|“||Useless, useless!!! (無駄 無駄!!! Muda Muda!!!)||”|
—Dio Brando's battle cry
Dio Brando (ディオ・ブランドー Dio Burandō), known simply as DIO (
Originally a man of low birth but peerless ambition, Dio is a villain of little conscience, vast cunning, and an insatiable hunger for power. After becoming a vampire and later a Stand user, Dio has gathered around him many minions and is responsible for many major events of the series, from the death of Jonathan Joestar to the Joestar Family's sudden acquisition of Stand power, and his legacy persists throughout the series.
When he first arrives at the Joestar Estate, Dio is seen wearing typical formal boy's attire from that era; a blue coat, white dress shirt, a tie, suspenders, breeches, and a pair of striped socks. He has blond hair and a handsome face. He also has 3 moles on the lobule of his left ear.
Aside from replacing his coat with a vest, Dio's attire hasn't had much change. However, his overall physique and height have increased significantly. During the events where Jonathan sets out to find the antidote for his father's illness, Dio dons a top hat and a new, flamboyant-looking cloak that has feathers jutting out of the shoulders.
Dio undergoes drastic physical changes upon using the Stone Mask to transform himself into a vampire. His formerly-clean hair becomes messy and unkempt, his eyes become sharper and adopt a darker outline, and he develops fangs. His clothing has changed quite a bit as well after his first battle with Jonathan; most noticeable is the scarf around his neck. He wears an ornate dual-colored shirt and matching breeches, a large pair of boots, vambraces, and two suspenders attached to a band around his waist.
The anime marks a shift in Dio's portrayal in promotional materials as most media featuring Dio post-anime will portray him with his anime colors.
Shadow / Hidden
DIO does not have a visible face as an effect of the shadowy darkness of his mansion. He has shoulder-length blond hair and is topless, exposing Jonathan's muscular body (on which his head is sewn in place) He wears pants with suspenders, clogs, shiny cuffs on both wrists, and heart-shaped knee guards. In the game JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future, his voice is also distorted (an effect created by the developers to add a sense of mystery). This form of DIO is also called "The Evil Incarnation DIO".
Incorporating his previous outfit, DIO's dons a jacket with a tight tank-top underneath, as well as chaps with an exposed crotch. His face is now in full-view, and on his head is a heart-shaped circlet to match his knee guards. This is his form during the beginning of the DIO's World story arc. In most depictions of him, DIO's outfit is tinted orange or yellow.
He also wears a necklace covering his neck scar and heart motifs above his feet and on his pant legs, but he quickly stopped sporting them after his first stairway confrontation with Polnareff.
When pursuing the Joestar group, DIO donned a cloak that he had discarded during his confrontation with Kakyoin.
DIO nears his physical peak after draining Joseph Joestar's blood. His appearance now is similar to his revealed form, minus the jacket and the heart-shaped headband that was destroyed by Star Platinum's attacks. He now sports a deranged and homicidal look and mannerisms, having lost his suave touch. His hair is now disheveled and mostly oriented upwards, while his lips are darker and seem adorned with lipstick. This is his main form during the latter half of the DIO's World story arc, often called his 'High' or 'Awakened' form.
The anime marks a shift in DIO's portrayal in promotional materials as most media featuring DIO post-anime will portray him with his anime colors.
Dio is consistently manipulative and violently domineering, and has repeatedly shown a lack of conscience and empathy.
Dio's most recognizable characteristics are his boundless ambition and his love of power. Abused by his father and having lived in the most miserable living conditions, Dio set for himself the goal of becoming the richest, then the most powerful being on Earth. To do so, Dio used anything or anyone that he could in order to further his goals, disregarding any kind of morality that would restrain the range of actions available to him. Using either manipulation, seduction, or plain violence, Dio constantly sought to become more and more powerful. Dio enjoys being in a position of power and has repeatedly stated how great he felt being in a dominating position. On the contrary, Dio never tolerated that someone could stand up to him or equal him in power, and was enraged and deeply disturbed at the thought several times.
Throughout his life, Dio has tended to surround himself with witless cronies and later minions, who were attracted by his natural charisma. Not thinking much of them at first, he then selected those he deemed as particularly evil, claiming that an evil person wasn't bound by rules such as honor and thus were stronger mentally. This belief culminated in including the absorption of 36 souls of sinners, or, as he claims, particularly strong souls, to unlock a power greater than that of his Stand, The World.
Naturally, Dio is an incredibly-selfish person, only looking over his own interest and overlooking those of others at best, trampling them on the ground at worst. Due to his composed nature, Dio can and will manipulate and take from any gender, using any method, as long as the person suits his present desires. Since he is selfishly interested in their capabilities, however, Dio is the type who is incapable of loving another person wholeheartedly. The only people he can be said to have held some type of affection for were his mother, Jonathan Joestar, and Enrico Pucci; Dio recognizing Jonathan's worth as equal to his own, and having been friends with Pucci. Still, Dio stole the former's body and his friendship with the latter was proven nonetheless beneficial of a grander plan to further himself.
When interacting with someone, Dio will constantly try to manipulate them and sway them into his side, using a veneer of gentleness and his natural charm to make people admire and like him. For instance, he acted the model son and popular charismatic friend to Jonathan's father and entourage to better isolate him, and as a Vampire, his charisma only increased as he appeared as a charming mysterious individual. However, his natural arrogance would lead him to openly insult and belittle his enemies, notably disparaging their insignificant strength before his vampiric or Stand powers.
Dio approaches obstacles and problems in a number of ways depending on the situation and his mood. When he was human, Dio was careful and methodical in trying to break Jonathan's spirit and slowly poisoned George for a sizeable period of time, only being thwarted due to unlucky twists of fate. As a Vampire, DIO at first let his arrogance get the better of him and took a laissez-faire approach, only sending subordinates to kill the Joestar Group while he rested and recovered. However, his defeat by Jonathan taught him to be wary of the Joestar Family in its entirety, thus he would later ambush Jonathan and, during the events of Stardust Crusaders, send his minions to delay the Joestars as much as possible to recover strength. During his final battle, his wariness, tactical acumen and arrogance would clash to make Dio alternate between meticulous approach and overconfident attacks.
Part 1 - Phantom Blood
|“||I reject my humanity! JoJo! I will transcend humanity!||”|
In Phantom Blood, Dio is ambitious, selfish, arrogant, callous and megalomaniacal, seemingly able to do anything to achieve his aims.
His natural ruthlessness is exposed very early when plans to exploit the Joestar family despite them being kind enough to adopt him. In order to place himself in a better position to replace Jonathan Joestar and obtain the Joestar family fortune, Dio used the most underhanded means to break him mentally. These methods included: humiliating Jonathan in public sport fighting, ostracizing him from his friends, and finally stealing Erina Pendleton's first kiss to drive a wedge in their budding relationship. When he is eventually foiled, Dio opted to slowly poison George Joestar I and kill Jonathan with the Stone Mask to make both deaths seem natural and accidental. Dio has shown a remarkable determination to reach his goal, never losing his drive despite the numerous defeats he suffers throughout Phantom Blood and always tried to find a way to get back at Jonathan for them.
Dio's lack of empathy is also apparent, since despite having lived for years with the kind Joestars, he never thought of them as anything more than obstacles, and is hinted to utterly resent the upper class he frequents. Dio had been maintaining a facade of a charming and agreeable person to everyone save Jonathan, yet never came close to anyone. At the end of the part, the only person Dio appreciated was Jonathan Joestar himself, begrudgingly acknowledging his valor as his archenemy and "granting" him a painless death, and was even shocked to see him die. Overjoyed to have changed into a powerful vampire, Dio spent his battles taunting various humans about their weaknesses and belittling them in favor of the apex predator vampires. Dio also sadistically changed a mother into a zombie just to watch her devour her own baby. When in a position of strength, he also tends to torment them further, such as sneakily sticking his thumb into Jonathan's eye during a punch.
Dio shows a lack of restraint in his violence, and is prone to murderous outbursts even as far as his childhood, notably trying to stab Jonathan when he beat him up, and violently slapping Erina. He was also incredibly cruel to Jonathan's dog, Danny, going so far as kicking him on their first meeting. When Dio was defeated by Jonathan, Dio secretly had Danny incinerated. He is shown to be utterly enraged when someone stands up to him, which is the cause for his outbursts. He himself acknowledged that his anger was a weakness, but would be all his life unable to truly control himself.
Dio's personality could be explained by his poor childhood and the abusive relationship he shared with his father, Dario Brando. Speedwagon, however, rejected this as the cause of Dio's personality, claiming that Dio was simply born this way, and that his poverty had nothing to do with it. True to that, Dio was already an immoral person but then openly relinquishes his humanityW in favor of becoming a vampire upon being cornered by the police. He trades his underhanded scheming persona for a more arrogant and hedonistic personality that is dismissive of humanity and revels in evil. Nonetheless, Dio respects determination and said much to Jonathan that his determination was equal to his own, earning him the dubious honor of serving as Dio's new host, after Dio was reduced by Jonathan to a head.
Dio's potential for empathy is implied in both the manga and the anime, when Dio is shown to have killed his own father out of revenge for the abuse against his mother, rather than as a step in his scheme to rise in society.
Dio has expressed hatred for dogs, considering them vermin.
Part 3 - Stardust Crusaders
|“||Everyone survives in pursuit of peace of mind. ... Aren't you uneasy, preparing to fight me, knowing you may die? ... If you join me, I will give you peace of mind that will last forever.||”|
—DIO to Polnareff, Chapter 248
Reappearing in Stardust Crusaders, DIO did not change much since his burial at the bottom of the ocean for one hundred years, as he remained a remorseless and murderous megalomaniac, but nonetheless he had matured a little by recognizing valor in others and being generally more calm and level-headed.
DIO does not appear frequently in Stardust Crusaders except towards the end, but is seen discussing various philosophies with Stand users he wishes to recruit, and with his already-loyal followers, particularly Enya the Hag who serves as his main adviser. It seems equally likely that DIO does this to manipulate and persuade as that he believes what he says, but nonetheless acknowledges the power and valor simple humans can have, notably respecting one's willingness to die for his goal. Wishing to quickly dispose of the Joestars, he listened to Enya and was told that she'd already sent agents to deal with them, and quietly rested in his mansion to gain more strength. Furthermore, DIO learned his lesson and stops underestimating his opponents, being particularly careful around the Joestar bloodline. He nonetheless sneered at other Stand Users' efforts to fight him, most notably Kakyoin's, whose discovery ended up being crucial in his defeat.
This time, DIO is far more calm and collected. Maybe due to knowing that his Stand The World is far above anyone's reach, DIO is more tolerant of people resisting him, and didn't react to Polnareff's taunts and insults. He even seems to appreciate Hol Horse's insubordination, which confirms the mercenary's strength, and let him go try to assassinate Jotaro. However, DIO is still callous about human life and killed anyone who would fail him, even Enya—who was, again, his closest adviser. The usually confident and cunning gambler Daniel D'Arby was driven to madness when he couldn't handle the pressure of possibly revealing DIO's Stand ability to Jotaro.
True to himself, DIO is enjoying the fact that he is wielding the most powerful Stand in his organization, being unconcerned by the heroes' effort to discover his power as he thinks they are meaningless. When Jotaro reveals himself to be able to move within the stopped time, DIO is initially very distraught but recomposes himself quickly, devising other plans to get rid of Jotaro by exploiting his advantage. The full scale of his insanity is visible when, overjoyed to have completely fused with Jonathan's body and being at full power, DIO declares that he was experiencing "the greatest high" and delightfully drills his index finger into his skull. His final speech exposes that he is still willing to use any way to win and despises any concept of honor or revenge, ultimately using a cheap trick to blind Jotaro momentarily.
Part 6 - Stone Ocean
|“||...Beyond the powers of my Stand is where you need to go in order to find Heaven. What you need is a trustworthy friend ... Will I, DIO, be able to meet someone like this one day?||”|
In flashbacks placed before the events of Part 3, DIO demonstrates a burgeoning ability to be genuinely nice to another person in numerous conversations with Enrico Pucci. Intrigued by Pucci, who let him be despite suspiciously hiding in a church, DIO healed his crooked foot, a kind gesture, and gave him the head of an Arrow, which would grant him his own Stand, Whitesnake. During these flashbacks, DIO is able to open up with him on multiple subjects, and confiding to Pucci that the priest could make him be at peace. Once daring Pucci to steal his Stand, to Pucci's refusal, DIO thanked him for his fidelity, and even admitted that he feared the thought of Pucci betraying him.
It is debatable how good a friend DIO truly was, considering Pucci's good-willed nature during his youth directly opposing his later evilness and zealotry. DIO also seems to have built that friendship to further his ambitions, which calls into question how sincere it was. It is implied that he wanted to use his Stand to create a perfect world for himself and a handful of subordinates. He enlisted Pucci as his living "conscience", in case he would go crazy and veer "off track".
(The information below derives from a Light Novel not written by Araki. As such, it may or may not be considered canonW.) JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Over Heaven offers an interpretation of Dio Brando's character by mixing elements present in the original material and plot points introduced by the light novel. Most notably, Dio's fixation on heaven is explained as the result of the influence his dead mother had on him. In the novel, Dio is presented as having developed past his megalomaniac self and began an introspection about his life and his growth.
- Main article: The World
About a year after gaining his Stand, DIO discovered that it is capable of stopping time. At first, he could only do this for a very short amount of time, but by the end of Part 3, he is able to stop time for a maximum of 9 seconds. This duration would have continued to develop had DIO not been defeated. When stopping time, DIO gives the impression that he is teleporting or otherwise moving at impossible speeds.
The ability is best known for DIO's activation and cancellation phrases THE WORLD, Time, stop! (
Having had ample time to rest and train with The World, DIO is shown to have been thorough in exploring his Stand's abilities. Case in point, it was during an experiment session during which DIO sought to test the limit of The World's speed that he discovered his time stop ability.
To give himself an advantage, DIO has tried to keep the ability of The World a secret, only using it at key moments to psych out an opponent and perform incomprehensible sneak attacks, as well as only trusting its secret to a few confidants such as Enya the Hag and not hesitating to eliminate her as soon as she remotely risked to inform the Joestars of his timestop power. However, as soon as they understood its ability, DIO dropped the secret and showed a great degree of confidence about the supremacy of his power, ultimately not caring about his secret as he was convinced that no one could do anything about it. Thus, he began to liberally stop time against Jotaro. Thanks to the free time-frame of action granted by The World, DIO has made it possible to instantly reposition himself to avoid attacks or set himself up to attack, kill enemies instantly, or even displace his opponents to toy with them.
DIO has shown a high degree of control over The World, using it to battle Jotaro's Star Platinum to a standstill, but showing superior technique in hand to hand combat by using low kicks to unbalance Star Platinum or feints to out-punch Star Platinum. However, his Vampire constitution means that DIO never showed the same care at using The World defensively at he preferred to avoid being hit at all and regenerate by sucking blood.
Unlike practically every other Stand User, DIO has sought to improve his Stand's capabilities. He notably wanted the Joestar to come to him so that he could suck the blood of a Joestar and sync himself up with Jonathan's body to further improve his time stop ability. Araki indeed stated that DIO had the potential to stop time indefinitely. Moreover, DIO had searched a way to unlock a power even more powerful than The World, using esoteric knowledge to divine a plan to create another mightier Stand.
Due to an awakening power within Jonathan Joestar's body, DIO is capable of using a Hermit Purple-like Stand which allows him to create psychic images, be it on photographs or crystal balls. Due to the connection he has between Jonathan's body and his descendants, DIO is also able to sense the presence of other Joestars and can use this to track their position. He is even able to tell when Joseph uses Hermit Purple to take a psychic photograph of him, and instinctively knew that his acquisition of a Stand also awoke Stand abilities in Jonathan's descendants.
- Main article: Vampire
Becoming a Vampire as a young adult, Dio displays a broad range of fantastic, supernatural abilities; explained as expressions of the full, unbound potential of the human body.
- Superhuman Strength: Dio attains massive strength as a Vampire, allowing him feats such as forcibly walking on walls and single-handedly deflecting attacks such as Hierophant Green's Emerald Splash (volleys of substantially-sized emeralds flying at almost bullet speed). After absorbing Joseph's blood he is powerful enough to pick up and drop a steamroller on Jotaro.
- Superhuman Speed: Dio also possesses superhuman speed and agility. At one point he was described by Speedwagon being faster than a cheetah.
- Superhuman Senses: Demonstrated when placing his head on the ground to hear Jotaro's heartbeat, despite being a few meters away, Dio appears to have senses beyond human level.
- Regeneration: Dio can regenerate his body faster than fire can consume it. His incredible vitality is maintained by consuming human beings (or their blood), which he commonly does by piercing them with his fingers. Like all JoJo Vampires, Dio sucks blood through tentacles in his fingers and has been seen at least once drinking blood from an unnamed girl. His body is able to live even after having vital body parts amputated and he can also control his detached body parts. The extent of Dio's own survivability is demonstrated when he could continue as just a head.
- Space Ripper Stingy Eyes (
空裂眼刺驚Supēsu Ripā Sutingī Aizu, lit. "Space Splitting Eye Spiked Surprise"): Dio is able to pressurize bodily liquid in his eyeballs and then create small openings in his pupils, eventually unleashing two fluid jets (referred to by Straizo as "Space Ripper Stingy Eyes") powerful enough to slice through stone.
- Vaporization Freezing Technique (気化冷凍法 Kikareitōhō): An ability Dio utilized after learning of the Ripple energy and the danger it presents to him. By vaporizing the moisture in his body, he can absorb heat from any living being he is in physical contact with and freeze them. This ability can be circumvented by Ripple being channeled through items and fire. Dio loses this ability after his original body was destroyed.
- Fusion: Dio possesses the ability to graft the body parts of different beings together, using this to create half-man half-beast pets. Dio later used this ability to graft his head onto Jonathan's body.
- Flesh Buds (肉の芽 Niku no Me, Spores): Introduced in Stardust Crusaders, Dio is able manipulate his hair to create parasites that he can insert into a human's head. The Flesh Bud will pierce through the skull into the part of the brain, making the afflicted compliant to Dio's charisma. As explained by Joseph, the parasite will gradually eat the inflicted's brain. If someone tries to take out the spore, which can prove fatal if it's not carefully removed, the Flesh Bud will sprout tentacles in an attempt to invade the intruder's brain. If the vampire wants, he can give permission to someone to activate the spore's tentacles anytime he wants if close to it. The spores possess another effect in case DIO himself ever dies. According to Keicho Nijimura, his father who was implanted by the spore underwent a mutation into a greenish animalistic form by having DIO's cells inside his body. Presumably, this is a side effect that the rest of the surviving Stand Users that DIO had implanted his spores inside of would suffer from.
- Hypnosis: This ability was used twice on Jack the Ripper (anime only) and Poco, respectively. In the case of the former, Dio hypnotized Jack to convince him to join as a servant, allowing Dio to drain his blood and turn him into a zombie. Poco was manipulated to lure Jonathan into a trap, though his consciousness returned after being subjected to Jonathan's Ripple.
- Healing: Dio also seems to possess the ability to heal other people's wounds as he was able to completely cure Pucci's wounded foot by simply touching it. However, the origins of this power remain unknown.
Intelligence: Dio is naturally intelligent, displaying cunning and perceptiveness as well as imagination repeatedly.
As a child and teenager, Dio Brando managed to achieve academic excellence with ease, having planned to graduate from university as a top law student.
Otherwise Dio is a cunning villain and proficient tactician in combat. Dio almost managed to get away with two murders, bidding his time in order to have a perfect alibi and was only discovered by accident. Upon his return from the bottom of the ocean, DIO built in six years a powerful criminal empire spanning over several continents and which brought him many riches. In a fight, Dio is particularly cunning and perceptive, his ruthlessness making him able to exploit dishonorable and downright inhuman tactics to get ahead, such as leading his enemies into a trap, using hapless civilians as projectiles and sources of energy, or plain sneak attacks. Dio has the habit of analyzing his opponents and determine quickly a counter to their strengths, such as freezing blood in order to stop the flow of the Ripple, or forcing Jotaro's bluff by throwing multiple knives from all direction so that he's forced to act during the stopped time.
Naturally ambitious, Dio constantly seeks to improve himself and meticulously studies his abilities to make the most of them. As such, he developed a freezing power akin to the Pillar Men's Modes in just a month, and in six years, discovered enough about Stands to be able to fuse several together with souls in order to create the ultimate Stand. Arguably his most successful move, Dio experimented on how his vampiric powers allowed him to fuse two organisms together, and used that knowledge to steal Jonathan's body.
Though he doesn't show it often, Dio has become a natural philosopher, arguing about the human condition with multiple people.
Toughness: All prior to becoming a Vampire, Dio was already an able bare-handed fighter; A skill he says he developed in the slums of London. A good amateur sportsman, during a rugby game as a young adult, he is shown to have developed high athletic ability (as well as fantastic muscle mass).
Charisma: Dio is a cunning and charming individual. In addition to Stand Users, whom Avdol and Joseph suggest he recruits through sheer charm or charisma, he has seduced many women through his life.
Knowledge: Throughout both his humble youth and tempestuous maturity, Dio is often seen reading. During his pre-teens, he is seen playing chess with adults. In Part 6, in conversation with Enrico Pucci, he is shown to have accumulated some wisdom within the world of Stands. Importantly, Dio is able to concoct a plan, contained in his diary, incorporating vast, unknown information as to the deliberate creation of Stands of perfectly specific abilities.
Spiritual Connection: After stealing Jonathan's body, DIO began to share a spiritual connection with Jonathan's living descendants. He notably was instinctively aware of their presence and their well-being, allowing him to track them across Cairo. Joseph mentions that DIO probably cannot distinguish between him and Jotaro, and only feel their presence.
- Vampiric Body: All of this, however, is at the expense of having a body sustained by sheer willpower alone, rather than vital energy. A sufficiently powerful force of vitality - specifically sunlight or the Ripple - will negate the sustaining force's presence and disintegrate the long-unliving body.
- Jonathan's Body (former): When he first acquired Jonathan Joestar's body and resurfaced from the ocean, he was unable to use the full power of his Stand, and had to acquire blood from a live Joestar to compensate and fully synchronize. Once this weakness was negated, he managed to grow significantly stronger, as did his Stand.
Chapters / Episodes
Chapters in order of appearance
Episodes in order of appearance
|Phantom Blood Characters|
|Stone Ocean Characters|
|Rock Humans & Animals|
|Agents of DIO|