JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind
by Sam Leach,
How would you rate episode 9 of
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind ?
With our leisurely stroll across the Gulf of Naples coming to an end, it's time for Bruno to finally take over Polpo's role as Capo, and for Giorno to find himself on a new trail towards Passione's mysterious leader. As has often been the case with Golden Wind thus far, we're treated to a little storytime to fill us in on the existence of the big boss' daughter. Giorno and the audience are mostly outsiders to Passione, so we have to learn these things as we go.
I find the emphasis on Bruno's climb up the mafia ladder interesting, because that means he's going to be our measuring stick for progression. If Giorno's going to claim that oh-so-coveted title of Gang-Star at some point on this adventure, then surely he'll have to eventually pass Bruno, right? Giorno feels like an especially passive participant in his own story at the moment. He's coiled up like a snake, waiting for the right time to strike.
Trish is the aforementioned daughter of Passione's boss. Her presence is a challenge for the gang since she was born after the boss romanced a woman under a currently retired alias, meaning that if anybody went snooping around for somebody by that name, they might uncover the shadier side of an already incredibly shady man. Furthermore, there exist villains who would like to kidnap Trish, so it was supposed to be Polpo's responsibility as a trusted member of the gang to keep an eye on her. We thought we had sailed all the way to Capri just for a taste of that sweet urinal treasure (don't ask), but a teenage girl gets thrown into the mix as well. Trish becomes a lot of things to the story at once: a chance for Bruno to secure loyalty in the gang, a breadcrumb in Giorno's hunt for the boss (and an agent of moral conflict in that hunt), an instigator for further conflict, and so far the only female character in the main cast.
At first glance, Trish appears to be bratty and spoiled, though we don't get to hear her earnest thoughts on anything yet. She doesn't resist a life of hiding, either because she understands the stakes or she just doesn't care. Her origin is similar enough to Giorno's to warrant comparison, since they're both children of villainous baddies who had little to no involvement in their actual upbringing. I wonder if there's any meaning to be found in the contrast between the two would-be fathers. Dio is just Dio, while Passione's boss seems to be more secretive and manipulative, requiring more control over his child's life in order to maintain a lifestyle.
As far as the usual Stand battles go, Narancia is next up to bat as he encounters Formaggio, an enemy Stand-user from Passione and the kind of no-good punk who might be after Trish. We're finally introduced to Narancia's Stand, which means Aerosmith is now being formally inducted into the JoJo Hall of Fame. Aerosmith is a toy plane that can blast enemies with very real guns, and Formaggio's Stand is Little Feet, which allows its user to shrink themselves down.
As much as this confrontation is primed for goofiness, I do want a short break from the usual monster-of-the-week stuff, especially since the inside-politics of the gang are already so interesting. Formaggio isn't adding intrigue or tension, he's just sort of getting in the way. It was one thing when we were just looking for treasure, but now I'm legit invested in the history of Passione and seeing where it takes Giorno and friends. I suppose it's finally Narancia's time to shine (with Fugo waiting in the wings to get the next two-parter), so it'll be up to next week's episode to take this Stand battle somewhere awesome.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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