Having defeated Dio, Jonathan goes on to marry Erina and embark on their honeymoon to America while Speedwagon will also be crossing the Atlantic, though on a separate ship. However while things may appear to be going well, some men loading a coffin brings a omnious air to the episode.
Far away from the coast, both Jonathan and Erina go on to reflect on how fortunate they are to be together before dinner but Jonathan’s sense of relief is shattered when he spots a familiar face, the oriental apothecary. At the same time a Father Styx stumbles across the mysterious coffin and finds that it can only be opened from the inside.
Coinciding with Jonathan’s plot, the oriental apothecary pulls it open to reveal Dio’s severed head who declares that having been defeated by Jonathan at each point, he’s come to the conclusion that he’s incomplete, and that the only way to remedy this is to take Jonathan’s body as his own. Managing to catch him off guard with a blast off pressurised liquid from his eyes that impales his arms and throat just as Erina arrives, followed by the zombified passengers infected by the oriental apothecary to wreak havoc. Despite having difficulty breathing however, Jonathan manages to pull himself together for Erina’s sake and use his last breath to take down the oriental apothecary, as such seeing his end ahead.
In doing this though, Jonathan has managed to bend the oriental apothecary to his will to hold the shaft in place to increase the pressure on the pistons to destroy the ship and with it Dio once and for all, urging Erina, wanting to stay with him to the end, to take a child that had lost its mother in the chaos and escape. Reasoning that the child reminds him of himself. Unwilling to die so easily, Dio attempts to prevent the explosion and take Jonathan’s body, only to find that having accepted his death, Jonathan has already passed on. In the aftermath to this Erina was rescued near the Canary Islands, determined to pass on Jonathan’s story to their descendants.
Kind of drawn out but the story wouldn’t be over if Jonathan and Erina could ride off into the sunset together. Dio does seem to be the type who wouldn’t take to being defeated so easily and at the same time it provides a tragic bittersweet end to Jonathan’s story, just as things were going well for him he’s cut down but dies with few regrets.
If anything the almost drawn out nature of this final segment in Jonathan’s story was my only gripe with it, Jonathan had at long last climatically defeated Dio, avenging the many that had been lost to him. By all means Jonathan’s story should have ended at that, and after everything he’s been through was it too much for him to be able to run back to and marry Erina and live out the rest of his years in peace? Probably, but for a guy like Jonathan, earnest, honest, and always doing what was right to be deprived of such an ending that he had more than earned. It was a little harsh to say the least.
That said the sense of forebodement that came with it was executed well, given that we had seen Dio escape death by the skin of his teeth, unlike the characters we knew that the last episode wasn’t the end to their story. That Jonathan marrying Erina and the cheery send off they received from all their friends was all too good to be true, and that at some point Dio would show up when they least expected it to bring it all to an end. For one thing the music used during this point was also pretty nice, managing to convey this sense of innocence while we the viewers were left with a feeling of dread of what was to come.
Lastly the arc itself also managed to end on a nice sort of note, Jonathan’s final moments were brutal to say the least, stripped of what protection his status as the protagonist had given him we saw him struggle at each step but still fall short in the end, however the sense of acceptance he bore made up for it in part. Alongside that the growth that we saw in Erina’s character was also something that I liked, in such a brief period of time we see a complete turn around in her character, willing to die alongside Jonathan one moment but urged by him to survive no matter what the next. All considered, given the theme of passing on one’s will in death it was a fitting end for her to be the recipient of Jonathan’s will to pass onto their yet unborn son. In all it provided a nice ending to this arc and I’m really looking forward to part two, Battle Tendency.