A Real Man's World (story arc)
A Real Man's World (男の世界 Otoko no Sekai) is the seventh story arc in Steel Ball Run.
The fourth stage begins: 1250 km from the Colorado River to Kansas City. At 650 km from Kansas City, Gyro and Johnny meet Hot Pants in a forest. Having taken some meat from a cow's corpse that belonged to Hot Pants, he accuses them of being cattle thieves and attacks them, revealing his Stand Cream Starter. Johnny defuses the situation, but Hot Pants doesn't apologize for the attack. Gyro uses the occasion to scan Hot Pants' back, seeing the word "Turbo". Coordinates are hidden in the word, allowing Gyro and Johnny to ascertain the location of the next Corpse's part: Kansas City.
After a while, Gyro and Johnny realize that they are lost. Hot Pants approaches them and proposes a truce for the time being. They go on to ask whoever inhabits a nearby house the way out of the forest. They cross paths with fellow racer Gaucho, who is enraged at the house's inhabitant for repeatedly telling him that the way out of the forest would only come after he kills him. Gaucho finally challenges him, and Ringo Roadagain comes out of the house.
Gaucho and Ringo begin to shoot at each other, and Gaucho manages to strike Ringo first. He fires three more times, missing all three. Ringo then manages to fire a single bullet into Gaucho's chest thanks to his knowledge about guns, and he finishes Gaucho off with another bullet to the trio's perplexity. They elect to find the way out by themselves instead of challenging Ringo. Still unable to escape the forest, they decide to confront Ringo together, hoping to kill him. Hot Pants notably plants his Cream Starter on the roof of the house.
They find Ringo burying the remains of Gaucho and ask him one last time to let them out of the forest. Ringo answers by suggesting a duel with Johnny first, finding Gyro to be a mere follower and thus unsuitable for the battles to the death he seeks. Gyro attacks Ringo, but he reveals his Stand Mandom, which can rewind time by six seconds when he rewinds the watch on his right wrist, with the memories of the six seconds remaining within everyone. Hot Pants attacks Ringo by surprise, but Ringo manages to rewind time, evading Hot Pants' attack. A shootout ensues in which Johnny receives a bullet to the head and Hot Pants one to the chest, leaving only Gyro seemingly alive. Ringo rebukes him for being a mere conformist without a dark intent to kill and spares him, but witnessing one of his Steel Balls rolling toward him, Gyro realizes that Johnny's wound isn't fatal. He gains hope that Johnny survived the shot, and he finds within himself the drive to win and a dark determination.
Ringo Roadagain's backstory is revealed: he was once the sick child of an ostracized and impoverished family. One night, his mother and sister were killed by a deserter, and he was nearly raped, only getting away by shooting the deserter. Ringo's sickness disappeared, and he became a gunslinger seeking challenges to purify himself. Funny Valentine later employed him to retrieve the Corpse part from Johnny.
Chasing away the last doubts within him, Gyro clearly formulates his goals in this race: to discover whether Marco deserves his death sentence and to discover the truth behind the Corpse. With a clear objective and not ideals in mind, Gyro challenges Ringo again. Using his Steel Ball's Scan, Gyro reveals that Ringo has a weakness: his left shoulder bearing an old wound capable of paralyzing and killing him should it reopen. Both draw their weapons, and while Ringo kills Gyro, he is hit on the the shoulder and becomes paralyzed. At the brink of death, he uses his gun to rewind time once again. In the second duel, Ringo protects his shoulder but is then impaled by a splinter that fell the last time, which Gyro memorized the trajectory of. Acknowledging his defeat and Gyro's growth, Ringo honors him and welcomes him to the real man's world before being finished off by Gyro.
- 033 (785). A Real Man's World, Part 1
- 034 (786). A Real Man's World, Part 2
- 035 (787). A Real Man's World, Part 3