This Doppio guy would make a great ad-libber for Soundcloud rap jams.
The episode opens in the summer of 1965 inside of a women’s prison where we see a prisoner suddenly giving birth. Everyone is surprised since the woman’s been imprisoned for 2 years (with her husband dying right before she was arrested), but the baby is ultimately born. The prison staff decide to send the baby to the mother’s home of Sardegna, where’s he’s placed into the care of a local priest. As the boy grows up, he develops a local reputation for being something of a coward, but he does find some happiness in a date with a local woman and a newfound desire to become a sailor. However, one night, as the priest is performing some maintenance in one of the church’s rooms, he finds a woman’s body buried under the floor, alive but in a vegetative state. Unbeknownst to him, the boy sneaks up behind him and murders him with his pickaxe, setting fire to the church which ultimately comes to consume the entire surrounding town.
Moving forward to the coastal Sardegna city of Olbia, we see the boy, Doppio, now fully grown but still as awkward and cowardly as before. He gets caught off-guard by a fortune teller who’s desperate to learn about him, much to Doppio’s chagrin. However, the fortune teller begins obsessively rattling off several eyebrow-raising details as their conversation goes on: Doppio has a history with Sardegna, he has some kind of double life, and most suspiciously, he’s looking for a daughter he abandoned 15 years ago. When the fortune teller grabs Doppio’s palm, something snaps within him. He pins him up against the alley wall, swelling to a muscular physique twice his size, and speaking with a deep intimidating voice. He asks where to find the last surviving member of the Hitman Team, Risotto Nero, and is informed that he is indeed within the city. It’s then that a familiar face makes itself known, as Doppio murders the fortune teller… with King Crimson! He emerges from the alley turning back to normal as he calls a taxi to travel to Costa Smeralda.
Doppio finds the building in Costa Smeralda he’s looking for, but the taxi driver gets unusually pissy and demands more money from him based on the envelope he has with him. Pushed to his breaking point, Doppio attacks the driver in a fit of rage before hearing a “ringing” sound. He answers a “call” from the boss through the taxi’s front hood ornament, and the boss reveals that Doppio is being stalked by Risotto, noticing him off in the distance. Risotto then sneaks up behind him and frightens Doppio into hurting himself, demanding to see the photo in the aforementioned envelope. While he is briefly able to hide the photo out of sight, Risotto confirms that Doppio is a Stand user based on his response to the presence of, unexpectedly, Narancia’s Aerosmith. As Doppio’s killer instinct flicks on, he suddenly starts coughing up blood… as well as razor blades and metal spikes. As the enemy dodges out of sight, he gets another call from the boss, informing him that he needs to get close to Risotto in order to help finish him off, and the episode ends by revealing that Doppio has a portion of King Crimson’s power, which will hopefully prove useful in the ensuing battle.
We’ve now finally gotten to the point where we get to learn something about our main villain of the arc… sort of. See, in a manner similar to Yoshikage Kira in part 4, this episode is dedicated entirely to not just showing off the villain, but showing part of the story from their own perspective, instead of seeing how the heroes perceive him. However, there’s a noticeable distinction to be made here between how these two villains are presented. While Kira’s introduction told us pretty much everything we needed to know about the guy, the story surrounding the boss is still shrouded in some level of mystery. It’s made quite clear throughout that Doppio is just a split personality for the boss himself, acting as a version of him that can wander about in public without running the risk of being seen by any members of Passione. He can be spurned into triggering the boss’s killer instincts if pushed too far by the situation, so it’s clear that the boss is always in control even when Doppio is out and about. That being said, there’s still plenty that’s shrouded in shadows about him, such as his proper non-Doppio appearance or to what extent the Doppio persona is aware of his relationship to the boss. Even the full extent of his backstory is obscured, independent of the fact that we see a sizable amount of his upbringing.
We’re given a solid amount of characterization for the meek and meager Doppio, which includes a fair amount of the expected JoJo oddities. The most explicit of these is his unusual method of communicating with the boss himself. As we see, he rather constantly makes ringing noises to himself (providing another great onomatopoeic moment for the series), and his attention is led to grabbing random objects to establish a communication line with the boss. He obviously displays a strong sense of loyalty to the boss, even with his own innate cowardice, but who knows how much of this is related to the shared body. The animation does a great job of conveying the splits in persona with Doppio’s face. He has this constant surprised, worried expression on his face akin to a frightened child, but when he gets angry and the boss takes over, his facial expression contorts into a creepy form as he goes fully cross-eyed. There’s also a phenomenal recreation of one of the manga’s more memorable panels in which the face of King Crimson appears on Doppio’s forehead, and it is a stunningly beautiful shot, one that accurately portrays the dichotomy between the two.
All of this works to create a solid build-up to the encounter at Costa Smeralda, which sees a confluence of mysteries all layering on top of each other. In addition to everything surrounding Doppio and the coastal building, there’s also the more pressing matter of Risotto Nero’s pursuit. As the last surviving member of the Hitman Team, he’s got a lot of skin in the game, so he cannot afford to fail his mission at this point. He immediately confounds Doppio by appearing out of nowhere and being able to fade out of view, and in addition to this, the mystery of Doppio vomiting metal objects is a particularly deadly ability, one whose full extent is not understood… at least not yet, anyway. Look forward to finding out what that is in the next review… although you probably already saw the subsequent episodes by this point.
New episodes of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind premiere every Friday and can be streamed exclusively on Crunchyroll.