Naples, 2001. Giorno Giovanna is a small-time crook with one big dream—to become a "Gang-Star." No ordinary thief, Giorno has a connection to the remarkable Joestar bloodline, and possesses a Stand named Gold Experience. His dream starts to become reality when he meets Bruno Buccellati, a mobster from the gang Passione and a fellow Stand user himself. Realizing that they share similar ideals, and both disagree with the gang's harmful affairs, Giorno reveals his goal to Bruno: with Bruno's help, he will reform Passione by overthrowing the boss.
As Giorno becomes a member of Passione, and is inducted into Bruno's squad, he discovers that it is no simple gang; its numbers are teeming with Stand users. Now confronted by other squads of differing loyalties and unpredictable caliber, their goal to change the gang from the inside out will be a tough one. Taking on these adversaries, Giorno attempts to rise through the ranks and inch closer to the boss, a man who is shrouded in mystery.
I find it to be impossible that fans of anime have never heard of Hirohiko Araki’s “JoJo's Bizarre Adventures” at least somewhere on the internet. From the “To Be Continued...” meme, or the exaggerated and flamboyant poses, or Joseph Joestar’s hilarious Engrish, JoJo has climbed its way back to the top after being once considered an old series for hipsters. Today, it is easily one of the most popular franchises in anime again. It’s the most consistently excellent long-running action show of the last five years, possessing so much creativity and personality and weirdness that it puts most other shows to shame. Also, it is
notoriously unique for being inventive, crazy, thrilling, and fun, stringing together some of the most intriguing and bizarre parts of experiencing and enjoying anime as a medium.
In this season (Part 5) Vento Aureo, or Golden Wind, is a part that by many are often overlooked and considered bad. As an anime-only watcher, who reads the source of each part after completing its adaptation, I have often heard the same tune sung from manga readers. But is it the case though? First thing’s first—can you watch Golden Wind without watching any previous seasons? I’d say, yes, although not recommended. Characters from previous installments make an appearance, you will miss a lot of lore and how the series has evolved, and a few other things. But most importantly, the fact that Giorno Giovanna (the main protagonist) is Dio Brando’s son—who has the body of Jonathan Joestar, a previous main protagonist within the series. Though newcomers to the series may be somewhat confused at first, Golden Wind is still a great introduction and can stand on its own. With that out of the way, what exactly is this season about? Well, to put it bluntly, it’s about Giorno trying to become a “Gang-Star”.
"I Giorno Giovanna, have a dream." The bizarre adventure of Golden Wind begins with these words. To do so, he must become the head of an Italian mafia, which means taking down the current “Boss”. From that point, we witness Giorno and trying to rise in rank. The gang in question, Passione, has become quite an issue, dealing drugs, murdering innocent people, and committing the horrid crimes they’d sworn not to. Many members before our protagonists have attempted to overthrow the mysterious boss, but all who attempted to discover his identity died soon after. Regardless of this, Giorno teams up with an upcoming Capo within the gang in Bruno Buccellati, and they decide they’re going to be the ones to travel across Italy to reveal his identity. Bruno leads a group of rogue gang members against the Boss which consists of (including Giorno): Former Cop Leone Abbachio, the impatient Pannacotta Fugo, easy-going Guido Mista, the loyal Narancia Ghirga, and fellow newcomer in Trish Una.
If you’ve watched the previous two seasons you should know how Hirohiko Araki does his thing, and it doesn’t change here. It’s a “Monster of the Week” formula that has a continuity instead of being just different and separate stories—what prevents this formula becoming stale is that it manages to maintain its wonderfully propulsive narrative. And when it comes to those “monsters”—stand users, I felt Araki did a fantastic job. Golden Wind, at least in my opinion, has one of the most unique stand abilities in JoJo’s universe. An ability to give life to inorganic objects, an ability to create zippers that in turn lead to a different dimension where you can hide things or yourself, or manipulation of kinetic vectors. It’s all there, and better than ever, especially the Boss’s stand. In terms of pacing, I felt it was consistent in being not too fast and not too slow, in saying that, there are brief periods where you do feel it’s taking its time going to the next arc but Golden Wind rewards the audience for its patience.
Then you have things like the naming conventions applied to the characters in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure are unparalleled. Many of the characters and Stands are named after the bands, musicians, albums, and songs the author listens to. The namesakes Robert E.O. Speedwagon, Vanilla Ice, Boyz II Men, and Pearl Jam all hilariously are present. In Golden Wind, you have names like Golden Experience, Notorious B.I.G., Metallica, The Moody Blues, Aerosmith, and Sex Pistols, etc. The names are not just there for reference and show, the names also play into the characters looks, personality or mostly the traits and abilities of their stands, which is kind of ingenious of Araki to incorporate into his works. Take Buccellati's Sticky Fingers in this instance. It is named after "The Rolling Stones" album of the same name. The album "Sticky Fingers" was particularly known for having a functional zipper in the sleeve for its vinyl release. Sticky Fingers the Stand creating zippers is a reference to this. Bucciarati licking Giorno's face early in the series (to see if he was lying) is a possible reference to the Rolling Stones logo featuring a tongue.
While this number of characters can sometimes make the story feel a bit disjointed when the spotlight switches from one to another, the hilarious and charming dialogue between the cast more than makes up for it—especially the comedic beats. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is well known for its strange and enticing characters, and Golden Wind features some of the best in the series. As each protagonist belongs to a gang, they all have unusual priorities and atypical values. For example, the hardened mobster, Buccellati, despises his gang’s drug dealings to the point of rebellion. On the other hand, Abbacchio, a former cop, believes he can do a lot more good for his community as a criminal. This leads to some characters being deeply charming and valuable and plays into great characterization and chemistry. I found nearly every other character to be as deep and complex as a person in real life. Each character has their motivations, backstories, and relationships. Giorno being almost accidentally raised by an Italian gangster settled all the pieces of his prior behavior into place and resulted in a character who felt both sympathetically vulnerable and also convincingly tethered to Naples specifically, echoing the emotional strength of Morioh as a location.
When it comes to the fights, this season soars. I think this plays more into how Golden Wind is a lot more focused on the main characters dynamics, moral choices, gaining trust, puzzle-solving and the actual context of the fights: the story, the stakes, the surprises, the reversals, the thematic argument (i.e. good vs. evil), the testing of a character's resolve. Most importantly, Golden Wind shows how the result of the highly intense and thrilling battles will affect the characters and the story world. I love how it thrusts me into the thick of the action in such a way where I can experience the fight through a character. Theirs is a certain enemy in the story that turned out to be a classic puzzle Stand, where the trick came not in overpowering it or outwitting it, but discovering the limitations of its narrow but extremely dangerous powers. This episode combined that puzzle-solving appeal with more effective cribbing from classic horror media; the meaty hand-creature scuttling around the plane felt like a scene right out of "The Thing".
David Production continues with the fantastic adaptation of the JoJo franchise—Every character is clad in some real avant-garde looks, creating a unique fashion display. Each character proudly dresses in form-fitting clothing with either bright colors, intricate patterns, or completely unnecessary holes. The main antagonist (Boss) even adorns himself in an elaborate mesh body stocking and a pair of studded jeans. The color palettes and the absolute highest of European high fashion combined with the dynamic, moving animation create a gorgeous visual presentation that truly brings Araki’s original works to life on screen. Its intricate character designs meld with the classic JoJo color-shifting creates dynamic compositions of its own. The music featured alongside the animation sets a dramatic tone for the series. The voice acting is a huge strength and every voice actor played their part in making these characters feel as real as possible, matching each personality and trait of their given character, making them more charismatic in the heat of battle, and more relatable in the emotional parts of the story. Both Openings are great, I prefer the first one "Fighting Gold" by Coda. And the second Ending in "Modern Crusaders" by Enigma is excellent—which both have become my personal favorites of the franchise to date.
Guys, it’s fucking JoJo. If you’re familiar with the franchise, you probably understand why it ranks so highly, and if you’re not, you are truly missing out. The thing is, it's not an anime that can be encapsulated through a simple synopsis or summary, you kind of just have to sit down and give it a go. This season has truly proven itself to be a masterpiece of animation, a gorgeously unique piece of work that creates a Golden Experience for newcomers and old fans alike. Golden Wind feels like it’s cribbing the strongest elements from every JoJo arc so far—the propulsive narrative and unique environmental focus of Battle Tendency, the ensemble road trip appeal of Stardust Crusaders, the flexible Stands and engaging characters of Diamond. JoJo is back, and the world is brighter for it. All there is to do now is wait for the next installment which is Part 6, "Stone Ocean". To be continued...
I am a fan of JOJO, a big one at that, but this part, i.e. part 5 is kind of overrated. Now, before you guys unleash the 7-page Muda on me, let me address this first - overrated does not mean bad, it just means that while the show is good, people put it on a pedestal reserved for the greats. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started.
JOJO Part 5 aka “Golden (Experience) Wind” aka “How does King Crimson work?” aka “Araki flexes on you with his awesome taste in music” aka “Girono’s piss drinking adventure” is the fifth instalment
in the Jojo franchise. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is one of the few shounen that does something which most other shounen don’t, that is, it’s actually manages to be interesting. This season we follow Giorno Giovanna as he has a dream in which he pledges to become a gangster and kill the reigning mafia boss. The plot is as simple as it gets but the way it is crafted is what makes Jojo an amazing series.
The characters are colourful and flamboyant as has been the case with previous instalments of the franchise and each character brings something new to the table. There are many characters that have been introduced thus far in the series and no two characters feel the same. They all have their unique personalities and powers. That being said, many of the characters in this season are quite boring. Comparing the characters in part 5 to those in part 4 or part 2 makes me feel like there’s something missing with the characters in this part.
The characters in part 4, along with being awfully stylish and making me self-conscious of my own image, had their own distinct personalities and received immense characterisation which helped solidify their place in the overall narrative, but Golden Wind decides to not have as much depth to the characters and instead gives them some kind of unique trait, which, when applied to minor antagonists works to some extent but, when the same strategy is used for main characters, it falls flat.
There are 6 main characters this time, viz Girono, Buccellati, Mista, Narancia, Abbacchio and Fugo. Girono is a great main character and so is Buccellati. Both are well characterised and I really enjoyed their backstory, I really wish I could say the same for the rest of the characters. Mista is a character who religiously believes that every person in this world has a destiny set out for him and a man cannot deny his destiny no matter how hard he tries. He believes this because he was sent to prison and then got out. That is all it takes for him to follow his religion of fate.
Abbacchio is a dick to Girono for some reason and only trusts Buccellati because he has “lost faith in humanity” due to him, with his own volition, receiving a bribe from a criminal which ultimately resulted in the death of his partner. Can you find the logic in here, because I surely can’t.
Fugo and Narancia can be described as 150 IQ and 50 IQ respectively and that basically sums up their character. Any attempt to flesh out their characters via backstories felt cheesy and banal. Instead, I would’ve preferred if they’d developed throughout the show’s run. I am admittedly shitting on the characters but I can’t deny the fact that watching these characters’ dynamics with the plot and each other was a Golden experience (heh, see what I did there?). Anyway, I don’t hate the characters, but I don’t LOVE them either; I just wish more care was put into the characters.
The main antagonist, Divolo, is great. His end goal is to completely erase his existence so that no one can trace him, but he acts in pretty questionable way in order to achieve his target. Questionable not in the sense, “Oh boy, that was a pretty evil thing to do”, no not that, but questionable in the sense, “wtf is he doing?”. The next few lines have to be spoilers in order for me to explain my statement.
He wants to kill his daughter Trish with his own hands in order to protect his identity as she could be a mean to uncover his past, and thus he cannot entrust this job to anyone. So, Girono and the gang take his daughter to a secluded island and are ordered to take the girl into an abandoned building accompanied by a bodyguard. Why didn’t he call his daughter in by herself? I’m pointing this out because this is the crux of the second half of the show. Had Buccellati not gone with Trish, he never would’ve found out about the true nature of Diavolo and the second half would’ve been about 50 episodes long or maybe would’ve never happened.
--------------------------------------------Spoilers End ------------------------------------------------
Now, let’s get to the two main appeal of Jojo which is the fights and the stands. Araki really let out his creative genius in this part as almost all the stands are unique and have a very specific set of abilities which give rise to some great fights in the series. The stands in this part are my favourite as even though there are a ton of characters in this part who posses a stand, no two have the same abilities or even remotely feel the same. Girono has a stand that can give anything life, Bucellatti has a stand that can create zippers on any material, Abbacchio’s stand can replay any past scene etc. There are many great stands in this part; I can’t explain them all due to spoilers but trust me when I say that the stands are absolutely majestic and better than they’ve ever been, at least when viewed through a creative perspective.
Now, the fights. The thing I like about fights, especially stand battles, in Jojo is that no matter how outlandish or cheesy they get, they are never boring. Battles are won through wit and shrewdness, not with “nakama” power and boy are there some great fights in this part. Since every new minor villain our heroes encounter has a different stand than the last, the Jo-Bros have to come up with new tactics every time in order to ensure their victory. No two villains are defeated in the same way and the stakes are higher than ever.
All the fights in this part are great…, which is what I would say if they were. The stands themselves are great and utilised to almost their full potential, but the same is not true for the users’ brain. I could feel myself being irritated during some fights especially the one in which Narancia’s tongue was replaced with a stand and he was spewing nonsense. Instead of realising that they’re under an enemy attack, the protagonists start an argument among themselves. This shit goes on for two whole episodes until the enemy is finally defeated.
I said that the stands in this part are my favourite, but there is a stand, an important one at that, which is just ridiculously overpowered and admittedly was an asspull. Gold Experience Requiem is Girono’s Gold Experience evolved and it comes out of a shell like any other non-mammal baby and that stand’s abilities are more broken than the shell it came out of. Before good old Gold Experience evolves, the protagonists are being overpowered, then literally 2 seconds after the appearance of Gold Experience Requiem they have the upper hand. I might be nitpicking, but it did take away from the overall experience of the boss fight.
The art and animation are godly. Even though I prefer Diamond is Unbreakable’s art style, the art of this part has gradually grown up on me. The background art is fantastic and the whole show is vivid and vibrant. Every colour palette chosen for a particular scene is probably the best it could’ve gotten.
The music is amazing as well. The first opening, Fighting Gold, is just pure epicness and the character themes are pure perfection. The sound that the stands make while doing stand stuff is well suited for each stand. The voice acting is great and there isn’t an insipid moment.
What I like about JOJO is the fact that it does not try to be something that it’s not. The characters adopt the Robin-hood ideology but it’s not forced upon the viewer as is the case with many other anime. The characters simply are the way they are, they follow their own philosophies and are not brought down by or question the ideals or morals of others. Most of the fights are great, the stands are amazing and even though the characters do fall flat at times, it’s still an enjoyable ride and has probably the best villain you’ll see this year. All in all, Golden Wind is another great addition to an already great franchise.
This fifth instalment of JoJo tells, of a group of boys in search of justice and a world that, thanks to them and their heroism, will begin to change for the better. Boys who live, sacrifice themselves, fight against an apparently incontrovertible destiny, bringing with them an resolute spirit, a golden wind that blows away the injustices from the world.
The review may contain spoilers.
The story is set in Italy, precisely in Naples, a city where crime unleashed and the state is absent most of the time. Giovanna Giorno, raised by a childless mother and a violent father, suffers all kinds of bullying. Everything changes when
the boy one day saves the life of a "mafioso" and the latter, to thank the young man, solves all the problems giorno has found in his life. His personal dream is to become the head of a criminal organization called "Passione". The Golden Wind story is more intense than that of Diamond is unbreakable, which had generally more relaxed atmospheres due to the fact that it showed a lot of the daily life of the characters in their city and developed the plot in a very slow way.
Giorno, thanks to his stand, "Gold Experience" (which transforms inanimate objects, into animates) and the usual group that is created, he has to face so many adventures, fights, travels. Compared to the third and fourth series, in "Vento Aureo", Araki finally inserts a supporting storyline and the characters are all characterized. These characters, designed in a weird way, with these ambiguous poses, with a strange look, with flashy clothes, made-up and dressed up in an almost feminine way. The bizarre atmosphere, typical of the entire franchise, here is amplified even more.
In addition to Giorno, the group of supporting characters composed of social outcasts, who like the protagonist in the mafia have found a secure foothold. We have Bruno Bucciarati, leader of this group, who despite not having a powerful Stand, with Stincky Finger manages to invent versatile strategies, so much so that many times with his charisma, he even obscures the protagonist. I think it's worth pointing out the obvious, that, Abbacchio's death was legitimately the saddest, in all of JoJo. I cried! I legitimately cried!
The fights between stands is always more ingenious and their duration grows more and more, so much so that we will have to see more than one episode for a single opponent. Unfortunately, not all the fights are clear in their performance and also some stands such as "Gold Experience", at a certain point it is no longer clear what powers that stand have. The final clash with the boss suffers a lot from this flaw, so much so as to be indecipherable and left mostly to the intuition of the viewer given the lack of explanations.
JoJo's fifth instalment does not disappoint, proving to be the best of the three series with stand powers. The protagonist is one of the best Jojo, who unfortunately was not understood and for this reason, he is very ill-treated by fans, but his character is consistent, with the experiences of life lived. If you liked the previous instalments, then "Vento Aureo" is a must.
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.