Outwardly, Joe seemingly has a straightforward personality, consistently projecting both a rather brash and passionate attitude towards everyone, including his friends. However, he has much deeper and more insecure feelings, especially concerning his ability, which he considers unpleasant since it only allows him to work a job where he can only mistrust his allies. His biggest regret in life is that he decided to distance himself from Marie but he had hopes to rectify the situation between them. He is a big coffee lover and only likes the best coffee but he won't say when he doesn't like it.
Despite his role primarily focusing upon investigative matters, Joe is both a relatively tall and rather well physically built man. His face features a light chin curtain beard and close-cut hair, which contains four signature darker stripes running from front to back, with one located directly on top of his head and the other three present on the right side. In the manga, his beard is less full compared to the anime. His forehead is also noticeably bigger in the manga. He has blue eyes, but he usually has them closed. His clothes comprise of a simple white shirt, that has rolled up sleeves and is left open at the top, worn under a black waistcoat with black shorts. These shorts include a relatively plain grey belt, used to hold his Internal Affairs badge, which is simply a black patch embellished with the image of Shinigami's mask. He also wears both black fingerless gloves and sandals.
He is her ex-boyfriend and had apparently kept his distance from her in the past, fearing that his "soul perception" may grow so powerful that he could see through her. However, Joe later stated to Marie that he regretted this decision and decided to ask her out for dinner, demonstrating that he still retained strong feelings for her. These feelings appeared to be reciprocated, as not only did Marie accept the invitation but on first hearing of his return, she made herself as provocative as possible. In the anime adaptation, Joe never actually interacted with Marie, hinting they didn't get together in this adaptation.
The two used to fight alongside each other many years back and although Spirit openly admits that he isn't happy to see the face of an "Internal Affairs" investigator, the pair continue to be good friends, even sharing a coffee together upon Joe's return.
They have a strange relationship. When Joe starts making strange coffee related demands it weirds-out Shinigami-sama. For some reason after these demands are met Shinigami-sama will either pull out a mandolin or make a very bad joke. This is because Joe wants to have coffee beans instead of merely instant coffee and wants Shinigami-sama to change it to the brand Mandheling coffee beans while Shinigami-sama "mishears" it as mandolin.
Super Soul Perception (超魂感知, Chō Tamashii Kanchi): Developed overtime from his usual Soul Perception, he was able to easily detect Medusa's Transmitter Bug within Marie's soul as well as break through the Soul Protect of seven witches (Medusa, 2 Mizunes, Eruka, Tabatha, Taruho, and Kim Diehl), sensed the Madness within Black☆Star as well as the Little Ogre within Soul Eater, and even sensed the Kishin Asura. This ability's renown prowess subjected himself to assassination. Usage of this high level of Soul Perception, however, requires a clear mind free from emotional distractions.
- Lie Detecting (嘘発見, Uso Hakken): An extension of the Soul Perception ability, it allows Joe to detect lies within a person by reading their soul with his fist placed on them. This ability is especially renown, being held in high regard by Death and being the reason he's the DWMA Internal Investigator and earning him the moniker "Joe 'Whack-A-Mole' Buttataki".
Intellect (Anime Only): In the anime, he's remarkably intelligent and was skilled enough to build up the Death City Robot from the ground up and power them with the usage of the Demon Tools created from the Great Sorcerer, Eibon, and has displayed impressive knowledge in engineering.
Combatant: Due to his build and former status as a Meister, it can be inferred that Joe himself possess some level of physical skill though the level of skill in which he possesses is currently unknown.
Marksmanship: Carrying a gun within his own person, Joe is a skilled marksman.
- Standalone Techniques
- Soul Menace (魂威, Kon'i): Joe once commented on the usage of this technique while guessing how to activate the Demon Tool, "BREW".
Meister at the DWMAEdit
Joe use to be a Meister of the DWMA among others like Spirit Albarn prior to becoming the DWMA's Internal Investigator. He also had dated Marie Mjolnir. During one of their dates, Marie had gotten chilly from wearing a thin dress and when she joked about Joe not having an overcoat to romantically drape over her, Joe, desperate to impress her, rips off his own shirt off and drapes it around Marie.
However, despite his immense love for Marie, his Soul Perception grew. Fearing his Soul Perception would grow to a level where he could read through her and her thoughts, he later broke up and distanced himself from Marie as well as becoming a Internal Investigator.
After the Incident in Death Bazaar, Joe is present along within Mira and Sid as he questions Mai on the incident, who replies she remembers nothing of the event and then on any changes after the event and her recovery. His last question bears information about her stage name and before he could correct himself, Mai freaks out and yells, not wanting to remember her embarrassing name.
Receiving a call from the DWMA, he informs an assistant of his that he's leaving. When questioned why, he tells her that the DWMA seems to have a mole within it's ranks and he's going to "whack the living daylights" out of the mole.
- "B.J." is for "Buttataki Joe" (his name in Japanese order) and "Whack-a-Mole"(mongura-tataki, literally "mole-hitting" in Japanese) is sort of a title/nickname taken from his surname. Joe's last name, Buttataki, literally means "beating the crap out of" things — the name says it all. In other words, he's a heavy-hitting type of investigator, sent in to bust heads and take names where others might fail.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 38
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Soul Eater Volume 10; Chapter 37, page 90
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Soul Eater Anime: Episode 37
- ↑ Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 38-39
- ↑ Soul Eater Volume 10; Chapter 38, page 101
- ↑ Soul Eater Anime: Episode 39-46
- ↑ Soul Eater Volume 10; Chapter 38, page 171
- ↑ Soul Eater Anime: Episode 41
- ↑ Soul Eater Volume 10; Chapter 38, page 100
- ↑ Soul Eater Volume 10; Chapter 39, page 143-144
- ↑ Soul Eater Volume 10; Chapter 39, page 145
- ↑ Soul Eater NO! Jot! 10, page 142-145