This Week in Anime
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind Goes Out With a Bang

by Michelle Liu & Andy Pfeiffer,

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind has reached its final climax. This week, Micchy and Andy break down the highs and lows of this wildly ambitious arc in Hirohiko Araki's saga.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the participants in this chatlog are not the views of Anime News Network. Spoiler Warning for discussion of the series ahead. Not Safe For Work warning for content and language.

@Lossthief @Liuwdere @A_Tasty_Sub @vestenet


You can read our weekly coverage of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind here!

Micchy
So Andy, July has arrived, bringing miserable summer heat, the biggest anime convention in the U.S., and a whole lot of sweaty nerds, so I just came off a while weekend of feeling like this.
How've you been?
Andy
Oh, you know. The usual.
To be fair, the weather wasn't awful, but a weekend of immersion in anime inevitably makes me want to stuff myself in the garbage anyway.
You gotta be careful not to overdose. Anime is heavy stuff. Do too much of it and you could end up on a permanent bad trip.
Anyway! I know it's the beginning of the summer season, but before we start talking about any of the hot new titles that Crunchyroll plastered across huge billboards in downtown LA, we're taking a quick look back at the heights of Jojo Golden Wind's final act. And man, what a trip that was!
We had human dogs...
Body swapping...
and an EXTREMELY STRONK TURTLE.
Coco Jumbo coming in clutch! We also got the entire backstory of John Carpenter's The Thing because apparently when you write yourself into a corner, it's time to just copy the last movie you watched.
 
 
Hirohiko Araki's writing consistently gives off a vibe of "I saw this cool thing on TV last night, so that's what this chapter is gonna be about" and I'm living for it. Fun times with fungi? Psychiatric urban legends? He's got it all.
Following up the Metallica fight is a tough job, but the Cioccolata/Secco pair does a pretty damn good job of it. They even give us new sound effects that I never want my body to make!
Oh, but I guess we should pour one out for Abbachio first, because he went out like a chump.
I'm pressing F to pay respects; Abbacchio, who hated Giorno, deserved better than dying to a kid who talks to ice cream.
At least he got to leave the story by doing something, unlike Fugo, but his death sure feels pointless because of how hard Araki wrote the team into a corner. It's all well and good that he manages to headbutt his face into some stone in his last moments, but then the story just freezes because there's no way to use this information!
It's the kind of dumb comic book stuff that works better as a joke than a serious plot point.
I think the show's done an admirable job of staying propulsive even in its last act, but yeah, now that you mention it, that was a pointless clue to leave behind. Facial recognition software wasn't readily available in 2001.
They try the fingerprints too, but of course all known records of the boss have long since been destroyed. So after all that, they basically get a Skype call from Polnareff telling them that he knows the boss' identity and his weakness. It's unfulfilling, but the plot needed something to keep it moving.
Hey, Jojo plotting has never been without its head-scratcher moments and occasional contrivances. I prefer not to dwell too hard on the finer details, or else I'll spend a solid 30 minutes trying to figure out how Chariot Requiem's sorting algorithm for body-swapping works. You're absolutely right that part 5 suffers more hiccups than necessary, though.
The algorithm works on Araki's Razor: it's the closest distance between two points unless you've got a dubiously explained split personality or your soul smells funny on Tuesdays.
My question is what happens when you have three people in an isolated group? The nearest pair swaps with each other, and then the third person switches with some arbitrarily selected person further away? Chariot Requiem makes less sense the more I try to make sense of it, and frankly, so does King Crimson.
Chariot Requiem at least has the excuse of being a chaotic entity on a rampage. King Crimson keeps doing shit as if it's working on some elaborate system of rules that I don't understand and can't care about. Give me more mold and mud boys instead.
The key to Jojo's fights having satisfying conclusions is understanding just enough about the powers in play to dramatically undermine them at the right time. So things like Green Day melting any living thing not working on Bucciarati's zombie body is a fun twist.
Diavolo's stand simply being told "no you don't work anymore and not even Giorno will know why" is not so much fun.
True, but it also feels good to see the evilest villains eat shit, even when the how and why are a little fuzzy. So like, even if Gold Experience's powers come out of nowhere, I don't really mind? Even for the Cioccolata fight, more than the battles of strategy between the respective players, the best parts were his twisted relationship with Secco and the satisfaction of a 7-page beatdown translated to screen. While the mental games are definitely integral to JJBA's best fights, the characterization can make up a lot of the difference.
That it can.
Real talk, Secco and Cioccolata are terrible people and terrible for each other, I love it.
So glad that Araki seemingly saw a news report about Dr. Kevorkian and decided to 100x-up him.
Golden Wind: here is this horrible clown murderer who's so evil that he tortures the elderly and scares even the big bad of this series.
I know anime likes evil doctors but jeez.
Also, he has a human dog that he loves very much.
Spoiler: the dog was only in it for the treats.

Oh man, what a lovely twist that almost makes you feel bad for the guy previously established as the worst person to ever exist.
Almost being the key word since:
A) he's still a terrible anime clown
B) he murders a whole lotta Rome
C) he turned himself into a human nightcrawler
No thank you on so many levels.
Oh god, the wriggling spine is the WORST.
I love it.
I wish I'd never seen it!
I just realized this makes two TWIA columns in a row about spine trauma. Great.
But you gotta remember, everyone in Golden Wind is a criminal with plenty of blood on their hands. The difference between our heroes and villains is just a matter of degrees. Cioccolata and Secco are what happen when you strip any redeeming principles out of a person's life of crime, but even then they retain the capacity to be affectionate, if only to one another.
Yeah, it's funny to look back and realize that the base conflict is still about drug-running being no bueno. I wish the ending stuck to that level of stakes tbh.
I mean, Giorno's goal is still to steer the organization away from preying on the powerless. Ousting drug pushers and overthrowing a boss who would kill his own daughter are just two facets of that same goal. In any case, I think that its dramatic escalation of stakes is what makes Golden Wind so propulsive in the first place.
The story of the good criminal is tried and true, so it's hard to see our band of misfits as anything but the good guys throughout the story, which is why it's baffling that the end of the story staples Stop the World from Becoming a Cronenbergian Hellscape onto the conflict.
But hey, good body horror.

Araki's turns of phrase also continue to be top-notch.
We really need a twitter account for "Dominatrix or Hirohiko Araki?" lines.
Anyway, I can't fault Golden Wind's final showdown much when it brings back Polnareff as a talking turtle. I mean, that's such a big brain move. Here's a fan favorite character! He's now a reptile. Deal with it.
Tell us how you really feel, Araki.
He just likes making the best boys go through hell.
It makes me sad that more Polnareff stuff wasn't going on through the whole story. Jotaro gets to hang out in Morioh and be part of the action, but Polnareff gets punked off-screen and then turns into a turtle onscreen. Even if Turtlereff is Strong and Good.
It definitely feels like a last-minute addition, which describes Part 5's plotting in general. But the character stuff is so strong that I don't mind the messiness nearly as much as I used to.
They've all grown so much. Mista even hit puberty!
I've been asking that question since I was 13, better get used to it, Mista.
Man, I'm just thinking about how Diavolo prioritizes his personal gain over taking down Chariot, so even when he tries to transcend his own limitations by taking out the light behind his head, he fails to truly let go.
Talk about Big Brain moments: smashing the inner light behind your soul.
The key to defeating Chariot Requiem's shadow is to completely destroy yourself and your perception of it as a threat, but he can't do that—he's still at heart an insecure bastard who values power over justice. And that's the difference between him and Giorno. Diavolo seeks power for its own sake, while Giorno wants power so he can make things right. That higher purpose is why the arrow grants Giorno the exact thing he needs: the power to trap Diavolo in his own delusions, damning him to an eternity of owning himself.
It's also the difference between him and Bucciarati, who ascends in the form of fart gas.
Yeah yeah, I get that it's Golden Wind and all, but no matter how I look at it, that's the color of piss.
It's the True Golden Experience Requiem. Much also must be said about Diavolo's idea of strength, since his entire existence is predicated around living in fear and isolation, while our lovable goofballs form connections that last much longer than their tragically short lives. Pour one out for Narancia, who was crucified for the the fatal mistake of mentioning Fugo.

Our piss-for-brains son was too pure for this world :( Strength in Golden Wind isn't about being the best at murder or the quickest thinker, but about the willingness to put yourself on the line for people you care about, even if those people are weenies or lousy bastards. Viewed that way, Narancia might've been the strongest of them all. My boy deserves better, dammit.
For a gangstar, he goes out like a cop talking about his last day on the force, and it's a damn shame. This gets back to the problem of characterization fighting plot. It's really jarring how our boys tend to go out in snap moments because their powers would complicate the next step of the plot. Meanwhile, Polnareff gets to live a happy turtle life because he's been stripped of his human responsibilities. Mista should be thankful that his gun powers don't have much narrative-shaping influence.
Yeah, well that's part 5 for you. It's messy, but with some of the best character writing in Jojo's this side of Steel Ball Run, I find it hard to be too down on the end result. This anime's a strong adaptation that does well by what Araki wrote two decades ago, and I liked it more than I thought I would. There's still a smidge left, just mopping up bodies and solidifying Diavolo's future of infinite ownage, but we're about at the end now. The gangstar boys' conflict with Diavolo has more or less reached a conclusion.
Take the victory lap, bury some bodies, and start counting down the days until the next Jojo.
Stone Ocean can't come soon enough.
And Steel Ball Run after that! And who knows what's in store for us by the time both of those are animated! If the new season is anything to go by, we'll get 8,000 more isekai series along the way.

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