When it comes to anime power systems, the concept of stands from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is one of the best. Stands allow for a huge variety of abilities while still feeling consistent and mostly balanced. Even a weak stand like Sex Pistols can be deadly in the hands of a skilled gunman like Mista, and a strong stand like The Hand can be limited by a simple-minded user like Okuyasu. Victory tends to go to the one who uses observation and creativity to outwit their opponent, rather than who has better stand stats.
Today, we’re going to look at the five stands that we feel have the most interesting abilities. Not all of them are physically powerful, but the unique ways that their masters use them to bewilder and overwhelm opponents are fascinating to watch. You’d be hard-pressed to find these powers in any other show!
5. Jail House Lock
- Stand User: Miuccia Miuller
- First Appearance: Stone Ocean chapter 96
Despite the fact that both the stand and its user have disgusting designs that remind us of decaying brains, their teamwork is amazing to behold. Green Dolphin Street Jail counts on Miu Miu to stop any attempted escapee right in their tracks. Her stand, Jail House Lock, causes short-term amnesia that prevents its target from remembering more than three new things at a time. Any additional new memories will push out old ones.
When Jolyne and Emporio try to bust out of the prison to pursue Father Pucci, they both get trapped by Jail House Lock’s ability. Jolyne writes reminders on her arms with a pen, but Miu Miu expertly thwarts her plans by feeding her useless information and rubbing off the pen markings before her opponent can remember what’s going on. Meanwhile, Emporio is locked in an endless loop of being electrocuted by his computer. With this stand’s nearly impenetrable ability, it’s no wonder that nobody has ever escaped the prison!
4. Black Sabbath
- Stand User: Polpo
- First Appearance: Vento Aureo episode 3
In order to join the Italian mafia gang Passione, any prospective member has to undergo a terrifying trial. Polpo’s lighter test is supposedly a measure of trust and perseverance to keep the flame lit for 24 hours, but its real purpose is to create stand users.
If anyone relights the flame after it’s been snuffed out, Polpo’s stand Black Sabbath will hunt them down and stab them with the stand arrow it hides in its mouth. The stand’s Medieval Italian design, complete with a Venetian mask and robes that evoke old-school clergy or judges, perfectly matches its purpose and similarly intimidating user. Will you follow the path of the chosen or that of death?
3. Milagro Man
- Stand User: Original User/Joshu Higashikata/Zaihei Nigatake
- First Appearance: Jojolion chapter 56
Milagro Man functions less like a helpful spirit and much more like a curse. It seems great at first, constantly duplicating money until there’s more than the user could ever possibly need, but there’s a catch. No matter how much the user spends or destroys, they always end up with more cash than when they started. They’ll be buried in bills, unable to rid themselves of the stand unless they return all of the money or trick someone else into destroying it.
Joshu Higashikata learned this the hard way, inheriting the stand due to his own greed. He could hardly even spend the money since every store in town knew about the Milagro Man’s signature bills that are always marked with “13R” at the end of the serial number. Curse-like stands have been done before with the likes of Cheap Trick and Superfly, but we like how Milagro Man only affects those who are blinded by easy cash.
2. Civil War
- Stand User: Axl RO
- First Appearance: Steel Ball Run chapter 56
This stand’s powers come entirely from the guilt people feel about things they’ve “left behind”. Civil War can manifest anything from Gyro’s abandoned teddy bear to Hot Pants’ dead brother, which then attaches to the victim and suffocates them in a slowly tightening membrane.
Even though Johnny, Gyro, and Hot Pants are all tough characters who have wiped the floor with stronger stand users than Axl RO, Civil War’s precisely targeted guilt trips paralyze them into helplessness. Johnny has spent the entire series trying to escape from the shadow of his past, but here we get to see him directly confront it in perhaps the most agonizing way possible.
1. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
- Stand User: Funny Valentine
- First Appearance: Steel Ball Run chapter 62
Unwieldy name aside, the stand most often referred to as D4C possesses one of the most powerful abilities in the entire series. Its user, part 7 main villain President Valentine, can use the rabbit-like stand to access infinite alternate universes whenever he wants.
His most useful applications of this ability are presenting opponents with their alternate selves so that they both explode on contact, and summoning new versions of himself to take over when he gets gravely injured in battle. Plus, with the power of the Holy Corpse, D4C can redirect any attacks on Valentine to some other random person in another universe. With such an airtight defense, there’s nothing outside of a reality-breaking power that could defeat him.
Of course, there are so many more intriguing stands in the JoJo universe. We could talk about Scary Monsters’ contagious dinosaur virus or Paisley Park’s technological manipulation all day, but that will have to be for another time. Stands are just so exciting!
What’s your favorite interesting stand power in the JoJo series? Do you agree with our picks? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!