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

Now that the Vento Aureo anime is over halfway through its  39-episode run (not including the two recap episodes) and the main  antagonist has finally made his first appearance, the series’ turning  point has officially begun and the stakes are only getting higher from  this point on. Episode 21 of Vento Aureo does an excellent job establishing that things are about to get real while also showing some development in its cast.

Image from Crunchyroll

After learning of the boss’s true intentions of wanting to murder  Trish, Bruno rushes to try and save her. However, he is ambushed by the  boss’ Stand, King Crimson, and is left in critical condition. Meanwhile,  on the boat, Narancia and Fugo are fighting over chocolate and Fugo  asks Giorno to hand him a bottle of water. With no explanation, Fugo  suddenly ends up with a bottle of water in his hand and Narancia has a  mouthful of chocolate. The gang starts to suspect that something is  wrong and Giorno attempts to contact Bruno to warn him about the boss,  which is right when the encounter with King Crimson happens.

Luckily, Bruno is able to use Sticky Fingers to zip up his wounds and  go after the boss again, but not before it uses its time erasing  ability to attack Bruno. Just as the boss is preparing to finish his  daughter off, the broach planted on him is revealed to be a cloned  version of the turtle and he is briefly transported inside the turtle,  allowing Bruno and Trish time to escape. However, the boss predicted  this attack and strikes Bruno again, but Bruno is able to escape  promptly afterward and meets up with Giorno, who heals his wounds and  essentially saves him from death.

A common complaint/in-joke within the Jojo fandom is that  King Crimson’s ability to erase time is very difficult to understand,  and for very good reason. Aside from the original fan translation not  doing a good job at explaining stand abilities in general, King  Crimson’s ability is very difficult to convey in manga format and lends  itself better to being shown in motion. The anime isn’t the first time  King Crimson has been shown in motion, since Vento Aureo did have a  Japan-exclusive game adaptation for the PlayStation 2 and King Crimson’s  user makes an appearance in the PlayStation 3 fighting games All Star Battle and Eyes of Heaven  as part of their playable rosters, which does help give people a better  visual representation of what his ability does. However, there are  still a few logistical implications that King Crimson brings up that  begin to complicate things even in motion, such as how he’s technically  “erasing” time that has yet to exist, or if he’s only erasing the  memories of what happened instead of actually erasing it.

Image from Crunchyroll

This stuff does get cleared up a little bit in later arcs but to keep  things simple for now, just imagine The World’s ability of freezing  time from Stardust Crusaders, but instead of time continuing where it  left off, it moves on as if those five seconds have actually passed and  nobody remembers what happened in that time. It’s among the same lines  as playing an online game with a laggy connection or cutting a few  frames out of an animation. It really isn’t the easiest ability to  explain and my explanation isn’t perfect, but the stand actually does  make a bit of sense once you’re able to wrap your head around some of  the messier implications. As far as the stand’s implementation in the  anime goes, it’s surprisingly very well done and the fight between King  Crimson and Bruno is extremely intense, especially with Bucciarati being  on the verge of death several times in this episode.

After escaping from the church, Bruno explains what happened to the  team, telling them that he’s betrayed the boss for rescuing Trish. Bruno  invites anyone who wants to go against the boss to come with him on the  boat or stay behind if they want to leave the team. Everyone except for  Fugo agrees to join Team Bucciarati. Narancia initially hesitates to  join Bruno, but after noticing Trish’s injuries and how she was betrayed  by her father much like how he was betrayed by the people close to him,  he decides to join the team and leaves Fugo behind.

For many people, the departure of Fugo from the team seems like a bit  of a letdown, considering he only had one fight and didn’t leave much  of an impact on Vento Aureo’s story, though this could be  explained by Hirohiko Araki having to change the story at the last  minute. Originally, Fugo was supposed to be a spy for the boss and was  going to betray everyone near the climax, but due to issues in Araki’s  personal life, he didn’t feel comfortable going through with that plot  point and decided to have Fugo simply leave the team of his own volition  instead. This also explains why betrayal is such a prevalent theme in  this episode and Narancia’s extreme empathy towards Trish. While this  would account for why Purple Haze feels like it was more suited towards  being a villain stand and why Fugo wasn’t all too prevalent in Vento Aureo’s narrative, it still stings that he wasn’t able to do more in the story before his departure.

Image from Crunchyroll

Some fans have accused Fugo of selfishly betraying his team, but it’s  completely understandable why he didn’t want to say in fear of putting  his life at further risk. Keep in mind that the boss’ stand is extremely  powerful, so opposing him seems like a death wish in Fugo’s mind. Plus,  Bucciarati gave him a choice to stay behind and nobody villainized him  for it, so it’s not like he was going behind anyone’s back by leaving.  For those who are still disappointed by Vento Aureo’s lack of Fugo as a prominent character, I’d highly recommend reading the light novel spin-off Purple Haze Feedback,  which deals with the aftermath of Fugo leaving Team Bucciarati and is  considered by many to be one of the best Jojo spinoffs by far, though  I’d recommend waiting for the anime to finish before seeking it out due  to it taking place after the events of Vento Aureo. Fugo’s  backstory in the anime was actually partly derived from that light novel  despite it being considered non-canon, which should speak volumes for  its quality.

One of the best aspects about this episode and the arc as a whole is  how well it develops Trish by drawing parallels to her and the rest of  the gang. While Trish did technically have a more privileged upbringing  than most of the team, she was still dragged into this mess by a father  that actively wants her dead. Up until the moments before the King  Crimson fight, Trish is unable to find anyone in Team Bucciarati to  confide in due to not being able to relate with them and believing that  they only saw her as a means to an end.

This changes when Trish finally opens up to Bruno about her feelings  as he attempts to comfort her before meeting the boss. This is further  punctuated with Narancia proclaiming that Trish’s injuries are his and  that they’re the same, showing that she has more in common with the gang  than initially thought, encouraging her to start opening up to the rest  of the team from this point on. It would’ve been easy to write Trish as  the token girl who constantly needs to be protected from harm, but  these past few episodes have done an excellent job at giving her depth  beyond being a plot device and cementing her as Jojo’s best written  female character bar-none.

Images: Crunchyroll

Featured Image: Jojo Animation

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