I think we have the Golden Wind equivalent to “Flaccid Pancake.”
The opening flashback gives us some insight into Guido MIsta’s life before Passione. He was a simple man of simple routines: he would kick back in his home while sampling wines and cheese. He would try to hit up girls for dates, and sometimes literally hit guys who talked crap about contemporary film actors in order to score some easy money. A man of such simplicity one day finds himself caught up in a terrible situation when he comes across a woman being assaulted in a car by three men. Acting on instinct, he drags one of them off of the woman and proceeds to beat him up, only for everyone to crowd together and start shooting him. Seemingly, as a miracle from up above, every single bullet misses, which frees up Mista to fire back and land every single shot.
Back in the present, Mista’s still aiming at the truck driver, but the real attacker soon makes himself known from the top of the truck. After firing a bullet into his head, his enemy soon reveals himself as Zucchero’s partner Sale. During a heated back and forth, Mista fires off a few more bullets, but Sale is able to deflect them with the power of his Stand, Kraftwerk. He struggles to reload, realizing his hand is stuck to the side of the truck, and the driver is unable to take his right foot off the pedal. The true nature of Kraftwerk’s ability is quickly unveiled as the power to stop movement and fix objects into place, explaining the bullets hovering around him. In a moment of quick thinking, Mista manages to quickly reload and fire two more rounds, and with the power of Sex Pistols, one of them nails Sale in the throat and off the roof, freeing the driver and himself from Kraftwerk’s powers.
As the driver continues up the path, Mista realizes that Sale is still alive, and in a stroke of further bad luck, he’s now stuck with 4 bullets left. Unfortunately, further down the road, Sale naturally appears, climbing his way towards the truck using stones held in place like a rock wall. The fight continues again, as Guido exhausts 3 of his bullets, and his enemy unveils another use for Kraftwerk, as he taps a bullet repeatedly until the energy builds up and fires it into Mista’s side. Down for the count, he tries to make his last bullet count, trying to aim for his open mouth. Sex Pistols successfully directs the bullet his way, but Sale willingly opens his mouth, catching it in his throat. As all seems lost, Sale prepares to launch a bullet of his own at Mista, but in the nick of time, all of Sex Pistols gather together and catch him off guard, redirecting this bullet into the hole in Sale’s head and pushing the bullet lodged there deeper into his brain, incapacitating him for good and ending the fight. The episode ends with them returning to Marina Grande as Giorno demands a ride from the truck driver, believing Mista to still be up the hill.
The reinforcement of visual and thematic motifs in a JoJo fight is an important aspect of the production of each episode, as it helps to keep the viewer impressed on top of paying attention to important visual information. In this case, the central motif of the fight is all about momentum and movement, as well as the lack of those two things. Kraftwerk’s (or Arts and Crafts, I guess… still better than Six Bullets) powers can halt momentum in a way that prevents Sale from taking lethal damage when used properly. This power is flexed fairly well throughout the episode, as he uses it both as a defense mechanism with the bullets and as a method of creating platforms for movement. This even works in reverse, as he can also build momentum in a fixed object to send it flying in that direction. This is the most clever use of Kraftwerk’s powers we get to see, especially since, given how old this story arc’s been around, it almost serves as a precursor to the sort-of momentum-driven physics mayhem present in 2017’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
The general setup of the fight keeps the importance of momentum intact as this all takes place on a moving truck fixed along a narrow road. They effectively have no choice but to go forward, which is made more unnerving when the enemy has complete control over the directionality of objects. Visually, the fight makes the perhaps obvious but effective choice of having this momentum surround the frame of each shot. Whether it’s a visual close-up of any given character or a broader shot of all the action as a whole, there are motion lines guiding the viewers’ sight in a particular direction and accentuating the, pardon the Dream Theater pun, “constant motion” of all the players involved. Additionally, the opening flashback uses some cool bullet-time effects to show off Mista’s Neo-esque invincibility and setting up a certain mindset with which to analyze the fight that follows in the present.
There’s something to be said for JoJo’s ability to juggle everything happening in a fight down to the most minor of details, especially in this fight with the amount of bullets that are shot off. They fly off in every which way and land in multiple positions: the air, Mista’s sides, and Sale’s brain, knee, and throat. This sort of action storytelling technique is something I’ve seen referred to as a “buried gun,” where a story introduces a seemingly insignificant piece of information at the start that becomes hugely important by the end. In this case, the episode starts with the bullet in Sale’s brain, and then proceeds to *constantly* fire shots back and forth between its two participants, randomly drawing attention to this or that bullet when dramatically useful. The “buried gun” in this scenario ultimately ends up as the bullet in Sale’s brain, seemingly left forgotten until the final payoff that is incredibly satisfying to watch, punctuated by the 2001 vocal music cue utilized earlier in the series.
One last point of praise to offer is with Sale’s voice actor. I don’t normally comment on Japanese voice-over because I don’t comprehend much of the language and can’t really speak with any authority as to what constitutes “good” or “bad” voice work. However, for what it’s worth, Sale’s VA does a great job of having to portray himself as a damage sponge with how many shots he has to take on. This is especially true given the *two* bullets that end up in his throat, as the second forces him to choke his way through his dialogue in a very convincing manner. This was an intense conclusion to this two-parter, and I’m looking forward to where things go from here.
New episodes of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind premiere every Friday and can be streamed exclusively on Crunchyroll.