|JoJo's Bizarre Adventure character|
Dio with his stand, The World, as he appears in Stardust Crusaders.
|First appearance||JoJo's Bizarre Adventure chapter #1: "Dio the Invader" (1986)|
|Created by||Hirohiko Araki|
|Voiced by||See Voice actors|
|Relatives||Dario Brando (father)
Giorno Giovana (son)
Dio Brando (Japanese: ディオ・ブランドー Hepburn: Dio Burandō?) is a fictional character from the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure manga series created by Hirohiko Araki. Dio first appears as the primary antagonist of Part I: Phantom Blood in the first chapter Dio the Invader (侵略者ディオ Shinryakusha Dio?), which was published in Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine on December 2, 1986.
The poor son of an abusive alcoholic who worked Dio's mother to death, Dio holds an inordinate amount of enmity toward others. As the series' most prolific villain, his defining trait is his staunch ambition, which manifests in a peerless desire for power, no matter the cost.
Creation and design
Following the trend of villains in the series being named after references to Western media (typically music), Dio Brando's last name is a reference to famous actor Marlon Brando, but his first name is a reference to the Italian word for God, which alludes to his developing megalomania, as well as to heavy metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio. Araki intended to characterize him as unapologetically baleful in his pursuit of ambition, with his literal abandonment of his humanity reflecting his figurative and emotional one.
Throughout all his depictions, Dio maintains red eyes and shoulder-length blond hair while possessing a towering, muscular build as impressive as that of the series' titular protagonists. His various designs all see clothing that prominently display the color gold. Once he takes over the body of the first JoJo, he abandons his pattern of ornate clothes in favor of simple jackets, tanktops, and pants that continue to emphasize the color gold.
In Phantom Blood, Dio becomes the adopted brother of Jonathan Joestar by using a promise of help from the latter's father to his own. He wastes no time antagonizing Jonathan's life, unequivocally setting out to turn his world into the despair Dio came from. Once Jonathan defeats him in a battle, Dio feigns a friendship with him for 7 years before Jonathan uncovers his plot to poison their father. Dio responds by wearing the stone mask and becoming a vampire, planning to start his subjugation of England in a small village. Jonathan seemingly kills him once more, but Dio's head survives. With the help of a lackey, he attacks Jonathan on his honeymoon, seeking to gain his body as the only man in the world he respects. The two apparently die together as the ship they are on explodes.
It is revealed in Stardust Crusaders that Dio succeeded in attaching his head to Jonathan's body, surviving in a casket at the bottom of the ocean for 100 years. Upon his casket being pulled up by treasure hunters, Dio (now referred to as "DIO") soon manifests a Stand, The World. Having the body of Jonathan, this causes the other Joestars to begin manifesting their own Stands, as well. When new protagonist Jotaro's mother begins dying from her Stand, he sets out to find and kill DIO. After a battle that sees many of Jotaro's companions die, DIO is finally defeated by him and finished by the sunlight.
In other media
Dio has appeared in many video games related to the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure franchise, usually as a player character or a boss. Furthermore, he has appeared as a playable character in several video games not related to the franchise, such as Jump Super Stars and Jump Ultimate Stars.
In miscellaneous media
Above all else, Dio Brando is known for his cunning and careful consideration. It is when Jonathan Joestar defies his expectations, defeating him in battle and thwarting his deliberate machinations, that Dio dons the stone mask that grants him the power of a vampire. He attains superhuman speed, regeneration, and strength insofar as he can lift a steamroller with ease - a frequent source of references to Dio in popular culture.
As a vampire, he most frequently uses an exaggerated evaporated cooling form of freezing known simply as the Vaporative Freezing Technique (気化冷凍法 Kikareitōhō?). With it, he turns several protagonists to ice, rendering their breathing and blood-based Ripple energy useless.
Once he returns 100 years later with the body of Jonathan Joestar, he loses his freezing technique and gains his signature Stand, The World (世界(ザ・ワールド) Za Wārudo?). As a psychic manifestation of Dio, it has all of his aforementioned superhuman abilities and facilitates melee attacks, though its signature ability is to stop time. It is with this Stand he frequently cries "Muda" (Japanese for 'useless') and invokes it by exclaiming "The World!", yielding several memes and other popular culture references to Dio's mannerisms: both for his pronunciation "Za Warudo" and tendency to cry "WRYYY" in excitement.
Dio Brando has had many different voice actors in different types of media. He was first voiced by Norio Wakamoto in drama CDs, followed by Nobuo Tanaka in the OVAs. He has been voiced by Kenji Nojima and Hikaru Midorikawa in both the Phantom Blood animated film and video game as the younger and older incarnations, respectively. In the television anime, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle, and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven, Dio Brando is voiced by Takehito Koyasu.
Dio has generally received praise from various reviewers of anime, manga, and other media. Can Hoang Tran of The News Hub cites the anticipation of DIO's appearance in the 2014 reanimation of Stardust Crusaders to be a driving force of the series' success, later calling him the most rewarding character to play as in the series' video games. Joel Loynds of The Linc wrote "Dio's actions so powerfully and immediately establish his evil... that you will be invested in seeing his evolution even more than you [will be for JoJo]". Dallas Marshall of Green Tea Graffiti writes that Araki's straightforward intention of making the reader hate Dio worked simply and flawlessly, citing Dio's defining character moment as burning the protagonist's dog alive. Rebecca Silverman of Anime News Network notes that his far-reaching influence throughout the entire series works especially well as a stark contrast to his humble origins. He finished first in a poll by the same on anime villains that would make the best friends in real life for his "cool composure" and "awesome lines".
- Araki, Hirohiko (w, a). "Dio the Invader" Weekly Shōnen Jump 1/2: 3 (2 December 1986), Japan: Shueisha
- Araki, Hirohiko (1994). JoJonium 3. Japan: Shueisha. p. 27. ISBN 978-4087828344.
- Araki, Hirohiko (1995). JoJonium 6. Japan: Shueisha. p. 31. ISBN 978-4087828375.
- Lamb, Lynzee (11 February 2013). "Life-Size Dio and Jotaro Kujo Statues Displayed at Wonder Fest". Anime News Network. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "Oshirase: Sankaryō no Nyūkin Shimekiri wa Shigatsu Hatsuka (Getsu) Genshu Desu!" お知らせ: 参加料の入金締切は4/20 (月)厳守です! [Announcement: Final day for paying participation fee is Monday, 20 April]. kaiyodo.net (in Japanese). ワンダーフェスティバル [Wonder Festival]. 13 April 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- Baseel, Casey (12 June 2014). "Jojo's bizarre coffee – Anime characters to grace cans of java in Japan". RocketNews24. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- Lamb, Lynzee (10 June 2014). "Power Up Your Stand With JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Coffee". Anime News Network. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- ZUN (2006). Perfect Memento in Strict Sense. Japan: Ichijinsha. p. 122. ISBN 978-4758010634.
- Clegg, Cara (9 April 2015). "Spotted in Japan: seriously stylish Japannequins". RocketNews24. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "Crunchyroll to Stream JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc TV Anime". Anime News Network. 7 January 2015. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
- "Anime Expo to Premiere English JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Dub With Director Naokatsu Tsuda". Anime News Network. 10 June 2015. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
- Can, Hoang Tran (14 March 2015). "Review of 'JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders' EP 34 - D'arby the Gambler, Part 1". The News Hub. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- Can, Tran (25 December 2014). "Video: 'JoJo's Bizarre Adventure — Eyes of Heaven' 1st trailer". digitaljournal.com. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- Loynds, Joel (7 February 2015). "Getting lost in a Bizarre Adventure". The Linc. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- Marshall, Dallas (22 November 2014). "3 Hateworthy Anime Characters". Green Tea Graffiti. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- Silverman, Rebecca (27 January 2015). "Review: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Part 1". Anime News Network. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- Stimson, Eric (4 April 2015). "Poll Ranks Which Anime/Manga Villain Would Make the Best Friend". Anime News Network. Retrieved 16 April 2015.