Say hi to Kakyoin and Shigechi for us.
Picking up from last week, Narancia confirms that the target that Aerosmith picked up on is gone. Now that they have a minor bit of breathing room to work, Bucciarati commands Abbacchio to begin using Moody Blues’ rewind before any more of the boss’s men show up. It’s a pretty tall order, as Abbacchio is being asked to rewind to a vague point in time 15 years ago, but Bucciarati is stubbornly insistent on getting it done. Meanwhile, Risotto is on his dying breaths, begging to get a look at the boss’s face before he dies, but he ignores this and requests his stolen supply of iron back. In a last ditch effort, he points out that the shot-up chunks of his flesh are still on Aerosmith, attempting to use Metallica’s powers to redirect its attacks towards the boss. Unfortunately, King Crimson activates and dodges out of the way, sending the shots into Risotto and killing him once and for all.
The boss, struggling with the lack of iron in his blood, attempts to escape as Bucciarati and Narancia approach the scene of the battle and come across Risotto’s corpse. They believe him to be the only target there, but after observing his severed foot and the lack of burn marks, Bucciarati suspects that someone else was involved. Narancia tries to track the environment, but the abundance of local wildlife clutters his radar. Bucciarati tells him to focus in on any movement that appears like it’s trying to escape them specifically, and while this is happening, the boss is stuck among the rocks in a weakened state, gruesomely feasting on a frog to regain some iron/blood. Abbacchio is still in the middle of his rewind as he is annoyed at a group of young kids playing soccer near him. This escalates further when the kids’ ball gets stuck in a tree as Moody Blues finally approaches the target date, and he decides to just help them with the ball if it’ll get them to shut up. Meanwhile, Narancia finally picks up on the target he’s looking for which leads him to a pair of legs being dragged behind some rocks and a trail of blood. Bucciarati unzips the rock, but he’s surprised to discover a child with his mouth sewn shut and losing blood. Unfortunately, before they can fully realize what’s going on, one of the soccer playing kids approaches Abbacchio and punches right through him… using King Crimson.
The episode then cuts to Abbacchio enjoying himself at a restaurant when a cop suddenly appears and begins investigating the tables near him. Abbacchio asks about what’s happening, and the officer informs him that he’s trying to find finger prints on shards of glass connected to a robbery nearby. As he goes back and forth with the officer, Abbacchio confesses about the incident in his past that made him give up policing, feeling like he was worthless after what happened. The officer believes that he actually does carry a passionate will within him and then catches Abbacchio off-guard by addressing him by name. Unnerved by this, he tries to leave on the nearby bus, but the officer reveals that it’s on the lasts top and that he can “never return.” It becomes clear that the cop is actually Abbacchio’s partner who died as a result of the bribing incident, congratulating our hero on his dedication to his allies before fully passing away into the afterlife. When the rest of the group discovers his corpse, Narancia is in intense disbelief and emotional distress, especially since even Giorno can’t restore him back to life. While everyone is caught off-guard by this, Giorno catches sight of something in Abbacchio’s hand, and uses Gold Experience to trace the item to its original location. Ultimately, it’s revealed to be a chunk of rock from a nearby pedestal with a human face imprinted on it: Moody Blues completed its replay, leaving the boss’s face as a death mask before passing away.
And so we now bid farewell to another one of our leads, but unlike Pannacotta Fugo leaving the group of his own volition, it’s time for Abbacchio to bite the dust as hard as Kakyoin and Shigechi before him. In fact, I bring those names up because his death is framed with the exact same sort of narrative intent as those aforementioned characters. It’s a quintessential JoJo death scene in the sense that he is brutally annihilated in an instant, not being afforded any sort of cinematic glamour to say those perfect last few words to his allies before passing away. It’s a death lacking in any emotional catharsis, and to add to the similarities to past major deaths, Abbacchio is taken out by the central villain of the story, but he musters the last of his willpower to send a message to his allies about the true nature of said villain. The narrative functions of Abbacchio’s death align perfectly with what we expect in past arcs, and it’s still every bit as dramatically effective and impactful as always, especially with the visuals foreshadowing the heaviness of the situation with the shift to ominously stormy weather before he dies.
Of course, the writing does do quite a bit to distinguish his death so it’s not a strict replay (pun completely intended) of past events. To use Shigechi as a direct point of comparison, his death is framed as one of the most brutal in the series overall. Considering he was just a middle school student when Kira blew him up, things were already pretty gruesome for Shigechi, made all the more painful with the visualization of his own spirit crumbling away as he ascended into the heavens. Conversely, Abbacchio is given a more oddly serene parting scene in his last moments, being placed into a surreal afterlife dreamscape where he’s given a moment to speak with his former partner on the police force. While he doesn’t get a chance to say anything to his currently-living allies, if nothing else, at least he’s given a partial sense of personal fulfillment as he’s reassured his will towards justice was present in every step of his tenure with Bucciarati and company. The scene of him sitting on a rock bleeding out as Moody Blues crumbles into dust is gut-wrenching as he’s just waiting to die.
The visuals are cranked up to some of the most intense moments yet, such as the backgrounds and camera shots, which include the aforementioned stormy weather and the fish-eye lens shot of the skies once things cut back to the rest of our heroes. There’s some fairly gruesome imagery in parts of the episode, such as the child who gets trapped by the boss and has his lips sewn shut, or when the boss munches on a frog. This is also something of an interestingly dark visual parallel to our main hero, Giorno. The frog can be seen as something of a motif throughout the arc and these two characters, considering that Doppio uses a frog to communicate with the boss throughout the fight with Risotto, and one of Giorno’s first demonstrations of his powers involves a frog. Gold Experience took an inanimate object and imbued it with life to make a frog, while the boss consumes a frog in order to imbue himself with life.
The dramatic impact here is best sold with the discovery of Abbacchio’s body by the rest of our heroes. Much like with Fugo’s departure, Narancia ends up becoming the surprise emotional core of the scene, as he’s easily the most emotionally distressed by this. Everyone else stubbornly accepts what has just happened in a shocked stern silence, but Narancia is in complete denial, once again being driven to tears by what has just transpired. What’s really interesting about this is how this and Fugo’s departure illustrate the complicated dynamics within our team of heroes as a whole. When thinking back to the introduction of Bucciarati’s squad, what sticks out first and foremost is the surface-level sense of animosity, with Narancia being an easy punching bag for the others if he pisses them off too much. However, you then consider some of the moments of levity between them all, and it makes the emotional impact of Abbacchio’s death hit that much harder, as there’s a deep-seeded respect and admiration for each other underneath all the animosity. Well, with the boss still on the loose, and the series taking the week off with a recap episode, I’m looking forward to where things head next time.
New episodes of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind premiere every Friday and can be streamed exclusively on Crunchyroll.