JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind has a more infamous reputation with Western fans, but many Japanese fans consider it to be the best. This week, Nick and Steve call their own shots on this radically radiant new adventure.
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You can read our weekly coverage of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind here!
Alright assholes, before anything else, let's get this out of the way.
There it is. There's the god damn image I've seen posted every time Jojo's has been brought up in the last seven years. I'm more familiar with this image of a dude licking another dude's mildly concerned face than I am with any of my friends or loved ones. It's here. Are you happy.
I don't know what's going on yet but this definitely tastes like a JoJo's.
That's right baby. We're finally getting to cover JJBA here on TWIA. It's the anime you've heard your weird friends talk about incessantly, yet no matter what they tell you about it, you have absolutely no clue what it's actually about without watching it yourself.
And lemme tell you, I still
don't even totally understand what happens in Jojo's.
Ain't that the truth! But it's okay, because after years of being exposed to its signature brand of muscly dudes, weird superpowers, and haute couture fashion, I've come to love expecting the unexpected. And I certainly didn't know what to expect going into Part 5, other than it seems to have the reputation of being the one Western fans don't like so much?
I don't understand that, because I've been pretty delighted by it so far. And it is, make no mistake, a JoJo's anime in every way.
It's the one that old-school fans have certainly been the most down on, but frankly Jojo's is a vast and varied franchise
that covers as much ground as any of the other 30+ year properties out there, so every part is always going to be somebody's favorite, and I was excited to see what Golden Wind had to offer.
You just can't get this flavor of bizarre anywhere else. And to Golden Wind's credit, I think it's started off very strong. First off, our latest and greatest incarnation of the Joestar bloodline is shaping up to be one of the more compelling JoJo's protagonists. And I don't mean that just because he can stuff his entire ear into his head.
I firmly believe that Araki creates every new Jojo's protagonist specifically to make Jonathan Joestar cry, and Giorno is perhaps his magnum opus so far. Not only is he both Jonathan AND Dio's son - he explicitly wants to be a criminal!
And that's what's so great about him! His character arc straddles both the light and the shadows. He's a Joestar, but also the son of that rascally vampire. He's got a good heart, but he grew up with shitty parents and now he has to steal to make a living. He wants to make Naples a better place, but he's going to have to join the mafia to do it. He starts out with clear goals and ambitions, and he's likable enough to suck you into his plight immediately.
Also, who would dare to not love a hero with such a dorky line?
He's an immediately intriguing protagonist. Our introduction is him gallantly saving a tourist's wallet from a pickpocket, only to immediately steal some money from them—which he then uses to buy a kid (and himself) some ice cream.
It's classic Jojo's in that tweaking the delivery too far in the wrong direction would make it feel clunky or weird, but it paints a clear picture of Giorno that's funny but also tells us exactly what makes him different from his predecessors. He's perfectly fine breaking the law, but he does it in...I guess "responsible" ways? Like taking a few bucks rather than a whole wallet, and then sharing the spoils with someone less fortunate.
Classic "thief with a heart of gold" stuff, with the emphasis on "gold".
On that subject, can I just say how much I dig Fighting Gold? Because that whole OP is baller.
It's good to have Coda
back after doing the Battle Tendency OP. That dude's voice is like butter. It's also your classically great JoJo's OP teasing at all the friends, enemies, and frenemies we're sure to meet, along with their Stands. Speaking of which, Giorno's Stand power is also pretty inventive this time around, instead of being just another big burly punch ghost. Gold Experi--I mean, Golden Wind turns inanimate objects into living things that also reflect any damage inflicted upon them back onto the attacker.
There's a lot of potential for the weird strategies and mind games that Stand battles often turn into, and I can't wait to see how far Araki is willing to take things this time.
Okay, are we allowed to use the actual names for Stands in this article? Because I refuse to refer to the 3rd best Rolling Stones album as
COME ON, THEY'RE NOT EVEN TRYING ON THAT ONE
It's no Filthy Acts for a Reasonable Price, that's for sure.
I'm hoping they're saving their A game for future Stands, but we'll just have to live with Zipper Man for now. I mean, it is
But yeah, Giorno's power is cool, and it's already helping the show get into my favorite aspect of Jojo's: ridiculous convoluted bullshit that makes no sense.
It's BEAUTIFUL. And what I loved especially about Giorno's "interview" in the third episode is that it's less about using your Stand to fight and more about using it like you're in one of those '90s adventure games where you have to combine your inventory items in increasingly obtuse ways to progress. In this case, it's turning an electrical cord into a snake so it can bite some bread you've jammed a lighter into.
It's fucking bonkers and even seeing it play out in context, your brain will instinctively reject what it's seeing, which is the sign of a good Jojo's episode in my book.
My favorite moment in all of Diamond is Unbreakable was the totally inconsequential fight against Enigma, because it transformed into pure insanity by the end.
Araki's mind operates on some eldritch logic, and although I love to see it play out, I hope to god I never come to fully understand it.
Also by episode 2, we've reached the point where our protagonist ripped his own arm off and threw it at a guy just to punch him slightly faster. So I don't know what people are talking about saying this is the worst Jojo's.
I definitely understand why Bruno would immediately become loyal to him. Also they have matching
"Which of us do you think has the most alluring cleavage?"
This is also the horniest JoJo's by far.
Giorno, and specifically Giorno's right hand, is very close with his Stand.
You cannot convince me that Giorno hasn't tried to fuck his Stand.
I wouldn't dare try.
But yeah, there's a lot of very horny designs in Golden Wind, with Araki taking full advantage of the Italian setting to put every character in ridiculous deep-necked clothing whenever possible, and I am here for it.
I'm so glad we get multiple cours
of beautiful boys in bleeding-edge fashion beating the shit out of each other with magic-powered ghosts that are also weirdly sexy. It's the JoJo's way, baby.
I am not, however, here for Polpo.
YEAH CAN WE TALK ABOUT POLPO?
I'd honestly rather not but if we have to...
WHY IS HE SO BIG? WHAT IS THAT ON HIS HEAD? WHY IS BRUNO SUCH A LIAR
Araki's drawn a LOT of fucked up things, but I don't think anything so far has managed to be quite so unsettling as this giant horrorshow that Giorno barely even flinches at.
I'm just so upset.
I cannot wait for Giorno to kill him so I can wake from this nightmare.
His Stand, if this is his Stand, does appear to brandish a very familiar-looking arrow, so the plot is thickening.
It's a more efficient Stand delivery system than an old man's ghost trapped inside a photograph riding a crow, that's for sure.
Well, I'll leave that open for debate until we see it in action against Giorno next week. But three episodes in, I think Part 5/Golden Wind/Vento Aureo/Polpo's Bizarre Adventure is shaping up to be fun, creepy, and unpredictable in all the ways I want out of my JoJo's experience.
I'm of the opinion that the best Jojo's are totally bonkers and off the rails. There's absolutely nothing like Full Power Araki, and I'm hoping that these early episodes are a sign of what's to come, because so far it's easily my favorite start to an arc in this show. And who knows. Maybe this time there won't be any animal murder!
Given Golden Wind's powers, I want to believe that Araki finally realized it's time to let the animals do the murdering.
Oh shit, that's right. Giorno's powers literally create animals that can't be killed! Now if only the same thing worked for Janitors...
Revenge, as they say, is a dish best served by a frog.