Stardust Crusaders - Episode 12

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Empress (女帝(エンプレス) Enpuresu)[1] is the twelfth episode of Stardust Crusaders and the thirty-eighth episode of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure anime. It covers the last pages of Chapter 146 through Chapter 149 of the manga.

The Joestar Group reach Varanasi. Suffering from a sudden gash on his arm, Joseph heads off to have it removed but soon discovers that the gash is Empress, a malevolent Stand attached to his very flesh.


Sensing J. Geil's death through the connection in her bloodline, Enya mourns heavily and prepares to take revenge on his assailants with her minion who uses the Empress Stand.

The group arrives in Varanasi

Elsewhere, Jotaro's group travel by bus towards Varanasi a famed city with strong religious traditions. They are joined by the woman from before, who introduces herself as Nena. Upon arriving in the city, Joseph, growing concerned about what he assumed to be a bug bite on his arm, goes to the local hospital to get it treated, as Nena sticks out her tongue which has a strange wart on it and remains with Polnareff. When the doctor attempts to cut the growth off, he is killed by the "bug bite", which has grown its own face and reveals itself to be the Empress.

The Stand Empress, attached to Joseph's arm

As Joseph tries to fight off the Stand attached to his arm, he is put into a further pinch when the Empress implicates Joseph for the murder of the doctor, putting the police on alert. Joseph attempts to hide from the police, but the Empress grows arms and manages to keep Joseph in one place, alerting the police towards his location. With the Stand unaffected by his Ripple techniques, since it is a part of his own body, Joseph instead uses Hermit Purple to squeeze and ensnare Empress, allowing him to break free. As Joseph searches for the user of the Empress, causing chaos around him while trying to avoid attacks from the Stand as it grows larger and stronger, he manages to create a map of the city indicating an item useful to him by breaking pots and using Hermit Purple on the debris.

Empress is torn to shreds by Joseph's Hermit Purple

He thus locates a barrel of coal tar and plunges Empress in it. Though the Empress is initially undeterred in its attacks on Joseph, stating that it cannot be suffocated as it is not a living organism, the substance suddenly solidifies around it, stopping its movements. Joseph reveals that the barrel contained coal tar that he had sought out with a map created by Hermit Purple and some ashes. Joseph then proceeds to use Hermit Purple to rip the immobilized Empress to shreds, while elsewhere Nena is also torn to shreds, revealing her as the Stand's user and her true form as an obese woman who was using the skin of the younger woman as a disguise. After regrouping with Jotaro and Kakyoin, the group decides to travel by car to Pakistan, unaware that they are being followed by another car.


J. Geil
(Mentioned only)
(1st full appearance) (Death)
Hol Horse
(Mentioned only)
Varanasi Doctor and Nurse
(1st appearance) (Death of doctor)
(1st full appearance) (Death)
Wheel of Fortune
(1st appearance)


Script (脚本)
Storyboard (絵コンテ)
Satoshi Ōsedo[1]
Episode Director (演出)
Satoshi Ōsedo[1]
Animation Director (作画監督)
Assistant Animation Director (作画監督補)
Ryo Kobayashi
Eri Ogawa
Assistant Action Animation Director (アクション作画監督補)
Key Animation (原画)
Aya Nishimura
Seong-woon Ko
Ryoko Kawamura
Hideyuki Sugiura
Masaya Sekizaki
Masashi Yamada
Takashi Mitani
Keiko Takemoto
Miho Tanaka
Sachiko Mori
Rie Arakawa
Kazuyo Nakamura
Koji Kataoka
Kazuki Baba
Kazuhiko Shibuya
Manabu Imura
Cha Myoung Jun
Mitsushi Kasano
Katsuhiro Shimizu
Shuhei Fukuda
Gakushi Maeda
Toshiharu Sugie
Hideyasu Okamoto
2nd Key Animation (第二原画)
Akama Sae
Ohkawa Takahiro
Tonegawa Megumi
Irie Toshihiro
Takegami Michiko
Taira Tetsuro
Yukitoshi Houtani
Masahiko Komino
White Line
Triple A
CLC Sunshine Corp.
Studio μ
Eyecatch Illustration (アイキャッチ原画)


SC Episode 12: Empress
Start End Title OST Description

Advance of Darkness
Stardust Crusaders (Departure)
Enya learns her son is dead
Calm Sightseeing
Stardust Crusaders (Departure)
On the road to Varanasi
Stardust Crusaders (Journey)
The wart is alive
Creeping Enemy
Stardust Crusaders (Departure)
Empress, the parasitic Stand
Stardust Crusaders (Departure)
Joseph hunted by the police/Empress is growing
Purple Thorns
Stardust Crusaders (Departure)
In the busy streets of Varanasi
Stardust Crusaders (Journey)
Empress has grown big enough to kill Joseph
Close Combat
Stardust Crusaders (World)
Empress beats up Joseph/Joseph running in the streets
Time of Decisive Battle
Stardust Crusaders (Departure)
Joseph, Empress and the coal tar
Stardust Crusaders (Departure)
Joseph's still got it
A Fine Fellow Arrives
Stardust Crusaders (Journey)
Nena's demise
Stardust Crusaders (Departure)
Leaving Varanasi
Stardust Crusaders (Departure)
A car is trailing the heroes
Walk Like an Egyptian
Walk Like an Egyptian
Fists of Platinum
Stardust Crusaders (Destination)
Next Episode Preview

Manga/Anime Differences

  • Enya discovers the news of her son's death in the courtyard of DIO's mansion, rather than his foyer.
    • In addition, scenes are added of her bashing a stray cat with her staff and receiving psychic wounds, similar to the ones that killed J. Geil.
  • The anime doesn't show the religious rituals (the training and cremation) in Varanasi.
  • In the anime, the doctor said that the scalpel was a bit rusty while in the manga it wasn't mentioned.
  • In the anime, the doctor falls forward onto his chest when killed, while in the manga he falls on his back.
  • In the anime, the doctor only looked to have been stabbed with the scalpel on his head. While in the manga, Empress dissected his face in a brutal way and even cut his tongue before stabbing him.
  • The end of the anime has an extra scene where the group prepares to depart by car, although Polnareff first has to be pulled out of his gloom over being deceived by Nena. Once the car departs, Wheel of Fortune is shown beginning its pursuit.


We begin in fanfare with Enya the Hag's crazy fit even before the opening. This Episode 12 is sure to be wild.

There's a certain melancholy exuding from the sacred city of Benarès. This is kind of the storyboard and director of this episode Satoshi Osedo's personal touch. A real treat.

The doctor was also really funny. He is dubbed by Ikkyu Juku who has perfectly nailed the character of the shady physician operating with rusted knives. His acting is a perfect fit.

Since we're talking about the VAs, I also like Joseph and Empress' performance. Their dialog is a dogged back-and-forth that doesn't seem to end. Despite its small size, Empress is already capable of the worst.

Seeing Joseph struggling and running across the town, we see that his strength has considerably diminished compared to his prime. Even the Ripple, a technique of which he's an expert, is ineffective. We have trouble recognizing the man who has defeated Kars (laughs)! The Pillar Men would be sad to see him now. Thankfully, the Joseph we know resurfaces with one of his tricks and manages to defeat his opponent.

In the last part, Joseph tosses the car keys, which land on Polnareff's hair (laughs). It's an a little original gag, but it's pleasant to see Osedo add his personal touch.
Naokatsu Tsuda, Blu-Ray limited edition commentaries


  • The symbol for Morioh can be seen on the clinic's entrance.