Lisa Lisa (リサリサ, Risa Risa), full name Elizabeth Joestar (エリザベス・ジョースター, Erizabesu Jōsutā), is a primary ally featured in the second part of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series, Battle Tendency, but introduced as a tertiary character in the first part, Phantom Blood.
Lisa Lisa is a tall and fit woman. Beautiful and poised, she has light eyes and long, dark hair. Lisa Lisa's real age is 50, but her Ripple training has allowed her to appear as though she were still in her late 20s.
She dons a variety of outfits during the journey, but she almost always wears her Ripple-conducting scarf and a pair of aviator glasses while outside of home.
In 1973, Lisa Lisa has long silver hair and continues wearing her scarf and high heels. At some point, she stopped concerning herself with upkeeping her appearance with the Ripple's anti-aging effects. However, she still aged naturally and beautifully according to J.D. Hernández. She occasionally wears a black suit as part of the Speedwagon Foundation.
Lisa Lisa is a cool-headed, dignified Ripple master living in Air Supplena Island. After dedicating decades to mastering the Ripple and imparting its techniques to others, she leads the pursuit against the Pillar Men as a formidable leader. She strongly believes in fate, confident that she is destined to protect the Red Stone of Aja, and feeling it was inevitable that her foster father ended up being defeated by her son. As the most skilled Ripple user of her time, and the last master remaining in the world, she is prideful of her skills, and Wamuu sings her praises for being composed and perceptive. She can be cunning as she threatens to destroy the Aja with a timed bomb if Kars doesn't accept her offer to battle one-on-one, with Joseph even admitting that she is a better gambler than he could ever hope to be. Despite catching onto her bluff, Kars also commends her bravery.
Lisa Lisa is an aloof, stoic woman, coming across as apathetic to her comrades. She possesses little patience for antics and doesn't offer her students any sympathy for the grueling, life-threatening training she puts them through. As soon as they reach Air Supplena Island, she immediately pushes Joseph and Caesar down the Hell Climb Pillar before they even get to rest at the house. Joseph notes that her eyes are as cold as if she's looking down at a pig about to be butchered.
However, she is not truly cruel, as her cold demeanor stems from a desire to keep her allies focused so they could be prepared to handle the otherworldly threats they're destined to face. She doesn't mind Caesar saving Joseph from falling when he was almost at the top of the pillar, faintly smiling when he asks for permission. She also doesn't care when Joseph frequently insults her, simply ignoring him or being clueless about his lecherous remarks.
Hidden within her persona lies a tragic history that she refuses to discuss, having lost her parents as a baby, then later her husband, ally, and foster father. While she maintains a distance from most after being forced to live in exile, her affection for her servant Suzi Q is evident, and she is glad to find Messina still alive after fighting Wamuu. She also mourns for Straizo, despite hearing about his change in character. She intends to keep her true identity as Joseph's mother a secret from him until the time is right. Following the demise of her student, Lisa Lisa struggles to hide how she feels and attempts to continue projecting a hardened exterior, urging Joseph to concentrate on the impending battle. However, when Joseph calls out her faltering facade as her cigarette was upside down, her suppressed grief surfaces, leading her to collapse and cry. After the defeat of Kars, Lisa Lisa no longer has to hide her emotions, as she sheds tears upon seeing that Joseph is still alive and soon reveals her relationship to him. She also manages to find love again in America and gets remarried.
Lisa Lisa smokes sometimes, as she carries a case of cigarettes and a lighter in Switzerland. She enjoys wearing fashionable dresses and taking baths. According to Suzi Q, her favorite food is carrots.
The light novel JORGE JOESTAR details the life of Lisa Lisa from childhood until she is 31 years old. Lisa Lisa is a fiercely protective and strong-willed individual, often taking matters into her own hands when she sees injustice. As a child, she frequently defends George from his bullies, resorting to violence to teach them a lesson. After defending George, she would express her frustration with him for showing weakness, out of concern that he was making himself a target. At times, she would distance herself from George, hoping that would make him more independent. Even after growing up, Lisa Lisa would continue worrying about George, wondering if he is still being bullied in high school.
She displays an unwavering bravery and determination, especially when faced with formidable adversaries such as the vampire Alejandro Torres. She shows no squeamishness, casually wearing a corpse's skin over her body in an attempt to lure out Alejandro. Although George believes she is terrified while facing Alejandro, she is unafraid to speak her mind, taunting the man for being a terrible father. She is committed to saving those she cares about, declaring herself as George's guardian and fighting to protect the Joestar bloodline using her Ripple abilities. She is proud to protect mankind, and is motivated that her actions fighting supernatural evils will help George live a normal life. She can be intimidating, as she instantly shuts up George's entire class when they complain about her giving them orders, which she was only doing to keep them safe. During the war, she fearlessly jumps across planes, using her acrobatic skills and Ripple techniques to obliterate zombies in the sky. George likens her to a war god upon witnessing her courageous feats.
Despite her outward toughness, Lisa Lisa has a very soft and vulnerable side, especially when faced with personal challenges. She is deeply attached to Erina and George, seeing Erina as her mother. For instance, when she has to leave Erina and George to stay with her adoptive father, Straizo, her distress causes her to break down and cry openly. Her reaction surprises George, who had always viewed her as the more mature and composed one between the two of them. She often reflects on her place within the Joestar family. While she once yearned to be a part of their lineage, her growing understanding of love and relationships makes her realize that her bond with George is special in its own right, since she would rather marry him than be his sister. When separated from Straizo and the other warriors in an underground temple in Rome, Lisa Lisa's fear of being alone in the absolute darkness summons a supernatural creature that reacts based on her emotional state, which only ends up disappearing once George suddenly appears and assuages her fears. She acts playfully and humorously with George, often laughing at his jokes and being the first one to kiss him, laughing very hard when she accidentally shocks him by using Ripple energy on the kiss. As an adult, she is the first one to propose to George, casually mentioning it while they are in the middle of fighting zombies in war. However, she distances herself from him upon hearing a prophecy from Tonpetty that George would die shortly after their marriage. When George worries about her not caring about him anymore, she firmly reassures him of her unwavering love for him, expressing that her love is an intrinsic part of her identity.
In addition, Lisa Lisa is strongly perceptive with a sharp memory. She is capable of remembering the traumatic events she witnessed as a baby, such as vaguely recalling her time with Erina and the evilness she felt from Dio Brando while they were sailing together on a coffin. Her quick thinking manages to lead her team to victory during the war, when she uses her Ripple on Steven Motorize's back to pull out his wings without him feeling any pain, allowing Steven to fly and later save George when he is forced to jump out of his plane.
In the light novel rey infinito, Lisa Lisa's experiences over the years have further honed her composed demeanor. She is portrayed as a mature woman who carries herself with poise and authority, making her highly respected by other investigators in the Speedwagon Foundation. As the head of the Foundation's Paranormal Phenomena Section, she doesn't merely delegate but actively works in the field alongside her team, valuing their insights and acknowledging their accomplishments. Even in her mid-eighties, she remains an active and direct participant in combat situations, showcasing her dedication to her duties and responsibilities. She is closely involved with the Foundation's research in archaeology and ancient civilization, well-learned enough to outshine an expert in the subject. Her gentle reprimand of J.D. Hernández speaks to her leadership approach, as she is assertive yet subtle. When she enters a room or gives a speech, all eyes are immediately drawn to her, highlighting her magnetic presence.
Throughout her travels and missions, Lisa Lisa maintains an observant and contemplative nature, from appreciating the beauty of a market scene to keenly taking note of local customs and practices. She gracefully navigates foreign locales, cherishing genuine interactions with locals. She kindly smiles at local women who aren't pushy with their sales, and her expression doesn't sour even when bumped into. She holds in high regard the perspectives and input of locals, considering their viewpoints even when they diverge from the Speedwagon Foundation's initial judgments. She often showcases her analytical and investigative prowess, theorizing about how the Arrows and Stands work. When J.D. suggests to retreat against Hopscotch, Lisa Lisa declares there's no need to, as the battle would provide them with essential data. Moreover, Lisa Lisa is shown to be judicious and patient, not merely relying on superficial assessments when evaluating potential threats. She refrains from passing judgment on Fabio Ubuh prematurely and instead focuses on acquiring concrete evidence. She also sees beyond Fernando Alhorn's facade and judges his true nature as a hellish entity.
Lisa Lisa's interactions with Octavio and Joaquín demonstrates her stoic and commanding presence. She is not easily swayed by remarks about her age or appearance and remains dignified in her responses, similarly to how she ignored Joseph's comments in the past. Even though she's presented with compelling arguments from Octavio and Joaquín about their unique abilities and their desire to break free from their suffocating lives, Lisa Lisa remains steadfast in her stance on the Foundation's policies on not recruiting local hires. However, she is not entirely rigid and is open to exceptions if they can prove their worth, displaying her compassionate side as she is open to giving opportunities where they are due.
Her philosophy on life and the world is rooted in her experiences, as she used to carry out philanthropic and humanitarian work with her late husband while living as an ordinary wife with him. She desires to notice details that others may overlook, such as how she tried to observe the darkness within the flickering of fluorescent lights ever since she was young, since it is ordinarily imperceptible for the human eye. She often asks thought-provoking questions to gauge the character of her interlocutors, aiming to unravel their psyche. Lisa Lisa recognizes the cyclical nature of history, where humanity often repeats its mistakes, leading to wars and human rights issues. Yet, she also believes in the power of the younger generation to bring about positive change, showing a mix of realism and optimism. Thus, she decides to actively contribute to the Foundation as long as she's needed and pass on her legacy when the time comes. After becoming a widow again, this leads her to rejoin the frontlines and train Sasha Loggins and Gustave Shaulo Messina as her successors in the Ripple.
She feels that she has gotten more sentimental in her old age, feeling a deep responsibility for the well-being of her students and allies. This maternal instinct is further depicted in her relationship with Sasha, her most trusted bodyguard, upon seeing Sasha in danger against Dos Santos. She reflects on the value of life and the tragedies of premature death, never wanting to see someone younger than her die again, and hopes not to regret making Sasha her pupil. In addition, she takes full responsibility for Octavio and Joaquín's suffering after they are shot by Alhorn's Arrow.
Lisa Lisa is also a resourceful woman, using her skills with the Ripple in innovative ways outside of combat or training. She incorporates it seamlessly into everyday tasks with finesse, such as cooking an egg to perfection with just a tap.
Joseph describes Lisa Lisa's movements as smooth as silk, making his look amateur by comparison. She is capable of detecting even the slightest of breaths, which surprises Wamuu, as she recognizes that there is a large number of vampires in the room with them trying to hide their presence. Her body is abnormally flexible, allowing her to be extremely agile and pull off acrobatic feats.
Lisa Lisa is a Ripple master, trained by Tonpetty's successor, Straizo. Illustrating her talent and skill, she first appears standing on an oar on a surface of water, turning it into a high bar on charged pillars of water. Her Ripple is at least three times more powerful than Joseph's. Her ability for training others results in Caesar and Joseph's rapid growth into Ripple masters in their own rights.
Lisa Lisa's expertise with the Ripple and flexibility hasn't waned in her mid-eighties, demonstrating control and precision even in high-stress situations. For instance, she utilizes her Snake Muffler technique to bounce out of an abyss unscathed, standing upright with only her muffler's tip touching the ground.
Chapters / Episodes
- “Hey, big guy on the left, I don't like your face. I'm gonna have to hurt you.”
- “I'm impressed you can move that well on water without training. But! If you're going to reach your full potential in a month, you'd better be ready to die for it!”
- “I'm not teaching you the Ripple to save your life. I'm teaching you to become warriors that can defeat the Pillar Men... that's all.”
- “A crude individual like you... I don't want to talk to or see. And if you want to "hug" me tight, give it a try... and be ready to die doing so!”
Creation and Development
For the second part of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Hirohiko Araki decided to have a female character play the part of the Ripple master. He wondered what it would be like for a female to follow up the Ripple master Will Anthonio Zeppeli from Phantom Blood. There also weren't "too many female characters" in the series at the time. Araki also thinks Lisa Lisa works well when paired with Joseph and Caesar.
Araki mentions that the first obstacle in designing Lisa Lisa was her name, saying, "Back then, if you picked a non-Japanese name for your character, it was a challenge to get the audience to remember it." Thus, "Lisa Lisa" was chosen. Araki believes that a repetitious name like "JoJo" would help, and that it phonetically resembles Japanese to some extent.
At the time of Battle Tendency's serialization, the females in other shonen manga were depicted as "a man's ideal girl": cute types who would giggle during conversations. Because of this, Araki felt that a warrior-type female like Lisa Lisa felt fresh. Lisa Lisa's personality was inspired by an incredibly smart girl in Araki's neighborhood who tutored him when he was in elementary school, since he felt intimidated by her. He also personally admits that he's fond of female characters who are capable of fighting for themselves. He commented on his intents to have Lisa Lisa portrayed with "uncommon realism" for women in shonen comics, but he was held back from going as far as he would have liked with her.
Finally, Araki states that in addition to functioning as a master people weren't used to seeing a woman fight. In battles, the one who is physically stronger would win, but Araki realized that if supernatural abilities were involved a woman can fight evenly with a strong male. "In other words," Araki says, "if the battle is between those with supernatural powers, physical appearance has nothing to do with strength."
- In a piece from the Hirohiko Araki JoJo Exhibition 2012, Lisa Lisa is erroneously depicted with a Star Birthmark, despite her not being a Joestar by blood.
- Rose from the Street Fighter series is based off of Lisa Lisa; Rose's outfit is almost identical to Lisa Lisa's and both share a similar fighting style that consists of channeling energy into their scarfs (Soul Power in the case of Rose and Ripple in the case of Lisa Lisa). Additionally, both characters like to take baths and Rose's stage in Street Fighter Alpha 2 is Venice, which is the same city where Joseph Joestar meets Lisa Lisa in the story.