Soft & Wet

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Soft & Wet... When my soap bubble touches something and breaks, I take something from there.

Soft & Wet (ソフト&ウェット Sofuto Ando Wetto) is the Stand of Josuke Higashikata, originally belonging to Josefumi Kujo, featured in the eighth part of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series, JoJolion. It is a humanoid Stand with a mechanical and naval gimmick to its appearance. It creates bubbles that can steal properties and objects, and also pop with a slight explosive force.

Appearance

Soft & Wet's initial appearance shown in full

Soft & Wet is a humanoid Stand of a streamlined, robotic form, light in color, and similar in height to Josuke.

On the top of its head is a five-pointed star bound with a circle. Growing from each side of its head are horn-like ears shaped as tapering pentagrammic prisms. It has round eyes, shaped as slotted screw heads; vertically dividing very small, slight, round pupils. Its face has a thick gap running from the top of the forehead past the bottom of the chin.

The front of two broad plates covering its torso is cut like its face in the shape of a large anchor; as well as in a line beneath both arms and between the base of its back and shoulders.

Its feet and hands are covered with plating, as are the sides of its hips and shoulders, both of which are shaped like sharp hearts and bear a five-pointed star. It has fine arms and legs, with dark, exposed ball-and-socket joints supported by short exterior cables. Its pelvis is bare and mechanical. The gaps in its plating reveal a deeper surface, covered in a fine pattern of horizontal ridges. An internal structure is visible at its profile, showing blocks approximating human centers of mass.

In later chapters, its torso takes on a more 'heart-like' shape. It also gains a circular jewel under its neck, and its shoulder pads become triangular, jutting out of its shoulders perpendicularly. Its ears have also grown a bit longer since it first appeared.[2]

Josefumi's bubbles were initially featureless. After his fusion with Kira, Josuke's bubbles now bear a five-pointed star, similar to Kira's bubbles, and appear to be a sort of fusion between two bubbles of different sizes.

Color Schemes

The series is known for alternating colors between media, the information presented below may or may not be canon.
Body(Baby blue)
Decorations
(Purple tubes, parts and symbols, light yellow stars)
Body(Golden body and stars)
Decorations(Green tubes, parts and symbols)

Personality

Soft & Wet's Stand Cry is originally "ORA ORA ARA ORA" (オラオラアラオラ) when it first does a punch rush against Ojiro Sasame.[3] However, it becomes a regular "ORA ORA ORA" (オラオラオラ) in every fight afterwards. It is otherwise completely emotionless and silent, although sometimes it exhibits eccentric hand gestures similar to its user's.

Abilities

Soft & Wet is a humanoid close-range Stand. It possesses enhanced strength, demonstrated first when it breaks a large portion of an apartment wall with a single back kick, and is also capable of extremely rapid hand-to-hand combat. The extent of the damage it can inflict is limited, however, as it is unable to break through rock.

Its strength in melee exchanges compared to other Stands has been further demonstrated in the brief encounter with Yotsuyu Yagiyama's Stand, I Am a Rock. Despite its volley of fast-paced strikes, Soft & Wet easily avoided and overcame it with a single 'Ora'-articulated strike.[4]

When its user transforms into a different person as a result of undergoing equivalent exchange, Soft & Wet is granted additional abilities as a result.
Josuke's Soft & Wet produces bubbles that are a hybrid of Josefumi and Kira's abilities

Bubble Generation

Soft & Wet generates star-embedded floating bubbles, which must make contact with its target to work effectively. Josuke can control the bubbles' movement and send them where they are needed. He can also choose the size of the bubbles he creates, ranging from barely noticeable by the human eye to big enough to fit an entire person inside. The bubbles are actually comprised of tiny cords vibrating at super-high speeds, giving them the appearance of spheres.[5] The bubbles also appear divided down the middle, with a visible seam connecting both halves, which reflects their hybrid nature.
Josuke encasing himself in a giant bubble
Josuke often takes direct advantage of his bubbles' physical properties, for example their lifting power. This can help him reach vantage points or lift others in the air by enveloping them in a giant bubble.[6] The bubbles also have some minimal resilience, so Josuke can hide himself and his allies inside giant bubbles for situational protection, or summon a bunch of smaller ones to cushion blows. Just like regular soap bubbles, Soft & Wet's bubbles seem to be quite slippery as well. Josuke has utilized this property to deflect strikes, quckly reposition himself,[7] and do sillier things out of combat, like shaving without shaving cream.[8]

In addition to this, Soft & Wet is able to create bubbles utilizing existing substances, as demonstrated when it creates a shield from a bottle of water during Josuke's pursuit by Blue Hawaii.

As the story has progressed, Josuke has developed this ability. Early in the story, he would often use one bubble, but later on, is shown conjuring dozens upon dozens with a quick flurry of strikes.

Plunder

The signature ability of Soft & Wet's bubbles is to temporarily steal and contain physical properties, small items and various substances.[9] If a bubble pops on contact with an object, it will take away a certain property from the object for a short amount of time. If it doesn't, it will store the property inside, allowing Soft & Wet to pop the bubble later and transfer that property to another object. According to Josuke, Soft & Wet's ability cannot be used on himself.[3]

The ability's usage changes greatly over the course of the story. Early on Josuke stole highly conceptual properties, like an object's friction[3] or its very capacity to produce sound.[10] When taking properties away from humans, such as sight and hydration, the corresponding body parts appeared to burst like bubbles themselves - Joshu's eyes popped when he lost his sight,[11] and a woman lost hydration by having several small holes popped into her skin.[12] After his fight with Daiya Higashikata, Josuke resorts to stealing much simpler physical phenomena, like smells[13] or the vibrations of his own voice.[14]

The one aspect of plunder Josuke has consistently utilized throughout the whole part is the ability to contain physical objects and substances. By the end of the story it ends up being almost the sole exclusive application of plunder. A simple swipe of Soft & Wet's bubbles is enough to absorb things like water, fire and gasoline. This also allows Josuke to easily extract smaller constituent parts of a larger object, for example using just a single bubble to painlessly remove most of a live cat's fur,[15] or absorbing moisture from plant tissue.[16] When taking individual small objects Josuke often uses the bubble to remotely carry them over a long distance.

Explosive Pop

An explosive bubble
As a result of their hybrid nature, Soft & Wet's bubbles retain some aspects of Killer Queen's explosive ability. The bubbles can pop with enough force to cause damage at close range, able to crack plastic or burst a person's eardrums. Josuke can also use this force to propel any small objects stored inside of his bubbles in a given direction, for example firing nuts and bolts at the enemy with enough power to leave a wound.[17] In addition to this, Josuke is able to injure opponents by popping bubbles which have been embedded under their skin, an ability that one of the A. Phex Brothers remarked bears a striking resemblance to the late Kira's own technique. This can also be used on inanimate objects, demonstrated when Josuke inflates a bubble into the surface of a desk to damage an enemy hiding below.[18] Soft & Wet reaches the height of its explosive potential when Josuke pries open a vault door by detonating the bubbles wedged into the gap between the door and the wall.[19]

Later on Josuke also learns to use the bubbles' explosive power to charge up their speed and launch them as their own high-velocity projectiles.[20] In addition to that, he can detonate previously inert bubbles to give them a sudden burst of speed.[21]

Soft & Wet: Go Beyond

SPOILER WARNING: Part 8 spoiler details may follow.
Go Beyond.png
There are "things you can't see", Josuke... they're different from the visible soap bubbles at your fingertips. They're something that does not "exist" in this world, but the fact that they don't "exist" means that they can go beyond reason!
—Rai Mamezuku, JJL Chapter 104: The Wonder of You, Part 21


In reality, Soft & Wet's soap bubbles are infinitesimally thin lines that spin rapidly. Rai Mamezuku describes this as part of the Spin. Upon learning of the actual mechanic behind his Stand's ability, Josuke gains a new power, which he dubs "Soft & Wet: Go Beyond" (ソフト&ウェット・ゴー・ビヨンド Sofuto Ando Wetto Gō Biyondo). The rapidly spinning bubbles created using this technique extend from Josuke's birthmark, and are described as being uncontrollable and impossible to aim without assistance.

As summarized by Mamezuku, the fusion of Josefumi's Soft & Wet's soap bubbles with the explosive bubbles of Kira's Killer Queen has given Josuke the ability to generate invisible bubbles which utilize an "Explosive Spin" (爆発的な回転 Bakuhatsu-teki na Kaiten) to move at extremely high speeds. This speed combined with the near-infinite thinness of Soft & Wet's lines (which Mamezuku describes as being "infinitely close to zero") gives Go Beyond properties that transcend the limits of ordinary physics. According to Mamezuku, these bubbles "don't exist in this world."

Yasuho aims Go Beyond using her Stand and a cellphone

Go Beyond's bubbles can phase into and cross through any barrier.[22] This is first noted by Mamezuku when an invisible bubble manages to clip into a wall without damaging it. It is later shown to greater effect when a bubble created using Go Beyond bridges the distance between T.G. University Hospital and the Higashikata Estate by entering Paisley Park's domain, albeit with the help of Yasuho Hirose. Upon hitting Toru, one of Go Beyond's bubbles even appears to phase through his skin, similar to an application of Killer Queen's ability which had been a core element of Kira's fighting style.

In addition to this, Go Beyond is not subject to the laws of calamity. These bubbles are theoretically nonexistent, so directing them toward Wonder of U or its user is not seen as an act of pursuit and doesn't trigger Wonder of U's ability.

Due to the extreme speed at which Go Beyond's bubbles can spin, they can be used as projectiles to devastating effect. Upon making contact with a target, Go Beyond can instantly erode whatever part of their body it touches. In addition to this, Go Beyond's bubbles can burst with an extreme amount of force; a direct hit on Toru was able to launch him a great distance into the air.

Go Beyond was originally used subconsciously by Josuke. He managed to unknowingly produce an invisible bubble from his birthmark while charging up a high-velocity soap bubble to launch at Wonder of U. Upon learning of the invisible bubble's presence, Josuke demonstrated the ability to create one at will. However, he is incapable of controlling or aiming them after they are created. Thus far, the only workaround to this limit has come in the form of a combined attack with Yasuho Hirose, where she aims Go Beyond by using Paisley Park to guide the invisible bubble through the cellphone that Josuke is holding and out of one in her hand, which she points at the attack's target.

Pre-Equivalent Exchange

While Josefumi Kujo was in control of Soft & Wet, its ability of plunder was described as "absorption". As a Stand User, Josefumi was experienced enough to utilize his ability with extreme levels of precision. For example, Josefumi was able to use Soft & Wet precisely enough to seamlessly graft a loose branch onto a different plant, something which he and Yoshikage Kira attempted to use for the cultivation of Locacaca.[23] Josefumi was also shown using his soap bubbles to remove excess amounts of black pepper from his bowl of ramen.

Josefumi's bubbles were featureless and released almost no force when they popped. Curiously enough, although Josuke himself was ultimately created due to the equivalent exchange of the Wall Eyes, Soft & Wet gained its star marking and slight explosive power while Josefumi was still alive and in control of it, right after his healing exchange with Kira through the unripe New Locacaca.[24]

Chapters

Book Icon.png Manga Appearances
Chapters in order of appearance

Creation and Development

Prior to its full reveal in Part 8's fourth chapter, a scrapped early design appeared in promotional artwork drawn by Araki. This version had smaller "ears" with narrow slits on them, holes on its face, and in one instance even a visible nose.

According to Araki, Soft & Wet's name was chosen because he felt the name matched the description of the Stand's ability, soap bubbles. He also believed that by referencing a song by Prince, he would be "going back to his roots".[1] Soft & Wet was also originally planned to have the ability to attach screws to things, but the ability was ultimately given to Nut King Call instead.[25]

The Stand's design was created to match up with Josuke's outfit, rather than its ability. Araki imagined a sailor's uniform combined with the flotation devices in a life vest.[2] In particular, Araki says that he enjoys drawing the horn-like ears on its head.[26]

Hirohiko Araki believes that there are infinite possibilities that can come of a spherical shape like a bubble, considering it to be a very important aspect of JoJo and a contrast to an "unbeatable weapon" common in other shonen. He equipped Caesar Zeppeli with bubbles as they are weapons with faults, and it was fun to write them having to cover for them through strategy, dealing with the different merits and demerits that each of them have. Gyro Zeppeli and Josuke inherit these spheres, and his stance on that hasn't changed from when he originally drew Caesar.[27]

The Stand's name is sometimes written in Japanese as Yawarakakute Soshite Nureteiru (柔らかくてそして濡れている, literally "soft and wet"). Similarly, its "Go Beyond" ability gets named in Japanese as Koete Iku (越えて行く, literally "go over" or "go beyond").

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References

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