In the coastal city of Naples, corruption is teeming—the police blatantly conspire with outlaws, drugs run rampant around the youth, and the mafia governs the streets with an iron fist. However, various fateful encounters will soon occur. Enter Giorno Giovanna, a 15-year-old boy with an eccentric connection to the Joestar family, who makes a living out of part-time jobs and pickpocketing. Furthermore, he is gifted with the unexplained Stand ability to give and create life—growing plants from the ground and turning inanimate objects into live animals, an ability he has dubbed "Gold Experience." Fascinated by the might of local gangsters, Giorno has dreamed of rising up in their ranks and becoming a "Gang-Star," a feat made possible by his encounter with Bruno Buccellati, a member of the Passione gang with his own sense of justice. JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Ougon no Kaze follows the endeavors of Giorno after joining Bruno's team while working under Passione, fending off other gangsters and secretly plotting to overthrow their mysterious boss. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
As I sat and finished watching the 39-episode saga of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind, I had a small tear in my eye. It’s aftermath result of this extraordinary adventure. Crafted from the mind of Hirohiko Araki, he managed to bring his ideas to life with brilliance, charisma, and beauty. For how this show turned out in the end, I can easily say that the 5th part of the iconic Jojo franchise is one to welcome with open arms.
A journey into the Jojo franchise may take some time for newer viewers to get used to. Luckily at this point, any fan jumping into Golden Wind should be familiar with the Jojo experience. David Productions managed to bring their A-game into the show with fluid choreography and stylistic action scenes. Almost every fight feels unique with the mind games, Stand abilities, and occasional trash talk. Dialogues added in makes the fight feel engaging because let’s face it, who wants to watch a dragged out battle filled with nonsense? Some shows with similar genres fall for this mistake but Golden Wind makes the best of it. Plus, you can be sure to experience some awesome battle music such as Bruno’s theme song in the anime.
With another 39 episodes, you may wonder the overall direction of the story. Jojo has been known to be faithful to its fans when it comes to adaptation standards. The previous Jojo anime series followed a formula of adapting each arc at a careful pace. Golden Wind compresses approximately 155 chapters to work with and the roadmap seemed like it would be difficult to fit into 39 episodes. In fact, this show actually inserted some anime original scenes to flesh out the overall tone of the story. Mind you, accomplishing this feat is not easy as it would require omitting some content. Thankfully, the show managed to stay intact. Some of the more prominent battles (such as against King Crimson) makes a huge impact to show how dangerous the antagonists can be while making the protagonists looks strong at the same time. Speaking of which, who are the gang of characters joining this season?
One of the most prominent characters is none other than the Stand user of Gold Experience, Giorno Givanna. Now I’m not going to lie but compared to other previous Jojo protagonists, he stands out more as a lesser heroic guy. With his tactical mind and colder personality, Giorno can take some time to get used to at first. Comparing to other Jojo characters, he is also much more serious and thus have lesser time to make jokes in the show. Luckily, this season still has a lot of room for entertainment with its balanced cast. The most important one consists of the group led by Bruno Bucciatari. This group consists of mainly outcasts and in general, characters who wants to bring a purpose to their lives. Their main mission is to protect a young woman named Trish Una. The group itself consists of a unique character cast of various personalities. What really sells their characters is how each of them are carefully developed with their background stories. Their presence in the show got me invested into each of them for not only their roles but how they became who they are in the present storyline. This list includes the Leone Abbacchio, Guido Mista, and even the childish Narancia Ghirga. Even Bruno’s right-hand man, Pannacotta Fugo becomes an important figure despite being a side character. Trish’s character also develops throughout the story that sees her growing up from a spoiled brat to a courageous companion in the group. At the end of the day, it’s easy to pick out at least one or two characters you can relate to or find likable.
Similar to previous Jojo series, Golden Wind has a diverse range of antagonists and groups. The Italian mafia gang known as “Passione” is easily the most dominate group led by Diavolo. With a large amount of operatives and secrecy, Passione tests the limits of how powerful a group really can be in the Jojo franchise. The boss Diavolo himself is also a mysterious character whose secrecy makes him one of the most intriguing characters in the show. As the owner of one of the most dangerous Stands, he’s no pushover and in fact becomes the biggest threat to the main characters. Other prominent members of Passione such as Polpo, Zucchero, and Luca brings unique problems in each of their arcs. While it may feel redundant at first with the familiar “monster of the week” adventure formula, Golden Wind makes the most of its villains to make them as memorable as possible. This also extends to the assassins from La Squad Esecuzoni as each arc feel like an adventurous thriller with the antagonists trying to kill Trish. However, we shouldn’t also declare the protagonists in the show as caped heroes. Honestly, it’s easy to see the main protagonists as anti-heroes. If we take a look at some of their actions, they include killing if it means getting the job done. This is a take on a darker version of the previous Jojo protagonists but also brings in a refreshing side of the show. Whether you agree with their actions or not, it stands firm that Golden Wind contains some questionable content. I’m just glad the anime adapted the content for what it is and didn’t fall victim to dreaded censorship.
Golden Wind hits the ball out of the park with its technical elements. The art style looks fantastic with its character details. In particular, the Stands in this show are all decorated with unique characteristics that makes them stand out. The camera angles of the battles scenes also makes every fight feel impactful. Even the close up frames and character expressions are captured with importance. Director Yasuhiro Kimura makes a strong impression with its art direction and deserves praise. Similarly, the music in the show carries a great amount of charisma with its OST. Fighting Gold became one of my favorite OP songs of the year for its fighting lyrics and choreography. Keeping in pace with its other bizarre elements, “Uragirimono no Requiem” also hits the mark with visual dynamics.
After weeks and weeks of bizarre adventure, we’ve finally arrived at the end and it’s been an unforgettable journey. Following Giorno and his comrades together is more than just a golden experience. Having read the manga, I had high expectations for this adaptation and it left me with no less than being impressed. This show may be over but the Jojo universe is still open for exploration. And when the anime adaptation of Stone Ocean inevitably gets announced someday, we can relive another bizarre adventure again.