Soft & Wet
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 sailing theme to its appearance. It can create bubbles that will steal properties and objects.
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 that Araki enjoys drawing, 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.
The 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. 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.
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.
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. However, it becomes a regular "ORA ORA ORA" (オラオラオラ) in every fight afterwards.
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 rocks.
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.
When its user transforms into a different person as a result of undergoing equivalent exchange, Soft & Wet is granted additional abilities as a result.
Soft & Wet generates star-embedded floating bubbles, which must make contact with its target to work effectively. However, Josuke can control where the bubbles can fly, allowing him to send them where they are needed. The bubbles are actually comprised of tiny cords vibrating at super-high speeds, giving them the appearance of spheres.
Josuke often takes direct advantage of his bubbles and their properties. The bubbles have lifting power, allowing Josuke to envelop others like Yotsuyu Yagiyama in a giant bubble and lift them in the air, as well as help him reach vantage points. Josuke has also enveloped himself and allies with giant bubbles to take advantage of their situational protection.
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.
Soft & Wet's signature ability is to temporarily take away physical things such as one's sense of sound or sight by using its bubbles. Josuke can thus steal aspects or properties of inanimate and living things. Said properties seem to also be smaller objects that come from a bigger object. Soft and Wet can also transfer stolen properties to other objects. Properties Josuke has plundered include:
- A human's sight: After bursting near Joshu's eyes, Josuke's bubble completely blinds Joshu for a few seconds, making it appear that Joshu's eyes have popped.
- The water contained in a human's body: With one bubble, Josuke covertly punctures several ~5mm holes in a woman's body in order to quickly drain her of water and provoke thirst.
- Sound: Josuke steals the sound from a wall or a light switch, preventing any noise that would have been caused upon breaking it or turning it off.
- His own facial hair: Josuke uses Soft & Wet while shaving his face when Hato and Joshu are in the bathroom as well. Soft & Wet's bubbles in the shaving foam pop onto Hato and Joshu's faces, planting Josuke's hair onto their faces instead.
- A cat's fur: Seemingly without pain, Josuke removes the majority of a live cat's fur and relocates it, in the shape of a cat, in order to obscure the view of a security camera.
- Friction: Josuke removes the friction from a floor, creating an ice-like slippery surface.
- Smell: Josuke traps an odor and various into a bubble and has it attached to his foe Born This Way. When the bubble bursts, he can track down the Stand's user by smell and sound.
- Small objects: Josuke when fighting the A. Phex Brothers filled his bubbles with screws and nuts to fire out upon bursting.
The stolen objects can stay in the bubble and are still able to bust later (as shown with the bubble with the sound of the light switch). The exact quantity and type of object Josuke may steal, how long he may keep them, and how it is redistributed is currently undefined. According to Josuke, Soft & Wet's ability cannot be applied to himself.
While Josefumi Kujo was in control of Soft & Wet, this ability 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 at precisely enough to seamlessly graft a loose branch onto a different plant, an ability which he and Yoshikage Kira attempted to use for the cultivation of Locacaca. Josefumi was also shown using his soap bubbles to remove excess amounts of black pepper from his bowl of ramen.
In addition to its aforementioned abilities, Soft & Wet's gains properties after its original user undergoes equivalent exchange with the late Yoshikage Kira. Josuke's Soft & Wet is able to create bubbles which are a hybrid of its own and the explosive bubbles of Killer Queen, which are divided down the center with a visible seam connecting both halves. This lead to a change in Soft & Wet's ability, adopting properties of Kira's ability.
As a result of their hybrid nature, Soft & Wet's bubbles retain some aspects of Killer Queen's bubble-generation ability. These bubbles are able to pop with enough force to cause damage at close range, as seen when Josuke uses one to shatter Tamaki Damo's sunglasses. Josuke can also use this force to propel any small objects stored inside of his bubbles, seemingly with a degree of control over the direction they fly in. 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.
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". 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-tekina Kaiten, lit. "Explosive Rotation") 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."
Go Beyond's bubbles can phase into and cross through any barrier. 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 Tooru, 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 Tooru 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.
Creation and Development
Prior to its full reveal in JJL Chapter 4, 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". 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.
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.
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").