Steel Ball Run
Steel Ball Run (スティール・ボール・ラン Sutīru Bōru Ran) is the seventh part of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series. It was serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from January 19, 2004 to October 18, 2004. As of Chapter 24, it switched magazines to Ultra Jump and was serialized between March 19, 2005 to April 19, 2011.
Set in the U.S. in 1890, the story follows Johnny Joestar, a paraplegic ex-jockey, and Gyro Zeppeli, master in a mystic art named the Spin, as they compete with a vast number of others in the Steel Ball Run race: a mad-dash across The United States of America for a grand prize of 50 million dollars.
Steel Ball Run describes a new continuity apart from that detailed in Part 1-6 of the series. On top of core features to JoJo such as Stands, the story is marked by many references to the original series.
The Steel Ball Run Race
- Main article: SBR Chapter 1, Press Conference
- Main article: SBR Chapter 2, Gyro Zeppeli
- Main article: SBR Chapter 3, Johnny Joestar
- Main article: SBR Chapter 4, 3 Hours to Start
- Main article: San Diego Beach (story arc)
For keeping English literature, Sandman is forced to flee his tribe. He mysteriously outpaces his pursuers, who are on horseback, and escapes thanks to a mysterious power. Sandman meets his sister near a cliff whose wall is covered in mysterious spherical holes and shows her a newspaper headline regarding the imminent Steel Ball Run race.
Steven Steel, promoter, holds a press conference to present the Steel Ball Run: a multi-staged horse race across America with a grand prize of $50,000,000. Various contestants are coming from all over the world: among the favorites is Mountain Tim the cowboy, Dot Han the Mongolian horseman, and the British jockey Diego Brando. However, even unknown people like the emancipated Pocoloco and Sandman are coming.
Gyro Zeppeli is introduced as he registers his entry. He challenges a thief in a duel and makes him shoot himself by throwing a Steel Ball at his opponent's shoulder. Interested, a bystander in a wheelchair touches the still spinning Steel Ball in its holster, and momentarily stands up. That man's name is Johnny Joestar, a former genius jockey who became paraplegic after a petty fight, ruining his life.
Amazed at the miracle of the Steel Balls, Johnny insists that the Italian reveals him their secret but Gyro refuses. Johnny buys a horse anyway and enters the race. As the race nears its beginning, Gyro, impressed that Johnny dares come to the starting line still dragged off by his horse, gives him a hint about spinning. Just as the race begins, Johnny manages to mount his horse.
The Race Begins
- Main article: SBR Chapter 5, First Stage: 15,000 Meters
- Main article: SBR Chapter 6, The Dried-Up River: Diego Brando
- Main article: SBR Chapter 7, Pocoloco and Sandman
- Main article: SBR Chapter 8, Crossing the Forest
- Main article: SBR Chapter 9, Long, Long Downhill
- Main article: SBR Chapter 10, 2,000 Meters Left
- Main article: SBR Chapter 11, 1,000 Meters Left
- Main article: First Stage (story arc)
The Steel Ball Run begins. Steven and special guest board a train to follow the first stage. As the racers begin to move, Steel explains that the race is divided into nine stages separated by checkpoint cities. Gyro quickly goes ahead of the racers and amazingly beats two of the favorites, Urmd Avdul and Diego, thanks to the power of his Steel Balls. He is then quickly challenged by Pocoloco, encouraged by his Hey Ya! and emboldened by his uncanny luck. Gyro tries to stop him but only manage to slightly endanger Sandman as the Indian suddenly appears climbing down a cliff. Using a unique running technique, Sandman becomes the front runner but Gyro, Pocoloco, Johnny and Diego manage to catch up. The race in a mad dash where technique, luck and endurance sway the outcome for a bit just before Gyro turns his cape into a sail to catch the rear wind, Gyro inexorably seizes the first place.
Interlude: Steven Steel's Past
- Main article: SBR Extra Chapter 1, (Bonus) How the Race Got Started
Steven Steel's colorful past is explored. It is revealed that the Steel Ball Run race was first imagined by Lucy Steel, then a young girl who suggested the idea to a down-on-his-time Steven. Waking up from a drunken stupor, Steven was then approached by a group of sponsors who were interested in the event and proposed to finance it, making Steven rich again. Grateful for Lucy, and realizing she looked like his first love, he subsequently married her.
The West: First Battles
A Bloodthirsty competition
- Main article: SBR Chapter 12, Disqualified from Victory
- Main article: SBR Chapter 13, Sheriff's Request to Mountain Tim
- Main article: SBR Chapter 14, Across the Arizona Desert
- Main article: The Desert Born Outlaws (story arc)
- Main article: The Devil's Palm (story arc)
- Main article: Gyro Zeppeli's Mission (story arc)
- Main article: The Terrorist from a Faraway Country (story arc)
The first stage ended, but Gyro suddenly receives a penalty due to having endangered Sandman's life earlier in the race. He is relegated to the 21st place. After exacting a petty revenge by ruining Steven's party, Gyro accepts to have Johnny follow him and teaches him a first lesson: what matters is the Steel Ball's Spin itself. Meanwhile, Steven and his wife Lucy are brought to a murder scene, showing that contestants are murdering the competition. The local Sheriff calls the famous cowboy Mountain Tim to help who memorizes the horseshoes prints and also falls in love with Lucy.
The second stage of the Steel Ball Run begins, this time, the racers have to cross 1,200 km of desert. Gyro immediately takes a dangerous shortcut and Johnny has no choice but to follow him. The duo is then attacked by fellow racer Mrs. Robinson who uses explosive cacti to harass them. Nonetheless, Gyro promptly defeats Robinson with the same chollas. After finding Mrs. Robinson's horse, Tim sees that the horseshoes don't match.
Later, Johnny and Gyro make camp and Johnny makes some progress in the Spin. They are then attacked by Andre, Benjamin, and L.A. Boomboom, and Gyro realizes that his leg was magnetized by the Stand Tomb of the Boom 1 2 3. After a brief fight, Gyro and Johnny flee but are sprayed with Andre's blood. Benjamin disguises himself as Johnny Joestar, confronting Mountain Tim who reveals his Stand Oh! Lonesome Me. Benjamin successfully plants some of his blood on Tim and pushes him to think Johnny is the murderer. Mountain Tim catches up to Johnny and Gyro, and the three of them realize that they are affected by the magnetism. Tim presents his power he calls a Stand, which he acquired by stepping into a Devil's Palm, a moving phenomenon granting people Stands. Benjamin Boomboom uses his Stand to immobilize them and kill them. But Johnny then awakens his own Stand, Tusk, as they were in the Devil's Palm without realizing it. Johnny kills Benjamin and incapacitates L.A., who reveals that they were hired to kill Gyro and is promptly left in the desert.
Under Johnny's persuasion, Gyro reveals his past. He is a citizen of the Kingdom of Naples, who has learned the Spin from his father and has worked as an executioner. For his first execution, Gyro had to behead Marco, a little boy condemned by mere association with a treasonous lord. Gyro objected at Marco's execution and thus was proposed to participate to the Steel Ball Run race, as winning could spur the King to proclaim a general amnesty, otherwise the prize money was enough to pay for Marco's appeal. Gyro accepted.
Some time later, a terrorist from Naples named Oyecomova arrives at a relay village ready to kill Gyro as revenge against the kingdom. Mountain Tim confronts Oyecomova but is incapacitated by his Stand Boku no Rhythm wo Kiitekure's explosive power. The fight becomes a race toward the Zombie Horse, a healing item sent for Gyro. After a long pursuit up a river, a combination attack from Johnny and Gyro manages to take Oyecomova down, and the duo continues the race.
Interlude: Gyro Zeppeli's Motivation
- Main article: SBR Chapter 24, Interlude
The exact circumstances leading Gyro to want to appeal to Marco's execution are unveiled. After a prisoner revolts and Gyro was forced to restrain her, Marco took his pouch and tried to fix it, at the other executioner's anger but Gyro realized that Marco didn't deserve his sentence, leading him to him participating in the Steel Ball Run race.
The Real Goal of the SBR
Johnny and Gyro are attacked by Fritz von Stroheim, who is disposed of. Johnny, appalled at the frequency of the attacks since the money prize cannot justify these, suddenly realizes that his left arm contains a mummified arm. Meanwhile, Steven Steel discusses with Funny Valentine, President of the United States. With Joseph of Arimathea's Map in his possession, Valentine covets the relic known as the Saint's Corpse.
About to reach Monument Valley, the duo is attacked again by Pork Pie Hat Kid, one of Valentine's Subordinates. He captures Gyro and isolates Johnny in the open but Johnny's Stand, Tusk, appears to help his user escape the hooks once then tells him "Movere Crus", before disappearing. Johnny realizes the Steel Ball Run's true purpose. Johnny manages to reach Gyro and the Neapolitan foils a last attempt by the enemy to take the Corpse Parts. Having seen his legs being influenced by Tusk, Johnny subsequently diverts his attention on the Saint's Corpse and convinces Gyro to help him.
During the final dash of the second stage between the top racers, Johnny discovers the location of the next Corpse Part. He distracts Gyro with it, leading to Diego taking the 1st place, Johnny the 2nd place, Sandman the 3rd place, and Gyro the 4th. Gyro's angry, but the race immediately moves on to the third stage: 517 km through the Rocky Mountains. Meanwhile, Lucy Steel discovers Valentine's plot and sees the Heart in his possession.
Gyro and Johnny meet with Diego who's acted strangely since an earlier fall. As night falls, they take shelter in a village. But soon, Diego transforms into a raptor and attacks Gyro and Johnny. His kinetic vision gives him an edge against Gyro and Johnny's projectile based attacks and they can only flee, only to discover the whole village has been transformed too. Diego's backstory is revealed: he once spent his youth working on a farm with his mother, but the bad treatment they received and his mother's death made Diego ambitious and resentful of humanity. His talent led him to search for glory in the Steel Ball Run. Gyro transforms himself into a dinosaur and Diego snatches the Eyes from them. Johnny is the only human to face Dr. Ferdinand who explains that his Scary Monsters was controlling every dinosaur so far. Unexpectedly, Johnny abandons his Left Arm and partially transforms to toss one of the Eyes at Gyro, who is then cured and acquires the new ability Scan. Dr. Ferdinand is incapacitated and then eaten by cougars. However, Diego escapes with the Left Eye and keeps his dinosaur abilities.
Interlude: PDT Funny Valentine's Past
- Main article: SBR Extra Chapter 2, (Bonus) The Story of F. Valentine
A flashback reveals some of Funny Valentine's past. After surviving a trip into the desert, Valentine became a politician and discovered Joseph of Arimathea's map. It indicated the whereabouts of the nine Corpse parts: the Torso, the Heart, the Left Arm, the Right Arm, the Spine, both Eyes, both Ears, both Legs and the Head. Becoming President of the United States, he sponsored Steven Steel's race to secretly seize every Corpse Part.
The Midwest: Struggle for the Saint's Corpse
- Main article: SBR Chapter 32, Third Stage: Canon City
- Main article: A Real Man's World (story arc)
- Main article: The Green Tomb (story arc)
- Main article: Catch the Rainbow (On a Stormy Night...) (story arc)
- Main article: Silent Way (story arc)
During the final dash, of the third stage, Gyro challenges Diego again. Johnny having known Gyro for a certain amount of time, declares that Gyro lacks a proper drive for the race and will lose there. Gyro angrily rebukes Johnny, but despite his best efforts, Diego stays ahead. However, another racer, Hot Pants, has already crossed the line. Defeated, Gyro admits that he does lack the drive to win.
At 650 km from Kansas City, Gyro and Johnny meet Hot Pants in a forest. They briefly fight over an allegedly stolen cow; Hot Pants revealing his "flesh spray" Cream Starter and Gyro managing to scan Hot Pants' back, sees the word “Turbo” on his spine, thus leading Gyro and Johnny to locate the next Corpse's part in Kansas City. Johnny defuses the situation and the three eventually have a truce against a gunslinger named Ringo Roadagain who claims that they won't escape the forest without killing him. The trio confronts Ringo who reveals his Stand Mandom, which rewinds time by six seconds when he winds up his wristwatch. A shootout ensues in which Johnny and Hot Pants are apparently fatally shot, leaving only Gyro alive. Ringo takes Johnny inside and spares the Napolitan but Gyro realizes that Johnny's wound isn't fatal.
Ringo Roadagain's story is revealed: he was once the sick youngest of an impoverished family. One night, his mother and sister were killed by a bandit and he saved himself by shooting the bandit. Ringo then became a gunslinger seeking challenges to "purify" himself. Finally, Funny Valentine employed him to retrieve the Corpse part from Johnny. Chasing away the last doubts within him, Gyro challenges Ringo again and uses Mandom to his advantage by going through a first loop then leads Ringo into a falling splinter of the roof that impales Roadagain. Acknowledging his defeat and Gyro's growth, Ringo honors him and is finished off. After his duel, Gyro heals Johnny and Hot Pants. Johnny discovers that Ringo has sent a message to Valentine and also that Hot Pants is a woman, choosing to keep it secret. Near Kansas City, the duo crosses path with Pocoloco and Sandman. They exchange information, making Johnny realizes that Diego has found the location of the next Corpse Part.
Lucy Steel Gets Involved
Meanwhile, witnessing Ringo's pigeon arriving on the roof, Lucy infiltrates a governmental building and steals the message it carries. Almost surprised by Valentine and his henchman Blackmore, Lucy has no choice but to call Mountain Tim for help and they both escape incognito. Lucy then goes to retrieve the Spine at a local landmark known as the Green Tomb. However, Blackmore discovers Tim's involvement and kills him with his rain-controlling Catch the Rainbow. He then discovers that Lucy was the culprit and rushes toward her location as she uncovers the Spine. As Diego, Johnny and Gyro ride toward the Green Tomb, Lucy is discovered by Blackmore. He takes the Spine from Lucy but is distracted by Jesus-Christ; he is shot by Lucy who escapes with the Corpse Part. Exalted by the miracles around him, Blackmore seals his fatal wounds with raindrops and pursues Lucy. Meanwhile, Gyro and Johnny are unable to get ahead of Diego. In the tempest, they struggle to find the optimal path while Diego's enhanced senses help him. Nonetheless, Gyro's growth expresses itself when he manages to catch up to Diego. After a brief fight, Silver Bullet hurts its leg, throwing Diego out of the race.
The duo then meets Lucy and Blackmore almost at the same time and a fight ensues. Catch the Rainbow immobilizes Johnny and Gyro, but the latter manages to throw a Steel Ball on Blackmore by evaporating some raindrops. Blackmore dies from his wounds, and the Spine enters Johnny's body as the weather calms itself, and the next Corpse part's location reveals itself to the duo.
Johnny and Gyro reach the finish line in Kansas City. Earlier, Johnny, Gyro, and Lucy have seen the locations of the Ears, the Right Arm, and the Legs. The duo has also Lucy to steal the President's Heart, Gyro lending his Right Eye to enable this. In the present, Diego meets with Valentine's henchman. After Diego reveals that he knows about the traitor within Valentine's entourage, Valentine reluctantly cooperates with the British jockey.
The Golden Rectangle
Near the Mississippi, Gyro and Johnny are attacked by a combination of Diego's dinosaurs and a strange power which produces effects like cutting or burning whoever touched an affected object. The duo has to flee to the river. Johnny reminisces his sad youth, notably how he blames himself for his brother Nicholas' death and how poorly his father treated him. Considering that the universe is making him pay for his assumed unwitting murder, Johnny loses hope as his Stand proves ineffectual.
An angry Gyro reminds him that Johnny isn't close to master the Spin and introduces the Golden Rectangle, a ubiquitous proportion which is used to form a perfect and infinite rotation. However, Gyro refuses to say more. Sandman reveals himself as the enemy and inexorably corners the duo, even slicing Gyro's legs. On the brink of despair, Johnny realizes that the Golden Rectangle is present in the environment and upgrades Tusk to ACT2. An even shootout ensues, but Johnny surprises Sandman with a bullet made from Gyro's belt and kills the Indian. Suddenly, Hot Pants appears and knocks him out. She steals all the Corpse Parts save a fraction of the Spine.
The bonus chapter is an explanation of Stands and their rules. Some of the properties of Stands, such as their possible appearances and the rules they are subjected to are explained.
Lastly, Araki explains that items and techniques such as the Stone Mask, the Ripple, or the Spin were tools who emulate the power of the Stands.
The East North Central: To Accept Loss
- Main article: The Land of Promises: Sugar Mountain (story arc)
- Main article: Tubular Bells (story arc)
- Main article: Wrecking Ball (story arc)
- Main article: SBR Chapter 55, The Victor's Rights
At the beginning of the 6th stage, Gyro notices that 11 horses are nearing them with unnatural synchronization. They also meet Sugar Mountain, a young girl residing inside a giant tree who submits the duo to a trial of honesty. Gyro manages to obtain the Ears and the Right Arm plus various precious goods. However, Sugar Mountain warns the horse racers that they have to spend or exchange fairly everything they have before the sun sets lest they are absorbed into the tree. Gyro and Johnny decide to head to the city but find it difficult to spend their fortune. The Eleven Men attack them in a casino and almost kill them, but Gyro pays the local thugs to become their bodyguards, killing all but one man. However, Gyro is still turning into a tree and Johnny reluctantly trades his Corpse Parts with the last assassin. Sugar Mountain nonetheless salutes their resolve.
Near the Michigan Lake, Diego meets with Mike O., head of Valentine's security staff. Diego reveals that the traitor is most likely a woman, causing the questioning of every woman associated with the Steel Ball Run race. Lucy sees that the search is closing in on her and takes the initiative by approaching the First Lady Scarlet Valentine. With soporifics given by Hot Pants, Lucy manages to approach Valentine while he's asleep but the heist goes wrong when Scarlet discovers Lucy. Hot Pants come to the rescue but a short fight ensues against Mike O. who is killed. However, Lucy is forced to disguise as Scarlet while Hot Pants departs with the Ears and Heart, leaving the Right Arm which was too big for her escape.
Johnny and Gyro have reached a frozen straits which they must pass, but unbeknownst to them their are observed by two enemies. Wekapipo's past is explored: once a member of the royal guard of Naples, Wekapipo broke his sister's marriage on the premise that she was beaten blind. Furious, the husband forced him into exile; having heard of his sister's death, Wekapipo enters Valentine's service.
Johnny and Gyro try to cross the frozen strait, a wolf following them for unknown reasons. In the middle of the strait, they are attacked by Wekapipo and Magent Magent whose Wrecking Ball and 20th Century Boy can make their victim not perceive anything to their left and make Magent invincible while kneeling respectively. Gyro takes out Magent Magent but Wekapipo isolates the duo from the Golden Rectangle by destroying all possible inspirations including Gyro's hand and manages to uncover the Legs from the wolf. At a climactic exchange, Gyro uses snowflakes to recreate the Golden Spin and beats Wekapipo. However, he also reveals that Wekapipo's sister is being taken care of by the Zeppeli Family and enlists him to search for Lucy.
A supplementary chapter first describes Johnny and Gyro's daily routine in the Steel Ball Run. It transitions into the last dash of the 6th stage, in which Johnny and Gyro are racing against Pocoloco. Hey Ya! guides him out of the way of a rift, but Gyro and Johnny cooperate to cross it directly with a makeshift steel rope made from a ball, effectively beating Pocoloco's luck. Gyro finishes at the 1st place and Johnny at the 2nd place.
Meanwhile, Magent Magent crawls back to civilization.
The North-East: The Hunt Concludes
Valentine Takes All
145 km West of Philadelphia, Gyro and Johnny are lured by Hot Pants to a local garbage dump inside a building. Gyro and Johnny are attacked simultaneously by various objects they have left behind throughout their lives, who fuse with them and covering them both with a membrane. Hot Pants is then completely covered in the membrane and disappears. A flashback exposes Hot Pants' past: she is a nun who covets the Corpse to absolve herself after she abandoned her brother to a bear.
Johnny is warned to purify himself with water to dissolve the membrane and manages to escape. Suddenly, Johnny witnesses Jesus telling "not to shoot if he doubts, then a new path will open to him". When Johnny goes back into the garbage dump, Axl RO, an agent of Valentine, uses his Civil War to materialize objects of guilt including the specters of people. Johnny is attacked by his father and brother and the situation gets worse when he shoots Ax RO as the attack transfers' Axl RO's own objects of guilt to him. Nonetheless, he suddenly understands Jesus' hint and shoots himself. Gaining the ability to travel into the wormhole created by the spinning nails, Johnny gains the upper hand and grabs the Corpse from afar. He thus forces Axl RO to stab him and is then absolved of his sins. Suddenly, Axl RO is shot in the chest and Funny Valentine reveals himself. The President seizes the nearly all the Corpse Parts and departs before Johnny can attack.
Assembling the Saint's Corpse
Gyro and Johnny enter Philadelphia. Seeing that Diego Brando is at the 1st place, they decide to confront him and steal the Left Eye from him. At the same time elsewhere, Steven Steel ruminates in his coach. Comparing recent photos, he discovers that somehow Scarlet Valentine is Lucy in disguise. However, Magent Magent appears and shoots Steven because he's no longer useful to Valentine. Soon after, Wekapipo intervenes to protect Steven. The fight ends as Wekapipo imprisons Magent at the bottom of a river by using the Spin.
A flashback details the past of Lucy Pendleton: she was once the eldest daughter of a farmer indebted with the mafia. However, Steven bluffed the mafia who wanted Lucy as a prostitute by telling them he took her virginity and married Lucy to trick them. Grateful, Lucy became loyal to Steven.
In the Independence Hall, Valentines makes a lengthy motive rant to his "wife", who has let the Right Eye slip on the ground and has tried to distract the President. Aroused, Valentine tries to rape his wife's impersonator but when Lucy reveals herself, Valentine is stunned and is stabbed in the throat. Agonizing, Valentine suddenly disappears when a chair falls over him and reappears unharmed. Lucy tries to hide from Valentine in the next room and accidentally finds the Corpse which fuses with her. When Valentine breaks into the room, he realizes Lucy is the host for the Head.
Interlude: A Joke from Gyro
- Main article: SBR Chapter 63, Seven Days in a Week
Free-for-all in Philadelphia
- Main article: Chocolate Disco (story arc)
- Main article: D4C (story arc), Part 1
- Main article: Ticket to Ride (story arc)
Near the Independence Hall, Johnny and Gyro spot Diego and Wekapipo. While Gyro tries to sneak on Diego, Johnny is shot by an unknown party and barely escapes in the sewers with Tusk ACT3. Gyro notices Johnny's absence and tries to go help him. Another henchman named D-I-S-C-O confronts Gyro, who is at a disavantage as D-I-S-C-O's Chocolate Disco allows him to teleport any object within a grid on the ground. Using different layers of air as a lens, Gyro manages to dispose of him. Still, Gyro has no idea of what happened, and the witnesses alternately point Diego, Wekapipo or Valentine as the culprit. A flashback details the life of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion, resurrected under the care of Joseph of Arimathea, he drew the map for Joseph then traveled East until he died in America, his relics scattered across the continent.
A series of flashback finally reveal that Valentine's Stand, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap or D4C, can make parallel universes coexist in the same plane, explaining everyone's confusion during the last minutes. Valentine attacks Diego and Wekapipo and traps Diego in an alternate dimension through a flag. He steals the Left Eye and disappears but Diego then sacrifices Wekepipo to escape to the base world. Confident that the Corpse Parts are only found in his world, Diego continues his pursuit.
In the Independence Hall, a heavily pregnant Lucy is contacted by a mysterious voice compelling her to get away. Due to a series of coincidences, her guards are all incapacitated or killed, allowing Lucy to escape with a wounded Steven. Meanwhile, Gyro asks Johnny to abandon the chase for the Corpse Parts, considering that they've lost. However, Johnny stands up briefly, showing the evolution of his legs, and reaffirms his will to get hold of the Corpse. Gyro accepts to help him and reveals the last level of the Spin, which can be used only by the most skilled horse riders, harnessing a power which can beat Valentine. Unable to locate the Corpse Parts, they resolve to chase Lucy's trail instead. For her part, Lucy has been guided to the river by the voice but realizes that Valentine had lured her to his ship.
The West Coast: The Power the Saint's Corpse
Valentine is Blessed
Lucy is forced to embark with her husband. She and Valentine are to go to the last "X" mark on Joseph of Arimathea's map. However, Diego and Hot Pants meet and agree to cooperate and follow a trail left by Lucy, themselves followed by Johnny and Gyro. Diego and Hot Pants eventually catch up to Valentine who's boarded a train with Lucy. A vicious fight ensues as Diego and Hot Pants try multiple times to kill Valentine, culminating in Diego's death, cut in half by the train's wheels. Meanwhile, Gyro and Johnny notice that strange space distortions keep happening around them. In the train, Lucy Steel is turning into the Corpse itself. The space distortions also cause Hot Pants's death when debris converges into her heart. Having been observing the events, Valentine uncovers the true nature of this power: there is a gap into space which only he can enter and manipulate.
Finally, Gyro and Johnny catch up to the locomotive but Valentine has made it impossible to stop the train. Moreover, Valentine is invincible as "harm" itself is being redirected to random places in the world. Gyro throws a Steel Ball, to seemingly no effect. The duo can only stop Valentine's wagon and retreat temporarily. It is then that Gyro exposes some hair attached to the Ball he's thrown. If they harness the rotational energy of their horses when they run according to the Golden Scale, Gyro and Johnny will reach Valentine. Both charge the wagon. The President defeats Johnny first and forces Gyro to waste a Steel Ball to save his partner. Fortunately, Steven Steel transports Lucy out of the wagon and entrusts her to Gyro, forcing Valentine to pursue them toward the Atlantic Ocean. Meanwhile, Johnny sees Valentine's ear stuck on the Steel Ball, and realizes that Valentine didn't notice his wound. Near the water, a wind gust does make Valentine realizes that he's missing his ear, and as Gyro rushes toward him, the President finally grasps the danger the Spin.
The Phenomenal Power of the Spin
Valentine disappears on the ocean floor while Gyro harnesses the Golden Spin with Valkyrie. Despite several decoys, Gyro strikes the real Valentine with the Steel Ball imbued with the Golden Spin. Gyro's new stand Ball Breaker passes through the wall with the Spin energy and induces senescence in Valentine's cells, while Gyro is shot in the stomach. Unexpectedly, Valentines survives. Out of options, Gyro passes on to Johnny a mysterious speech, his lesson n°5: "The shortest route was a detour. It was a detour that was our shortest path."
It is explained Valentine was saved by a pure coincidence which made Gyro's rotation imperfect. Gyro expires and Valentine empties his revolver on his corpse then attacks Johnny. Johnny wastes all but one nail and is unhorsed but at the last moment understands Gyro's hint. Using the Steel Ball on Slow Dancer's leg, Johnny makes himself get kicked into the air in a Golden Scale leg movement and is imbued with the Golden Spin. Tusk ACT4 appears.
Tusk ACT4 forces its way into the dimensional gap then pummels D4C with enough force to form a crater on the ground at the bottom of which Valentine escapes. The President soon discovers that the Golden Spin is following him no matter which dimension he flees to and despairs.
A flashback details a young Funny's meeting with his future father-in-law Captain Valentine and his lesson about patriotism. Given resolve by this memory, Valentine recomposes himself. The President reappears in the base world but admits his loss and proposes Johnny to bring back Gyro Zeppeli. The Holy Corpse begins to extract itself from Lucy. Meanwhile, Valentine continues his parley, countering each of Johnny's arguments. At the end, the jockey is nearly convinced.
Johnny nonetheless throws the gun Valentine emptied earlier back at him, daring him to pick it up as a test. Valentine's plans are foiled. A final shootout ensues between the jockey and the President, which Johnny wins. Johnny witnesses a final apparition of Gyro's ghost and says his farewell. He then puts a final nail bullet in Valentine's head, killing him. Valentine's body is dragged underground by the Spin, and all traces of him disappears.
New York City: A Last Enemy
- Main article: High Voltage (story arc)
- Main article: SBR Chapter 94, The World of the Stars and Stripes
After healing everyone, Johnny realizes that the Corpse has been stolen by a last unknown enemy, identified as at least a Steel Ball Run contestant. Johnny pursues his final foe. Johnny catches up to the mysterious culprit, and confronts Diego Brando, alive and well, now wielding a time-stopping Stand called THE WORLD. Valentine has convinced an alternate version to fulfill his goal in his place.
Both racers realize what the other is capable of and aim to devise a plan which will counter the other's power. As he begins the final stage Johnny meets with his father George, and they silently reconcile. The advantage switches between Diego and Johnny until Johnny joins the rest of the racers on the Brooklyn Bridge for one final attack. Both perform their plans but although The World's leg is hit by the rotation, the Stand cuts it and throws it at Johnny who's now imbued with the Golden Spin. Incapacitated, Johnny is powerless as Diego wins the Steel Ball Run and head to the safe in which the Holy Corpse will be put.
- Main article: SBR Chapter 95, Stars and Stripes - Outro
After a brief narration of the after effects of the race, Johnny embarks on a boat to give Gyro's corpse back to his family, in which he meets his future wife Rina Higashikata. We last see Johnny giving one last prayer, and smiles as he goes to Europe to bury his friend.
Characters & Stands
Steel Ball Run is set in the United States during the 19th century, following the route set by the Steel Ball Run race. Both real-life cities and the wilderness of the United States are featured in the story, along with other strange locations, as the characters travel eastward from San Diego to New York.
- In order to research the American landscape, Araki knew he couldn't cross the United States in one journey and thus split his research trips into three. The first went from the West Coast to the deserts, the second was made from the Great Plains to the Mississippi River and Chicago and the third to the finish line in New York. The trips were mostly done by car. In there, Araki was struck by the openness of the landscape and sensed that he "could never make an escape from an adversary" and that there was nowhere to hide. The emptiness of the landscape also inspired in him an impression of emptiness and lifelessness. Although Araki asked himself if there was any fun in living there at all, he also says that the atmosphere felt rich for suspense. Araki was able to put his experience to use when he drew the manga.
- During its initial serialization in Weekly Shonen Jump, Steel Ball Run was categorized as a different series without the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure title. The change was a request from the editorial department in an attempt to attract reader attention by introducing a "new series." This was undone when the series moved to Ultra Jump in 2005, specifically in the May 2005 issue where the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure name was re-added to the title and the chapter numbering was reset.