by Allyson McClain
Disclaimer: This review contains spoilers for this episode and previous episodes of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.
“Moody Jazz’s Counter Attack” opens on a mysterious enemy stand who has taken Giorno hostage and is hiding within the ship. In the last episode, Giorno flung himself at the enemy stand after Bucciarati affirmed that Abbacchio’s stand can definitely solve the mystery. This was all a stunt for Giorno to show Abbacchio that he was serious and committed to Bucciarati’s gang and cause. In the process, Giorno was stabbed, deflated, and taken to who-knows-where, but not before he left his stand, Golden Experience, to help Bucciarati and Abbacchio try and solve the mystery of where the enemy was hiding. The enemy now has Mista, Giorno, Fugo, Ghirga in its clutches, alive but nowhere to be found. This is how “Moody Jazz’s Counter Attack” starts, with Bucciarati and Abbacchio trying to figure out where the enemy is, what his power is, and where their friends have gone.
A few minutes into the episode, Abbacchio’s backstory starts when he had a job as a police officer, which was something unexpected since he does not remotely act or look like a police officer. His flashbacks dissected how he had watched corruption happen in his city and realized he had become part of the cycle. After that realization, he saw a robbery happening in front of him, yet he still allowed himself to just accept that the man involved in the robbery would never be convicted of anything. He figured he couldn’t break corruption in the police force, and he started to let the criminal go when the criminal pulled out his gun. A fellow officer took the bullet for Abbacchio’s mistake and died. That officer’s death was a key factor as to why Abbacchio decided he would no longer be a cop. As a backstory, it felt routine and somewhat like a let-down at the same time. The fact that the series focused on Abbacchio’s dream rather than his big appearance change, as well as the aftermath of the officer killed, makes Abbacchio a hard character to connect with or even like. It was clearly obvious that Abbacchio’s backstory was geared toward the goal of showing why he was with Bucciarati’s gang, but failed in gaining any sort of charm or explaining what he did after he quit being an officer.
In the lyrics to the opening song, “Fighting Gold,” there are many mentions of fate, dreams, and passion, all of which already playing a big role in these beginning episodes of Vento Aureo. The fact that dreams are being brought up in backstories does raise the question of whether or not it will be a recurring theme in this part. The placement of this backstory is also curious; it is right before Abbacchio reveals his stand, and since all the other stands from Bucciarati’s crew have yet to be seen, the viewer is left wondering if this could be a trend in the show. It is a possibility based on how Vento Aureo has been structuring their episodes thus far. This could potentially make the randomness we love from the Jojo series into something of a chore, or rather a routine, which I sincerely hope does not happen. It would take some of the fun from Jojo and become a noticeable lag in the series later on.
Abbacchio’s backstory would have been more successful at increasing his likability if it had shown what happened after the incident rather than before. They used the before to explain why Abbacchio joined Bucciarati’s gang, but it could have been brought up later in the series before a critical moment and done a better job at explaining Abbacchio’s place in the gang. This sort of backstory viewpoint isn’t effective of gaining fans of Abbacchio on a personal level; sure, he has a cool stand, but a better backstory would have made him more interesting as a character while still leaving mystery as to why he joined the gang. As a fan, I think it would have been more interesting to see the aftermath of his mistake and to see him at a vulnerable place in his life. It definitely would make me feel for this character who is currently still a bit of a jerk to Giorno.
After this backstory we finally get to see Moody Jazz, who is Abbacchio’s stand, and whose ability supposedly would be able to solve the mystery and save the crew. This episode reveals that Moody Jazz is able to play with time and show recordings of the past. Trying to figure out the mystery was a real head-spinner, but somehow Bucciarati was able to accomplish this by literally cornering the enemy with an attempt to sink the ship, which was a decent option. The enemy stand’s power was definitely confusing as a viewer, because no matter how many clues they dropped, it was still difficult and even downright frustrating to figure out. That’s why it is so unbelievable that Bucciarati was able to solve it so quickly, but at the same time, you can tell Bucciarati didn’t even fully understand the enemy’s ability to a degree judging by his face when the enemy revealed himself.
The reveal was rather unexpected, and while it definitely made sense when the enemy showed itself in boat form, the way Bucciarati unraveled it is incredible to the point of being unbelievable. How Bucciarati was able to figure out the mystery was difficult to understand without some sort of visual. When everything was revealed, it all made sense, but it was just too out there as an observation made by a single person, which made the whole episode feel a bit superficial. The purpose of “Moody Jazz’s Counter Attack” was to do two things: to show off Abbacchio as a character and to build up to Moody Jazz’s reveal, both of which it did, but sadly, it did nothing beyond that.
Featured Image: Jojo Animation
‘Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Vento Aureo’ Episode 6: “Moody Jazz’s Counter Attack”
Overall, "Moody Jazz’s Counter Attack" was a decent episode filled with backstory and odd stand moves that definitely left the viewer in awe, but its flaws definitely got in the way of the show’s overall plot this time and left more to be desired.
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.