By now, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure has become an anime institution, with the many memes, quotes, characters and “stands” being well known throughout the anime world. I must admit, I’ve never been a huge fan of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, only dipping into the series for the occasional episode. However, when the most recent iteration of the Jojo franchise was announced, I immediately fell in love with the general feel and aesthetic it had. Since then, I’ve become a lot more interested in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, in particular the now-airing part 5, Golden Wind, and part 7, Steel Ball Run. I also plan to check out the rest of the series in the coming months just to catch up on what I’ve missed of the series so far. However, because this season of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is still very much in its infancy, how can I review an anime that’s only just begun with any level of integrity, I hear you ask? Well, to answer that, I have decided that for moments like this, the well established anime institution, the 3 episode rule, is as good a way to test an anime as any. So then, for this brief trip down the otaku rabbit hole, were going to look at the first three episodes of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (Part 5) Golden Wind, and see whether it can ‘stand’ shoulder to shoulder with, or even surpass previous series, or whether this anime is doomed to remain in the shadow of its predecessors. Advanced warning – some of this review will contain some spoilers for events occurring in the first three episodes of this anime, so if you want to experience the newest chapter of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure fresh for yourself, then please consider skipping this first impression.
Story and characters
The anime opens in Italy where we are introduced to this season’s iteration of JOJO – the blonde haired wonder boy, Giorno Giovanna, son of Dio Brando, the series’ long time villain and anime meme-lord extraordinaire. We quickly discover that Giorno is the wielder of a stand, a special manifestation of the user’s power that is named either Gold Experience or Golden Wind, depending on the translation. This stand gifts life to whatever it punches, and if this “living” thing is injured, that damage is bounced back on the one who inflicted it – with often lethal results. While this stand is nowhere near as physically powerful as other stands of the series, it does have its unique applications, from making items come alive to escaping danger. It also has a unique trump card – when the stand hits a human, that person is imbued with power, however that power drives their consciousness berserk, leaving them susceptible to other attacks and can help turn the tide on a battle. The stands already shown in this anime are some incredibly powerful ones, each with their own set of advantages and disadvantages, and are often incredibly well suited to the wielder in ways I can’t even begin to describe. I can’t wait to see what other abilities and eclectic characters will be introduced in the coming episodes and how they will play a role in the tale of Giorno Giovanna.
Style and Substance
This anime isn’t one to shy away from over-the-top action set pieces, and in the first three episodes, Giorno finds himself fighting against many stand users and everyday people in some truly epic confrontations that really get your blood pumping, ready to jump into the heat of the moment. The incredible art style in combination with these action-packed moments are incredible with the fight between Giorno and Bucciarati being one that is both incredibly tense and stylish, while also being deliciously satisfying to watch reach its conclusion, especially given the implications that this fight has on the events that are to follow. The character designs of the main cast also take full advantage of Jojo’s flamboyant and Avant Garde aesthetic that it has become well known for, and incorporates many of their stand’s abilities into character designs in a way that is incredibly cool and delicately subtle, such as Giorno’s badges and Bucciarati’s zippers. The interplay between style and action is often used to incredible effect and will often leave you guessing what new abilities an enemy will pull out of their hat for a given fight before plunging in to the incredible action.
Part 5 also a few Easter eggs thrown in for long-time fans of the series. Two obvious examples are the inclusion of previous protagonist of Part 3 Stardust crusaders, Jotaro Kujo, as well as Giorno’s battle cry that just so happens to be identical to that of his father (“muda, muda, muda…”). These subtle nods to the series’ history are very well done are appreciated when they appear. I can only imagine that long-time fans will find even more on offer from this anime than what I’ve pointed out here, but know that this anime can still provide an incredible experience to people new to the franchise while still being good enough to keep long term fans hooked.
As I’ve already said, I have very little history with Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. However, after watching the first 3 episodes, I can definitely say I will be watching more of Golden Wind. I would highly recommend that you check this one out for yourselves and please keep an eye out on the otaku rabbit hole once this season wraps up, as there may just be a retrospective review in the works!
Once again guys, thanks for joining me on this short trip down the otaku rabbit hole. I hope you enjoyed this quick review and until next time, keep it weeby!
Disclaimer: All images were gathered directly from the anime and promotional material for the anime. I do not own any of the images used in this review.