Following the events of last week, news of Polpo’s death begins to spread throughout Passione. Various gang members and capos speculate about the nature of his death, considering suicide to be a very strong possibility. As word gets out, a few members begin to focus on the fact that Polpo had a massive fortune hidden away somewhere in Italy, a fortune which supposedly total upwards of 5 billion lire (just shy of $2.95 million USD). Two members in particular, one only identified as Zucchero, suspects that they might have a chance of tracking down the treasure by tailing Polpo’s favored servant: Bruno Bucciarati.
While this is going on, Bruno and Giorno head to a pleasant Italian café to meet up with the rest of Bruno’s squad, who are certainly anything but pleasant themselves. The crew in question is as follows:
- Guido Mista, who has a massive fear of the number 4
- Narancia Ghirga, who can’t do simple multiplication
- Pannacotta Fugo, who has a noticeably short temper
- And Leone Abbacchio, who can stubbornly keep to himself
Almost immediately, the group seems distrustful of Giorno, despite Bruno’s attempts to quell their concerns. This leads to the ever-so-wonderful act of Abbacchio pissing in a tea kettle and having Giorno drink it, but he surprises them all by downing the whole cup without flinching, using Gold Experience to form a jellyfish with one of his teeth. Once the formalities are out of the way, Bruno summons them all to proceed on their next mission, heading to the docks and renting a boat for their journey.
Things seem to be going calmly at first, with the only real disruptions coming up during the trip being from their usual infighting and disruption. Once they reach a safe enough distance, Bruno explains the purpose of their trip: they’re heading to Capri so he can find Polpo’s fortune and ascend their standing within the organization. As it turns out, Polpo had trusted Bruno with hiding his fortune, which actually totals much more than everyone suspects: upwards of 10 billion lire (just shy of $6 million USD). However, Narancia suddenly disappears, having been sucked into the boat by… something unknown. As the group searches the boat, Fugo and Mista eventually disappear as well, victims of an unseen attacker. Bruno suggests that Abbacchio use his Stand power to suss out their location, but he refuses to do so out of his distrust of Giorno. In an effort to gain his trust, Giorno directly charges into danger, getting stabbed by an unseen stand and then promptly disappearing into the boat, forcing Abbacchio’s hand and making him reveal his Stand.
Mystery has always been a central part of the overall JoJo experience, with the tension of each story and battle coming from our heroes attempting to unravel the nature of villain locations, motivations, and the specifics of their unique powers. This episode feeds heavily into the nature of the story’s mysteries even as it attempts to give us some insight into its world. The main focus here is illustrating the relationships and power dynamics of the mafia that is present here. The episode opens with a literal visualization of Passione’s hierarchy, with several gangs at the bottom that each take orders from their respective capos, all of which ultimately respond to the true leader at the top, whose identity is a closely protected secret itself. Naturally, the various underlings of the mob attempt to dress inconspicuously, blending into normal society just enough to not draw any attention to themselves.
The same can’t exactly be said of Bruno’s team when we first meet them. The episode does focus on giving us a good first-hand view of their team dynamics, and this group exemplifies dysfunction. Guido Mista’s paranoia surrounding the number 4 is on full display, embodying a severe degree of tetraphobia. Abbacchio is relatively reserved by comparison, keeping his suspicions to himself and tryingnot to draw too much attention to himself. Fugo and Narancia definitely draw attention to themselves, with the former’s hair-pin trigger being well-established as he freaks out over the latter’s mathematical incompetence. Thankfully, Narancia doesn’t take crap easily from others, pulling a knife on his teammate when threatened.
Seeing how Bruno’s gang engage with and bounce off of each other is a lot of fun, as it makes you wonder how they ever manage to get anything done with all the in-fighting and bullheadedness. The trip by boat drives this further, with a particularly great interaction between Guido and Narancia. As the latter is just chilling out and jamming to some tunes on his boombox, the former is severely annoyed by this. There’s this really great moment that follows where he sabotages Narancia’s boombox by stealthily spilling Sprite on it (sorry, “Sparite”), and what makes it so funny is that there’s this very Looney Toons-esque rhythm and flow to the events as the play out. Guido asks for a drink, asks Narancia to hold his magazine, opens the can, and then sneaks the spill behind the magazine as Narancia hands it back.
While there’s some great establishing of relationships between the main characters at play, the pacing is admittedly a bit slower towards the end. The actual episode credits kick in with about 3 or so minutes left (sans the “Freek’n You” ED sequence), and it feels like it draws out the suspense a bit too much to the point where it could have just trimmed some of this to start the next episode on. That being said, there are some great visuals at play once shit hits the fan on the boat, specifically with the combination of saturated red/rust orange haze over the scene and the use of film grain effects that evoke the aesthetics of 8mm film stock, looking like a gritty ‘70s horror film. As far as any comparisons to the manga, the only major difference is the setup of Zucchero, which plays at the beginning of the episode as opposed to between the group’s meeting and setting off to sea like in the manga. This works pretty well and helps the story information flow smoothly, blending in with the explanations of Passione’s hierarchy and setting the stage for the later conflict with Bucciarati’s team. Overall, this was a solid episode that served its purpose well in giving us a preliminary look at the power dynamics of Passione, but things will really pick up next week as the latest Stand battle commences.
New episodes of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind premiere every Friday at 1:05 PM and can be streamed exclusively on Crunchyroll.