JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind
by Sam Leach,
How would you rate episode 5 of
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind ?
Rather than slowly tackling our soon-to-be main cast of heroes in a series of monster-of-the-week adventures, Golden Wind is throwing us into the deep end by introducing the rest of Giorno and Bruno's band right off the bat. It's probably going to be a few episodes before I'm familiar with the boys enough to remember all of their names, but I do immediately recognize My Hero Academia's Izuku and Aizawa in the voice cast.
Giorno's new to Passione, so there's a sense of alienation that the audience is going to feel when they're thrown into a relatively large batch of unfamiliar faces, all of whom are garishly designed and already have a pre-established rapport with each other. They've all got names, personalities, and Stands of their very own. The density of new information is honestly a little overwhelming. I get that there's a warm up period as we aquatint ourselves with our main cast, but everything is so saturated, even by JoJo's standards. Narancia, the lively twink, is the only one I can really draw a personality from at a glance, and the rest of them are just random shapes and colors smashed together into a garbled mess.
The actual plot this week begins with the gang world responding to Polpo's death, as well as the legend that he had hidden a fortune of jewels and gold, which means we've got a good old-fashion treasure hunt on our hands! Bruno Bucciarati actually knows the location, thanks to being trusted by Polpo, and his group heads to sea via boat where they encounter an unseen Stand user that can mysteriously make people vanish.
I find it interesting that what characterizes so much of Passione so far is inter-gang conflict. Giorno still has to win over Bruno's team, and Bruno's team is at odds with the rest of the gang because everybody wants to steal their dead capo's treasure. Really, nobody's in any position to demand loyalty of each other if this is what gang life is all about, but it appears that Giorno's a shoe-in for warming to his new group thanks to his willingness to charge in blindly. These new characters are keeping their Stands close to their chest for the time being, since they remain iffy about Giorno's presence, and that proves to be a pretty big handicap for the boat fight. Giorno's got to start somewhere if he's going to become a Gang-Star, so he might as well start making friends with a bunch of guys he just met today.
This is setup for a lot of relationship-building to come, but as we are right now there's not a ton to grip onto with these new characters. They're colorful and eccentric, but so far nebulously so. Even the Stand battle hits the cliffhanger before we get a solid idea of which power we're facing. The show is still great to look at and this week offers the novelty of anime's best piss drinking scene, but this is the most simmered episode of Golden Wind's run so far. It's going to take a few more episodes before any of the guys give me much to respond to.
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