Hol Horse (ホル・ホース Horu Hōsu) is a secondary antagonist featured in the third part of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series, Stardust Crusaders. He is introduced during the "Emperor and Hanged Man" story arc and returns in other arcs afterward, having a focal role in the "Hol Horse and Boingo" arc.
Hol Horse is a hitman hired by DIO who works together with his partner, J. Geil, to eliminate the Joestar Group. Wielding the gun Stand, Emperor, Hol Horse is capable of shooting his foes with bullets that he can control.
Hol Horse reappears in the spin-off manga Crazy Diamond's Demonic Heartbreak as the protagonist. Set in 1999, ten years after the events of Stardust Crusaders, Hol Horse pursues a parrot for an old woman by travelling to Morioh.
Hol Horse is a tall man with an athletic build. He has light shoulder-length hair and long sideburns. He also has dimples in his cheeks and a cleft chin.
Hol Horse mostly wears light-colored clothes with a dark undershirt and a wide-brimmed cowboy hat that has two long, thin, loose straps hanging down. He wears wristbands and a long sleeveless top with the sides split, extending below his waist in a rectangular shape on the front and back. Under his left arm's wristband, he wears a steel watch with roman numerals.
In the spin-off Crazy Diamond's Demonic Heartbreak, Hol Horse wears a tattered coat in addition to his usual attire. Moreover, he's replaced his old wristwatch and now wears three watches on his wrist.
Hol Horse is portrayed like a Western gunfighter, appearing to be bold and a womanizer. In contrast, his fearfulness manifests itself when he is under pressure. He is a sharp-witted deceiver and prime opportunist, tending to rely on others as well as luck to save himself.
Hol Horse adheres to the belief of there being a hierarchy between people as well as their weapons. While fighting Polnareff and Avdol, he compares the battle to Japanese military chess. Furthermore, his motto is that the best way for him to live is to be "Number Two" rather than "Number One". Consequently, he prefers having a partner to fight with him even if his partner is a timid child like Boingo. According to Polnareff, Hol Horse has a talent for picking his allies.
His resolve and confidence frequently shifts depending on his current situation. For example, he boasts to Polnareff that Emperor can beat Silver Chariot because swords don't stand a chance against guns. He displays his pride when he is ridiculed, such as when he attempts to shoot Enya the Hag and later against DIO. Hol Horse manages to convince himself that perhaps DIO isn't much stronger than he is, and assumes he would have a better chance against one person than four men at the same time. Despite his fear, he is capable of calming himself down and bravely attempts to assassinate the vampire. Although he fails, DIO praises his determination, as he had steady breathing and wasn't even sweating, deeming him worthy enough to prevail against the Joestar group. He desperately tries to follow Tohth's predictions as long as he could win, declaring that he would even eat crap if the comic said he would. With ordinary civilians, Hol Horse doesn't hesitate to threaten or harm them to get what he wants. For example, he shoots off a man's ear at the airport when the man pushes Hol Horse out of the way to get into a taxi before him. He also intimidates two plumbers to open a pipe for him by almost smashing a concrete block onto their heads.
Hol Horse's awareness of his own shortcomings allows him to survive. After J. Geil is killed and the Joestar group is aware of Hol Horse's ability to change the path of his bullets, he realizes that he has no chance to defeat them by himself and sacrifices his pride to flee. When Nena jumps onto Polnareff to protect Hol Horse, he grabs the chance to escape on horseback alone. He lies to Enya about being best friends with J. Geil as an attempt to comfort her. However, when Enya turns against Hol Horse and almost makes him shoot himself, his quick thinking allows him to call off Emperor so that the bullet doesn't pierce through his mouth. Due to Enya's betrayal, Hol Horse helps Polnareff and Jotaro by informing them of Enya's ability. In spite of momentarily switching sides, he takes the opportunity afterward to steal the Joestar group's jeep and escape alone. Later, he kidnaps Boingo to use Tohth to predict the future, thinking it would be his final chance to help him win. In the end, his luck saves him once again from dying, as his bullets would have killed him if they were one centimeter lower.
Hol Horse describes himself as a nomad who lives life day by day. Although he is one of DIO's agents, Hol Horse isn't completely loyal to DIO until after he witnesses the vampire's power for himself. He is primarily motivated by money for carrying out his assassinations. He was paid a wealthy sum to handle the Joestar group and Rubber Soul had also stated that there would be a $100,000 reward for managing to defeat them. The prospect of being able to have all of DIO's treasures for himself acted as an incentive for him wanting to betray DIO.
Hol Horse has a knack for smooth-talking women, professing to be a "gentleman" that has girlfriends from all over the world. However, he discloses to J. Geil that he is just using his girlfriends as they are willing to do anything for him, including going as far as sacrificing their lives for him. Despite charming several women, he also claims that he's destined to die alone. Hol Horse admits that although he tells lies to women, he would never attack them because he respects all ladies, disregarding whether they're beautiful or ugly. Nonetheless, Hol Horse threatens to shoot Enya out of self-defense, so it is possible he would go against his moral standards if it is to protect himself. He fervently denies that Tohth's prediction of him kicking a lady from behind would happen, but it actually comes true when Hol Horse impulsively kicks her to save her from a deadly scorpion, proving that he cares to save women.
Since Hirohiko Araki could no longer stand cigarette smoke, he decided to have Hol Horse use a smoke-free pipe instead as of Chapter 218, claiming that Hol Horse is the kind of guy to change his mind all the time anyways.
As a hitman, Hol Horse is desensitized to seeing deaths. He tells Polnareff that from his own experience, there's no use worrying over it as most people aren't able to say goodbye.
In the spin-off Crazy Diamond's Demonic Heartbreak, Hol Horse is still deeply marked by his time with DIO. Hol Horse acknowledges that after he gave in to his fear of the vampire, he lost spiritually and is still afraid of DIO ten years after DIO's death. At one point, Hol Horse even has a panic attack when he is reminded of DIO. However, Hol Horse tries to appear as if he's moved on from DIO, playing up his tough guy persona. Moreover, Hol Horse has developed a superstition around having his wristwatches being on time, keeping three wristwatches on him at all times and lamenting that having a wristwatch off can bring enough bad luck to kill a man, referencing his own experience during the "Hol Horse and Boingo" story arc. Hol Horse has somewhat grown during the gap between 1989 and 1999. Even though he's embroiled in several stressful situations such as confronting the memory of a helicopter trying to shoot him, Hol Horse shows that he's gathered some courage over the years and manages to regather himself to help Josuke solve the situation, stating that the current fear he feels is nothing compared to the terror he felt with DIO. Plus, Hol Horse now shows a degree of benevolence when he considers that the parrot Petsounds he promised to search is a menace to society and decides to break his promise and shoot Petsounds to get rid of the parrot.
- Main article: Emperor
Hol Horse's Stand is Emperor, a handgun that Hol Horse can directly summon in his hand.
It is capable of firing bullets whose trajectory Hol Horse can control to a fine degree. He can even juggle the gun around with expertise.
Darts: In the spin-off Crazy Diamond's Demonic Heartbreak, it is shown that Hol Horse can throw darts with extreme precision. He is shown throwing several darts at a dart board and managing to hit the center of the board with all his darts.
- Hol Horse & J. Geil vs Jean Pierre Polnareff & Muhammad Avdol
- Hol Horse vs Enya the Hag
- Hol Horse & Boingo vs Jean Pierre Polnareff, Muhammad Avdol, Joseph Joestar & Jotaro Kujo (Retired)
Chapters / Episodes
- “It's fantastic having girls all around the world at my disposal! They'd do anything for me, even sacrifice their lives if it came to it...”
- “"The gun's mightier than the sword!" Mmm, mmm, mmm. I love that line.”
- “You ever hear of Gunjin Shogi—Japanese military chess? A tank is stronger than a soldier, but tanks are weak against land mines. These are the basics of battle, of course.”
- “No more pieces left to be afraid of in this game of military chess!”
- “Ain't seen too much death before, have you? It happens in a split second. Don't get too bent out of shape about it. Most folks don't get to say goodbye... Heh heh... Just a little tidbit I've learned from experience.”
- “Think you can walk away from me so calmly? Well, think twice! I think I've already shown that you don't stand a chance against me! So if you want to get away... You better run! And I mean run!”
- “Now that I've caught up with you, I've got no choice. Time to accept your fate. These are your last moments on Earth, so how about you come at us like men? Show me your guts, boys!”
- “I'm the type who only shines when he's teamed up with someone else! Why be number one when you can be number two? That's the Hol Horse way of life!”
- “Thanks, baby! I won't waste your kindness! I'll escape with my life! I'm running away because I love you, baby! Our love is forever!”
- “No one talks to me that way! I don't have to follow orders from someone who's probably not even as tough as me! I may have said yes, but I never vowed loyalty from the bottom of my heart! I won't sell my soul to you!”
- “I... I finally get it, Master DIO... I'm with you until the end... I'm defeated...”
- “Listen, Boingo. I'm a gentleman. I got ladies all over the world. I may tell 'em a little white lie now and then, but I'd never hit 'em! That's because I respect all ladies... The good-looking ones, the uglies, all of 'em!!”
- “I swear I won't hit a woman! Even if she paid me, I'd never kick a woman!”
- “C'mon, if my watch is off like this... It's bad enough luck to kill a man! They'd best be keepin' that clock tower on time!”
- “Dreams? You want me to tell you I'm being plagued with nightmares? Sorry, but I'm made of tougher stuff than that.”
- “This guy's true power is... The ability to fix things that's been broken?”
- “Hey! Slow down there! Ladies aren't for threatenin'.”
- “Your Stand, that power of yours only we can see... It sure isn't average, boy. That thing's crazy strong!”
- “What a mess this is. I'm up against an enemy I can't shoot.”
- “Maybe my 'Emperor'... Has met its match.”
- “Just 'cause you fixed 'em later doesn't mean you should go around beating everyone up, kid.”
- “That parrot's replaying a scene of rioters being dispersed by an attack helicopter!”
- “Every time I break a promise made to a woman... It leaves me with the worst damn taste in my mouth.”
- “Long story short... he may as well have lost his right arm.”
Creation and Development
Araki's idea for Hol Horse might have been influenced by the titular character in the manga, Cobra; a gun slinging outlaw who always smokes and has the power to fire projectiles without having a line-of-sight.
Though not initially planned, Araki threw around the idea of Hol Horse joining the protagonists (much like how Polnareff and Kakyoin did as former antagonists) during their journey, but opted out due to balance issues with Polnareff's similar character. Araki mentions this is part of the reason Hol Horse shows up multiple times throughout the story and why there is at least one group shot with Hol Horse present.
- In Heritage for the Future, Hol Horse is one of the special characters that doesn't turn into a child form when hit by Alessi's Stand, Sethan's ability. Rather, he becomes the boy that attempted to sell Kakyoin and Polnareff things during their fight against J. Geil. For his "Hol Horse & Boingo" variation, he seems to swap places with Boingo, and hides under the latter's box in the background, although players can see a young Hol Horse's arm sticking out firing Emperor when using certain attacks.
- During his initial encounter with Polnareff, Hol Horse states that a sword (剣 ken) is unable to win against a gun (弾き hajiki). To mock Hol Horse, Polnareff claims that he heard the former say "ohajiki" (お弾き), referring to a traditional Japanese game similar to marbles, commonly played by young girls in Japan. In Crunchyroll's official subtitles and the English Dub, the line is localized as Polnareff calling Hol Horse's gun a peashooter. In VIZ Media's manga translation, Polnareff jokingly pretends to have misheard Hol Horse saying "buns" instead of "guns".
- Hol Horse's quote "The gun is mightier than the sword" is a parody of Edward Bulwer-Lytton 's quote "The pen is mightier than the sword."