By Allyson McClain
Disclaimer: This review contains spoilers for this episode and previous episodes of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.
We continue the story of episode three at the start of episode four. An older man had died while trying to help Giorno Giovanna relight the lighter that was given to him as a test by Polpo in order to join Bucciarati’s gang. When the lighter had been extinguished and relit, it brought forth Polpo’s stand named Black Sabbath. Black Sabbath then killed the old man, stating that he had seen the lighter reignite, thus the man was subjected to Black Sabbath’s test of whether or not he could handle the arrow. The arrow in Black Sabbath’s possession is a recognizable symbol for those who have watched Jojo as it is how some stand user’s were created. It is a major part of the story and was rumored to be destroyed back in Diamond Unbreakable (Part 4), so the fact that Black Sabbath has the arrow is alarming and offers context into why there are so many stand users. It is a curious thing to wonder how a stand is in possession of it as part of its attack, but it is definitely not out of the realm of possibility.
In “Joining the Gang,” Black Sabbath has now seen Giorno and now the blonde has become his new target of the arrow’s test. The arrow that will either kill you or make you a stand user. To this date, in the anime, there has been no record as to what would happen if a stand user was struck by the arrow. We can only assume that since they have a stand that they would probably die from the arrow. So, it is imperative that Giorno not be struck by Black Sabbath’s attack. Our main character does not know that though, as the episode begins and Giorno struggles to fight the strong long-distance stand with Golden Experience. In this fight we can see Giorno struggle because of Black Sabbath’s strength far surpassing Golden Experience.
It is in that crucial moment that Giorno discovers its critical weakness: the sun. Black Sabbath seems to be unable to reach Giorno in the light. Enter Koichi, which once again makes us wonder why he is even randomly able to run into Giorno so often but hey “Stand users attract one another” is the saying of the show and it holds true now. Koichi begins to explain, after being almost killed by Black Sabbath moving through shadows, about the arrow and about what type of stand Polpo’s is. What he probably is referencing to is in Part 4 with Koichi’s personal experience against Kira’s long-distance stand Sheer Heart Attack, which was another part of Kira’s stand Killer Queen. Stands can be classified so far into 2 different types, long distance and short distance. Long distance stands are much more robotic with the ability to work far away from their user, they are also less likely to cause damage to their user. Often long distance stands have simplistic orders they follow without independent thought, while short distance are opposite of this. They must be close to their user, they are considered more powerful and flexible with orders as well as more likely to kill their user if they die.
The one thing that is curious is that if we compare Sheer Heart Attack from Part Three of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure to Black Sabbath and the way they affect the user, we can see some huge differences. First of all, Koichi used his stand Echoes Act 3 on both stands. Somehow Sheer Heart Attack’s effect on his user was very noticeable when we were shown how Kira’s whole arm felt Koichi’s attack, but Polpo obviously felt nothing in terms of pain or even noticed there was a fight as we can see at the end of the episode. Both stands had simple commands, Sheer Heart Attack’s being that he was to attack anything with high temperatures and explode while Black Sabbath was meant to stab anyone who saw the lighter relight. Among both stands, the reason Polpo’s was probably weaker was because of his limitations of only being able to attack while he was in a shadowed area. This episode showcased that long-distance stands can still be very powerful and not hurt the user if they are destroyed. That opens up a whole can of worms on the how we view stands compared to other stands we have seen from Part 3 and up.
Giorno was able to overcome Black Sabbath by using his stand Golden Experience to lure Polpo’s stand into shadows that he could manipulate with Golden Experience. Polpo’s stand showed us new capabilities of a stand user because while a long-distance stand such as Sheer Heart Attack wasn’t smart, Black Sabbath was able to be flexible enough to travel through the shadow of a bird which is insanely smart for a long range stand. Potentially this showcases that this season may start to show us the diversity of stands and more incite on Giorno’s seemingly odd personality. Giorno being kind to Koichi but turning in an instant showcases how even the slightest hint of maliciousness seems to set off Giorno Giovanna. In the beginning he seemed more kind and mature, while being misunderstood, but he now shows similarity to Josuke with potentially an explosive personality at the smallest mistake in personality.
Featured Image: Jojo Animation
‘Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Vento Aureo’ Episode 4: “Joining the Gang”
Overall, “Joining the Gang” was a good way to hook people into the show, showing off some interesting traits of stands, while also making Giorno’s personality more clear to us.
Allyson McClain is a visual communications major and the president of JAS (the Japanese Animation Society). She has watched a large variety of cartoons, anime, and movies in her lifetime and often compares them when reviewing. She is an honest individual when it comes to reviews and is always glad to have discussions about them.