- What Is Hamon?
- What Are Stands?
- The Bow And Arrow
- Joseph Joestar Vs. Dio Brando
The manga, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, begins with Jonathan Joestar's journey as he masters Hamon's advanced breathing technique and uses it to defeat his vampiric stepbrother, Dio. Yet, Hamon is barely present by the manga's third part, Stardust Crusaders. Instead, a psycho-spiritual manifestation called Stands gets introduced. That's quite a sharp turn in storytelling. But is there any connection between Hamon and Stands?
Hamon and Stands do not share a direct connection. While Hamon is an advanced development and manipulation of the human breath, Stands are the product of an organism's mental fortitude activated naturally or through a catalyst. Still, the two can share a symbiotic relationship. Keep reading, and we'll break down the lore of Hamon and Stands in greater detail.
What Is Hamon?
Hamon (also called Ripple or Sendo) is an ancient breathing technique that allows practitioners to extend their life force into sunlight energy. Since vampires, like Dio Brando and Cool Ice, are weak against sunlight, Hamon is a very effective tool against them.
Still, Hamon is much more than sending out sunlight-filled Overdrive punches. On the contrary, both Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency show many ways one can use Hamon to change themselves and their environment.
For example, Will A. Zeppeli can simultaneously hyper-extend and heal his limbs to create long-range Zoom Punches. During another Phantom Blood scene, Jonathan subconsciously uses Hamon to grow flowers around him, much to Zeppeli's amazement.
Later, in Battle Tendency, Caesar sends Hamon through bubbles, and Lisa Lisa coats her scarf in a rare beetle oil to transfer Hamon through it.
As you can see, Hamon is a malleable tool. But unfortunately, it does suffer one weakness: the User's dependence on breath and vitality. Dio Brando discovers this weakness early in Phantom Blood and uses his vampiric skills to freeze his opponents' blood flow, thus preventing oxygen from traveling through the blood and inhibiting proper breathing.
In short, Hamon is a powerful skill. Still, while it seems unnatural, the technique purely depends on human physiology. Therefore, anyone powerful and determined enough to learn Hamon can become an effective user in time. In this regard, Hamon is human. It's superhuman.
What Are Stands?
Stands are an embodiment of the subconscious, an extension of the soul. According to Joseph Joestar, the name "Stands" derives from the fact that many Stands manifest standing next to their User, almost like a guardian angel. However, developing a Stand has less to do with physical strength and more with mental and spiritual fortitude.
Furthermore, Stands can protect and hurt the User depending on the individual. For instance, in Stardust Crusaders, Jotaro Kujo's Stand, Star Platinum, once caught a bullet in its fingers when Jotaro tried to shoot himself with a gun. However, Jotaro's mother, Holy (a sweet but gullible pushover), was too weak to control the Stand that developed within her. If not for the death of Dio, Holy's Stand would have eventually put her in a coma, resulting in her death.
How do Stands work when their User can control them? In many ways, a Stand is a reflection of the self. Therefore, Stands nearly always obey the commands of their users. Furthermore, in some cases, Stands even converse with their User, such as Trish Una's discussions with Spicy Lady in Golden Wind. However, calling upon a Stand for assistance requires a heightened sense of urgency from the User, which Koichi Hirose must discover in Diamond Is Unbreakable.
If Stands get triggered by urgency, does that mean the User must be in physical peril to use them? Not at all. Stands develop from all kinds of personal qualities. For instance, Yukako Yamagishi's Stand, Love Deluxe, develops from her love and devotion to Koichi. On the other hand, Cioccolato's Stand, Green Tea, develops from his fascination with death and desire to witness others' suffering. Whatever engages a Stand's User will engage their Stand.
Another important note is that Stands and users are physically intertwined. We mentioned Holy's Stand-initiated illness earlier. However, those who can control a Stand incur physical damage whenever their Stand gets hurt. The only exceptions are Stands that work a long distance from the User, such as Yoshikage Kira's Deadly Queen.
There are plenty more nuances to Stands and their nature. However, for our question, these are the basics one should know.
The Bow And Arrow
The Bow And Arrow is a supernatural artifact that can imbue whoever it strikes with the ability to conjure a Stand, as long as the said individual is strong enough to wield one. But, more importantly, its existence establishes an evident ambiguity behind Stands' origin.
We've established that any human can learn to use Hamon with training. In many ways, Hamon is a much higher level of martial arts or any other physical discipline. Yet, the Stands are pretty different. We understand how they develop and exist, but their origin is still shaky. After all, if any psychologically formidable individual could wield a Stand, wouldn't that rule in plenty of therapists, spiritual leaders, Olympic athletes, and the like?
Jean-Pierre Polnareff offers us a valuable clue in Golden Wind. In a message to Bucciarati's team, Polnareff explains the arrow itself is composed of a meteorite that impacted Cape York, Greenland, thousands of years ago.
In 1978, a team of surveyors researched the crater that the meteorite left behind. Afterward, two of the surveyors contracted a mysterious illness. While one surveyor quickly perished, another gained the ability to conduct electricity from their fingertips. Upon further investigation, scientists discovered that the meteorite that hit Cape York contained a virus that mimicked natural selection, evolving the select few that could survive it.
This anecdote is not the only evidence we have that Stands come from powers beyond Earth. In the arc, Diamond Is Unbreakable, Josuke meets an alien named Nu Mikitakazo Nshi, who hails from the Magellanic Clouds. Mikitakazo wields an ability to shapeshift into various objects (Terra Ventus), which seems quite similar to a Stand. Perhaps he comes from the planet where this virus originates. Or, at least, his planet's people have become immune to the virus, allowing them to evolve Stands without danger to their health.
With this new evidence, we can gather that while Stands have their human elements, they can also develop through one's contact with an otherworldly catalyst, of which there is still much we do not know.
Unfortunately, The Bow And Arrow's origin does not address how several Users developed their Stands without contracting a virus or interacting with the artifact.
Ironically, Jean-Pierre Polnareff's existence contradicts the otherworldly nature of Stands he describes in Golden Wind. For instance, when Polnareff gets de-aged by Alessi in Stardust Crusaders, his Stand, Silver Chariot, miniaturizes with him. This detail evidences that Polnareff could control his Stand since birth.
Additionally, Mohammed Avdol also states that his Stand developed on its own. Both examples support the theory that a Stand's existence is wholly natural and of this Earth.
Then, there's the case of Jonathan Joestar. When Dio Brando used the Bow And Arrow to imbue himself with a Stand, he controlled Jonathan's body. This occurrence signaled Joseph, Jotaro, Holy, and Josuke to awaken their Stands. However, the awakening does not appear to be the work of DIO's Stand, The World. On the contrary, the familial link between Jonathan and the Joestar bloodline was the primary catalyst, working like a distress signal.
Since Stands can awaken through various means, these beings' origins may never be entirely clear. What we can conclude for sure, however, is that a Stand is a manifestation of mental and spiritual strength.
Joseph Joestar Vs. Dio Brando
The showdown between Joseph Joestar and Dio Brando in Stardust Crusaders is a smoking gun in our query regarding Hamon and Stands. First, Joseph trained in the art of Hamon in Battle Tendency. Later, in Stardust Crusaders, he gained the Stand, Hermit Purple, which he often uses with his Hamon abilities. But, on the other hand, while Dio can handle the mental and physical strain of his Stand, The World, he is still vulnerable to sunlight, the primary product of Hamon-breathing.
As we mentioned earlier, Hamon is a human skill. So, a vampire could not use it. Nor could an alien such as Mikitakazo. Their inability to learn this technique likely comes from their respiration working differently from humans. Still, they are both capable of controlling a Stand. And that's a significant difference: Hamon is a human skill-based craft, whereas a Stand is an evolutionary by-product of mental strength regardless of the organism. Therefore, the two can interact, but they are not intrinsically related.
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