It’s not about the money, money, money! Wait, no, it actually is.
While Koichi grows increasingly worried about finding Morioh’s serial killer (as well as getting stalked again by Yukako), Josuke is still hurting from Joseph using up almost all of his hard earned savings on baby products, leaving him flat broke. While he continues to stew in his anger, he notices a small bee-like Stand grab a 1 yen coin (basically a penny) from underneath a machine and scurry off. He gives chase, only to see Okuyasu chasing another identical Stand before several dozen converge and join them (getting Déjà vu here…). The two follow the swarm to a spike-headed middle schooler named Shigechi, who’s been collecting spare change that people have dropped or forgotten with his Stand, Harvest. They soon realize Shigechi didn’t mean any harm, he was just doing something completely legal to make some extra cash, and it’s apparently pretty beneficial for the economy by redistributing lost currency back into circulation.
Josuke and Okuyasu make quick friends with Shigechi, who apparently doesn’t have many others. When Josuke compliments him on his change-gathering methods, Shigechi offers the two of them a cut of his pot as thanks, and while he’s tempted (in Okuyasu’s case, VERY tempted), Josuke tells him it’s not right to pay people for their friendship. Instead, he decides to think of his own plan for Harvest in order to earn an even bigger payload to share amongst the three of them. The plan involves looking for discard coupons to get boatloads of cashback deals from several stores in town, which yields even better payout than they planned: 61,500 Yen!
However, the two’s constant compliments start to go to Shigeki’s head, leading him to shortchange them out of their agreed cut. Josuke decides to be an adult and let that slide, but Okuyasu keeps looking through the gathered papers for winning lottery tickets people might have thrown away while making Shigechi agree to give him half. Sure enough, he finds a winning ticket for FIVE MILLION YEN, but Shigechi’s growing ego convinces him that all the money is his.
Similar to the Italian Food or Joseph Baby episodes, this is not a subject or story that I ever expected to see in a shonen series. Typically, money and credit isn’t something that becomes an important topic of conversation in plots about taking down the next bad guy on the assembly line, but as the name implies, Jojo’s is not a typical series, and Part 4 especially so. Time and again we are reminded that this is not a straightforward tale of good versus evil (at least not until Kira becomes a bigger presence later on), but a very developed city full of people with budding superpowers when they’re usually just trying to get by. Just as with the chef and Rohan, Shigechi is just a well-meaning kid whose sudden popularity got to his head and taught him the wrong lessons.
And also just like the ghost story last week, this also makes considerable use of the relatable situations kids might end up in that most kids shows I’ve seen wouldn’t dare touch. Whereas last week tapped into the fear of being in a strange part of town, this works with “get rich quick” schemes that kids or teenagers with little money would probably try to pull and then having to deal with who deserves what amount when the pay comes through. Okuyasu acts the most expected way in being perfectly willing to take advantage of Shigeki’s kindness for some extra dough, but Josuke is both a planner and a man of honor, and so wants to teach Shigeki how to make friends and use his Stand more effectively…while also getting some green on the side. Though it seems to have backfired in an expected way, the full extent of which we won’t know till next episode.
It’s also nice to see Okuyasu getting some spotlight after a bit of a break. He really hasn’t been given a chance to shine or be a big part of a story since the fight with Chili Pepper while Koichi’s been getting a ton of focus, so good to see our lovable idiot has not been forgotten. He even gets to show a bit of ingenuity of his own, being the one to come up with the idea to pull in lottery tickets that leads to their biggest score. I don’t see him getting an episode or arc to himself like Josuke or Koichi, sadly, but he’s still one of the main characters, dang it! But yeah, next time we cash out on this plot.