JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind – Episode 16 – “The Thankful Death, Part 2”

Bruno fought with all his heart… or none of it. I’m not sure how that works in this context.

Picking up from last week, Bucciarati successfully pulls Prosciutto out of the train onto its side. Pesci regains consciousness after getting knocked out by our hero, and he now has to scramble to save his partner. Unable to figure out the brakes, he throws out Beach Boy to hook onto Prosciutto, but Bucciarati is weighing them down and making it impossible to yank them in. With the help of Sex Pistols bullet number 6, Bucciarati realizes that attacks sent through Beach Boy’s line resonate energy to whoever’s hooked, leading him to attack the line and unzipping Prosciutto’s hand, causing him to fall and collide with the moving ground. Pesci notices the lighter load and proceeds to reel it in, but he slowly begins to piece together that his partner in crime may not have survived, especially once he starts getting harassed by one of the de-aging patrons of the train.

However, as the rider nears closer to him, he suddenly ages into an elderly state of being. As it turns out, Prosciutto is just barely still alive, using the last of his strength to assist Pesci as his mangled body is wedged in one of the wheel spaces. At this moment, Pesci develops a terrifying sense of resolve and resumes his battle with Bucciarati, who is now climbing on the train’s roof. As he unzips himself in an attempt to loosen Beach Boy’s hook, Pesci is able to read his actions and continuously latch onto his foe. Despite being able to zip his way back into the train, Bucciarati suddenly feels the fish hook mere centimeters away from his own heart. In a moment of quick thinking, Bucciarati aggressively punches the line, separating his body into numerous chunks and freeing his heart from the line.

Unfortunately, this moment of resolve leads to our hero slowly nearing death as his heart remains disconnected from his body. He attempts to stay calm in the midst of the situation as Pesci, losing a bit of his newfound confidence, sends the fishing line further and further into the train car as he hopes to hook onto something. Bruno takes his tactic a step further and proceeds to chop his heart in half, further running the risk of death from these circumstances. Frustrated by his lack of results, Pesci abruptly reels back the line for the time being, allowing Bucciarati the chance to restore himself… if he can muster the strength to do so. Just when it seems like our hero has run out of strength, a coincidental bit of good fortune befalls him as Pesci, in a violently panicked state, assaults the train’s controls and triggers the brakes, the resulting force of which slides Bucciarati’s body parts into place for easy recovery.

Pesci rushes out of the halted train to check on his ally, but he is suddenly confronted by our hero. Bruno takes notice of his opponent’s menacing demeanor as Prosciutto manages to give Pesci one last motivating push with his dying breath before the fight commences. Pesci manages to hook Bucciarati’s heart, but he manages to turn the line around on his opponent and breaks his neck. Suddenly, Pesci reveals that he has possession of Trish and Coco Jumbo, threaten to kill the entire crew within. Pissed beyond belief, Bucciarati unleashes a string of blows that separate Pesci’s body into chunks, killing him instantly. In the aftermath of the battle, everyone recovers as Bucciarati decides that the train is unsafe to continue travelling with Trish in their company. She herself is frustrated with the events unfolding as Bucciarati infers that she must be a Stand user herself. 20 minutes later, an unseen entity observes the results of the battle, soon revealing himself to be another member of the Hitman Team by the name of Melone, collecting some blood from the scene as a method of tracking our heroes later on.

It’s just a flesh wound.

The conclusion of this three-part conflict makes one thing perfectly clear: the importance of resolve in the heat of battle. As I mentioned before, the fight itself carries a nail-biting quantity of plot turns and sudden reversals of the power balance, and the notion of resolve helps frame the nature of these various action beats. With Prosciutto nearing death as things go on, the bulk of the action is ultimately left to the easily frazzled Pesci to take on the much more stoic and collected Bucciarati. There’s something of a mirrored characterization running through the whole battle that culminates in this episode: Bucciarati is willing to risk his own life in the most extreme sense to protect his team, while Prosciutto similarly uses his dying moments to aid Pesci in battle. The dynamic at play sees the experienced leader of a team taking on the protégé of the opposing team, with things taking a harsh turn once Pesci finds his own sense of resolve.

The visuals and color schemes constantly relay the sense of menace posed by the threat of Pesci and Beach Boy, but there’s one particular visual moment that stands out quite a bit. In the moment where Pesci realizes that Prosciutto is still alive, this thick palpable sense of confidence suddenly comes over him. His voice becomes intensely more gravel-like, and on top of that, the look on his face changes as well, making one forget the goofy look of his head as his eyes and mouth morph to be sharp and angular in appearance, almost perfectly echoing Dio Brando’s face in Phantom Blood, oddly enough.

Speaking of reversals and callbacks, the actual resolution of the battle is one of the most beautifully cathartic moments in the story thus far. Admittedly, this feels like another instance of the franchise partially repeating itself, as Bruno’s plan to stop his heart to avoid detection is a touch reminiscent of the climax of Stardust Crusaders, but I can’t deny how thick the tension is as Beach Boy’s line fishes around for its target, aided further by the surreal image of Bucciarati’s scattered body parts. This thankfully leads to a glorious bit of payback at the end, as our hero takes advantage of the weakness in Beach Boy’s mechanics to have Sticky Fingers annihilate Pesci by splitting his body apart in a similar fashion. The cherry on the sundae comes with Bucciarati signaling the end with his variation of the Ora/Dora/Muda battle motif, screaming “ARI ARI ARI ARI ARI” before culminating in an action movie hero-styled declaration of “arrivederci.” It’s an appropriate bookend to this particular battle, aided by strong direction and always excellent use of music. Things are still far from over, as the next enemy is now known to us, simply waiting for the opportunity to strike against our heroes, and I’m looking forward to seeing the next conflict get underway. As our favorite capo would say:

New episodes of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind premiere every Friday and can be streamed exclusively on Crunchyroll.

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