Italian medical care in 2001 was ahead of its time.
Following the conclusion of the most recent fight, Sale and Zucchero are out of the picture, tied up in the gang’s boat. Our heroes hold up in a bathroom as they tend to Mista’s wounds when they’re suddenly approached by two custodial workers. Narancia’s short temper gets him into a fight with one of them, forcing the shorter elder one to step in and settle things. The man introduces himself as another capo of Passione, Mr. Pericolo, and he quickly requests the 10 billion lire fortune from Bucciarati. He obliges and unveils the hiding spot of the riches: conveniently stored inside a urinal in the bathroom via the power of Sticky Fingers. Once the trade is complete, Pericolo informs them of a mission that Polpo left unfinished before his passing, a mission that our heroes must now undertake: guarding the life of Trish Una, the daughter of the boss.
Pericolo quickly reveals that the other disguised custodial worker is in fact Trish herself, as she unveils her true appearance for everyone. As she changes out of her disguise, Pericolo briefs the group a bit on the background details of their mission. The boss’ notorious sense of anonymity naturally means that he has never met Trish, and vice versa. While he may have used an alias around her mother, word of the boss’ offspring has spread pretty far throughout Passione, getting the attention of those who have defected from the organization and seek to control its drug trade by any means necessary. This extends to having a hit put out on Trish, necessitating the services of Bucciarati and co. to protect her as word of the mission spreads further to dissenters of the organization. Once this is all settled, the gang departs with their new guest, setting up a hiding spot in a vineyard while they plan their next moves.
Trish starts demanding various goodies and food items, forcing the group to split up the responsibilities. Narancia is given the task of buying groceries for the group, receiving instructions to drive in a way that wards off any potential stalkers. Unfortunately, he finds himself ambushed in a car by a former Passione member named Formaggio who is intent on finding Trish’s location. As he attempts to press Narancia for information, the situation escalates to the inevitable point of combat in which he slices our hero’s face with his Stand, Little Feet. This pushes Narancia to the edge and unleashes his own Stand, Aerosmith: a toy fighter plane that bombards the car with a storm of bullets from every possible angle, capped off with a bomb dropped inside. As the smoke clears, Narancia is shocked that Formaggio has disappeared from the inside, but as he surveys the area, it’s revealed that his enemy is very much alive: Little Feet’s true ability is to shrink himself and his surroundings, glimpsed in the ending cliffhanger as Narancia subtly decreases a bit in size.
As the JoJo series has progressed, it’s went from stories solely centered on its individual heroes to more group-centric stories with well fleshed-out dynamics. This is especially important in Golden Wind with a story that centers on a seemingly never-ending network of Italian mafia agents. During the first half of the episode, the plot progression slows down a bit to once again flesh out the history of Passione, focusing more on the complications caused by defectors and internal divisions than on the nuts and bolts of its hierarchy. There’s some great characterization given to Passione as an entity through Pericolo’s exposition, painting the picture of a heavily fractured mafia network that is perhaps not as well-oiled of a machine as its boss would intend. To drive home the importance of a cohesive team further, the episode incorporates a good amount of visually inventive group reaction shots, showcasing surprise and exuberance as various hidden pieces of information come to the forefront.
Of course, as is befitting with the first third of the story, following the group shenanigans is a solo fight centering on one of our leading gangsters, Narancia. During the first half, he gets a good deal of dialogue reinforcing his incredibly stubborn personality in ways that set the stage for the battle in the back half. The visual foreshadowing at play is a nice storytelling surprise given that Narancia immediately gets into a conflict with the disguised Trish that leads to her breaking his arm and and slicing his face with a pocket blade, which is reinforced when Formaggio also slices his face later on.
Speaking of Narancia, new battles mean new Stand powers, and the fight set up to showcase our hero and villain’s abilities is certainly interesting as far as the meta-game is concerned. At first, their powers seem pretty straightforward compared to the past several battles: Ant Man-style shrinking abilities vs. the pure offense of a bomber plane. Despite this, the beginning setup is made immediately interesting by focusing more on the strategic mind games rather than a dense web of power logic. Formaggio’s ambush begins with a lengthy and intimidating conversation, unsettling Narancia and the audience by talking smack about Polpo’s death and having a dark laugh at his expense with a pretty funny cremation gag in there.
Conversely, when the shit hits the fan, Narancia’s temper goes completely off the rails, embodied best by a Stand that unleashes a dense storm of bullets throughout. The production does a great job accentuating the sheer fury of its powers, as not only is the sound mix full of just the harshest pummeling wall of sound from the gunfire, but the visuals drive the intensity further. Despite the seeming lack of necessity for anything other than Aerosmith’s guns and bombs, Narancia sees fit to furiously kick the door repeatedly, with the thick intense motion lines highlighting how intense this is, alongside several aggressive declarations of intent to kill. While his offense is admirable, it’s immediately clear that his unfocused rage will be a major weakness against a more smooth intimidating opponent, and it’ll be unique to see where this all goes next week.
New episodes of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind premiere every Friday and can be streamed exclusively on Crunchyroll.