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. Initially serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from January 19, 2004 to October 18, 2004, the part's publication later moved to Ultra Jump, where it was serialized from 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 the mystic art of the Spin, as the two compete in the trans-American Steel Ball Run race and uncover its benefactor's sinister motivations.
Steel Ball Run marks the start of a new universe entirely divorced from the events of Parts 1-6. Despite this, the story retains several core features of JoJo, including Stands, as well as numerous references to the original continuity.
The Steel Ball Run Begins
Countdown to the Race's Beginning
- Main article: San Diego Beach (story arc)
For keeping English literature, Sandman is forced to flee his Native American tribe. He mysteriously outpaces and escapes his pursuers on horseback thanks to a mysterious power. Sandman meets his sister near a cliff whose wall is covered in mysterious spherical holes and tells her of his intention to participate in the upcoming Steel Ball Run race.
Promoter Steven Steel holds a press conference to announce the Steel Ball Run: a multi-stage horse race across America, with a grand prize of $50,000,000. Participants flock to America from all over the world: among the favorites are cowboy Mountain Tim, Mongolian horseman Dot Han, and British jockey Diego Brando. Even relative unknowns like the emancipated slave Pocoloco and Sandman sign up to join the race.
Gyro Zeppeli is introduced as he registers his entry. He challenges a thief in a duel and, by throwing a Steel Ball at his shoulder, makes his opponent shoot himself in the head. Interested, a bystander in a wheelchair touches the Steel Ball as it spins in its holster, causing him to momentarily stand up. The man is introduced as Johnny Joestar, a former genius jockey who became paraplegic after a petty fight.
Though Johnny is amazed at the miracle produced by the Steel Ball, Gyro refuses to explain its secret. Undeterred, Johnny buys a horse and enters the race. As the race begins, Johnny manages to mount his horse by spinning his own body.
The First Fifteen Thousand Meters
- Main article: First Stage (story arc)
Steven Steel and a team of reporters board a train to follow the racers through the first of the race's nine stages. Gyro quickly gains the lead and incapacitates two of the crowd favorites, Urmd Avdul and Diego Brando, with the power of his Steel Balls. Gyro is then challenged by Pocoloco, who makes up for his late start with uncanny luck and a strange ability. Despite Gyro's efforts to attack Pocoloco, he only manages to put Sandman in danger; nevertheless, the Native American overtakes both of them to become the frontrunner. After a tense battle near the finish line, Gyro turns his cape into a sail to catch the tailwind and barely takes first place.
Interlude: Steven Steel's Past
- Main article: ~How the Steel Ball Run Race Got Started~
Steven Steel's colorful past is explored. It is revealed that the Steel Ball Run race was first imagined by a young girl named Lucy, who suggested the idea to a downtrodden and despairing Steven. After awakening from a drunken stupor, Steven was approached by a group of sponsors who expressed interest in the event and offered to finance it, making Steven rich. Out of gratitude toward Lucy, Steven later married her.
The West: First Battles
A Bloodthirsty Competition
- Main article: Across the Arizona Desert (story arc)
- Main article: The Desert Born Outlaws (story arc)
- Main article: The Devil's Palm (story arc)
Despite his impressive performance, Gyro receives a penalty for having endangered Sandman earlier in the race and is demoted to 21st place. After exacting petty revenge by ruining Steven's party, Gyro agrees to let Johnny follow him and tells him that what matters is the Steel Ball's Spin itself. Meanwhile, Steven and his wife are brought to a murder scene indicating that a murderer is taking out competitors. The local sheriff calls the famous cowboy Mountain Tim, who memorizes the horseshoe prints and briefly flirts with Lucy.
The second stage of the Steel Ball Run begins. This time, the racers are tasked with crossing 1,200 km (750 mi) of desert. Gyro and Johnny are attacked by fellow racer Mrs. Robinson, who uses explosive cacti to harass them. Gyro promptly defeats Robinson with the same cacti. Later, after finding Mrs. Robinson's horse, Mountain Tim realizes that the horseshoes don't match and the murderer is still at large.
Johnny and Gyro make camp and Johnny makes some progress in the Spin. The two are then attacked by Andre, Benjamin, and L.A. Boomboom, who wield the magnetic 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 and managing to frame Johnny for the murders. Mountain Tim soon catches up to Johnny and Gyro, and the three of them realize that the enemy is still attacking them. Tim presents his power, Oh! Lonesome Me, which he refers to as a Stand. He reveals that he acquired this power by stepping into a Devil's Palm, a moving phenomenon granting people Stands. Benjamin Boomboom uses his Stand to immobilize the group, but Johnny awakens his own Stand, Tusk: in truth, the group had entered 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 to die in the desert.
Gyro's Mission and Oyecomova the Terrorist
- Main article: Gyro Zeppeli's Mission (story arc)
- Main article: The Terrorist from a Faraway Country (story arc)
At Johnny's behest, Gyro reveals his past as an executioner for the Kingdom of Naples. For his first execution, Gyro was to behead Marco, a little boy condemned to death by mere association with a treasonous lord. After meeting the boy and seeing his kind heart, Gyro objected to Marco's execution and thus decided to participate in the Steel Ball Run race, as winning could spur the Neapolitan king to proclaim a general amnesty, and in any case the prize money could pay for Marco's appeal.
Some time later, a terrorist from the Kingdom of Naples named Oyecomova arrives at a relay village, ready to kill Gyro as an act of disdain against the kingdom. Mountain Tim confronts Oyecomova, but is incapacitated by his exposive-planting Stand Boku no Rhythm wo Kiitekure. Oyecomova catches up to Gyro and Johnny, having heard of a healing item called the Zombie Horse from a letter Gyro left behind. After a long pursuit upriver, Johnny and Gyro incapacitate Oyecomova with a combination attack. The two reach the Zombie Horse, which Gyro uses to heal an earlier leg injury.
The Steel Ball Run's True Purpose
Johnny and Gyro are attacked by Fritz von Stroheim, who they quickly dispose of. Johnny, confused by the frequency of the attempts on their lives, suddenly realizes that his left arm contains a mummified arm. Meanwhile, Steven Steel converses with Funny Valentine, President of the United States. With Joseph of Arimathea's map in his possession, Valentine covets the divided relic known as the Saint's Corpse. Lucy overhears Valentine's plot to obtain the Saint's Corpse, and glimpses its heart within his chest.
A short distance before reaching Monument Valley, Johnny and Gyro are attacked by Pork Pie Hat Kid, one of Valentine's subordinates. Pork Pie Hat Kid captures Gyro and isolates Johnny, but Johnny's Tusk fully materializes to help its user and whispers the phrase "movere crus" before disappearing. Johnny, realizing the Steel Ball Run's true purpose, manages to reach Gyro and defeat Pork Pie Hat Kid. Having seen his legs being influenced by Tusk, Johnny diverts his attention to the Saint's Corpse and convinces Gyro to help him obtain it.
During the final dash of the second stage, Johnny discovers the location of the next Corpse Part on a nearby newspaper, distracting Gyro and causing Diego to take first place. Gyro barely has time to rebuke Johnny before the race moves onward to its third stage: a 510 km (320 mi) trek through the Rocky Mountains.
Gyro and Johnny meet with Diego, and the three take shelter in a village as night falls. However, Diego suddenly transforms into a raptor and attacks Gyro and Johnny, who are forced to flee upon discovering that the entire village has suffered the same fate. 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, but Diego manages to snatch the corpse's eyes away from them. Johnny, remaining human due to the Corpse's Left Arm, confronts Dr. Ferdinand, who explains that his Scary Monsters is controlling the pack of dinosaurs. Johnny unexpectedly abandons the Left Arm and partially transforms in order to toss one of the Eyes at Gyro, who regains human form and acquires an ability called Scan. Dr. Ferdinand is incapacitated and eaten by cougars, but Diego escapes with the Left Eye and keeps his dinosaur abilities.
During the final dash of the third stage, Gyro again challenges Diego. Johnny, having known Gyro for long enough, declares that Gyro lacks the proper drive to win and will lose to Diego. Gyro angrily rebukes Johnny, but Diego remains ahead of him despite his best efforts. Johnny unexpectedly passes Diego and reaches the finish line, only to be told that another racer, Hot Pants, has already taken first place. Defeated, Gyro admits that he does lack the drive to win.
Interlude: The Story of Funny Valentine
- Main article: 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. The map indicated the whereabouts of the nine parts of the Saint's Corpse: the Torso, the Heart, the Left Arm, the Right Arm, the Spine, the Eyes, the Ears, the Legs and the Head. After becoming President of the United States, he sponsored Steven Steel's race in order to reassemble and seize the entire corpse.
The Midwest: Struggle for the Saint's Corpse
A Real Man's World
- Main article: A Real Man's World (story arc)
The fourth stage of the race is a 1,250 km (780 mi) path toward Kansas City. In a forest along the trail, Gyro and Johnny meet Hot Pants and briefly fight her over a stolen cow. Using Scan on Hot Pants' spine, Gyro deciphers a clue toward the next part of the Corpse; nevertheless, Hot Pants' flesh-spraying Cream Starter nearly kills him and Johnny. Johnny reveals that neither he nor Gyro killed the cow, compelling Hot Pants to show mercy. The three attempt to continue onward, but find themselves repeatedly returning to the same cabin. A gunslinger named Ringo Roadagain emerges from the cabin and introduces his Stand, Mandom, which can rewind time by five seconds. A shootout ensues in which Johnny and Hot Pants are apparently killed, leaving only Gyro alive. Ringo drags Johnny's body inside the cabin, but Gyro realizes that Johnny's wound isn't fatal and decides to confront the gunslinger.
A flashback reveals that Ringo Roadagain was once the sick youngest child of an impoverished family. One night, Ringo's mother and sister were killed by a bandit who tried to assault him, forcing him to shoot and kill the bandit in self-defense. Ringo then became a gunslinger seeking challengers in order to purify himself, drawing the attention of one Funny Valentine. In the present, Gyro overcomes his own doubts and challenges Ringo again, ultimately defeating him by forcing Ringo into a falling splinter's trajectory. Acknowledging his defeat and Gyro's growth, Ringo forces the Neapolitan to finish him off.
Lucy Steel Gets Involved
- Main article: The Green Tomb (story arc)
- Main article: Catch the Rainbow (On a Stormy Night...) (story arc)
After his duel with Ringo, Gyro heals Johnny and Hot Pants with Cream Starter. Johnny accidentally discovers that Hot Pants is a woman, but chooses not to tell Gyro. Near Kansas City, the duo crosses paths with Sandman, who warns the two that Diego is in the lead and that a storm is coming. Johnny realizes that Ringo had sent a message to Valentine before his death, and that Diego already knows the location of the Corpse's Spine.
Upon seeing Ringo's pigeon arrive on the roof, Lucy decides to infiltrate a government building and steal the message it carries. When Valentine and his henchman Blackmore nearly discover her identity, Lucy calls Mountain Tim for help. After escaping the building, Tim confesses his love toward Lucy and advises her to meet Johnny and Gyro before he departs. Blackmore confronts and quickly kills Tim with his rain-controlling Stand, Catch the Rainbow. Discovering that the intruder was a woman, Blackmore rushes toward Lucy's location as she approaches the Spine. Blackmore takes the Spine from Lucy, but the two are suddenly warped into the middle of Kansas City; Lucy takes advantage of Blackmore's confusion and excitement to fatally shoot him and escape with the Spine. However, Blackmore seals his fatal wounds with frozen raindrops and continues discreetly pursuing Lucy.
Meanwhile, Gyro and Johnny catch up to Diego, but are unable to get ahead of him, as his enhanced senses allow him to detect the optimal path. Gyro suddenly catches up to Diego by sensing the optimal path on his own and, after a brief fight, manages to incapacitate Diego's horse. The duo then meets Lucy, with Blackmore in hot pursuit. Catch the Rainbow immobilizes Johnny and Gyro, but the latter utilizes the raindrops' static positions to throw a Steel Ball at Blackmore; the spinning Steel Ball evaporates the raindrops in its way and strikes Blackmore, knocking him down. As the storm clears, Blackmore dies from his wounds, and the Spine reveals the locations of the remaining Corpse Parts to the group. Gyro entrusts Lucy with the task of stealing the Heart from Valentine, lending her the Right Eye and seating her on Johnny's horse to avoid suspicion.
The Golden Rectangle
- Main article: Silent Way (story arc)
Some time after Johnny and Gyro reach the fourth stage's finish line in Kansas City, Diego meets with Valentine's henchmen. Diego promises that he has information regarding the government traitor, but seeks revenge against Johnny and Gyro before revealing it. The president reluctantly cooperates with the British jockey, granting him a single subordinate Stand user.
Near the Mississippi River, Gyro and Johnny rest in front of a cottage and discuss the Corpse's identity. Suddenly, the two are attacked by a combination of Diego's dinosaurs and a strange ability that destroys anything that touches an affected object via sound waves. The cottage collapses on top of a despondent Johnny, but Gyro saves him by digging a hole with his remaining Steel Balls. Without any Steel Balls, however, the duo is forced to flee into the river.
Johnny remembers his youth in England, before his family fell into ruin and moved back to America. Johnny once brought a white mouse home, which his father promptly ordered him to drown in the lake; at the suggestion of his jockey brother Nicholas, Johnny instead released it into the woods. When Nicholas later fell from his saddle and died, a nearby Diego Brando shouted that his horse had been distracted by a white mouse. Johnny's father never came to terms with Nicholas's fate, and following an argument with him Johnny was kicked out of the house. Thinking that fate wants him to pay for his brother's death, surrounding and betraying him at his happiest, Johnny falls into despair.
An indignant Gyro reminds Johnny that he isn't even close to mastering the Spin and introduces him to the Golden Rectangle, a ubiquitous proportion which is used to form a perfect and infinite rotation. However, the water multiplies the enemy's sound waves, and Gyro is badly wounded. Sandman reveals himself as the enemy and inexorably corners the duo. On the brink of despair, Johnny realizes that the Golden Rectangle is present in nature itself, even in a white mouse. Tusk evolves to ACT2 and an even shootout ensues, but Johnny surprises Sandman with a bullet made from Gyro's belt buckle and kills the Native American. Suddenly, Hot Pants appears and knocks Johnny out, moving him and Gyro to the other side of the river and stealing all of their Corpse Parts save a fraction of Johnny's Spine.
Interlude: Stands Explained
- Main article: Untitled Stand Chapter
An explanation of Stands and the rules governing them, such as their appearances and relationships with their users, is provided. he power of a Stand depends on its distance from its user, and that some Stand users have the potential to evolve their Stands. Finally, it is revealed that items such as the Stone Mask and the Arrow are tools that can draw out people's Stands, and that techniques such as the Ripple and the Spin are attempts to imitate the power of Stands.
The North: To Accept Loss
Sugar Mountain's Trials
- Main article: The Land of Promises: Sugar Mountain (story arc)
Near the beginning of the sixth stage, Gyro senses that eleven horses are approaching them with unnatural synchronization. Johnny reveals that Hot Pants was an agent sent by the Kingdom of Naples to collect the Saint's Corpse; as both he and Gyro reaffirm their mission to obtain the corpse, one of Gyro's Steel Balls rolls into a nearby lake and disappears. The two spot a girl named Sugar Mountain running away with the dropped Steel Ball in her hand. Chasing her into a large tree, the two are surprised when she offers them a choice between a piece of gold or a diamond; when Gyro asks for his Steel Ball back, the girl surprises them further by bestowing all three items upon them. Johnny and Gyro realize that Sugar's ability recreates the fable of the Golden Axe and, after further exploiting the girl's naivete, use a rabbit's ears and a wolf's paw to obtain the Corpse's Ears and Right Arm. As the two prepare to leave, Sugar warns them that everything they acquired must be used up by sunset, lest they be absorbed into the tree.
Gyro and Johnny head toward a nearby city but find it difficult to spend their fortune, as bribery and charity only accelerate the tree's absorption process. Gyro decides to spend their cash at a casino, but the eleven assassins catch up to them. The eleven men almost kill them with their body-phasing ability, but a group of local thugs come to their aid and kill all but one of the men, having already been paid by Gyro to become their bodyguards. Though all of the cash is spent, Gyro suddenly begins to be absorbed once more, and Johnny realizes that the Corpse Parts they received must be used up as well. Johnny reluctantly trades his Corpse Parts with the last assassin for a bottle of wine, freeing Gyro and breaking the tree's curse on its inhabitants. As the two honest men have a toast, the girl formerly known as Sugar Mountain salutes their resolve.
Lucy Infiltrates the Government
- Main article: Tubular Bells (story arc)
On the outskirts of Chicago, Diego meets with Mike O., head of Valentine's security staff. Diego reveals that the traitor is a woman weighing less than 51 kg (112 lb), which Mike O. reports to Valentine. The two agree to investigate a list of 147 suspects and, if necessary, capture their target with Mike O.'s automatic-tracking Stand, Tubular Bells.
After meeting with Hot Pants and learning that the government's search is closing in on her, Lucy investigates the first lady, Scarlet Valentine, and exploits her lesbianism to infiltrate the president's mansion. Separating from Scarlet with the help of a sleeping drug, Lucy uses Cream Starter to disguise herself as the first lady and approach Valentine. Suddenly, Tubular Bells begins to attack the disguised Lucy, and the real Scarlet recognizes Lucy after waking up and investigating the commotion. Lucy kills Scarlet by covering her in her own disguise, causing Tubular Bells to target her. Mike O. appears at a nearby window, but Hot Pants comes to Lucy's rescue and kills Mike O. However, Hot Pants is unable to take Lucy or the Right Arm with her as she escapes, forcing her to disguise Lucy as Scarlet while taking the real Scarlet's body with her. Temporarily separated from her husband and allies, Lucy can only weep in silence.
Wekapipo's Wrecking Ball
- Main article: Wrecking Ball (story arc)
Johnny and Gyro reach a frozen strait which they must pass. Unbeknownst to them, two enemies are observing them from afar, one of them being a man named Wekapipo. Once a member of the royal guard in the Kingdom of Naples, Wekapipo had his sister's marriage annulled after learning that her husband had beaten her until she was half-blind. Furious, the husband forced him into a duel that, despite Wekapipo's victory, led to his exile from the country. Having heard of his sister's death, Wekapipo enters Valentine's service in exchange for citizenship and a government position. For his assassination mission, Wekapipo is paired with Magent Magent, a sardonic and unprofessional man fascinated by the newly-invented airplane.
Johnny and Gyro try to cross the frozen strait, noticing a wolf that seems to be following them. In the middle of the strait, the two are attacked by Wekapipo's steel Wrecking Ball, which can make its victims unable to perceive anything to their left. Johnny locates and attacks Magent Magent, but the latter's 20th Century Boy allows him to create an impenetrable shield around himself while kneeling. As Gyro and Johnny realize that Wekapipo knows where the next Corpse Part is, Magent Magent shoots the wolf to immobilize it before turning to Gyro. Following a tense shootout, Gyro takes out Magent Magent by making him deflect a Steel Ball upward and distracting him as it falls back toward him.
Wekapipo takes care to destroy any possible model for the Golden Rectangle, including Gyro's hand and the wolf's corpse. However, it miraculously begins to snow, and Gyro uses the snowflakes to recreate the Golden Rectangle. At the same time, Johnny notices the Corpse's Legs emerging from the wolf's corpse. Wekapipo, seriously wounded, asks Gyro to kill him. However, Gyro refuses, revealing that Wekapipo's sister is alive and currently in hiding in the countryside. As he and Johnny depart with the Legs, Gyro asks Wekapipo to search for and protect Lucy.
The last dash of the sixth stage sees Johnny and Gyro race against Pocoloco toward the goal. Pocoloco's ability guides him out of the way of a chasm, but Gyro and Johnny combine their abilities to cross it directly with a makeshift steel rope, effectively beating Pocoloco's luck. Gyro finishes in first place, putting him back in the running to win the race. Meanwhile, Magent Magent crawls back to civilization, having overheard that Lucy Steel is the traitor against the government.
The Northeast: The Hunt Concludes
Valentine Takes All
- Main article: Civil War (story arc)
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
- Main article: Both Sides Now (story arc)
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: Seven Days in a Week
The East Coast: The Power of the Saint's Corpse
Free-for-All in Philadelphia
- Main article: Chocolate Disco (story arc)
- Main article: D4C (story arc)
- 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 Wekapipo 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.
Valentine is Blessed
- Main article: D4C (story arc)
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 of 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: The End of the Steel Ball Run
A Last Foe
- Main article: High Voltage (story arc)
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.
Conclusion & Epilogue
- Main article: The World of Stars and Stripes (story arc)
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.
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.
- An official VOMIC adaptation was made in December 2007. The first episode released on December 7, 2007, and the 4th and final episode released on December 28, 2007.
- 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.