Monday, July 20, 2015

25 Days of Jojo’s - #6: Narancia Ghirga

(Fair warning: there will be spoilers abound in this series of posts, as I find there are major moments that define some of these characters late in their respective story arcs. So in the event that you have not yet read/watched a particular part of the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure storyline, you may wish to skip over certain entries.)

#6 - Narancia Ghirga: Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Narancia Ghirga is the most dim-witted of the Gangstars. He is also the smallest and most gangly in physical stature of all the major protagonists. Narancia plays something of a younger sibling role to the other Gangstar members, often displaying the greatest degree of excitement over their intent to take down Diavolo’s criminal empire, yet is similarly the most visibly upset when Fugo decides to part ways with the rest of the Gangstars over a disagreement as to how they should proceed.

Upon his initial introduction, I mistook Narancia for a female, given his smaller frame and overall androgynous appearance. Whether intentional on the part of author Hirohiko Araki or not, Narancia’s male gender is not explicitly stated until a little while his initial appearance. This may also be due in part to the fact that much of Narancia’s character progression occurs later in Vento Aureo than the development his allies receive.

Despite the group dynamic that remains prominent over the course of Vento Aureo, many of Narancia’s spotlight chapters see him fending for himself, taking advantage of whatever resources he can to best Diavolo’s lapdogs. Whether he’s shrinking to the size of a toy, or spouting nonsensical warning to his comrades, Narancia manages to get out of most pinches through a combination of dumb luck, careful timing, and general resourcefulness. While Narancia is not the brightest Gangtar, his smarts are more visibly apparent when he’s forced to act quickly, indicating that he may just be poor at making plans or thinking with any long-term picture in mind.

Narancia, is, however, a fierce fighter, and loyal to his friends and allies to the bitter end. He shares a particularly brotherly dynamic with Guido Mista, often becoming overly energetic about certain topics only for Mista to sort of nod along in agreement, but tell Narancia that he ought to calm down. Narancia meets an unfortunately gruesome end during the Coliseum encounter with Diavolo, having his consciousness swapped with Giorno’s and subsequently finding himself impaled by iron bars. While Narancia and his Stand Aerosmith did not play a direct role in the final showdown with the time-erasing mob boss, they served their friends well during the fifth arc of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, through some of the most intense and strange of encounters.

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