First Look: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind

Alternative titles: Vento Aureo
Manga Adaptation by David Production
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

It’s 2001 and in Italy, the most JoJo of all countries, strange JoJo shenanigans are afoot. This time our featured hero is Giorno Giovanna, local small-time crook and the illegitimate son of DIO.

Zigg’s verdict: Gold Experience

There’s been some concern among fans I know that Part 5 doesn’t provide as strong a story for the show to adapt as past installments but based on this first episode I had to say that it seemed very much business as usual to me. That is to say, this was a fabulously weird introduction which dripped with style, panache, and no small measure of complete goofiness, giving it that unique JoJo feel. If anything it seems like things are even odder than before, between Giorno changing things into frogs and butterflies, and Bruno’s bizarre obsession with licking people. There’s perhaps a little bit less visual ambition this time round, probably due to the departure of Diamond Is Unbreakable director Toshiyuki Kato and a good bunch of his surrounding staff, but Araki’s work compensates, with the move to breezy Naples once again providing a welcome shift in location and style from small-town Japan. JoJo is very much an established pillar of anime at this point, and that makes it hard to get truly hyped about, but equally David Production’s work on the series so far has been stellar and I see no reason that’s going to change here.

Gee’s verdict: B-Sides

Don’t get me wrong, new JoJo is almost always a good thing, but coming off of Part 4’s charming homegrown style, I’m not sure I’m 100% sold on Golden Wind quite yet. The change in setting is a welcome twist and the crime drama angle is also a potentially interesting narrative vector. Maybe some of this is due to the fact that Golden Wind and onward are where I reach the absolute absence of any basic knowledge of the series, and change is always scary. Still, I can’t shake the feeling that I don’t like Giorno very much based on what we’ve seen of him so far. He kinda comes off as a petty rogue in the vein of young Joseph, but without Joseph’s audacious swagger. It doesn’t help that Giorno’s Stand has maybe the most ill-defined of JoJo protagonist Stand powers we’ve seen so far. It has me worried about how the fights are going to play out if there aren’t even consistent rules to work with in the way that even Crazy Diamond possessed. Maybe some of it is also Giorno pulling a fast one on best boy Koichi and how much it is my guilty pleasure to always see Koichi turn into a stone cold motherfucker when the chips are down.

Still, what we’re starting to see of the show’s supporting cast is promising so even if Giorno himself isn’t the strongest character, there will be other characters there to pick up the slack. And as always, David Production knocks it out of the park in bringing the wild pages of Araki to life and color. At this point though, it shouldn’t be a surprise considering how much experience they’ve had doing it at this point. Perhaps that’s actually what we’re seeing here with my skepticism of Part 5. JoJo is still a ton of fun but it’s also maybe the most known quantity of the season. There will be fabulous posing, crazy fashion, and weird powers being used in even weirder ways. It’s hard for JoJo to truly surprise us anymore and maybe it’s time to readjust our expectations accordingly. That said, JoJo is still some of the best anime entertainment of its kind and I look forward to seeing where Golden Wind takes us.

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