JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind
Episode 26

by Sam Leach,

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JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind ?

At last, our gang-stars have reached Sardinia in the hopes of finding clues that will lead them to the boss's secret identity; a task that may be easier said than done because the number of pieces in play to obfuscate the truth are increasing at an alarming rate. This episode opens with a flashback detailing the origin of a mysterious pink-haired young man (the boss?), and hot damn is this story getting confusing. We have a woman in prison giving birth to a mysterious baby from a father who's been dead for two years, and then her child grows up with multiple personalities and keeps her living body under the floor of a church before burning the whole village down. It's like the immaculate conception myth, but evil and more complicated.

In place of Team Bucciarati, who are snooping around in the background this week, we spend most of this episode with a boy named Doppio, a kindhearted lad whose body Passione's boss appears to be living inside of. I have to use words like "appears" and "seems like" a lot this week, because boy howdy is this a mystery box. Coming fresh off the episode, my running theory was that Doppio is Trish's half-brother and the boss uses him as a vessel or something, but the flashback implies that Doppio is the boss and simply hasn't aged a day since burning the village down. Whatever the situation may be, the young man we know as Doppio seems like a relatively innocent player being taken advantage of by the voice in his head. Occasionally the boss will "ring" in like a phone, and Doppio will end up talking to himself through whichever object he believes the ringing to be coming from, but other times the boss will take over completely and their shared body will bulk up to accommodate whichever personality is active. Suffice to say, we're still missing a lot of pieces to this puzzle.

I'm getting worried right now, because the weirdness is at risk of overshadowing the story. It's fitting that the boss would have such an aggressive method of hiding his identity, but the number of disparate elements that don't add up has me sweating. Doppio is capable of using King Crimson (with the boss's permission), but can King Crimson account for even a quarter of the crazy stuff we learn this week? I've been biding my time, waiting for the chance to witness the infamous time-erasing powers and all the nonsense that comes with them, but now I'm starting to think they're the least of my problems. I'm torn between wanting to admire the audacity of this episode and feeling frustrated that I've completely lost sight of the tracks.

Joining the mix this week is Risotto, the final member of the Execution Squad who has also arrived in Sardinia. He briefly faces off with Doppio and demonstrates the power to summon razor blades and needles from inside a person's face, which is why most screenshots of Doppio at this point are inordinately bloody. The razor blades had manufacturing copy written on them, making me wonder of they were teleported from another location as opposed to conjured out of thin air. Risotto and Doppio have their fight while Aerosmith is scouting the area, so we're this close to a fated three-way duel between Team Bucciarati, Passione's boss, and the Execution Squad.

I can confidently say that I'm curious to see where this story goes, but I don't know if I should be preparing for all this craziness to get even more labyrinthine and mysterious, or if there's going to be any attempt to tie it all together. There's an exciting yet dangerous amount of abstraction developing at the moment. How much does the show intend to explore Doppio's personhood? (Probably a lot.) Are we sympathizing with him as a compartmentalized facet of the boss's identity, or is he a separate entity who's being victimized like everybody else? I'm not even sure which direction I'd prefer at this point, though maybe it's a little of both and that's the point. This is one of those episodes that will probably be easier to digest with further context.


JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Sam Leach records about One Piece for The One Piece Podcast and you can find him on Twitter @LuckyChainsaw

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