For a similar character, see Part 7 SpoilersDiego Brando From Another World
I will stand above that flock of pigeons and I will control them.

—Diego about humanity

Diego Brando (ディエゴ・ブランドー Diego Burandō), commonly referred to as Dio (ディオ), is a major antagonist featured in Steel Ball Run.

Diego Brando is a genius British jockey hailed as one of the best contenders to win the Steel Ball Run race, but midway through he shifts his attention to gathering the Saint's Corpse for President Funny Valentine after becoming aware of the race's true purpose. Diego becomes a long-standing rival of Gyro and Johnny throughout the Steel Ball Run. Although he teams up with many different individuals throughout the course of the race, in the end, Diego is only ever truly loyal to himself. 

After obtaining the Left Eye of the Corpse while under the control of Dr. Ferdinand's Stand, Scary Monsters, Diego acquires his own independent version of the same Stand which remained even after Dr. Ferdinand's own death.


Diego is a young man of below-average height and slim to medium build. He has golden blond hair, dark eyebrows, and light, sharp eyes.

He commonly wears an equestrian helmetW with the letters "DIO" loosely mounted on bending pins emerging from a small ribbon tied at its front, a turtleneck jumper patterned with a diagonal grid, light, mid-forearm-length gloves, light, wide-legged breechesW, and tall, dark riding bootsW.

After obtaining the Corpse's left eye and fusing it with his own, his left eye's iris has the word "TURBO" engraved on it, and he temporarily gains a mark under said eye reading "DIO", contrasting to the cross Gyro gains from the right eye.


During his childhood, Diego was a good-natured and resourceful kid[5]. His mother raised him with love and taught him to keep his dignity in even the direst situation. At age five, witnessing his mother sacrificing her hands so that he could be fed, Diego developed a resentment of everyone around him for allowing that to happen, and an insatiable ambition[6].

Since then Diego has been driven to climb the social ladder in order to get back at everyone who wronged him in the past. Upon hearing about the Corpses, he first sought them for himself and as soon as he found himself in a disadvantageous position with a crippled horse, didn't waste time in proposing his services to Funny Valentine, demanding mayorship of Manhattan in exchange for his participation[7]. He harbours a grudge against his biological father Dario, and was ready to cooperate with Hot Pants when she proposed to tell him about his whereabouts[8].

Using any opportunity, he is said to have married an old woman for her wealth[9], and in the same vein, participated in the Steel Ball Run for prestige. Diego is particularly vindictive against anyone who gets in his way, and doesn't hesitate to injure or kill them, although he doesn't manifest murderous intents automatically. For instance, at one point during the race he warns Gyro to stay away from him as the latter tried to attack him[10].

Diego possesses a strong misanthropy, describing humanity as a "flock of pigeons", and resents humans as a whole for the death of his mother[11]. Thus Diego is naturally solitary, never looking to bond with anyone, and in case he has to cooperate with someone, he will keep a certain amount of separation between them. Diego sees human life as worthless and will sacrifice anyone to further his goals without hesitation. For instance, he allowed Wekapipo to be killed by D4C's ability in order to escape from a flag[12].


Main article: Scary Monsters

Diego first turned into a dinosaur after he, along with a number of villagers, were controlled by Dr. Ferdinand in order to steal the left eye of the Saint's Corpse from Johnny and Gyro.

After Ferdinand was defeated, Diego stole the corpse part and fused it with his left eye, allowing him to retain the ability to turn himself into a dinosaur.[13] While initially benefiting from just enhanced senses and strength, the stand and all of its abilities eventually became his own.[14]

Horse-riding: Diego is one the most talented jockeys of his generation, and is considered one of the favorites of the Steel Ball Run. Diego's skill allows him to ride across many types of terrain and he is able to use advanced techniques such as riding close to others as to use their horse as air pressure shields to get ahead in a race. Moreover Diego possesses an uncanny talent for analyzing horses, notably having discovered Gyro's horse Valkyrie's ticks and weakness to exploit them, and being able to not only assert his horse's capabilities, but also that of other horses. His enhanced senses as a dinosaur allow him to analyze horses but also the terrain in order to secure the victory. His original, beloved horse is named Silver Bullet.



Young diego

Young Diego

Since he was a child, Diego had a talent for relating to horses - even seemingly untameable ones would allow themselves be handled by him.

Diego's parents were financially weak and attempted to dispose of him as a baby. However, his mother felt guilty and risked her own life to save him from drowning, upon which his alcoholic father left them both. His mother changed her surname to "Brando" and became employed by a farm, but she and Diego lived in poverty in the stables.

Five years later, the man that had arranged her employment demanded sexual favors from her, and upon her refusal, sabotaged their means to get food. No matter how hard the times he and his mother fell on, she refused to discard of what little dignity they had left – she taught Diego that eating out of shoes due to lack of proper dishes was unacceptable.

Partly from her example, Diego developed a strong sense of pride.[15] Another year later his young mother died of the tetanus infection, which Diego (at the time 6 years old) believes to be a result of the humiliation they had to suffer. The boy grew up resenting everyone who abandoned them and swore to himself to get revenge against the man who had harassed his mother.

Steel Ball Run race

After he loses the first stage of the Steel Ball Run to Gyro Zeppeli, he becomes irritated and considers Gyro his personal enemy and rival from that point onward.

Scary Monsters

At a later point in the race, Diego meets Gyro and Johnny again in a small village in the mountains. He appears to be friendly, but just as the two heroes think he won't harm them, he suddenly transforms into a UtahraptorW and attacks them.

It turns out that the meeting was a trap set up by the bounty hunter Dr. Ferdinand. Ferdinand's Stand power, Scary Monsters, could turn living beings into dinosaurs. He uses this ability to create dinosaur "bodyguards" in his hunt for the Corpse Parts. Even Diego was turned into one of his soldiers when he was attacked by him earlier.

Gyro manages to defeat Dr. Ferdinand by fusing with one of the Turbo eyes that Ferdinand possessed, receiving a scanning ability.

Despite Ferdinand being killed and all his dinosaur minions turning back into humans, Diego escaped with the second Turbo Eye, and retained the ability to turn into a Utahraptor at will, though he initially can't control it very well. This would later allow him to use his own variation of Scary Monsters.

Teaming with Valentine

Later in the series, after losing another round to Gyro, he joins Funny Valentine, the president of the United States, who is searching for the body parts of "The Saint", which are said to grant great powers. By doing so, Diego is paired with Sandman and was hoping to find a way of defeating Gyro.

During the 8th round, Diego turned against Valentine, but was quickly defeated by his Stand, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, and had the Corpse's Eye taken from him. He devises a plan with Hot Pants to attack Valentine as he is on the train with Lucy Steel.

Diego's life ends after an attempt to kill Valentine by dragging him under the train, resulting in his own demise in vain as he is torn in half; although he is soon succeeded by a Diego from a neighboring universe, retrieved by Valentine, to track down Johnny.

Race Stats

Steel Ball Run Race Statistics
Stage Placement Points
First 2nd 50
Second 1st 100
Third 3rd 40
Fourth 54th 0
Fifth Outside point range 0
Sixth 20th 2
Seventh 1st 100
Eighth 2nd 50

Diego Brando is disqualified in the ninth stage, with a total of 342 points and two extra hours of time.


Manga Appearances
Chapters in order of appearance

Video Games

Jump Super Stars (DS)

Diego appears in the Steel Ball Run themed stage, along with Johnny Joestar and Gyro Zeppeli, where Diego can be seen ahead racing ahead of the both of them (reminiscent of the climax of the Steel Ball Run's 3rd stage).

Eyes of Heaven (PS3/PS4)

Diego was one of the first characters confirmed to be playable in the game (alongside Jotaro Kujo, Joseph Joestar, Noriaki Kakyoin, Josuke Higashikata, and Rudol von Stroheim). He appears as the solo final boss for the game's first demo. As a Mounted Fighter, Diego is able to switch between riding atop Silver Bullet or moving on-foot. Also, as a Stand User, Diego is one of many characters with wildly varied abilities that grant him uniqueness in battle.

  • Style Action - Scary Monsters: Diego switches between Human Mode and Dinosaur Mode, granting him different abilities and skills. While in Human Mode, Diego possesses the majority of his abilities, and acts like most characters. While in Dinosaur Mode, however, Diego takes his usual form of a Utahraptor, making all of his attacks unblockable (with the exception of "Dinosaurs!") and passively gaining super armor. This greatly enhances Diego's offensive capabilities, as his Normal and Powerful Attacks become exceptionally strong in addition to unblockable, while he himself will not flinch to most sources of damage. He receives a unique and powerful skill, "USHAAAAAAAA!". However, he is unable to guard, leaving him especially vulnerable to attacks like DHAs, and cannot lock-on, activate Dual Combos or DHAs, grab ledges, or interact with stage objects. Diego's stamina gauge will slowly drain, automatically reverting him when it empties, and he cannot manually revert from Dinosaur Mode himself. He is also only able to mount Silver Bullet while in Human Mode. Certain skills by opponents that would grab/throw Diego, activate a special animation between the attacker and target, or are simply powerful enough to send him flying will automatically force him out of Dinosaur Mode. While in Dinosaur Mode, the color of the player's screen converts to a deep, blurry blue, with the other combatants colored in pink unless they stop moving. This style of view is similar to N'Doul's visualized sonar ability seen in the TV anime, and is meant to emulate the motion-based sight that Diego would have as a dinosaur.
  • Dinosaurs!: This is the only skill available in both Human Mode and Dinosaur Mode. Diego creates a small dinosaur that hunts down the nearest opponent or Diego's lock-on target and biting them 3 times before disappearing. As the dinosaur has the properties of a projectile, it can be deflected by any number of abilities that could do so to projectiles.
  • MUDA MUDAAAAAA!: Diego quickly leaps forward and performs a somersault, growing a dinosaur tail and whipping it downward. Opponents hit by the tail are slammed into the ground. Diego is invincible until the start of the attack. If used in Mounted Mode, this instantly transitions Diego into Ground Mode.
  • Gouge: Diego lunges forward into the air and unleashes a barrage of 8 claw strikes before landing. If used in Mounted Mode, this instantly transitions Diego into Ground Mode.
    • Are you ready?!: This skill is only available in succession after "Gouge" is used. Diego lands and follows up the attack by performing a powerful 3-hit combo that sends opponent caught flying with a final, two-handed strike.
  • Silver Bullet: Diego switches between Mounted Mode and Ground Mode. While in Mounted Mode, Silver Bullet has above-average mobility and jump height and can unleash devastating Normal and Powerful Attacks. However, his stamina gauge will slowly drain, automatically dismounting him when it empties. Diego's skills, with the exception of "Dinosaurs!", will transition him into Ground Mode. While in Ground Mode, Diego can interact with stage objects and grab ledges, as well as utilize his Style Action.
  • EX - MUDA MUDAAAAAA!: Opponents hit by the attack will now bounce into the air, and Diego can freely cancel the skill before he lands with Normal Attacks. This allows him to immediately combo his targets while in mid-air.
  • EX - Gouge: Diego is invincible upon activation, and the skill deals more damage.
    • EX - Are you ready?!: The skill deals more damage.
  • USHAAAAAAAA!: The only skill aside from "Dinosaurs!" available to Diego in Dinosaur Mode. Dinosaur Diego leaps forward, and if he connects with an opponent, he will stomp and pin them to the ground with his feet, before proceeding to rapidly chomp them while they're down. He completes the attack by performing a backflip, whipping his tail to send the target flying. This deals a high amount of damage and can even hit downed opponents, in addition to the other benefits of Dinosaur Mode.
  • Dual Heat Attack - This is the "line" to the world I'm going to inherit!!: In Human Mode, Diego delivers a series of relentless claw-handed blows to his opponent's body. After partially transforming into Dinosaur Mode, Diego swears to kill his target and finishes his assault with an extremely powerful downward chop that cleaves them down the middle using his enhanced strength (a reenactment of his lethal assault on Valentine).


  • I hope you're ready, because I'm coming to kill you!: Diego must connect "Are you ready?!" 3 times. (200 Points)
  • Dinosaurs never let a scent slip past them!: Diego must connect "Dinosaurs!" 3 times. (200 Points)
  • Dio is HUNGRY!: Diego must connect "USHAAAAAAAA!" 2 times. (300 Points)
  • "You're all guilty!": Diego must achieve a total hit count of 200. (500 Points)
  • That's the wretched thread that leads back to the world I once inhabited...: Diego must Retire an opponent with a Dual Heat Attack. (800 Points)


He is paired with Narancia Ghirga in the Eyes of Heaven Tournament, defeating Robert E.O. Speedwagon and Ermes Costello in the first round, but eliminated by Mariah and Esidisi in the second.



  • Like all Diegos, the true Stand of the original Diego is THE WORLD, though the original Diego had not unlocked his before his death, instead gaining a variation of Scary Monsters.


  1. SBR Chapter 64: Chocolate Disco (1)
  2. SBR Chapter 12: First Stage: Disqualified from Victory
  3. SBR Chapter 1: The Steel Ball Run: Press Conference
  4. SBR Chapter 94: "The World of the Stars and Stripes"
  5. SBR Chapter 30: "Scary Monsters, Part 3", p6
  6. SBR Chapter 30: "Scary Monsters, Part 3", p15-16
  7. SBR Chapter 40: "Silent Way, Part 1", p43
  8. SBR Chapter 73: "D4C, Part 6", p34
  9. SBR Chapter 28: "Scary Monsters, Part 1", p26
  10. SBR Chapter 38: "Catch the Rainbow (On a Stormy Night...), Part 1", p31
  11. SBR Chapter 75: "D4C, Part 8", p6
  12. SBR Chapter 70: "D4C, Part 5", p37
  13. SBR Chapter 31: Scary Monsters (4)
  14. JOJOVELLER: STANDS - Comments by Hirohiko Araki
  15. SBR Chapter 30: Scary Monsters (3)

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