Golden Wind (aka Ougon no Kaze; aka Vento Aureo) serves as the fifth installment to Hirohiko Araki’s epic manga, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Taking place in Italy in 2001, Giorno Giovanna, the teenage son of Dio Brando, a former villain to the first and third story arc of the franchise, is now the hero. No longer wanting to tolerate the drugs that plague his community, he decides to join Passione, the local mafia, to work his way to the top (or as he calls it, a Gang-Star) and make his town a better place. After meeting Bucciarati, a sub-lieutenant of Passione, he finds his way in and sees that are more people like him, who possess a Stand, a power that only few individuals can possess with the right genes, or be deemed worthy by a special arrow. With about 13 episodes in upon the writing of this article, we thought it would be a good opportunity to share why you NEED to watch JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind.
If there’s any reason to recommend not just Golden Wind but JoJo as whole, it is definitely the action. Though mainstream anime like Dragon Ball tends to rely on being explosive and intense, JoJo is more akin to Yuu Yuu Hakusho, which relies more on tactics, but offers its own distinguishing flavor that you have to see for yourself. Thanks to the inclusion of Stands, the action is uniquely creative and distinctively exciting. Each featured character has their own unique Stand and every time they’re on the field, they offer something different and fresh for their fights. When you think one thing is about to happen, something just comes out of left-field to keep you at the edge of your seat.
Amazing Ensemble Cast of Characters
Though Giorno is the main character, through Golden Wind (and the rest of JoJo), you get an ensemble cast of characters that stand (no pun intended) out in their own way. In addition to Giorno, you have Bucciarati, who can be crazy, but deep down inside, he’s genuinely a caring young man with a unique sense of charisma. Narancia, who is (comically) severely undereducated and illiterate, makes it up with his street smarts. Fugo has a hate for the establishment for (shocking and understandable) reasons we don’t wish to spoil, so he can be distrusting of others. Mista is a chill dude you could hang out with, and has a badass name for a Stand, Sex Pistols. Abbacchio, the oldest of the group, is an ex-cop who hated the corruption with his job and just figured -if you can’t beat them, join them. Since the rest of the group are teenagers, he has a hard time relating to them, but also shows an undying loyalty to Bucciarati. In addition to our heroes, you also get some unique and wacky villains. Like our heroes, some of the villains also have Stands in order to face them on equal and exciting grounds, and they try every dirty trick you can think of in order to win.
To put Golden Wind and JoJo in a nutshell, if you’ve never tripped on acid, JoJo is the closest thing you’re going to get. Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, once said that one of the most significant events in his life was tripping on acid, and if JoJo is anything like it, he may be right. By no means are we condoning or encouraging drug use, but when you watch this anime, you’re getting a psychedelic experience through its colors and resolution. On the same token, we’re not saying this analogy is not at all a bad thing either. It just gives the franchise its identity and when you contextualize these scenes with Araki’s musical influences, you can better appreciate them. Last, we can’t deny the torture dance scene on the yacht further amplifies that quality.
Speaking of the torture dance scene, Golden Wind offers an excellent soundtrack you can’t find anywhere else, and much of JoJo is known for having musical references. For example, Gold Experience, the name of Giovanna’s stand, is obviously a homage to Prince’s album. As for the song that goes to the famous torture dance scene, it largely takes inspiration from Prince’s Pussy Control with its instrumentals and hook, and the dancing obviously mixes Prince’s and Michael Jackson’s styles. If you’re into Prince, then Golden Wind is certainly the anime you NEED to see.
In addition, other Stand names include Aerosmith, Sticky Fingers (a reference to The Rolling Stones album), Sex Pistols, Purple Haze (the Jimmy Hendrix song) and though this Stand has yet to be introduced in the anime, if you’ve already read the original manga, one Stand makes reference to one of the 1990’s most influential artists in hip hop! Last, a lot of people can admit that the inclusion of Jodeci’s 1995 hit Freek’n You may seem off, but it’ll get your groove on and hopefully get Japanese people making babies again. A lot of the imagery foreshadows the series and those familiar with the manga get a great kick out of it.
If you want to check out the manga first, feel free to do so. Despite the Golden Wind anime premiering in October 2018, the original manga finished about 20 years ago. Obviously, it does spoil for those that prefer anime, but it shouldn’t ruin the experience. Even long time manga fans enjoy the anime and still feel something fresh from it. The anime was long overdue but even so, the trippy magic of JoJo still manages to keep its appeal like other legendary musicians such as Hendrix, Prince, Michael Jackson, and Biggie. So if you love anime, sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll, then you absolutely NEED to see JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind!