by Katherine Simon Disclaimer: This review contains spoilers for this episode and previous episodes of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. Before starting this review, I want to talk about a very interesting occurrence that happened with the Crunchyroll subs for this episode. Apparently, when the episode first went up on Crunchyroll, they accidentally used the subtitles from an episode of the currently airing Fruits Basket remake instead of the proper subtitles, which led to much confusion among viewers. With Fruits Basket being a shoujo romance and Jojo being an incredibly violent shonen action series, it should come as no surprise that the contrast to what was being shown vs. what was being said lead to much hilarity. Unfortunately, Crunchyroll fixed this mistake before I had the chance to watch the episode, but if the screencaps I’ve seen on Twitter are any indication, it was a sight to behold. If you’re part of the very small minority of people who wish Vento Aureo was a shoujo romance series or you’re desperately hoping for your Giorno x Mista fanfics to become canon, Crunchyroll answered your prayers whether they meant to or not. I, for one, am glad I’m paying $7 a month for this quality content and I hope this masterpiece is preserved for generations to come. Now, onto the episode itself. As established in the last episode, Team Bucciarati has to reach higher ground in order to escape the effects of Green Day’s mold. However, that proves to be a bit difficult when Bruno and Mista find out that there’s another Stand user assisting Cioccolata. This, of course, being Secco and his Stand, Oasis, which has the ability to turn rock into mud and make its victims sink below the ground. Bruno tries to outrun Oasis, but Mista decides to take a more direct approach and go after Secco directly. While he initially struggled to land a hit on Secco due to Oasis’ ability to deflect bullets, he’s able to land a hit on him and distract him for just long enough for them to steal a car and get away. Partner Stand users in Vento Aureo are among some of the part’s most interesting antagonists, mostly for their character dynamics and the synergy of their Stands. Boy are Cioccolata and Secco an interesting pair. Unlike the brotherly dynamic of Prosciutto and Pesci or the not-so-subtle romantic relationship between Squallo and Tiziano, Cioccolata and Secco take a… different approach in their relationship. By that I mean Secco is basically Cioccolata’s weird human pet. He gets rewarded with sugar cubes for capturing footage, he gets pet like a dog, and Cioccolata even gives him orders like one too. This is only made more messed up with the accidental Fruits Basket subs, because nothing is more unsettling that hearing a guy talk to his human pet like a lovestruck anime school girl. Given that the two are the most depraved members of Passione, it makes sense for them to have such a disturbing relationship. This isn’t even going into how well the duo’s Stands compliment each other. With Green Day’s major weakness being higher levels, having Cioccolata team up with someone whose power is to make enemies sink below ground makes the ability way more threatening than it normally would be. Also, a bit of a tangent, but I love how the team Stand users in Part 5 all fit a specific genre theme with their Stand names. Prosciutto and Pesci are 60’s psychedelic rock, Squalo and Tiziano are 80’s new-wave, and Cioccolata and Secco are 90’s alt-rock. It shows just how much thought went into the music references and having them compliment their characters. One of the more interesting developments of this episode is something that was foreshadowed all the way back at the end of the first King Crimson fight. When Giorno supposedly healed Bruno’s injuries after that fight, he was essentially brought back as a walking corpse. He’s slowly starting to lose all his senses and it’s only a matter of time before his consciousness fades away as well. Bruno urges Giorno not to tell the rest of the team about his current state. Once they approach Rome, they notice that the civilians are succumbing to Green Day’s mold and being terrorized by Secco’s Oasis. They then see Cioccolata in a helicopter spreading the mold all across the city. Now it’s up to Giorno and Mista to stop the duo from not only killing their mysterious ally inside the Colosseum, but from massacring all of Rome. Even though the fight hasn’t reached its conclusion yet, it’s already shaping up to be one of the best in the entire series. Thematically, Green Day and Oasis works incredibly well as the last Stand fight before the final confrontation with Diavolo. Not only are the stakes the highest they’ve ever been in this part with the entire city of Rome at risk, but Cioccolata and Secco were also the main catalysts for La Squadra’s arc. Because they were heavily implied to be the ones behind the murder of Sorbet and Gelato, you could make the argument that they motivated the group to defect from Passione and attempt to overthrow the boss, thus setting the events of Part 5’s first half in motion. While La Squadra’s arc did technically come to a close after the Metallica fight, this fight feels more like the ultimate payoff of the group’s arc. Visually, the latter half of Vento Aureo has been absolutely phenomenal. Considering the animation issues Diamond is Unbreakable had with its later episodes, it’s great to see Vento Aureo improving its visual presentation with each passing episode, most likely due to the anime going on break a few times so David Productions could have more time to complete episodes. The fight animation continues to be great and the cinematography is especially noteworthy in this episode. This especially holds true in the scene where Bruno reveals the condition he’s in, because the way that scene is framed and the use of lighting helps make it one of the part’s most impactful moments. On the subject of great character moments, this episode had a lot of them. One highlight in particular being Trish’s conversation with Narancia inside the turtle, where she shows concern for how cold Bruno can be sometimes. Narancia responds by telling her that she should get to know Bruno a little better. This exchange does a lot to show not only how Trish is growing closer to the team by showing concern for Narancia, but also how the group’s dynamics still seem foreign to her despite becoming more acquainted with them after obtaining her Stand. Another great moment was the teamwork between Giorno and Mista towards the end of the episode, using Gold Experience to turn one of Mista’s bullets into a tree to trap the helicopter. Since the synergy between Green Day and Oasis is what makes Cioccolata and Secco so destructive, it’s cool to see Giorno and Mista counter that with the synergy of their own Stands.
Images: Crunchyroll Featured Image: Jojo Animation