「黄金体験(ゴールド・エクスペリエンス)」 (Ougon Taiken (Gold Experience))
“Golden Wind (Gold Experience)”
Back in 2013, I marathoned through the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure manga to continue where the first David Productions season left off. By the time I finished reading Part V, I knew it was one of my favorites. Battle Tendency and Diamond is Unbreakable are at the top as well, but of the more action-packed parts, Vento Aureo, or Golden Wind, was where Araki started to head into cool experimental places with both the fights and Stand abilities. With Episode 01, it places everything into perspective in reminding me of why Golden Wind are distinct and special as a charismatic, stylish, and violent adventure through the underbelly of Italian crime syndicates.
It’s no secret that the David Productions’ adaptations of JoJo tend to include new material to breathe life in to the universe and explain some of the details that mangaka Hirohiko Araki might’ve left out the first time around. In the case of Golden Wind‘s first episode, rather than jumping right into Koichi being flown to Italy to find the illusive Haruno Shiobana, otherwise known as Giorno Giovanna, we are brought right into Giorno’s perspective as our tour guide to Naples. It gives us a more thorough look into Giorno’s personality and motivations as we see the hustle he makes as a crafty thief who uses his stand to elaborately pickpocket civilians for spending money, his generosity in buying a kid gelato, and the resentment he has for the drug problem in his area.
Much of the first handful of chapters focus on instilling a questionable view of Giorno as a JoJo, considering that we are meant to join Jotaro and Koichi on the fence as to whether a teen who was born with Jonathan Joestar’s body during Dio Brando’s debauchery in the 80’s and grew up to steal from tourists could be potentially dangerous if he were to be adversarial. We are also presented with two sides of Giorno that range from the respectful and kind nature that Jonathan encapsulated to the merciless and arrogant nature that Dio was known for. This is especially apparent after we see Giorno give his first “muda muda” to Leaky Eyed Luka, and then moments later had Giorno value the purity he saw in Koichi after stealing his luggage and fleeing from him. However, it’s great that the anime’s direction instilled this not only by showing us Jotaro and Koichi’s point-of-view, but also giving us enough to go off of to understand how Giorno can embody Jonathan’s noble traits as well as Dio’s mischievous streak.
Golden Wind‘s first episode jumps us right into the heat of battle with how we learn about Giorno’s stand abilities. Named after Prince’s “The Gold Experience” album from the Love Symbol #2 days, Giorno’s stand Gold Experience adds a unique and cool twist to Josuke’s Crazy Diamond. Like Crazy Diamond, one of Gold Experience’s attributes is about interacting with the life and nature of the environment and things around him, but whereas Crazy D. was all about reverting people and things back to their original state, Giorno can create life from things that he interacts with, resulting him turning a lady’s wallet money into butterflies that go back to him or turning Koichi’s luggage into a frog that has the ability to reflect damage done to itself back to the attacker. Already, it opens the window for some of the cooler fights and scenarios later that take his abilities into account as a way to navigate through a dilemma without having to punch his way out of everything.
The first episode has its story and atmosphere on-point with how well they captured the cityscape in Naples and the soundtrack that follows us alongside Giorno. As far as the more iconic moments, almost all of them were there. You had the “taste of a liar” scene, some of the iconic poses from the manga, the goofy faces that Giorno and Bruno would make throughout the episode, Giorno stuffing his ear into his head to impress airport security, the beard-scratching photo that originated from the original Part V with goofy chibi versions of the Stardust Crusaders, and Jotaro’s love for marine life. The only thing that wasn’t there was how funny it was in the original when Koichi slowly crept on Giorno after he used Echoes to stall his getaway car. Still, they continue to do a lot of justice towards the JoJo manga and it’ll be interesting to see which ending song they go with. There are many people cheering for Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise”, which would fit the mobster theme as well as the mid to late 90’s time-frame when Golden Wind was written, but they have a wide range of music from Part V’s debut in 1997 to 2001 when the manga takes place, so there’s a lot of pop and gangsta rap that would work amazingly with Part V’s atmosphere and mood.