When I asked someone if the had read Vento Aureo (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure part 5) after saying the only thing decent was the fact that Bruno Buccellati was named Bruno and looked a character designed by Tetsuya Nomura, I was meet with the answer of
No, but I heard what you said during your rants.
I’ll not deny that Vento Aureo isn’t the best part of JoJo, but saying it’s bad it isn’t fair either. With all its issues, it still manages to be a very fun and entraining part to read. The weakest part is the fact that it drags the story too long and some of the fights can be draining, but the good character development of most of the cast is a very great reward.
Giorno is also considered weak, but the legend says it is due to bad translations. It is true that the translation I’ve read makes him sound like a spoiled brat (which isn’t far from his father nature), but it is also true that in the novel Purple Haze Feedback and later chapters of the manga he shows great respect and loyalty to his now friends and allies.
The strength of Vento Aureo is, without a doubt, in its characters and the relationships between them as well the creativity displayed by Araki in designing their outfits and haircuts. The inspiration and even tribute to modelling and fashion is clear, but it is used in a unique way. I’ve never seen a manga use such an outlandish yet familiar style.
Like I previously said, Giorno is quite the mix. He starts off as a rude, ruthless brat who will do anything for his dream of becoming a gangster as per Japanese tradition of having teenagers doing impossible things. I think my change of heart towards Giorno happened when I re-read the manga with Giorno’s past as the son of a mother who didn’t want him in mind. Things became more clear and I understood where he was coming from.
This might seem too odd since I have said so many ill things about the character, but now I know better. I think knowing that he grew up in an abusive household and a gangster saved his life made me understand (or at least forgive) his sometimes assholish behaviour. I don’t think Giorno is a bad kid, far from it especially when you get to later chapters, but how the translations make him sound like didn’t help me and probably don’t help many others.
There is a very touching moment where Giorno pays tribute to one of the characters that dies (what is JoJo without characters dying?) by promising to avenge him by growing flowers in his resting place using his Stand, Golden Experience.
This shows Giorno’s kindness and that he becomes aware of what his dream and cost, but still, he will make this dream come true, not just for his own sake any more but for the sake of his new found friends. There is something very bitter-sweet about his dream, about Giorno himself. Maybe it is his dream, maybe it is the road he takes, maybe it is everything. That actually makes him a good character. Yes, he is boring and childish at times, but NEWSFLASH! Giorno is 15 years old. I can’t ask anything else of him but act like a kid some times.
The true balance to Giorno’s character comes from Bruno Buccellati, the leader of the gang Giorno joins.
Bruno is a 20 year old capo who shows a great loyalty and kindness throughout the story. Despite his lack of a smile, people go to him with all kinds of requests, even everyday requests to which he is happy to answer. As a child, he decided to remain with his father and keep him company rather than going to the city and get a higher education. As an adult, he helps a nearly blind and homeless Narancia to find his way back into life.
Bruno also owns a very strong sense of justice. Above all he wants justice and fairness, he wants to protect the weak and those who cannot protect themselves (probably due to his experiences with his father’s death). As such, he becomes the true balance to Giorno and allowing him into becoming a better person by the end of the arc due to his influence. His character alone is worth going through all the tiresome parts of the arc, not only for him alone but also for his influence on others and how interacts with the other characters.
Bruno is, truly, a force for good.
And that is what truly makes Vento Auro good, its characters. They all have something unique and something new and interesting. They might not have the best use, it’s true, but it’s very amazing the way the main group is written and it’s something you can only experience by reading the manga yourself. Hearing others will not allow you to have the true experience of getting to know these people.
In the end, I can say I enjoyed Vento Aureo. It’s good, not great. It’s not Diamond Is Not Crash or Steel Ball Run, but thank god it’s not Stardust Crusaders. Yet, I’m truly thankful for experiencing such an arc.