“The Second Mission from the Boss”

by Allyson McClain

“The Second Mission from the Boss” starts with the boss giving  Bucciarati and his gang a new mission, to bring his daughter to him. The  question of why they decided to hide the key to the car somewhere  random instead of sending a helicopter or sending a password that they  could use at a specific location to discreetly to pass on the boss’s  daughter plagues me. It would have been a better idea to not hide a  physical key, especially in such a prominent place such as Pompeii.  Either this boss isn’t very smart or he just has a lot of faith in  Bucciarati, which is hard to believe considering how young Bucciarati is  compared to other Capos we’ve seen so far. This shows that that the  pacing on this is trying to move quickly, hopefully it builds up  to something worth the rush. Anyway, “The Second Mission from the Boss”  starts with Bucciarati dividing his team in to protectors and  searchers.

Image from Crunchyroll

This division of the team helps us focus in on Fugo. Fugo’s stand’s  name is Purple Haze, known in the subbed anime version as Purple Smoke,  and it is a fitting name as it is commonly associated with poison. It  can infect things around it with a virus that causes instant death upon  breaking the capsules along his body. As far as Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure  stands, this one is rather frightening. Abbacchio says that Fugo  doesn’t use Purple Haze often, probably because of the chance of  fatality. Purple Haze steps up the Jojo game and it’s essential to have a  stand like this among our main character team. It was good move to put  such a serious life threatening stand user in with Bucciarati’s gang to  drive home that Araki means business with Vento Aureo’s story. 

Purple Haze is essential to really building the atmosphere, which is  quite amazing. The feeling of danger is and can be everywhere. Each part  of Jojo gives us an atmosphere based on the relationships our main  character has with its villain(s). In Part 4: Diamond Unbreakable, there  was a feeling of lurking danger hidden underneath the peaceful facade  of a small town, which was based on the Josuke and Kira, and how the  killer lived underneath the noses of residents like Josuke. The reason  why Purple Haze is important for Vento Aureo is because of the  relationship we have between Giorno and the boss, layers and layers of  mystery that makes it hard to gauge atmosphere unlike the other parts of  Jojo where the villains were usually revealed early and evolved the  relationship. 

Since we can’t judge our villain, we cannot see where he fits in this  power struggle or even how he stands with Giorno. We can only see small  interactions that are basically checkpoints in power.  Purple Haze  comes into this with a dangerous, lethal power that we haven’t seen  since Vanilla Ice in Stardust Crusaders when Vanilla Ice was at the end  of their journey to kill Dio. Purple Haze is a key point in really  understanding how crazy the plot will become, because Araki places Purple Haze in the beginning of this story that already has a some dark forces at work. 

Image from Crunchyroll

“The Second Mission From the Boss” confirms a theory I had about  stands acting like their users with Abbacchio warning Giorno that Purple  Haze is like its master, has emotional fits of rage, and is nitpicky  when not overseen by Fugo. Something that is intriguing about this  theory is the encompassing thought of “Who is the boss?” If we start to  figure out the boss’ personality, could we perhaps start to guess the  power of his stand, if he has one? That is where the series is leading,  with us catching glimpses of the boss’ personality from stories and  backgrounds of other characters. The development that Abbacchio has  brought to the table could change the game.

Either way, this episode was engaging as Giorno, Abbacchio and Fugo  went off to Pompeii because as soon as they are there, they encounter an  enemy, an enemy that pulls Fugo into a mirror away from his crew. In  the past with Jojo, specifically during Stardust Crusaders,  we had a run in with a stand user that utilized mirrors for an attack  called Hanged Man. The enemy, J, used his stand, The Hanged Man, to  attack people on any reflective surface with no way for them to fight  back. They defeated him by realizing he traveled with light from mirror  to mirror. They forced their enemy in a corner that made him come out of  the mirror and defeated him. 

Image from Crunchyroll

The enemy stand Fugo has to fight is reminiscent of that stand in a  way but this stand Man In the Mirror pulls people into the mirror world  to fight. Once a victim is inside they unable to use their stand or  fight back against Man In the Mirror. The two fights connect, though the  roles flipped with Fugo being a highly intelligent man, compared to  Polnareff who was never the brightest of the bunch. Not to mention the  tense decision between Abbacchio and Giorno to split up. The dislike  between them is palpable and makes one curious how Giorno can get the  approval of Abbacchio. This tension is a small snippet of something we  haven’t seen since Part 2 with Jojo and Caesar. Giorno wants to save  Fugo and Abbacchio wants to find the key, so this is a decision that  definitely makes you wonder what will happen and how will Giorno try and  save Fugo when Purple Haze is running amok?

“The Second Mission from the Boss” is engaging as an episode with  good tension between characters and has confirmed that Jojo stand powers  could possibly relate to the behavior of the owner, which could help us  piece together what powers the big boss of Passione might have. It was a  good episode, and although it felt a bit slow overall, it’s still  heading in a good direction.

“Man in the Mirror and Purple Haze”

by Katherine Sinkovics

In “The Second Mission from the Boss”, the stand Man in the Mirror was introduced, proving once and for all that there is such thing as a world inside a mirror, despite what a certain cherry-loving dead boy might’ve said two parts ago.  Disrespect for the dead aside, the Illuso fight is honestly one of Part  5’s weaker fights. Not to say it’s bad or anything, because the episode  itself is still entertaining, but there are a still quite a few  noticeable writing issues that not only plague this episode, but might end up becoming problematic in later episodes.

Image from Crunchyroll

Continuing from where the previous episode left off, Team Bucciarati  is in a bit of a tough predicament. With Fugo trapped in the mirror  world, he is unable to summon Purple Haze, which is stuck in the real  world with Abbacchio and Giorno. Unable to approach the stand in fear of  contracting its fatal virus, the two debate on whether they should try  to find Fugo or abandon him in favor of the dog mosaic. Unaware of his  teammate’s current whereabouts, Abbacchio runs towards the dog mosaic  and abandons Giorno, who refuses to join Abbacchio until he’s able to  locate Fugo. On his way to the mosaic, Abbacchio finds out what’s going  on with the mirror world and has Moody Blues go inside the mirror to  fight Illuso. 

If there’s one strength the Illuso fight in the anime has, is that  it’s much less convoluted than the original manga. For anyone whose  first exposure to Vento Aureo is through the anime or recently completed  fan retranslation of the manga, the initial fan-translation of Part 5’s  manga was notoriously incompetent and soured most fans opinions of that  part until better options became available. The Jojo manga is no  stranger to sub-par fan-translations, with hardcore fans still quoting  the comically awkward Duwang translation of Diamond is Unbreakable, but Vento Aureo’s  reputation noticeably suffered the most from its shoddy translations.  While the translation was technically more competent than Duwang in  terms of basic grammar, it failed to properly elaborate on Stand  abilities in a straightforward manner, which lead to a lot of fights  being a lot more convoluted and harder to understand as a result. 

I bring this up because the Man in the Mirror fight was one of the  worst offenders and was borderline impossible to follow in the old  scans. Notice how the Crunchyroll subs were able to properly explain how  the mirror world works and how it affects the people inside it in a  straightforward manner? Well in the original translations, they don’t do  that at all and instead opt for overly-complicated explanations for how  everything works and expect the reader to understand what the heck is  going on, so everyone’s just left wondering why Purple Haze is stuck in  the real world or how the mirror world and real world interact with each  other. Keep in mind, these were the only complete translations of Vento Aureo  until fairly recently, so you can see why the West wasn’t initially too  keen on Part 5 when the only way to experience it to completion was  through a borderline incoherent Comic Sans fan translation. While the  Crunchyroll subs may have their own problems, I’m glad that it’s the  most readily available version of Vento Aureo and that people now have a more positive opinion on the part thanks to it.

Image from Crunchyroll

So with all that translation stuff out of the way, how does the fight  stand on its own? Well, it’s a very hard fight to critique because  there are a lot of interesting things going on, but there are also a few  frustrating or baffling moments that make the episode kind of  questionable. The episode plays on the whole “real world and mirror  world” dynamic in a lot of very creative ways, such as Fugo’s separation  from Purple Haze and Giorno’s use of Gold Experience to track down  Illuso. It’s really cool to see how actions in both worlds affect each  other and how they’re used to the fighters’ advantages, making the  episode really fun to watch in that regard. 

However, while the fight itself is very well executed, some of the  stuff surrounding it isn’t so great. For starters, Abbacchio’s  stubbornness when it comes to cooperating with Giorno continues to be  one of the series’ most frustrating elements. Even after Giorno has  proven himself to be just as capable as the rest of Team Bucciarati,  Abbacchio still holds a grudge against him and only sees him as just a  rookie. Granted you could chalk it up to this being the first time  they’ve cooperated on a mission, but Giorno has still been on the team  for a long enough time that Abbacchio should at least trust him a  little. This wouldn’t be as much of a problem if they used this  opportunity to have some character development between the two, but they  still came out of this relatively unchanged so it just felt like  pointless bickering for the sake of conflict.

Image from Crunchyroll

Speaking of Giorno, the way the fight wraps up is kind of lame. In  order to defeat Illuso, Giorno decides to purposely infect himself with  Purple Haze’s virus and infect Illuso through contact. While this plan  ends up working and the gang is able to defeat Illuso, there’s still the  problem that Giorno deliberately infected himself with a fatal virus  that’ll cause his insides to melt away within half a minute. During the  fight, Giorno used his stand to turn a brick into a snake in order to  track down Illuso, and because that snake was created in Purple Haze’s  smoke, it apparently developed an immunity to the virus. With this in  mind, Giorno extracts the antibodies from the snake which cures him of  Purple Haze’s virus. 

As established early on in the part, Gold Experience is an extremely  versatile stand that’s able to do a lot of crazy stuff, but it might  just be a bit too versatile. The fact that it can be useful in just  about any situation makes it a very easy cop-out for when Giorno needs  to win a tough fight. If he was able to cure himself of a quick-acting,  flesh-eating virus like Purple Haze’s just because a snake he created  happened to be close to the stand, who knows what else that stand is  capable of? Ideally they’ll use Gold Experience as part of creative  solutions to future stand battles, but it could just as easily be abused  to end fights quickly without much thought or effort.

Images: Crunchyroll

Featured Image: Jojo Animation

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