One thing that seems to have completely slipped by it when it comes to my reviews is writing about seasonal anime in long form. I will easily admit it. Why? Because my blog focus has changed. You’ve probably all noticed that if you’ve followed me for long enough. Newer shows get regulated to either “Last Week in Anime” or (season) (year) anime in review or at the half way point posts now, but that’s all I’ve got time for honestly. I still feel like that allows me to cover each show in more words then just writing a review whatever that means. Still, there are some traditions here that still need to be fulfilled. One of them is writing a review for each season of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure since I started this blog. That needs to be continued. I talked about Diamond is Unbreakable and JoJo in general a few times and now I need to talk about Golden Wind. If I’m still blogging when Stone Ocean appears, I’ll talk about that series too. Once again, it’s a tradition and one of many blog favorite franchises.
So let’s do it. Let’s jump into this series where people fight each other using punch ghosts named after rock stars and music albums with abilities that can control dimensions or simple abilities that are just elemental capabilities? This the third part since stands have appeared, so it’s also time to see how stands have evolved since Stardust Crusaders and Diamond is Unbreakable.
Part 5 opens up with not the most unique sort of premise, but one with a lot of intrigue and fascinating ideas. As an anchor from Part 4 to Part 5, our short friend Koichi shows up to Italy to investigate someone very interesting with all kind of unknown morality quantities attached to him. That person’s name is Giorno Giovana, Dio Brando’s son (in which Dio was the villain in Part 1 and Part 3 of JoJo due to his vampiric nature). With Giorno’s introduction, we are introduced to not only to Naples from a tourist perspective, but also Naple’s vast underground crime world. Koichi meets Giorno first at the airport and because of how niave of a foreigner Koichi is, Giorno instantaneously robs him of all he’s got. You know, except for the clothes on his back. I’m sure that Giorno would have even done that if he ever got that chance. The message is clear here. Welcome to Part 5, it’s a lot more morally ambiguous and nowhere near as comfy as Part 4.
Ok, so I went a little over the top there. Part 5 isn’t all dark and black in tone, but the question of morals is still there. Even if Giorno and the gang he finds himself are the nicer brand of gang compared to everyone else and seek to root all drugs from being sold on the streets, they are still gang members. With that status, they consider themselves still above the law even though it’s pointed out about how bad the law doesn’t apply to life on the streets in this show. Giorno Giovanna knows this and understands all of this because he is as morally ambiguous as one can get in the show based on his life in the streets. His life only improved when he saved a gang member everything got better for him. Moral ambiguity is also in his blood. Giorno is Dio’s son, which means that he has evil blood in him, while also being part Joestar so some light is in his veins too. That’s the reason Jotaro sent Koichi to Naples in the first place.
So with the introduction of Giorno, we start diving right into this gang world. One incident where he took out a minor character who wanted to do what Giorno did, whose name was Leaky Eye Luca, lead to him being chased down by a gang called Passione. While running away on a bus, Giorno was stopped by a certain Bruno Buccalierti in whether Giorno killed Leaky Eye Luca or not. What follows is a pretty fun stand battle and Giorno joining Bruno’s gang to hopefully push to the top of the Passione gang or in Giorno’s words himself, to become a gang star. Once Giorno meets Bruno’s gangs of missfits that don’t fit inside parts of the law itself, the plot sets itself off in the “go here and fight off the enemies on the way” sort of way. Of course, Giorno does kill some more people like the guy who gave Giorno a test to join the Passione gang in the first place, but that’s not as important here.
Golden Wind’s plot is rather simple. It’s full of “go to this spot and fight against the people who are trying to stop you.” There are other nuances attached to it like “rendezvous here so we know where the Crime Boss’ gold is”, “protect the boss’ daughter until you get to that point”, “we have to find out who the boss actually is”, to “this one guy you never met has a thing that will allow you to kill the impossible to kill crime boss.” So basically, it’s a tour around Italy with a lot of weirdos. Weirdos that apart of Bruno’s gang and hitmen and crime lords that try to stop Bruno’s gang from going anywhere or just plain killing them. Both worked I guess. While not many of these random gang member’s names ever completely fit into my brain, some of their relationships between duos (they are more then friends) and their stand abilities do. The unique abilities that our dorks had to face are just so strange and memorable in my mind. They go from having to increase elevation or you die of mold to bending time to killing everyone on a train that’s body temperature is too warm.
So lets discuss some actual memorable characters in Part 5. I’ve already talked about Giorno (whose stand called Golden Experience can create life out of anything), but there is Bruno that I have discussed yet. If it’s possible for a gang member to be a white knight, that’s him. He’s greatly trusted by the Naples community to solve problems for them, which he does with his stand called Sticky Fingers that opens up anything or separates body parts by creating dimensional zippers. Abbachio is an angry former cop who likes order and hates Giorno’s sense of unrestraint and has a stand that allows him to go back in time and solve crimes. Trish, the Passione crime boss’s daughter who is very needy, doesn’t find her strength until her stand, Spice Girls appears for her. It allows anything solid to be as stretchy and not break.
Then there are the somewhat less interesting characters. Fugo is the depressed genius that becomes stressed out easily and has a stand that is incredibly poisionous to everyone. Including himself. Mista is a complete dork whose stand helps him fire bullets in any direction he wants to. And then there is Narancia, the dumbest member of the group who fails at anything education, whose stand is a small jet he launches off his shoulders. All of their backstories are touching, but I sometimes wish I knew more about them (other then their group interactions) like their likes and wants. To me, they are still more their serviceable for the plot. The Passione crime boss is the most memorable character in this show. You know, sort of kind of. Mostly because this character has multiple personalities in one body. Plus a cool stand ability that allows him to look ten seconds into the future and choose what happens. It’s crazy fun and works somehow.
So with plot and character stuff at least explained, I have to admit that this show isn’t the best in regards to that sort of stuff. The writing is pretty minimal for all of these characters. Yes, they are at least established and there is character motivation for each of them becoming bolder then they were to achieve their win. That’s about it really. Or we could talk about how Giorno just gets what he wants without having to be questioned for it. Like when Dopio, the person who tested Giorno to make it to his gang, died. Nobody ever blamed for it and it was soon forgotten. Along with that fact, Giorno was also the to Bruno’s gang winning one confrontation or another because he’s the new guy. That’s fair because Part 5 is only about 8 days or so. That’s usually not time for new information to spread from gang member to gang member. Especially when gang members end up dead.
So what is good about Part 5 then? The pure spectacle and surprisingly well thought out world building. I mean, this is another part of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, so it would have to take us someplace that hasn’t been approached before and this did it. This time, we got to explore different locations in Italy, which is pretty great because it’s another bizarre adventure. Oh, I suppose there are other elements that I liked too. The endless amount of color pallets, the unique character designs with the villains and the stands they have, along with that there is also the fantastic amount of strange abilities on display. There is so much crazy going on sometimes that is somehow emotionally grounded somehow that it just works. Context doesn’t help a lot with all these sorts of situations and yet somehow, you just don’t want it to make any sense. Why? Because sometimes context doesn’t matter. At least, that’s how I feel about it.
With Part 5 now in the books and Stone Ocean hopefully appearing in the near future, I can’t help but love at least being a fan of this strange franchise and it’s so easy to do it honestly. Each part has their own cast and their own story, which makes each arc feel so special and wonderful somehow. I’m going to be here for a while because I honestly can’t wait to see what happens next. How far can Araki’s crazy ideas continue? What characters will I be able to meet next? What strange clothes will they wear now? I know this is true for so many universes, but JoJo’s universe is just so vast with infinite possibilities. That’s why I will always watch JoJo as long as more of it comes out. But where would I put part 5 in my ranking of parts I’ve seen so far? Probably in the middle for me. It’s not the best arc, because that’s part 4 and 2 for me, but it is far from the worst. Just more JoJo fun for the JoJo blood god.