering his defense further as he becomes effectively invincible. He names this complementary ability "D4C - Love Train".
When the President was a child, his father went to war, and never came back. One day, a soldier named Captain Valentine came to Funny's house and told him that his father was captured by the enemy. After resisting intense torture, he committed suicide in order not to betray his country. He retained a handkerchief (horrifically, behind his eye) which Captain Valentine then gave to Funny.
It's implied that Funny's mother remarried with Captain Valentine some time later.
American Civil War
While on an excavation, Valentine's company perished in a desert. Valentine himself, exhausted, fell onto the site of the Corpse's Heart. His life was saved due to the Corpse's power, and he inferred the existence of a complete Corpse.
At some point later, he was captured by the enemy and brutally whipped, leaving scars spanning his back (in a pattern resembling that of the flag of the United States).
Steel Ball Run
The Steel Ball Run race is a plot set up by Valentine and the down-on-his-luck promoter, Steven Steel to scope through the United States to get the Saint Corpse Parts which were rumored to have life changing power. As he hosted and monitored the event, he'd send out people of his choosing to make sure things didn't go haywire in the process while at the same time trying to find pieces of the corpse parts themselves.
By obtaining the corpse, Valentine, being a patriot, wishes to use its power to bring a better future to America by merging his stand and the corpse's power to deflect all misfortunes befalling on his country to other foreign countries.
During the race, Valentine employs many assassins to kill both Gyro Zeppeli and Johnny Joestar, even having some participate in the race to get close to the duo. The majority of his subordinates are Stand users, such as Blackmore, Mike O. and Diego Brando.
Receiving the Corpse
Once learning that the Corpse parts were embedded within Lucy, he had her live with him, knowing that she was disguised as his wife, and in the hopes of taking the Corpse parts out of her when the time was right.
After seeing Lucy for what she truly is, he holds her until the Corpse's power is at its fullest. He hires D-I-S-C-O to stall Gyro so he could kill Johnny himself. Using Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, He sends both Diego Brando and Wekapipo (both have since defected from Valentine's employ) to alternate dimensions to shoot Johnny and eliminate the three at once. He fights Wekapipo and Diego with the odds in his favor, then Diego uses Scary Monsters to guide Johnny to safety and shoot Valentine. However, Valentine uses his Stand to replace his dying body.
He takes off in a train to protect Lucy from Diego and Hot Pants, while Ticket to Ride takes form. He makes several clones to fight off the two but is nearly killed by Diego. After fighting and killing Diego, Lucy's Stand takes form and powers up D4C. He quickly uses it to kill Hot Pants and prepares to fight Gyro and Johnny.
When Gyro and Johnny finally shows up to confront the president, Valentine shows the extent of his new ability. Valentine misdirects everything that was intended to kill him to another part of the world, killing someone else. However, Gyro tells Johnny that it is time for "Lesson 5", meaning the use of the Super Spin. As Gyro prepares for the Super Spin, Valentine shoots him non-lethally. However, with the effects of D4C -Love Train, the wound travels up his body towards a more lethal spot. Gyro then summons Ball Breaker and passes through the dimensional barrier, accelerating the age of half of Valentine's face. As the wound travels up Gyro's body, he shoots Ball Breaker a second time, seemingly killing Valentine. However, Valentine was turned into a old man due to the second attack and after recovering, he finally manages to kill Gyro.
After killing Gyro, Johnny relentlessly tries to do anything possible to even harm Valentine, but to no avail. Valentine then shoots Johnny's horse, Slow Dancer, to eliminate the chance of seeing the Golden Rectangle. In a last ditch effort, Johnny uses one of Gyro's steel balls to heal his horse which kicks him into the air, activating Tusk ACT 4.
After being hit by Tusk ACT 4, he found himself subjected to the Spin, which drove him into a hole in the ground every time he jumped to another dimension. He attempted to bribe his way away from this by offering Johnny a brand new Gyro Zeppeli, whom he shot and killed prior, in return for Johnny ending the Spin. Johnny refuses, stating that even a Gyro from another dimension would not be the same Gyro as the one he had adventured with.
After an explanation of how he wanted to use the Corpse parts for his country, he mentions that Hot Pants died. However, he managed to take the spray from another dimension's Hot Pants and hands it over to Johnny so that he can heal Lucy. Johnny, though gradually trusting the president, tossed Valentine's empty pistol to his side and challenged him to pick it up, harboring a suspicion that Valentine had brought a pistol back with him from an alternative dimension to attack him with. The suspicion proved correct, and knowing that if he picked up the pistol it would merge with the one from the alternative dimension and reveal his intention to betray Johnny, he hesitated for a moment. After reaffirming his personal sense of justice, he draws his weapon and shoots Johnny, who in turn shot back at him. The gunfight resulted in the final death of the president.
At the conclusion of Steel Ball Run, it is mentioned that despite Valentine's disappearance from the public eye at the end of the race, he attained approval ratings as high as 91%.
In Video Games
Valentine is a playable character in All Star Battle (PS3), he was the last standard character confirmed for the game, alongside "Kosaku Kawajiri". As a Part 7 character, three parts of the Holy Corpse appear scattered on stages when he, Johnny, or Gyro are used, which they can pick up to receive blessings that boost their performance in combat. Valentine has the lowest health in the game, reflecting his many "deaths" throughout the part. Valentine is both the only playable villain and "Stand" Style fighter in Part 7. Valentine can turn Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap on/off, changing movesets, as well as have access to the Stand Rush ability returning from the Capcom game, being able to attack in conjunction with his Stand.
During a fight, Valentine showcases skills and feats he had performed throughout Steel Ball Run.
- Throw - A hindrance to my country (おまえはこの国の未来への「幸せ」を邪魔している): D4C throws the opponent high into the air with one hand and jabs them with the other in the abdomen as they fall, throwing them away and onto the ground afterward.
While D4C is off:
- It's merely self-defense (正当なる防衛だよ): Valentine pulls out a revolver and shoots the opponent six times with it, before tossing it away.
- A gift from the other side (あっち側から連れて来た): Valentine twirls a flag around him as another Valentine comes out from behind it, delivers a flying kick to the opponent, then disappears using his own flag.
- Hiding in the next dimension (隣の次元へ逃れて隠れなくては…………): Valentine jumps, directly upward, forward, or backward, as he pulls out a flag and uses it to hide in another dimension. If the attack button inputted is held, Valentine will stay in hiding for longer. This move can be used to evade all attacks and projectiles completely and can even retaliate when the opponent is open. However, the opponent themselves can catch Valentine with an attack as he's falling after having returned, with enough anticipation. (Comboable)
- He's gone?! (消えた！！？): A counter. Valentine poses. If the opponent hits him in that moment with a non-Throw/HHA/GHA, Valentine will grab the opponent and fall backwards. Valentine alone will phase into the ground, using the opponent as cover to enter an alternate dimension, while the opponent themselves will merely slam into it. Valentine returns while they are on the ground.
While D4C is on:
- Well, now you've done it! (始末する): D4C flies forward, unleashing a combo of chops that knock the opponent down with the final hit.
- I'll dispose of you! (かなりムカついたぞ): D4C unleashes a chop downward. If Medium is inputted, it follows up with an overhead chop. If Heavy is inputted, it follows up with a low kick that knocks the opponent down, and cannot be blocked if they are not crouching. A Stand Rush skill that Valentine can disconnect from to attack the opponent while it is executing. If Valentine has all three Corpse Parts, this moves executes faster, nullifying the recovery between attacks.
- Dojyan! (どジャアァァ～ン, Named "Ta-dah!" in the English localization): D4C pulls out a flag and, after laying it flat in the air, slams it into the ground. This move doubles as an anti-air. If the opponent is caught, they are sent into another dimension as Menger Sponges spew out from under the flag, and then sent flying out from under. If Valentine has all three Corpse Parts, this moves executes faster, nullifying the recovery between attacks.
Valentine receives a new blessing every time he picks up one of the three Holy Corpse Parts, but if knocked down, loses it as he drops the part.
- The Guard Gauge does not deplete as quickly.
- Valentine's defense is increased, reducing damage taken by 25%.
- D4C -Love Train- goes into effect. A dimensional wall of light surrounds Valentine. All projectiles except those unleashed through HHA and GHA are completely nullified. His damage reduction is also further increased to 70%, and his attack speed increases, granting him more abilities to combo into or unleash as surprise attacks.
Valentine's HHA, "Guess who's back!" (連れて戻って来た！) is a counter. Valentine and D4C openly present themselves to the opponent with a shrug. If the opponent's non-Throw/GHA connects, Valentine will slam them into the ground as he disappears. He will come up with two more Valentines as the three beat the downed opponent, before D4C throws the oppponent into the air. In unison, all three Valentines uppercut the opponent and send them flying as the two that were summoned return to their dimensions.
Valentine's GHA, simply named "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" (いともたやすく行われるえげつない行為, Renamed "Filthy acts, at a reasonable price" in the English localization), is unblockable, and has him pull out a large flag and blanket it forward as Valentine declares the attack something the opponent should be honored to receive. If the opponent is caught, they are draped over by the flag (an image reminiscent of a military funeral ceremony) and Valentine jumps in shortly afterward. The two are pulled into another dimension, interrupting the battle between alternate universe versions of themselves. While Valentine poses with his expecting doppelganger, the opponent slams into theirs as they violently disintegrate into a shower of Menger Sponges as per the rules of D4C.
Valentine has a special skill exclusive to him, "Back from the 'other side'" (自分を「隣りへ」捨てて「入れ替わっている」). He can only perform the skill when he has all three Corpse Parts and three stocks of the Heart Heat Gauge. Valentine will swap places with an alternate version of him from another dimension, which completely refills his health bar. If Valentine is low on health and has activated "Rumble Mode", then it will persist into his transition, leaving him at full health with Rumble Mode engaged. The drawback of this move, however, is that Valentine loses all Corpse Parts and his HHG is disabled for the rest of entire match. If struck by Kosaku-Kira's GHA after having used this skill successfully, Valentine's HHG will be restored once time has looped backward.
Valentine triggers unique animations when hit by Johnny and Gyro's GHAs respectively.
- Johnny - "Pretty long for a shortcut!": Valentine attempts to protect himself with D4C Love Train, only for Tusk ACT4 to forcefully rip the dimensional wall open and fly past, recreating the climactic scene from the battle in the manga. When beating Valentine, a slow-motion close-up of Tusk punching D4C in the face and the hit reflecting in Valentine is shown.
- Gyro - "Ball Breaker": Valentine attempts to protect himself with D4C Love Train, only for Ball Breaker to penetrate and fly through the dimensional wall, recreating the scene from the battle in the manga. Ball Breaker will zoom past Valentine and D4C's face, the two attempting to brace themselves, before exploding in a blast of Complete Golden Spin Energy.
In the English localization, if Valentine is mirror matched against himself, during the dialogue before the fight, the first Valentine will provoke saying "Get ready for amber waves of pain!", while the second Valentine will say "Hello me. Meet the REAL me" (the latter being a lyric from the song "Sweating Bullets" by the band Megadeth)
Valentine possesses an alternate costume, being the attire he used during his first appearance (a more classic president-like suit for the time period). In the English localization, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap is simply shorted to "D4C".
Valentine was confirmed for JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven alongside Johnny, Gyro, and Diego Brando from Another Universe.
In the game's story, Valentine summons DIO from another universe to defeat Johnny Joestar. He eventually realizes DIO's evil tendencies and plan to conquer all universes, and decides to ally himself with the protagonists. He secretly gives aid to the Joestars through confirmation of the original universe DIO's status and hints at the weakness of DIO's new Heaven Ascension form. He also helps Joseph confirm that the side effect regarding two versions of the same person or object co-existing in the same dimension does not apply if they are from the same timeline.
As his cover is blown by DIO, Valentine reveals his reason for betrayal, following the path of true justice, even it means to sacrifice his life. At this point, he confronts DIO and attacks his Heaven Ascension form head on, but is promptly defeated.
- The concept for Valentine's character derives from Araki's interest in a fighting President, after watching the movie Independence Day.
- Funny Valentine demonstrates the ability to pierce and shotgun a can of beer; much like Jotaro during his introduction in Stardust Crusaders.
- Valentine's catchphrase "Dojyaaa~~n!" literally means "Tada!" in Japanese.
- The scene during which Funny receives his dead father's handkerchief appears to reference the 1994 film Pulp Fiction. In the movie, a young Butch and his mother are visited by Vietnam veteran Captain Koons, who fought with Butch's father. Butch's father was captured and held in a POW camp and did everything in his power to hide a gold watch (a family heirloom and symbol of patriotism) from his captors until he died of dysentery. Some of the panels in the manga were seemingly modeled after the same scene in the movie.