JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind
by Sam Leach,
How would you rate episode 24 of
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind ?
Short review: Uuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh?!
Long review: In all fairness, "Uhhhhhh?!" is still probably my greatest takeaway this week, but I'll do my best to make sense out of all this. Our current destination is Carla di Volpe on the island of Sardinia, where the gang figures Passione's boss must be from. To get there, they're taking a small plane and fending off the next attacker, a Stand named 'Notorious B.I.G.' Even by this series' standards, the attempt to circumvent copyright issues in localization feels especially egregious with 'Notorious Chase,' but it's hard to focus on that too much when the Stand itself is such a monstrosity.
This episode opens with Bruno monologuing about how no Stand-user can keep up with an airplane once it's taken off, and you just know he's being set up to be proven wrong. Almost immediately, an enemy Stand-user begins approaching the plane as our heroes are gearing up to take off, so Mista shoots and kills him on sight. This new character doesn't seem quite human, looking more like a rectangular alien and behaving like a robot. He just walks forward and allows himself to get killed, which is later revealed to be part of his plan, because his Stand somehow activates after his own death and can chase Team Bucciarati at great speeds.
This is an incredibly difficult episode for me to wrap my head around, and I still don't really understand what's happening. There's a ton being thrown at us this week, and I'm not sure how it all connects back to one power set. I do understand that Hirohiko Araki was watching even more horror films than usual while writing this fight, because the relentless number of bizarre and creepy WTF moments is unprecedented. The chicken-scratch writing on the inside of the plane, the teleporting fingers, and the disgusting blob of flesh that makes up Notorious B.I.G.'s body are really throwing me for a loop. Notorious feels like an answer to Giorno's Gold Experience in a way that Baby Face didn't, since it's no longer creation vs. destruction, but life vs. death.
This is also an important episode for Trish. As the rest of the gang is getting chewed up by the new enemy, Trish is in awe of how far the guys are willing to go simply to do what they think is right. She's been on the receiving end of all this protection, so she hasn't been asked to think about much beyond her relationship with her father. The episode ends on a cliffhanger where Trish has to go up against the enemy Stand on her own, with a desperate opportunity to save Giorno's arm presenting itself after quite a few appendages get lost in the shuffle. Dramatic shakeups are definitely in in the cards for the future.
If I'm going to have a hard time following a JoJo's episode, I like it to be in this vein where the audience is forced to feel helpless while a borderline-psychotic Final Destination movie happens at them. It's not just one or two trippy horror movie ideas being played with this week, its an onslaught of viscerally painful images and grotesque weirdness. Things aren't looking too hot for our heroes right now, and I'm eager to see how it all comes together.
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