Disclaimer: This review contains spoilers for this episode and previous episodes of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.

Out of all of Vento Aureo’s arcs thus far, Narancia vs Formaggio is  easily the anime’s best. With the previous episode being an excellent  introduction to La Squadra Esecuzioni, this week’s episode wraps up the  arc almost perfectly and takes great strides in fleshing out Narancia.

Image from Crunchyroll

The episode picks up where the last one left off and continues the  Narancia vs Formaggio fight. With Narancia at a clear disadvantage, the  episode flashes back to Narancia’s origin story. After his mother died  from an eye disease when he was 10, his father began to neglect him and  he started hanging out with a group of delinquents. One of these  delinquents ended up framing Narancia for assault by convincing him to  dye his hair blonde to make him look like the actual perpetrator. After  being released from a year of reform school, his friend group wound up  ostracizing him and he developed an eye infection from an injury he  sustained during his interrogation. Left on the streets to die, he had a  fateful encounter with Fugo, who introduces him to Team Bucciarati and  gets his eye infection treated. Thankful for the group’s kind will  towards him, Narancia asks Bruno if he could join Passione. Bruno  harshly refuses, advising Narancia to go back to school and continue  living a normal life. In spite of Bruno’s warnings, he takes Polpo’s  lighter test anyway and becomes a part of Passione. 

A common theme throughout all of Vento Aureo and Jojo as  a whole is the concept of “fate” and if it can really be altered. Ever  since Part 1, Araki has been very interested in exploring themes  involving fate to the point where it literally runs in the Joestar  bloodline. Vento Aureo’s themes in particular are heavily  centered around fate, as is evident in the backstories of Team  Bucciarati. Each member had been dealt a bad card in life and wound up  joining Passione after fateful encounters during their lowest points.  For Abbacchio this was the death of his partner, for Mista it was being  accused of murder, and for Narancia it was being homeless and on the  verge of death. However, all three of these characters were able to  break free of their unfortunate fates after their encounters with  Bucciarati, which is symbolic of one of Part 5’s major themes: breaking  away from fate. 

Image from Crunchyroll

While previous and future parts are more pessimistic towards the  concept of fate by portraying it as an inescapable force (especially Stone Ocean and Steel Ball Run), Vento Aureo contrasts  with those parts by taking a more optimistic approach towards the  subject by having their characters break away from fate through their  determination. This especially holds true when looking at the lyrics for  “Fighting Gold,” which contains many references to breaking the chains  of fate and maintaining strength in the face of adversity. 

In many ways, Narancia’s backstory in particular encapsulates these  themes the best out of the three thus far. While Mista and Abbacchio  lead relatively normal lives up until their turning points, Narancia’s  life has always been kind of awful. After his mother’s death, his  already neglectful father started to treat him even worse, and his  friend group who he thought he could trust ended up betraying him and  making his life even worse. Add that with him getting the same eye  infection that killed his mom, and things aren’t really looking up for  the poor guy, which makes it all the more satisfying when he’s able to  find support in Team Bucciarati. Seeing him overcome the years of  hardship he had to endure and grow from that makes him all the more  endearing and easier to root for when you remember what he went through  up to this point. 

Narancia has become a bit of a fan-favorite character amongst anime  watchers, and after this episode, it’s not hard to see why he resonates  with so many viewers. Also fun fact, Narancia’s Japanese voice actor  also plays Izuku Midoriya in My Hero Academia, who is another  short, dark-haired teenage underdog who everyone in their fandom wants  to protect. It’s a funny coincidence that two characters who have so  much in common also share a Japanese VA.

Image from Crunchyroll

After the backstory is over, the battle between Aerosmith and Little  Feet continues, and boy is there a lot going on in this fight. The first  half of the fight has a shrunken Narancia pitted against a venomous (at  least for Narancia’s size) spider inside a glass jar. Unable to use  Aerosmith due to Tiny Feet disabling the stand, Narancia is trapped  inside the spider’s web and is yet again on the verge of death. Luckily,  he was able to shoot Aerosmith at the car’s exhaust pipe beforehand,  which causes the car to explode upon starting up and eventually engulf  the entire street in flames. Amidst the destruction, Narancia is able to  locate Formaggio and defeat him, unfortunately destroying the groceries  in the process. Narancia vs Formaggio is easily one of Vento Aureo’s best fights so far, and this climax just makes it even better. 

The creative uses of both Aerosmith and Little Feet make the battle  incredibly fun to watch, with some standout moments being Narancia’s use  of Aerosmith’s carbon dioxide locater to place a bomb in the car’s  exhaust pipe, as well as Formaggio cutting himself and using Little Feet  to shrink down in an attempt to extinguish himself with his blood. The  fight itself is also a spectacle to behold, with the right amount of  high-stakes tension and fast-paced action to keep anyone at the edge of  their seats. The only issue is that the fight’s conclusion pretty much  just amounted to Narancia burning everything down and forcing Formaggio  to show himself, which while awesome in its own right, lacked the real  strategy and thought that was present in previous fights’ conclusion. It  felt like somewhat of an anti-climactic way to end what was otherwise  an amazing fight, but at least it still looked cool, so it’s really hard  to be all that upset about it.

Images: Crunchyroll

Featured Image: Jojo Animation

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