「マン・イン・ザ・ミラーとパープル・ヘイズ」 (Man in the Mirror to Purple Haze)
“Man in the Mirror and Purple Haze”
For the conclusion of the Illuso fight, the anime pulls out all the stops to capture one of the most grotesque fights in Golden Wind, if not the rest of the JoJo series. I’ve been anticipating how they would handle the fight because of how much body horror came from Purple Haze’s abilities, but the episode didn’t disappoint in capturing the level of creativity and viscera that Araki was working with when he came up with the fights in Part V.
When I first read the part, I remember how horrific it was seeing Illuso’s death. After getting infected with Purple Haze’s virus and having his hand deteriorate into bones, he is reinfected and punched as the skin of his cheek comes right off. At an instant, the virus’ acid eats away at Illuso, leaving him a sticky pile of flesh and bone. If it weren’t for one fight later on in Part V and a couple of Part VI fights, I would say that it was one of the grossest deaths in the series. The TV adaptation of this moment manages to defang it just a little bit by changing the melted parts of Illuso to pitch black, but it was neat to see how they were able to get away with the flesh of his hand completely melting off in addition to the other hand-chopping moments from the episode.
The other hand-chopping moment would go to Abbacchio, who takes a large risk by placing himself directly in harm’s way to get the key. His tough love for Giorno always hinted at something more than just being abrasive for kicks, but with his flashback appearing earlier on, his distrust makes far more sense with how much he sees his old police partner in Giorno. The selflessness and risk that Giorno places on himself take on another meaning from Abbacchio’s point-of-view as he sees Giorno as reckless and irresponsible. It was a particularly interesting episode for Abbacchio as he is highly fearful of Giorno charging straight into danger. While he definitely didn’t want Giorno to be a part of the fight because he wanted to save face and claim that he was right all along to charge after the key, it also feels as if Abbacchio wanted Giorno to avoid getting himself killed while he’s in harm’s way.
And knowing Giorno, he was really testing himself by facing Illuso head-on. By taking on the gambit of infecting himself with Purple Haze to spread the virus to Illuso was crazy enough, but the steps it took to have him plan out a way to get Purple Haze to follow Illuso and to cure himself of the virus using his snake’s immunities are ingenious, highly convoluted, and took meticulous planning with only luck to help turn the tides in his favor. It was ballsy enough to get Fugo’s respect right away but also did the most to justify Giorno’s position as the main character of the part with the active role he takes in forming a strategy against Illuso and putting his life on the line to make sure he is able to keep his team safe. Next week will have a special program, but the lead up to Risotto finding a trail to Passione’s next destination should provide food for thought when the next episode arrives.