JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind
Episode 3

by Sam Leach,

How would you rate episode 3 of
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind ?

If Giorno is to obtain that oh-so-coveted title of Gang-Star, first he's going to have to join an actual gang. Bruno's gang is "Passione," a powerful organization with an anonymous leader, and in order for Giorno to get his foot in the door, he first must meet the approval of a man named Polpo.

Polpo is an unusual figure, even by JoJo's standards. He's massive, almost inhuman looking, and he's currently locked up in prison for an unknown crime. That doesn't mean he can't still direct some mafia shenanigans, however, and Giorno meets him face-to-face in a pretty direct Silence of the Lambs homage. He's clearly a Stand user, but like most Stands in this series, it's hard to get a hold on the true scope of his powers yet. He shapeshifts out of a bed when we first meet him, and the rest of the episode concerns some kind of grim reaper-ish Stand that hovers over a silver lighter.

This whole episode is really absorbing, because you're constantly waiting for the next weird thing that's bound to be asked of our poor hero. It's really striking me how different Golden Wind already feels from the other JoJo's seasons. The series has featured troublemakers with hearts of gold in the past, but it's something else entirely to see a lead character try so hard to join a clearly evil gang. In order to gain entrance into Passione, Giorno must pass Polpo's trust game. He's given a lighter with an active flame that he must carry with him for 24 hours. If the incredibly finicky flame goes out, then it won't light again and Giorno will have failed. The first challenge is to get the lighter out through prison security, just to drive home how extreme this test actually is. It's funny to see Giorno committing so hard to earn the trust of a gang he plans to eventually usurp anyway.

From there the episode juggles back and forth between a routine comedy of errors, where minor inconveniences are suddenly much more stressful, and the true nature of the challenge, which involves the aforementioned Stand. If you've watched Part Four, then you'll immediately recognize a part of this new Stand features the golden arrow, which implies that gaining Stand powers is part of the initiation ritual for those deemed worthy. But Giorno already has a natural-born Stand, unbeknownst to Polpo, so that feels ripe for further trust issues to be explored.

I think the mafia angle will continue to be what makes Golden Wind most entertaining. I'm really enthralled by the themes of nobility and trust within the seedy underworld, especially when there are so many things that can go wrong from there. I was a little taken aback by the cliffhanger, because the episode has such a solid idea that could have made for a great one-off episode. This episode is light on action but filled with goofy awkward situations where Girono is forced to use his powers in creative ways. There's a lot of small-scale-but-high-stakes drama to pull from this premise, so much so that the imminent transition into a Stand battle is almost disappointing.

Rating: B+

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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