JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind – Episode 23 – “Crush and Talking Mouth”

…wait, I think I used the “keikaku” joke before.

Picking up from last week, Giorno, suffering from the vicious attacks of Clash, is slowly pulled into the puddles surrounding them. Narancia attempts to fight the enemy Stand with Aerosmith, but Clash keeps dodging between puddles, with his bullets unintentionally spreading the water around. Squalo uses this to his advantage, dodging inside Giorno during a bullet onslaught in order to trick Narancia into attacking his ally, with Clash dragging him into the sewers. Thinks are looking up for our villains, but they’re caught off-guard when Narancia declares “they got away!” Despite the fact that Talking Head’s power should still be in effect, it appears as though our two heroes managed to work around it. Giorno had allowed himself to get shot on purpose in order to both slow down Clash’s rate of teleportation and allow Narancia to track the residue from his gunshot wounds. Aerosmith manages to track the enemy Stand down in the sewers and pumps him full of bullets, damaging Squalo in the process.

“Excuse me, but is the blonde Italian man on the menu?”

Clash warps Giorno away immediately, and Narancia gives chase, finding the two in a fish tank inside the restaurant. Clash’s teleportation proves futile, as our hero gets more precise with each bullet, creating more and more residue to track. Just as he corners the enemy in the kitchen, Narancia comes to the sudden realization that his attacks have caused a gas leak within the kitchen, and one more bullet could easily set off a massive fire. Luckily, he works around this by using Aerosmith’s propeller blades to tear through Clash and temporarily free Giorno from his grasp. The heart of the situation forces Tiziano to nullify Talking Head’s ability, allowing Narancia to warn the rest of the group to his location. When they finally regroup, Mista takes notice of Clash and aims right at him, and Narancia unwittingly tells him to fire, with Talking Head taking control long enough to sabotage the group.

Through the blaze of the resulting fire, Giorno is teleported away once again, but not before advising Narancia to chase after the Stand users directly. He goes to do so as the enemies descend from their hiding spot in an attempt to get away, with the injured Squalo’s breathing risking giving away their location. Tiziano takes note of the high volume of pedestrian activity around them thinking that it could act as solid camouflage on Aerosmith’s radar. Unfortunately, the sound of Narancia screaming “I’ve found you!” breaks through the crowd in their direction. The two of them think that Talking Head is still in effect until Narancia reveals the enemy Stand stabbed by his knife, having cut out his tongue and replacing it with a new one made from Giorno’s brooch. The absence of nearby water prevents Clash from being summoned, leavin Narancia free to decimate the enemies with Aerosmith, but Tiziano absorbs the assault to both defend his partner and create puddles of blood to summon Clash before passing away. Enraged, Squalo attacks Narancia with Clash, but our hero’s resolve is enough to muscle through the pain and have Aerosmith shoot him to death. With the enemies defeated and Giorno recovered, our heroes regroup and sail away from Venice, hoping to find an airport so they can fly to Sardegna.

The visual storytelling throughout this season of the series has been thoroughly on-point, and that’s no different throughout this battle. It’s of absolute necessity to do so given the scenario of an enemy Stand that impacts your ability to verbally communicate in a direct and honest way. The shot composition of the episode is constantly pulling in on the pained expressions of everyone’s faces, with the most prominent naturally belonging to Narancia, from his constant surprises and shock at the enemy’s strategies and his fierce intensity at key moments of battle to the pain experienced through his severed tongue. Those shots in particular can be quite gruesome, with the intense detail and level of spurting blood only being amplified further by equally intense voice work.

The theme of resolve and teamwork play heavily into this fight like past fights, with the intense bond between Tiziano and Squalo being portrayed as highly cooperative and mutually beneficial in a similar level to how our heroes work together. There’s also an interesting dichotomy going on in regards to the idea of communication: Tiziano and Squalo are close to each other and communicate in a heavily verbal fashion. The two major players on the good side, Giorno and Narancia, are put in a nearly opposite scenario: with the former constantly bleeding out from the throat/neck (as well as being victim to constant teleportation) and the latter being unable to speak properly, the two have to rely on being able to read each other’s’ various cues and body language effectively. It’s a thematically interesting way of testing their strength and ability to work well as teammates in a tense situation.

The visualizations of the background environments receive just as much care and attention in their construction as everything else. In the kitchen, there’s a persistent hazy vibe being causes by the gas leak, and at the moment it becomes ignited, the ferocious blaze that results is portrayed as so hot and intense that you could almost reach out and feel the heat. During the eventual confrontation between Narancia and the enemy duo, the visuals filter themselves in a way that places the focus on the combatants, leaving the public as golden brown silhouettes seemingly unaware of what the three are engaged in. In addition to highlighting the tense nature of the conflict, it becomes almost hilarious once the fight is over and the public suddenly takes notice of the bloody bodies on the ground, as if none of this really caught their attention until they died. With the enemies now disposed of and our heroes now momentarily in the clear, the journey to Sardegna continues next week.

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

Leave a Reply