Review: ‘Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Vento Aureo’ Episode 31: “Green Day and Oasis, Part 2”
Disclaimer: This review contains spoilers for this episode and previous episodes of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.
It wouldn’t be too much of an overstatement to say that the Green Day and Oasis fight is one of the most important fights of the series. While most fights in this part have lasted no more than two episodes, we’re technically on the third episode of this arc and it isn’t even near over yet. Not only that, but the stakes of this fight are much higher than anything else we’ve seen up to this point, with the entire city of Rome at risk. Oh, and did I mention that this episode features one of the most iconic scenes in the Jojo manga finally animated? Because that’s yet another monumental aspect of this episode.
Continuing where the previous episode left off, Giorno and Mista pursue Cioccolata at the top of a building while Bruno stays behind to fend off Secco. Thanks to Bruno’s corpse-like state, he’s unable to contract Green Day’s mold and is able to flee from Secco by getting to lower ground. Meanwhile, Giorno and Mista get to the top of the tower and Mista sends Sex Pistols out to investigate the helicopter. They notice that the helicopter is suspiciously empty, and that’s when Cioccolata suddenly ambushes most of the Pistols, heavily damaging Mista and leaving the timid No. 5 to accompany Giorno. The two climb up to the helicopter to save the rest of Sex Pistols, which is when Giorno notices some leftover medical supplies. Having his body purposefully dismembered and using Green Day’s mold to control the severed limbs, Cioccolata makes his surprise attack on Giorno and forces him outside the now-moving helicopter. Thankfully, with the help of No. 5, Giorno is able to turn one of the bullets back into a tree branch to break his fall, then back into a bullet to pierce through Cioccolata’s head.
Though it seems like Cioccolata should be dead, Giorno suspects that he might still be alive and tells him that if he wants to be spared, he should stay still. After Giorno is finished monologuing, Cioccolata quits playing dead and makes his left arm start choking Mista, declaring his victory. However, it appears Cioccolata has spoken too soon, as the bullet that pierced his head has now turned into a beetle, which is eating away at his brain. Giorno explains that he stalled on purpose so the bullet could fully develop into the beetle. He then proceeds to give Cioccolata the longest beatdown in Jojo history, lasting roughly forty seconds in the anime. For those unfamiliar with the source material, the beatdown lasted for seven whole pages in the manga, by far beating out the two and a half page beatdown from Stardust Crusaders’ Steely Dan fight and making this the longest beatdown in Shonen Jump history.
For many Jojo fans, one of the most anticipated moments in the anime adaptation was seeing the seven-page beatdown finally animated, since it’s up there with the torture dance as one of the part’s most iconic moments. Just like the torture dance, David Production delivered when it came to bringing this scene to life. From the wonderful animation to the delivery of the barrage of “mudas” and “wrys” from Giorno’s voice actor, Kensho Ono, the scene was absolutely wonderful and showed how much love the team poured into adapting the source material. Fun fact about the production of this episode: six different animators were credited for working on this scene alone. If that doesn’t show how dedicated they were to animating this moment properly, I don’t know what does. It’s a wonderfully crafted scene and a fitting end for one of the most despicable villains in Vento Aureo, who fittingly ended up in the trash after his demise.
While Cioccolata may now be yesterday’s trash, Secco is still very much alive and ready to be dealt with. Right before his death, Cioccolata sent a message to his human pet motivating him to continue fighting Bruno. Right as the two are getting ready to continue their brawl, it’s revealed that the mysterious ally in the Colosseum has been watching Team Bucciarati from afar. We then discover that the ally’s identity is none other than Jean Pierre Polnareff, a character many fans of the series are familiar with from Stardust Crusaders.
If I’m being honest, the introduction of Polnareff reminds me of how little the rest of the series impacted Vento Aureo up to this point. Compared to previous parts, Vento Aureohasn’t had a lot of involvement from characters of previous parts. Outside of Giorno’s connections to Dio and Koichi playing a minor role in the earlier episodes, barely any characters from previous parts have made an appearance or even been referenced, making Vento Aureo feel pretty isolated from the rest of the series. While I do think this part’s cast stands on its own, there’s still a part of me that wishes Part 5 had more involvement from older characters. One of the biggest issues I have with Vento Aureo is how Koichi completely disappeared from the plot after just a few episodes. It felt like he was just a plot device to introduce Giorno and connect him with the rest of the Joestar lineage, which is disappointing because he was one of my favorite Diamond is Unbreakable characters and I would’ve loved to have seen him play a bigger role in the story. That being said, I’m incredibly glad that Polnareff is back. Of the remaining Stardust Crusaders, Polnareff is the only one that hasn’t been heard from since the end of Part 3, so getting to see what he’s been up to after helping Joseph and Jotaro defeat Dio will definitely be a treat. It’s going to be interesting to learn how Stardust Crusaders’ main comic relief character got involved with the Italian mafia, seeing that he’s now in a wheelchair and supposedly had a run-in with Diavolo.
This episode is incredibly heavy on action, especially compared to the previous few episodes which have mostly been focused on characterization and backstory. There aren’t very many big character or story moments in this episode, since the main focus is the Giorno vs Cioccolata fight. No fluff, no breaks between the fight for dialogue, just non-stop action between Giorno and Cioccolata for most of the episode. Though the lack of any real narrative meat might make this episode seem a bit shallow compared to the rest, sometimes you have to take a break from the heavy plot stuff just to watch a fun fight unfold. While I’m emotionally invested in the story of a group of emotionally damaged young adults trying to break away from their traumatic pasts and work towards a better life, sometimes I just wanna watch the teenage son of a flamboyant evil vampire pummel a psychopathic clown for 40 seconds straight. On that front, I’d say the episode more than delivers in terms of entertainment value.
While I might sound like a broken record at this point for praising the show’s animation, it simply can’t be overstated just how wonderful this show has been looking lately, especially in this episode. Aside from the obvious seven-page “muda” scene, the other action scenes in this episode have some really fluid animation and look phenomenal overall. The facial animation on Secco is another aspect I have to give props to, because man, is he incredibly expressive in this episode. Though he might be a creepy human pet, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find him oddly adorable. Only Jojo can make me find a weird dog-man cute and disturbing at the same time, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Featured Image: Jojo Animation
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