Is Jonathan Joestar truly an Innocent hero?
Heroism is usually used to describe a person who is courageous and moral. But the definition is actually much broader than that. A hero’s journey is ultimately the story of being human, and each person explores a different mask of human nature that displays heroism. Real heroes are faulted people that still keep true to what they believe is right. And because of that, heroes can come in many different forms and can vary between their morals, courage, goals, and struggles.
Jonathan Joestar, or “Jojo”, in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Phantom Blood is a seemingly innocent character who, in the beginning, only had the goal in to be a true gentleman. But is it really possible to be an innocent and untainted hero? Here is an example of a “hero” that wouldn’t be considered innocent: in the story “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare, there is a unique character named Brutus. He kills his friend Caesar because he is persuaded by Cassius to think that doing so will better their city of Rome. Brutus is a naive character that is easily persuaded and even murders Caesar. Yet in a bizarre way, he symbolizes heroism. He stayed with what he believed was right and he made it through his struggles. Even if his actions weren’t wholly moral, his intention was. So what makes Johnathan any different from him?
For those of you who are not familiar with Jonathan Joestar, lives in the early 1900s in London. In the beginning of the story, he is a young boy of a noble family and has a fairly easy life besides the fact that he is bullied and hated for being from a rich family. Yet through this, he still has a heart of gold and strives to be the best that he can be. Even though Jojo’s life is nearly perfect, he is never arrogant or selfish. He is merely innocent, but not a hero yet. Jojo represents righteousness and morality yet he lives his life with minimal struggle. It is the struggle that makes a true hero.
Jojo is introduced to a bizarre struggle, but it’s a struggle nonetheless. Jojo’s father George Joestar takes in a young boy around Jojo’s age named Dio Brando when Dio’s father dies. Dio Brando is a vengeful person and hates Jojo because he believes he is weak. Dio does everything in his power to make Jojo’s life miserable including (spoilers for those who haven't watched Phantom Blood) kissing his love interest, nearly jabbing his eye out, killing his dog, trying to poison his father, then turning into a Vampire where he proceeded to kill Jojo’s father and tries to kill him. This is very different than the struggles of Brutus or even of someone like you and me, but it’s still all a part of a hero’s journey which is all the same in a sense.
A struggle has been introduced and therefor Jojo has lost his innocence. He no longer is absent-minded of the evils that exist and he experiences fear and anger. But what makes him a true hero is his goal to do what he believes is right; stop Dio Brando from killing any more people. Brutus didn’t represent heroism because of their innocence and untainted personality; neither did Jojo. They represented heroism by following their belief of what was right.
Is there such a thing as an innocent hero? The answer is no. A person has to experience an evil to know that it’s wrong and therefore they would have to lose their innocence. But a hero still has to have an intention that is righteous. Intention is the very thing that distinguishes what is and isn’t heroism.