Golden Wind, Part 5, whatever you want to call it, the most recent entry in the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure anime saga has come to a beautiful, poetic, and haunting end. An unforgettable trip through Italy filled with great boys, wild fashion, and even wilder stands. Whether you watched all of Parts 1-4 before or entered Golden Wind as a newcomer, I’m willing to make a bet that you weren’t disappointed. Eccentric and smart, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind continued to show off exactly what makes the series so irresistible; truly a stand-out you wouldn’t expect to have come from the same pages as more straight forward fare like Dragon Ball and My Hero Academia. You’re probably sad to see Giorno and the boys go for good but let’s say goodbye together as we all pray for the Jolyne Kujo animation announcement.
There’s gonna be some spoilers from here on.
Broadly speaking, there are two frames of reference to look at Golden Wind. One, its place in the entirety of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. Does it live up to the name while adding something to the formula? The other is looking at Golden Wind on its own merits. Aside from the very beginning and very end of the show, characters from previous parts barely make any appearances at all. It really is its own story, though one that spiritually continues a greater narrative. Unlike Part 4, which was more of an isolated town side story than a grand adventure, Golden Wind continues that Stardust Crusader tradition of being a giant adventure, although it is slightly smaller in scale than the JoJo travels to Egypt. Now the question is, did it live up?
Short answer? Yes, as a piece of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Golden Wind is everything you could ever want. You have a solid cast of six very lovable boys whose stands and quirks really do set them apart from previous casts. Giorno’s arguably the most cunning of the ‘Jojos’ yet, and teamed up with the absolutely brilliant Bucciarati, their exploits remain fresh and engaging from start to finish. Diamond Is Unbreakable got into some weird stand territory to be sure, but Golden Wind has truly upped the ante. Bucciarati’s ‘Sticky Fingers’ adds a dimensional aspect to every fight, Narancia’s is a miniature fighter plane, and Mista has sentient bullets. Their unique abilities get put through crazy and crazier tests, such as having to fight off a sentient glob of flesh that attacks anything that moves or some particularly deadly mold. Despite these weird powers, in true JoJo’s fashion there always seems to be a barrage of punches at the end of the day.
On its own? JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind is also a pretty good show. The Italian setting really does give it a different feeling than most anime, though we do have to shout out Lupin The Third Part IV for this as well. The few gang stories in anime like Banana Fish and 91 Days typically take place in New York City, so having a mafia tale in Europe really is a rarity among rarities. Of course, we’re not dealing with normal Tony Soprano gabagool eating mafia types. Golden Wind was born in the pages of Shonen Jump, so these are ultimately still teenage boys with super-powers who do a lot of fighting. That said, if you’ve seen a previous JoJo you know these fights have a lot more in common with a Fist Of The North Star or even a Death Note than your Naruto or One Piece kind of affair.
There’s horror, passion, and brotherly love in bounds. The series of episodes where the gang first takes on King Crimson are actually kind of terrifying. They’re not portrayed with quite the level of horror atmosphere of a Junji Ito story, but the show does a great job of making the viewer feel like there’s no way out. Until there is, of course. I mean, the big bad straight-up chops his daughter’s arm off when you’re first really introduced to him. That’s a power move. In a more typical shonen fashion, the gang sticks together through thick and thin, and when some of them finally do start to peel off in the end, you feel for both their absence and the pain of the surviving cast. Although in some cases, they seem to move on quickly. In spite of that, the penultimate episode before the two-part finale we see a particularly poetic extended scene with Bucciarati ascending to the afterlife and I feel its the most transcendence the series has achieved yet.
The two-episode finale aired this past weekend after the show took a few weeks off in preparation. What’s interesting about the finale episodes are that after the big bad gets his final what for, they actually mostly take place before the series really begins in. The viewer finds out that Bucciarati, Abachio, and Narancia were doomed from the start. Their entire journey was just one big race to death and despite their best efforts, there was nothing they could do. As this season of JoJo continued to incorporate elements of overall world-building and stand lore, you find out fate plays a silent but vast part in Golden Wind and theoretically what came before and what will come after. Knowing our savior Bruno Bucciarati never had a chance paints somber overtones over the finale of the show. One could even say his grand finale, which took place before the show’s finale, represented him accepting his fate that he had some inkling of having all along. There is also a bit at the end where Giorno looks just like his father, for whatever that’s worth.
All in all, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind is a solid addition to the series and a good show on its own right. I’d say it’s the most ambitious arc yet however if we’re looking at these parts as stand alone entries, I don’t think it feels quite as well rounded or complete as Diamond Is Unbreakable. Knowing JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, things are only going to get crazier from here. I hope we won’t have to wait too long for part 6, especially due to the somber note Golden Wind leaves off on.
You can watch JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind on Crunchyroll.