Title: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Part 5--Golden Wind, Vol. 1
Author: Hirohiko Araki
Release Date: August 3, 2021
Publisher: Viz Media
I absolutely love JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. I’ve read it since Part 3 (Stardust Crusaders) was the only arc available in the West. So naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to review Golden Wind for Noisy Pixel. It’s a part that didn’t grab me upon my first reading years ago but nabbed my interest when the anime aired with updated translations. Luckily, this new official translation from Viz brings new life to Golden Wind, making this release the best way to read one of the most unique manga in the world.
Golden Wind stars Giorno Giovanna, a young man with a sinister lineage and big dreams. Following a life-changing childhood experience with a mafioso, Giorno dreams of becoming a gangster– one that will eradicate the current gang’s habit of selling drugs to children. To do this, he must climb the ranks of the Passione gang alongside Bruno Bucciarati, a good-hearted gang member who shares Giorno’s hatred of drug-peddling.
It’s a fun story that gets you invested quickly, thanks to the strong characters and their noble goals. Notably, unlike in past fan translations, Giorno feels like he really has his own character in this Viz translation, which is a big step in making Golden Wind as fascinating as it can be. He feels much more passionate and memorable here, making him a character worth following.
Hirohiko Araki’s mastery over wild Stand abilities is on full display in volume one, with characters whose powers range from creating space-distorting zippers to autonomous shadowbound killing machines. You’re always excited to see the next Stand, just to see what kind of crazy battles will occur. There’s just this boundless creativity in how each Stand works that’s present here, which cements Stands as one of the best power systems in any manga.
Keep in mind that the Stands have their altered names from the English anime, with Gold Experience and Sticky Fingers referred to as Golden Wind and Zipper Man, respectively. I get it from a legal standpoint, though I personally prefer the music-inspired names.
Golden Wind is also where Araki’s style fully changes from the hyper-buff Fist of the North Star-inspired style to the sleek and thinner fashion-inspired style present in volume one. Again, I’d argue this is Araki’s style at its best, as it feels completely unique without any of the same-face issues that would pop up in future parts of JoJo.
Stand designs in volume one are cool and intricate, and the action is well-paced and exciting. It’s always easy to understand what’s going on thanks to strong paneling, which is important in a series with some truly crazy battles.
A minor addition that’s quite fun is the mangaka’s comment at the end. Araki explains why he went with “GioGio,” and briefly discusses his experience from traveling to Italy for research. You can see the impact this trip had on his creative process throughout volume one, from Giorno’s shock at police officers with machine guns to the naming process behind certain characters.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure – Part 5: Golden Wind is off to an incredible start with volume one. The battles are wonderfully ridiculous and truly creative, the characters are instantly likable, and the art is gorgeous. Even if you’ve read Golden Wind before, I recommend picking up this volume, as the new translation breathes new life into one of Araki’s most fascinating works.
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