JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind
by Sam Leach,
How would you rate episode 17 of
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind ?
Next up on our Execution Squad docket is Melone, wielder of a Stand called 'Baby Face.' Melone by himself is already interesting as a bizarro fashion model computer hacker, but Baby Face is the true oddity of the week. Its primary form is that of a portable computer, but its ability is to, uh... *checks notes*
Okay, so the true scope of this power is that Melone can analyze a person's health and general characteristics to determine what kind of a "match" they'll be with Baby Face, and then that person's stats can be mixed with another target (in this case Bucciarati) to create a secondary remote Stand that will have different abilities depending on the person that Melone targets as a host. The opening scene of the episode is Melone closing in on a random woman that he wants to use, and the whole process is presented exactly as invasive and creepy as it sounds. It's not a literal impregnation, but it's definitely trying to make the audience think about that implication. I'm not even clear if the host has to be a woman or not, it's just standard irreverent JoJo's trashiness.
The part where Melone began to raise the newborn baby Stand is where I started to absolutely lose my freaking mind. He's going through picture books about cartoon animals and trying to teach it all the basic baby stuff, but also casually sprinkling in lessons about murder and how great it is to kill Team Bucciarati specifically. It's amazing. This is a professional assassin's entire routine! Make a baby. Teach the baby about the world. Tell the baby that murder is cool. Profit.
However, Melone still has his work cut out for him when it comes to Giorno and the gang. Baby Face's power is by pure happenstance the inverse of Gold Experience's, where it can turn people and body parts into lifeless objects. This is a Giorno-centric episode, where he has the chance to put his life-giving powers to use by replacing the fleshy cubes that Baby Face cut out of him, though I'm not sure I buy all the "I'm glad we met" shonen platitudes about him learning from the experience by fighting his opposite. This particular iteration of Baby Face feels extremely run-of-the-mill as far as Stand battles go. Being Giorno's opposite doesn't bring enough interesting to the table to declare this a moment of growth. Still, "I turned my hand into a piranha" is one hell of a checkmate.
This is the kind of JoJo's episode where the weirdness is what wins me over. Melone is an instant attention-getter, and the episode is consistently funny. The show is pushing its absurdism just an ounce beyond its usual schtick, but always played with a straight face. I don't think Melone is down for the count, and I hope he's got a Baby Face redux in the works that can bring us a more interesting fight, because this whole scenario is too beautifully dumb to settle with one fight.
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