The episode opens on a flashback to Leone Abbacchio’s past prior to joining Passione. He took up a job as a police officer after graduating high school, but his sense of justice was quickly challenged and eroded by the public’s innate distrust of cops. One day, he encountered a criminal that he planned on arresting, but his jaded views made him accept a bribe to let him go. Later, he got called in to investigate a robbery where he encountered the same criminal from earlier. He attempts to coerce Leone into letting him go, but after a tense amount of stalling, Leone’s partner jumps in to help, firing at the criminal who also fires back at him, leaving the officer dead and the criminal severely injured. The fallout from the incident sees Abbacchio fired from the police force, leaving him jobless and getting drunk in alleys, until he is visited one night by Bruno Bucciarati.
Back in the present, Bruno and Leone are left alone to figure out the mystery of their opponent’s Stand powers. Tracing the fly Giorno made out of Narancia’s shoe, it’s still flying around the boat to show that their teammates are still alive, but even after heavy use of Sticky Fingers, the two cannot pinpoint their exact location. After observing inside the ship for a few moments, Abbacchio decides to finally unleash the power of his own Stand: Moody Blues. Using its ability, it creates a living replica of Narancia in order to trace his movements across the last 5 minutes. The Narancia clone starts off from him jamming tunes on his boombox, and continues into his disappearance, giving Abbacchio and Bruno a chance to see what happened. They piece together that the enemy Stand pierces its enemies and deflates them like a balloon, allowing them to kidnap and hide them in tough-to-reach spots. However, continued unzipping of the boat’s structure still reveals nothing about the enemy’s location. In an effort to drag the enemy out into view, Abbacchio decides to confront the unseen enemy, but he is quickly attacked and taken into the unknown area.
Bruno is now left on his own in the fight, with matters not being helped as the mysterious enemy aggressively taunts him and demands to know the location of Polpo’s massive fortune. One particular tease about the gulls surrounding the boat gives Bruno an idea, and he proceeds to viciously punch holes in the bottom of the boat, causing it to take on a massive amount of water. This tactic successfully forces the enemy out of hiding, revealing it to be Zucchero from last week. As it turns out, Zucchero used his Stand power, Soft Machine, to deflate another boat and affix it to the one rented by the group, hiding the attacked teammates in the thin layer between the two boats. Bruno delivers a satisfying punch to Zucchero’s face, knocking his entire head clean off his body and ending the fight, rescuing the rest of his team and thanking Abbacchio for his work.
The morality of mafia work and its various gray areas is a recurring theme in the story of Golden Wind, and Abbacchio’s backstory shows this off from the other side of the dichotomy. In a way, he’s pitched as coming from an opposite point from Giorno: Leone’s conflicted views come from having worked as a cop and being unable to deliver a strong sense of justice. This runs counter to Giorno’s admiration of Italian mobsters as deliverers of true justice and cleansers of criminal filth, which adds a layer of depth to Leone’s mistrust of Giorno. This is also reflected heavily in his color scheme, as his outfit and the visual tones of his flashback scenes are heavily coated in an incredibly dark, nearly blackened shade of purple which adds to his general demeanor.
The JoJo series is consistently great at crafting fights that consistently keep the tension as heightened as possible, never letting things slack even during moments of seemingly certain victory. The whole of the Soft Machine fight, especially in this episode, manages to bring that tension even as it keeps the enemy and his Stand obscured from our heroes. Usually a Stand encounter will have either one or both of them in sight, but the entire episode is spent trying to find either of them, which leads to some fantastically nerve-shattering moments like Zucchero taunting Bruno, which is framed through the menacing imagery of the fly as if he’s talking through it to intimidate him (this also bears a bit of a resemblance to the Tower of Gray encounter in Stardust Crusaders). The overlapping of character faces and uncomfortable color schemes drives home a heavily sinister nature to the encounter, which is successfully maintained even when one stops to realize that Soft Machine has what could be considered a power that’s useless in any circumstance other than on a boat alone at sea.
Speaking of Stand powers, we finally get to see Abbacchio’s Stand take action, and Moody Blues gets some really great treatment in the adaptation. His introduction is given a lot more visual flair, with this kind of green visual echo effect as it’s first summoned. The visuals continue to emphasize the time replay with a heavy amount of visual static akin to a busted TV signal. The sound design incorporates an equal amount of audio flickering and tape rewinding, calling to mind the idea of old telephone answering machines or a VHS tape. It goes to show just how far the production side of things can and often will go to give an impactful sense of just what a Stand’s powers are capable of.
Overall, the Zucchero fight was incredibly well done in these past two episodes. The production was incredibly on point, the back-and-forth of the battle logic was consistently engaging, and the fight as a whole never let the tension go slack at any point. It also continues to make some smart decisions with the arrangement of flashbacks, as the glimpses of Abbacchio’s backstory originally don’t occur until about 20+ chapters from this point in manga, but it works much better here from a purely dramatic standpoint. With Zucchero now taken care of, the crew can get back to treasure hunting next week.
New episodes of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind premiere every Friday at 1:05 PM and can be streamed exclusively on Crunchyroll.