by Allyson McClain
Disclaimer: This review contains spoilers for this episode and previous episodes of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.
“Express Train To Florence” is a literal expression of what Bucciarati and his gang do when the episode starts: they get on a train to Florence. But there were so many more title options they could have chosen for this episode that would have been better suited for Araki’s inner rock fan nature. They could have chosen a title like “Crazy Train” or “Railway To Hell.” These are just some fun examples all things considered but they would have suited this episode far better than the practical “Express Train To Florence.” It’s a minor thing to notice, but with the appearance of more rock star stand names showing up in Part 5, it felt more appropriate.
Disappointing name choice aside, this episode has something every Jojo fan has become fond of in a way. This episode includes a “travel fight,” where a Jojo (or a character of a gang that includes a Jojo) is engaged with an enemy on some sort of vehicle or in a chase. The crazy travel scenes are a personal favorite of mine, because they truly bring out the best in the Jojo franchise. This might be because we always see something interesting from the villain and how they go about attacking Jojo’s crew. Civilians getting into Jojo fights happens in probably one outta every four fights, so seeing how the villain, or singular enemy, treats the civilains says a lot about their motivation and character. Even more minor villains showcase traits and attributes in how they treat normal people with their powers.
Prosciutto’s stand, Grateful Dead (also named Thankful Death in the English subbed version), reminds me of Bane from the D.C Universe with the way Grateful Dead’s face design is, but that’s beside the point. From what we have seen in “Express Train To Florence,” Grateful Dead seems to have an ability to age people. This aging process able to be hindered by ice or moreover cooler temperature changes and potentially reversible. Something odd that is noticable in this episode, like when they showcased what Prosciutto’s done to the passengers of the train, was that so far all of them seem dead. You mean, to tell me, that all these train passengers didn’t have cool drinks on this train? That’s just not feasible. There are probably tons of people who take drinks with them everywhere, older people who bring drinks and stay hydrated. Perhaps they’re not as cold as being straight from the fridge, but it’s crazy to think no one brought a drink. Either way, someone who is not aging as fast, if there is anyone alive, should be freaking out unless Grateful Dead’s power gets stronger the closer you are.
And if that is the case, Prosciutto walking on the train, passing through every car to search for Bucciarati’s gang makes it more plausible for this to be the result. If Grateful Dead does get stronger by proximity to its target, Mista is gonna have a hard time beating Prosciutto with only two ice cubes. From a viewer standpoint, when the stand Grateful Dead came in this episode, it felt like there was a lot of loopholes with the missing information of what is happening with the passengers on the chain. Either we aren’t able to understand his whole power yet or there is just inconsistencies in this stand user’s ability. This episode was engaging because of the newer characters and their stands making an appearance, but it felt a bit underloved in the planning department for the plot.
The episode’s animation was nothing too different than the normal production value and while plot is indeed moving, it feels too slow in this episode. They got on the train, figured out the turtle is a hideout and has assessed the basics of the enemy’s abilities. While this seems to be a lot, it really doesn’t feel like much has happened overall in the general plot. It instead feels that this is a stagnating moment meant to be stalling for time. Unless something goes wrong with the turtle hideout and they have to abandon the train, this plotline doesn’t seem too interesting. The fight itself seems super disadvantaged on Mista’s side with his tiny two ice cubes for the next episode, so at least there is interest in how they will proceed and in how Grateful Dead fights against an enemy.
Featured Image: Jojo Animation
'Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Vento Aureo' Episode 14: “Express Train To Florence”
“Express Train To Florence” was a slower episode meant to build up to a fight between Mista and Prosciutto, but one that seems rather dull in comparison to what will be the actual match. It’s a solid episode, but not very well directed for the viewer’s enjoyment.
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.