|“||I'm a very busy man with half the world's population counting on me...||”|
–Johnny Sfondi in Guilty Gear XX Accent Core
Johnny Sfondi (ジョニー·スフォンディ, Jonī Sufondi) or simply called Johnny is a playable character in the Guilty Gear series. He made his first appearance in Guilty Gear as a central character in May's storyline, and debuted as a playable character in Guilty Gear X. Johnny is the captain of the Jellyfish Pirates, a group of sky-pirates sworn to help those less fortunate, which happens to consist mostly of very young girls. Johnny's flirty, debonair, swordslinging demeanor hides a man dedicated to the noble idea of caring for others.
Johnny is tall, muscled, and tan. He sports a black outfit, sparsely adorned with golden beads. The outfit consists of long, well-fitting pants, a large gunslinger-style belt worn diagonally, and a long collared trench coat, left unbuttoned to ensure his chest remains visible. Johnny has long blond hair, which he usually keeps in a pony-tail. He wears a wide-rimmed Cowboy-style hat which bears a skull insignia, and a pair of dark sunglasses complete his outfit. In battle, he wields a wooden-handled Katana, and is a master of the Iaido style of swordsmanship.
Johnny is a daring, suave, and passionate man, who often appears somewhat aloof, carefree, and a bit self-absorbed. A self-proclaimed ladies man, Johnny appreciates his own beauty, frequently commenting on it to other characters throughout the series. He is a compulsive womanizer, hitting on nearly every female character he encounters, plus Bridget (whom he had mistaken for a girl). Beneath his swash-buckling, somewhat surly persona, Johnny has a good heart. He founded the Jellyfish pirates in order to help those less fortunate than himself, and he cares for May, Dizzy and the other members of his crew very deeply, often going to great lengths to protect them from harm, and reassuring them on numerous occasions that they are family to him.
Johnny was heavily influenced by his father, a noble man always eager to help those in need, caring for anyone who might enter their home, even strangers. When Johnny was young, his father was killed by a Gear. Johnny was left orphaned, the loss of his father paining him deeply. Through this loss, Johnny grew to know the pain of loneliness, of a world without love, yet he was not consumed by revenge, nor did he develop a hatred of the Gears. Instead, he was inspired by the example with which his father had left him. Through this example, he realized that love is something which must be given, not only desired, and he resolved to follow in his father's footsteps by helping those less fortunate, be they Man or Gear. He founded his band of Sky Pirates, and began running his Robin Hood operation aboard a stolen hover-carrier later re-named the Mayship. The majority of the Jellyfish Pirates are orphans whom Johnny adopted and raised, among them May, the namesake of the pirates' airship. May harbors very strong feelings for Johnny, viewing him as both a father and brother figure, and even as a boyfriend.
Though Johnny is not a playable character in the original Guilty Gear, he is present in May's storyline. Prior to the game, Johnny was caught and imprisoned for his Robin Hood-like escapades. May enters the tournament, hoping to use the prize to free Johnny, but he escapes before she can rescue him (by charming the female guard, though he tells his crew he "fought" his way out). May secretly desires for Johnny to see her as a woman, so she and he can be together romantically.
Guilty Gear X Drama CD'sEdit
The Story begins with Johnny and May shopping for clothes; May wants a wedding dress. However, Johnny denies her request, and while the Shopkeeper is trying to swindle Johnny into buying things, he mentions some newly discovered ruins from the old world nearby and Johnny and May pay the ruins/tourist attraction a visit. May is excited, thinking of this as a date with Johnny, though he seems oblivious, and she is disappointed to find the insides of the ruins to be less romantic than she might have hoped. Ky shows up shortly afterwards, investigating the ruins himself, and the ticket-taker is quite upset about his intrusion. Ky takes note of Johnny, and attempts to arrest him in spite of being in his debt for Johnny's aid in defending villagers during an early incident (The Blackard Incident, detailed in the Novel Lighting the Argent).
The imminent fight begins, and May fights Ky's subordinates, easily defeating them, before engaging Ky himself in Johnny's defense. Johnny comments that it is too dangerous to be fighting in a place like this, but May unleashes a powerful attack against Ky, causing the Ruins to start crumbling. The commotion causes an ancient piece of Blacktech to activate, displaying a holographic projection from a golden disk, which contains all kinds of information about old world technologies. Ky and May rush towards the disk, and thinking quickly Johnny slices it in half, so as to prevent Ky from obtaining the entire thing. He and May escape with half of the Blacktech.
After escaping, May relays the story of what happened to April, complete with flattering imitations of Johnny. April then speaks with Johnny that she's heard a rumor: these sorts of gold tablets being found before. He tells her to go to where they were found, and April sets a course for the Thor Museum. These rumors were, however, false; they were planted by Venom and the Assassin's syndicate to lure the Pirates into a trap in an attempt to gain their half of the Blacktech. However, Johnny and May manage to defeat Venom, foil their back-up plan and escape together on the Mayship.
Back on the Mayship, Johnny decides that the Blacktech is too dangerous to be kept, lest it fall into the wrong hands. He destroys it, and fashions pendants for May and the other girls on his crew from the golden disk. Since it is close to his Birthday, they all decide to get him something nice in return, but May forfeits this group effort, hoping instead to earn the money and get Johnny something special just from her, 'as a woman'.
Guilty Gear XEdit
Johnny spends the entire game hitting on the female characters on his way to rescuing Dizzy from the 500,000 World Dollar bounty on her head. He has two endings: one in which, having been distracted by a fight with May, he comes home to find that Dizzy had been already brought back to the Mayship as a surprise "birthday present". This is probably not canon because it would imply that May met Testament, who she did not recognize in Guilty Gear XX. In the other, he meets Dizzy directly, and takes her home to the Mayship.
Guilty Gear XXEdit
After an initial battle in which I-No attacks the Mayship, the story splits. In one path, Johnny runs off to rescue Dizzy; in his first ending, he rescues her and defeats I-No, and then carries Dizzy back to the Mayship because of slightly injured legs. In his second ending, Testament got to I-No first, and is reluctant to let Dizzy continue to live with the Jellyfish Pirates until Johnny defeats him.
The other story path involves other people coming to the May Ship, and ends with a fight against a group of Robo-Kys, and Ky Kiske joins the fight as they wonder what the Post-War Administration Bureau is up to...
Guilty Gear XX: Accent CoreEdit
Johnny has been growing rather concerned, for he senses May might be beginning to wonder about her life before Johnny. Conflicted about whether or not to explain May's Japanese heritage, Johnny senses that Dizzy misses Testament, and goes to find him in order to persuade him to visit her. Johnny persuades Testament to visit Dizzy, and depending upon the players performance the story splits.
In Path 1, Johnny seeks out Baiken in order to find out more about the Japanese, but he is found by May who misinterprets the venture as Johnny flirting with Baiken (which he was). May runs off, angry. She is attacked by Eddie, but saved by Johnny. Johnny then prepares to launch an attack on the Post-War Administration Bureau, and calls April to pick up the unconscious May so she will be safe. Crow and Johnny have a conversation, and after defeating Crow's Justice Copy, May shows up, having followed Johnny without his knowledge. As Crow flees, he mentions May's Japanese heritage, which appears to deeply affect May. She meekly asks Johnny if it is safe for her to be with him and the others. He responds by indignantly brushing off the question, and assuring May that she is a part of his family, and he will protect her from anything.
In Path 2, Anji Mito shows up, and Johnny instead discusses his May dilemma with him. He finds branch of the Post-War Administration Bureau, before hearing a loud sound and rushing off to help Ky calm an enraged Dizzy. He is successful, and Ky, Dizzy, Johnny and May board the Mayship and head towards the P.W.A.B branch. Johnny decides to leave the P.W.A.B to Ky when his ship is attacked by Zappa. However, the ensuing conflict causes the ship to crash into the P.W.A.B. Here, Johnny and May encounter Crow, who lets the secret of May's origins slip. Johnny struggles to comfort May; however, this time, his efforts are insufficient, and she disappears in search of answers. After searching for May, the crew gathers back on the May Ship. Johnny remarks that he is certain they will find May, since she is family. This lifts the spirits of his crew and the set sail. Johnny quietly remarks to himself a much less confident hope, that May will return, for the Jellyfish Pirates are her true home.
Guilty Gear Dust StrikersEdit
Throughout the story, it seems Johnny is doing nothing but getting caught up in random fights. Johnny also flirts with the female characters of the Guilty Gear cast (excluding May and Dizzy). It is soon revealed he was searching for Gig, and while fighting Gig, Johnny shows some restraint towards it. After defeating Gig, Johnny reveals how he did not want it to end this way. Judging by the way he speaks to Gig, it can be assumed they once new each other with Johnny saying 'Old friend' before Gig dies. In his ending, Johnny returns to the Mayship, where May hugs him and ask where he has been, Johnny doesn't reply, and tells her he needs to relax because of such a long and busy day.
Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-Edit
When May begins to get headaches after her encounter with Ramlethal Valentine, Johnny sets off to find Dr. Faust with hopes of curing May's headache and to learn more of her Japanese heritage.
After Johnny returns to the Mayship, he learns that May vanished, with the intention of keeping her crew healthy. Johnny and his crew begin searching for May. Thanks to Chipp Zanuff, May is found and returns to the Mayship, around the same time Faust arrives. However, Bedman then arrives with an unconscious Millia Rage and Venom, as Slayer arrived to warn how dangerous Bedman is, just as Faust is defeated. While Chipp tells Johnny to get everybody away from Bedman before he finds out where the Mayship is. Johnny is seen escorting the unconscious Doctor safely to the Ship. as the ninja holds the Bedman off.
In the last chapter, Johnny assists Leo in his battle with Bedman.
Guilty Gear Xrd REVELATOR Edit
During the events of the story, Johnny was acquainted with Kum Haehyun, even knowing her secrets.
In the finale, he and April assisted Sol, Sin and Ky in their battle against the Universal Will.
Powers & AbilitiesEdit
Johnny is one of the strongest and swiftest human fighters in the series. Storywise, he has fought evenly with the likes of both Testament and Ky Kiske, and it is implied that he did not utilize his full strength in either encounters. When he fought against the copy of Justice that Crow created, the scientist had his creation set to optimal combat settings in order for it to serve as adequate challenge (though it was defeated regardless). He even subdued Dizzy when Undine and Necro went out of control. He is also able to hold his own against the powerful Bedman, with assistance from Leo Whitefang.
Like any swordsman should have, he possesses fast reflexes and a quick hand as fast as his mind, with his Ensenga technique having him toss a liquor bottle filled with flammable substance and cutting it in half with a turning slash, all in one motion. This is mainly icing on the cake compared to his skills in quick drawing with his blade, and vice versa. He is also able to dash at short distances with high-speed movement, much like teleportation, and is able to make improbably-stylish use of certain non-weapons (such as his coins). His swordsmanship is so quick and precise that he can swing his blade fast enough to displace the air around him, creating vacuums in space that can tear an opponent to shreds. He uses this tactic to prevent Bedman from teleporting during their battle and was even able to assault the latter when he was residing within his Dream World, a separate plane of reality; suggesting that Johnny can cut through dimensions.
A lot of his sword's strikes also cause some cloud-like smoke to emit, especially with his style of Iaidou, the Unchou Shihan Jikiden (雲頂師範直伝, lit. "Cloud Peak Instructor Initiation") which accounts for much of his focus on "mist" motif in his techniques.
- Liquor Bar & Drunkard - Guilty Gear X and Guilty Gear XX
- Desert Dust - Guilty Gear XX: ♯Reload Korean OST
- Exceptional Routine Work - Guilty Gear Isuka
- Original Bet - Guilty Gear Xrd
References and AllusionsEdit
- Johnny wears all black, a possible reference to country/rock legend Johnny Cash, who was known as "The Man in Black." It is also likely that Johnny's appearance, namely his hair and outfit, is a reference to Johnny Winter.
- One of Johnny's attacks, "Glitter Is Gold", is a reference to the opening lines of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven."
- Johnny might also be a reference to Jimi Hendrix, whose birth name is Johnny. His theme, "Liquor Bar & Drunkard", shares a similar riff to Jimi's, "Foxy Lady".
- It's possible that Johnny's name is either a reference to the Chuck Berry song "Johnny B. Goode", or the cover song of the same name by Judas Priest
- It bears mentioning that Johnny looks somewhat similar to Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford
- Because of his Ensenga (Swallow Drill Fang) special move, many players mistake Johnny as a fire magic user, when he is actually just slicing a liquor bottle midair.
- Ensenga via its swallow naming may also be a take on Tachibana Ukyou's (from Samurai Shodown/Samurai Spirits) variation of Sasaki Kojirou's famous Tsubame Gaeshi (Swallow Return) technique, especially since Ukyou's version is also a flame-based sword-drawing attack that is done only in midair but can hit overhead and be Tiger Knee'd with its input. This may as well be an SNK shout-out by Ishiwatari's proxy.
- In the same vein of I-No, Johnny's voice is done by Norio Wakamoto, a man who is known for his roles as various villains in other anime/video game titles (or strange and absurd entities made to solely fit Wakamoto's voice tone). In this case, however, Johnny is merely a rebellious, but good-hearted man, rather than completely evil.
- Johnny and Axl Low both share the same English voice actor, Liam O'Brien.