「今にも落ちて来そうな空の下で」 (Ima ni mo Ochite Kitasou na Sora no Shita de)
“Beneath a Sky on the Verge of Falling”
I wasn’t expecting this. From what I remembered of Vento Aureo, the death of Leone Abbacchio felt like it came and went so quickly. I went back to re-read the same chapters and it was all organized the same way. But seeing it come all together in animation struck a rough chord in me to the point where it was difficult to work on the screencaps of this episode without uncontrollably sobbing through Abbacchio’s reunion with his partner. This in unison with Narancia’s response to his friend’s untimely end made for a devastating and worthy send-off to Passione’s finest tea-maker.
It would be unfair to jump right into the most tragic part of the episode without mentioning the conclusion to Risotto’s fight with Doppio. He made a final effort to go out on his terms by trying to have Aerosmith shoot Doppio along with him, but Doppio opted to go for the cheap move by being able to pull King Crimson out in the last moment. They did take away his backstory, but Risotto’s death is upsetting in how it marks the abrupt and bitter end of La Squadra. In a move that was all too convenient for the Boss, Passione’s mission to protect Trish was a death sentence for each member of La Squadra as each member died trying to find their way to uncover the Boss’ identity. In Risotto’s final moments, he was only vaguely able to make out what the Boss’ true face looks like, but, much like with his efforts in La Squadra, his attempts to unveil his identity went awry as they cost the lives of him and his friends.
But what this episode set out to do was to make Abbacchio’s death hit as hard as possible, and hoo boy, did it accomplish its mission. His abrupt stabbing at the hands of King Crimson is interrupted with a short vignette of Abbacchio meeting a cop at a restaurant. The scene is presented in black and white as he mentions that his idealism had faded as soon as he made his fatal mistake back when he was on the police force. With the other cop’s insistence that Abbacchio lived a great life and his knowledge of Abbacchio’s name, however, he quickly feels that something is off. As soon as Abbacchio starts recognizing the cop as his old partner, the color starts to return to the screen as tears start streaming from his eyes after being able to reunite with his friend after so many years. It’s incredibly powerful and is the reason why I was a blubbering mess whenever I saw Abbacchio or his old partner’s spirit form. That fade back to color right when the emotions start welling up inside of Abbacchio… JoJo always did have a fascinating depiction of the afterlife with all of the cloud people and spirits that roam about, but they definitely went with an emotional kick in the gut with Abbacchio reuniting with his old partner in death.
K-keep it together, you still got one more thing to talk about, then you can ugly cry as long as you need to. One of the other moments that really solidified the tear-jerking tone of the episode was Narancia’s reaction to Abbacchio’s death. The other members of Passione try to hold back their tears by painfully bidding farewell to Abbacchio. Narancia, however, is in a state of disbelief as he cycles through multiple stages of grief frequently as he fails to convince the rest of Passione that they would be able to revive him. It was amazing acting on Yamashita Daiki’s behalf to capture the rage and anguish Narancia is facing as he cries out in despair. Bruno biting his lip until it bleeds as he walks away was also powerful in showing how directly Abbacchio’s death has impacted the rest of Passione. But Abbacchio’s death was not in vain as he left behind the key to find the Boss’ identity with an outline of his face. There might be another recap to keep us at bay before we can see the full extent of how useful the Boss’ faceprint will be, but for the time being, we have the feelings left behind from the last stand of Leone Abbacchio.