Stardust Crusaders - Episode 34
D'Arby the Gambler, Part 1 (ダービー·ザ·ギャンブラー その1 Dābī Za Gyanburā Sono Ichi) is the thirty-fourth episode of Stardust Crusaders, the tenth episode of the Egypt Arc, and the sixty episode of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure anime. This episode skips Chapter 210 and covers Chapter 211 through most of Chapter 213 of the manga.
The Joestar Group have reached Cairo. Seeking DIO's Mansion, the heroes meet the gambler Daniel J. D'Arby who bets against Polnareff and steals his soul with his Stand Osiris. To save their friend, they must challenge D'Arby to various games.
The Joestar Group has reached its final destination, Cairo. However, they must now find DIO's lair and Cairo is a sprawling and labyrinthine city, thus forcing them to scan the outskirts first. Moreover, a few enemies remain and Holy's condition has worsened to the point she may only have a few days left.
After some time distributing photos of DIO's hiding spot and asking about it, the group eventually reach a café where they come across a man named D'Arby who claims to know where DIO's mansion is. However, D'Arby presents himself as an inveterate gambler and wishes the group to win the information on a gamble. He thus throws two pieces of dried fish in the ground and asks the group to bet on which piece a nearby cat will go for first. Although Jotaro and Avdol are suspicious, Polnareff accepts the bet and foolishly accepts to "bet his soul", taking D'Arby for a lunatic. Although Polnareff bets on the bigger piece, the cat goes for the other one first. D'Arby now demands his prize: his Stand Osiris appears and steals Polnareff's soul, turning it into a poker chip. After a single gamble, Polnareff has died.
The group realizes they have come across one of DIO's assassins but D'Arby dissuades them to beat him up, threatening to destroy Polnareff's soul. Moreover, the gambler unapologetically claims his pride in his ability to cheat and shows his collection of poker chips as proof of his skill. The group is forced to wager their souls to free Polnareff, so Joseph comes forth to challenge him. Filling up a glass with whiskey, Joseph invites both of them to take turns and put coins in the glass, whoever making the whiskey spill being the loser of the bet. As Joseph officially wagers his own soul, D'Arby accepts the game but also momentarily checks the glass for possible tricks. Having a lot of experience, Joseph evaluates that the glass will overflow in about seven coins. Trying to destabilize D'Arby by maliciously misnaming him, Joseph then secretly spills more whiskey in the glass as he puts the sixth coin, expecting D'Arby to fail. However, the gambler then puts the seventh coin without a hitch, taking Joseph by surprise. At wit's end, Joseph subconsciously acknowledges his defeat and gets his soul stolen by Osiris.
Jotaro looks at the glass and sees a piece of melted chocolate. D'Arby had in fact tampered with the glass, slightly tilting it to make Joseph underestimate the number of coins that could fit in it. Jotaro subsequently challenges D'Arby at a game of poker, the game D'Arby is best at. Despite Avdol's protestations, Jotaro is determined to win back the souls of his friend and grandfather.
Jotaro and co. have finally arrived in Cairo, but they are already gambling in a café. Polnareff is aggressive and is masterfully tricked, so his chances of winning were slim. (laughs)
I think the episode gives a really good visual of the playing cards. In fact, we had asked a professional magician (紙磨呂) to do some moves. We filmed it and used it as reference material for the animation.
Daniel has some really strange motifs on his face. During the animation process, we had treated them as tattoos but in truth I confess I have no idea what they could be. (laughs) The two brothers have similar motifs, maybe it's something genetic...Also note that even if the story is the same, we've made multiples modifications on this Blu-Ray and DVD version. Have fun spotting all the differences.
- The ending in this episode includes a different part of Last Train Home. Given the dark tone the episode has, the ending features a black screen instead of the normal video.