by Katherine Sinkovics
Disclaimer: This episode contains spoilers for this episode and previous episodes of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
Ever since the Diamond is Unbreakable finale aired near the end of 2016, fans of the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure anime have been anxiously waiting for David Productions’ animated adaptation of the manga’s fifth part, Vento Aureo. After nearly two years of waiting, fans have finally been graced with the latest animated Jojo part and, no pun intended, it’s off to a golden start.
Vento Aureo takes place in 2001, two years after the events of Diamond is Unbreakable, and focuses on Giorno Giovanna, the illegitimate son of former series antagonist Dio Brando. After Jotaro Kujo learns about the potential existence of Dio’s offspring, he sends Koichi Hirose to Naples, Italy to search for a boy named Haruno Shiobana as part of the Speedwagon Foundation’s research. After arriving at the airport and having his luggage stolen by Giorno, Koichi finds out that Giorno is a Stand user, and that he might be the Haruno Shiobana he was looking for after overhearing how Giorno’s hair color suddenly changed from black to blonde a few years ago due to what could be presumed to be the awakening of his stand.
One thing I really liked about the episode is how it added a few anime exclusive scenes at the beginning to flesh out Giorno’s character and the setting. Unlike in the manga where it just starts with Koichi at the airport, the show takes a few minutes beforehand to establish Giorno as a genuinely kind-hearted person despite his life as a thief, with him returning a woman’s stolen purse and buying an ice cream cone for a hungry child (albeit with money he took from the woman’s purse using his Stand, but hey, it’s the thought that counts). These beginning scenes also showcase the waves of crime that are plaguing Naples, namely theft, drug deals, and corrupt police officers, establishing that this part is going to be a crime drama and a departure from the lighter slice-of-life antics of Part 4.
Along with introducing Giorno, the first episode also showcases his Stand, Gold Experience, which has the ability to temporarily turn any inanimate object into a living organism that can reflect damage back at an enemy when attacked. One of the strongest aspects of ‘Jojo’ is the uniqueness and utility of each Stand’s ability, and Gold Experience is no exception. The power to turn anything into a living organism is an incredibly cool ability that lends itself well for a ton of creative uses, and this episode does a great job at introducing what the Stand is capable of. Some notable highlights include turning Koichi’s luggage into a frog to prevent him from reclaiming it and later using that same frog to deflect a strike from Leaky-Eyed Luca’s shovel. It’s nothing too crazy since this is only the first episode, but it’s still a great example of the Stand’s practical use and combat potential.
Aesthetically, Vento Aureo might be the best-looking part so far, combining the best aspects of Stardust Crusaders’ and Diamond is Unbreakable’s art direction while staying true to the original manga’s art style. Due to the first episode focusing more on exposition rather than heavy amounts of action, we don’t know how good the show’s fight scenes are going to look yet so I can’t really say much for how everything is going to look in motion. All I can say is that I hope the show’s animation quality remains consistent and doesn’t suffer from the quality drops of some of DiU’s later episodes, lest we get a repeat of the Killer Queen incident.
The episode ended on an incredibly strong note, not only giving us an animated version of the infamous and highly exploitable “taste of a liar” scene, but also introducing major character Bruno Bucciarati and setting up Vento Aureo’s first major stand battle between him and Giorno. Bruno’s stand isn’t shown off much, but we do know that it has the ability to create zippers on any surface, which he uses to torture Giorno and interrogate him about the death of Leaky-Eyed Luca. The way Bruno accomplishes this is incredibly unsettling, with him putting the remains of Luca’s corpse in Giorno’s mouth, threatening to put the bus’s fire extinguisher inside Giorno’s neck, killing him instantly. The episode does a really good job making the viewer creeped out by Bruno and establishing him as a threatening opponent.
Featured Image: Jojo Animation
'Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Vento Aureo' Episode 1: "Gold Experience"
“Gold Experience” is an excellent start to the long-awaited fifth part of the ‘Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure’ anime. Despite most of the episode being expository, it manages to stay entertaining with its great protagonist and intense cliffhanger ending.