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Template:Infobox animanga character Template:Nihongo, later dubbing himself simply DIO, is a fictional character created by Hirohiko Araki as the villain of part one, Phantom Blood, of the manga series JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, which debuted in 1987. He is the primary antagonist of Parts 1 and 3, but is also considered to be the main villain of the entire series because of his far-reaching influence. Dio's son, Giorno Giovana, is the protagonist of Part 5.
Fictional character biography
Dio was born the son of Dario Brando, an alcoholic and abusive father who he secretly despised - in part for having caused pain to his mother. On Dario's deathbed, he told Dio of his encounter with George Joestar twelve years prior, instructing Dio go to the Joestar house and use his wiles to become wealthy. He was then adopted into the Joestar household and subsequently began undermining his new adoptive brother Jonathan at every opportunity. Dio was resolute to shatter Jonathan's spirit and take his place as the favored son, even going so far as to arrange for Jonathan's dog, Danny, to be burned to death.
Seven years later, both boys attend Hugh Hudson Academy, where Dio intends to graduate as a top law student. During that seven-year span, he had acted brotherly and friendly toward Jonathan to lull the latter into a false sense of security. Dio's plans to take over the Joestar household are discovered by Jonathan, who comes to realize that not only had Dio poisoned his biological father to death, he was doing the same to his adoptive father, all to take the Joestar estate for his own.
Determined not to be stopped and understanding the potential to enjoy power over all things instead of just the Joestar estate, Dio plans to subtly kill Jonathan by using the mysterious Stone Mask the latter had been researching. However, during a live experiment, Dio realizes that the mask is not a torture or killing device; it is capable of turning the wearer into a nearly unstoppable vampire. The man he had tested the mask on nearly kills him, but he is saved by a timely sunrise which obliterates his attacker. Returning to the Joestar estate, Dio is confronted by the recently-returned Jonathan, a recovered George, and an ensemble of policemen set to arrest him for attempted murder. Cornered and with nothing left to lose, Dio wears and activates the Stone Mask (by stabbing George, who prevented the knife from reaching Jonathan) and becomes a vampire himself. The policemen shoot him repeatedly, sending him crashing through a window. Though he is at first presumed dead, he soon reappears and attacks those present.
In the battle between him and Jonathan which ensues, the Joestar mansion is set aflame and Dio ends up impaled on a statue of the goddess of love. The combination of such a severe injury and the surrounding flames overpowers Dio, who seemingly burns away to a mere skeleton. However, a few days later when Wang Chan visits the charred remains of the house to find items to sell for profit, Dio resurfaces and drains his blood while vowing vengeance against Jonathan.
Dio, now with burns across his face and body, turns Wang Chan into a vampire and the pair hunt down others to become Dio's underlings - Jack the Ripper, Bruford, Tarkus and Page, Jones, Plant, and Bonham, among others. With these, he continues his fight against Jonathan et al. In his climatic battle with Jonathan, Dio's lower body is destroyed and he severs his head to prevent the Ripple from taking his life. He decides to kill Jonathan and take over the latter's body, ultimately managing to kill him while on a boat sailing the Atlantic Ocean. Together, they sink to the bottom of the ocean and Dio succeeds in removing Jonathan's head and taking over his lower body (giving Dio the same star birthmark as the members of the Joestar family).
Dio's casket is recovered off the coast of Africa by fishermen, who are implied to have been killed by him shortly after. Dio then seems to travel a great deal, ranging from Egypt to Japan. Around July–August 1985, he impregnates a Japanese woman who goes on to give birth to Giorno Giovanna. The following year, he meets Enya Geil and gains a stand power (The World) as a result of the Bow and Arrow. Later that same year, he encounters Polnareff and brainwashes him after winning against him in a fight. In 1987, he first meets Enrico Pucci while hiding in a church waiting for the sun to set. July of that year, he goes on to encounter Abdul in Egypt and around the same time, his stand is first able to stop time. In August, he meets Kakyoin while the latter is vacationing in Egypt and fights and brainwashes him as well.
100 years later, Dio's severed head reattached itself to Jonathan Joestar's lifeless body (giving Dio the same star birthmark as the members of the Joestar family). Dio's casket is recovered by fishermen, who he kills as he is awakened. He finds that he is now in the year 1985. After returning to land, he develops a Stand (a sort of ghostly bodyguard), giving him vastly powerful new abilities on top of his vampiric ones. For most of Series 3, Dio is out of scene and in the shadows, and the question of exactly what his Stand The World can do is a mystery. Jonathan Joestar's grandson Joseph Joestar, protagonist of part 2 Battle Tendency, identifies Dio as the nemesis of the Joestar family whom he and his grandson Jotaro Kujo are destined to fight.
In Series 3, many of Dio's offensive vampiric abilities do not appear, though he displays a new ability described as "evil implants"; parasites generated in his hair that attach themselves to and brainwash victims (in the fighting game JoJo's Bizarre Adventure it is the vector of attack in the move called "Charisma"). Dio's Stand The World, as a sort of brother power to Jotaro's Star Platinum, possesses great speed, strength, and is able to stop time, making him appear to teleport or move at impossible speed. Dio's ambition is to create a perfect world for himself and his servants. In the interim, he seeks to drain the blood of the Joestar lineage, which will help him to fully fuse with Jonathan Joestar's body and take better control of The World.
At the end of the arc, Dio mainly battles Kakyoin and Joseph. Kakyoin succeeds in leading Dio into a vast barrier created by his Stand, trapping him. Dio uses The World to stop time, allowing him to ignore the barrier and approach Kakyoin to deliver a fatal blow. Before dying, Kakyoin deduces The World's time-stop ability and uses his last strength to give Joseph this message. Joseph then warns this to Jotaro before he is also killed by Dio.
After a long battle between Dio and Jotaro, Jotaro finds his own ability to stop time just before Dio drops a steamroller on him, proceeding in time-stop to break Dio's leg. Jotaro's intention was for the two to end the fight with a final blow once Dio's leg had healed. Dio, determined not to lose, squirts blood from his open leg into Jotaro's eyes. Dio then attempts a final kick with The World, which Jotaro blindly counters with a punch from Star Platinum. Star Platinum's hand breaks on The World's leg, but the punch sends a fissure through The World and through Dio, shattering him completely above the waist. Jotaro and doctors from the Speedwagon Foundation transfer Dio's blood to Joseph Joestar, reviving him. Later, they lay Dio Brando's remains in the Sahara Desert to evaporate with the rising sun.
In part 5, we learn that Dio had at least one child (utilizing Jonathan's body) after his casket was pulled up from the ocean. Giorno Giovanna, part 5's protagonist, is the first of Dio's illegitimate children introduced and the most prominent. After the awakening of his stand power, Giorno's hair changed from black to blond, even somewhat resembling Dio's part 3 hairstyle. Additionally, Giorno uses the same "Muda!" battle cry as his father, and even pulls off a "WRYYYYYY" during his battle with Cioccolatta.
In part 6, it is revealed that the main antagonist, Enrico Pucci, encountered Dio shortly prior to (and during) the events in Stardust Crusaders. Dio "healed" Pucci's disfigured foot and gave him a stand arrow, speaking about the gravity which draws people together. He then told Pucci to seek him out using the arrow if he wished to learn more. After a series of unfortunate events which led to Pucci being stabbed by the arrow and gaining a stand, he did, in fact, turn to Dio. The two spent a considerable amount of time together, mainly philosophizing and plotting ways to turn their philosophies into reality. Dio questioned Pucci's loyalty to him, wondering why the latter didn't use Whitesnake to remove The World from him. Pucci explained that he loved Dio as he loved God, and thus worshiped him too much to betray him. Ensuring that he wouldn't completely fade, he left one of his bones in Pucci's care.
This bone becomes a vital plot element for the first half of part 6, when one of Pucci's underlings, Sports Maxx, uses his stand to reanimate it. This resulted in the incubation of the green baby (which also possessed the Joestar birthmark) that would later merge with Pucci to give him C-Moon and finally Made in Heaven. Aside from Pucci, several other characters in part 6 are shown to have ties to Dio: Johngalli A. is one of Dio's underlings who bears a grudge against the Joestars for Dio's demise, and Ungalo, Rikiel, and Donatello Versus are, like Giorno, Dio's illegitimate children.
Dio Brando's treacherous, sadistic nature may be partially explained by his abusive upbringing at the hands of an alcoholic father, whom he later killed. He is also ambitious, narcissistic, arrogant and megalomaniac. He will do anything to get what he wants, even if it means trampling people, like he did to Jonathan Joestar when they were young, and relinquishing his humanity in favor of becoming a vampire. However, Dio is not entirely evil, although he tends to approach it. He shows a good side to those who are good to him. In particular, he has shown favorable attitudes towards Enrico Pucci, who also showed loyalty in return. Dio also has a passion for reading, as he is found in the library of his Egypt mansion at times. Unless provoked or deemed an obstacle, Dio will normally not attack anything or anybody (although probably more out of regarding them as inconsequential, and so not worthy of attention, than anything akin to kindness). He will first try persuading people to work for him, then fight them, if they oppose.
It is implied in Part VI: Stone Ocean that Dio 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".
Diego Brando is a secondary antagonist and Dio's alternate universe counterpart in Part 7 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Steel Ball Run. Even though the effects of Made in Heaven altered history, Dio still exists in the new world, under the name of Diego Brando (commonly referred to by his nickname Dio). He is very similar to the "original" Dio in both looks and personality, however, Diego is a famous professional jockey from England participating in the Steel Ball Run race across North America. He was raised among a group of homeless people, after his mother saved him from drowning in a river when he was still a baby. He was later adopted into nobility when his talent as a jockey was discovered.
Although he was raised with much love, he is cold-hearted and will do virtually anything to win. After he loses the first stage of the Steel Ball Run to Gyro Zeppeli, he gets mad and considers Gyro his personal enemy from that point onwards. Later in the series, after losing another round to Gyro, he joins 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 hopes to find a way of defeating Gyro. Later an alternate Diego appears wielding a stand that looks similar to The World.
Powers and abilities
Prior to becoming a vampire, Dio was already a quite able bare-handed fighter and a good amateur sportsman. Despite coming from a poor familly, he has spent a lot of time reading and playing chess with adults. Thanks to it, he has grown as a cunning and intelligent individual.
As a vampire, Dio possesses immense strength. He is also able to walk on walls and regenerate his body faster than fire can consume it. Almost unstoppable, only a bullet to the head fired at point-blank range is able to momentarily stun him. He is able to pressurize liquid in his eyeballs and then create small openings in his pupils, eventually creating two fluid jets (referred to as Space Ripper Stingy Eyes) powerful enough to slice stone and kill living things. He is also able to vaporize his bodily fluids rapidly enough to freeze anything he touches. His seemingly supernatural abilities are explained as him exercising the full potential of the human 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 vital force - specifically, sunlight or the Hamon force - will negate the sustaining force's presence and disintegrate the long-unliving body. 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. In part 1, Dio's powers are more bio-organic and slimy, but for the most part in part 3 he only utilizes the "evil implants" - a parasite that brainwashes Polnareff and Kakyoin and is generated from Dio's hair (In the fighting game JoJo's Bizarre Adventure it is the vector of attack when he uses the move "Charisma").
His Stand, The World (世界 (ザ・ワールド) Za Wārudo), is very similar to Jotaro's Star Platinum and has phenomenal strength, senses and stamina - but is also faster and more accurate and able to stop time longer. He also has at least a measure of Joseph's psychic abilities (specifically, the ability to create a vision on a photograph). It's implied in Part 6 that he wanted to use his Stand to create a perfect world for himself and a handful of subordinates. He enlisted Enrico Pucci as his living "conscience", should he be in any way sidetracked. When using this ability, Dio often seems to be teleporting or moving at impossible speeds. The ability is best known for Dio's activation and cancellation phrases "Time, stop!" (時よ止まれ, Toki yo tomare!) and "And now, time resumes." (そして,時は動き出す, Soshite, toki wa ugokidasu).
Due to the familial connection between Jonathan's body and Jonathan's descendants, it seems that The World share the Joestar stand's abilities. This is hinted when Dio was shown able to create a vision on a photograph, similar to Joseph's Hermit purple and could explain why Star Platinium is also able to stop time. Still due to this connection, Dio is also able to sense the presence of other Joestars. He was even able to tell when Joseph used Hermit Purple to take a psychic photograph of him, as well as instinctively know that his acquisition of a stand also awoke stand abilities in Jonathan's descendants.
At a later point of the race in Steel Ball Run, Diego meets Gyro and Johnny Joestar again and suddenly transforms into a velociraptor and attacks them. It turns out that the meeting was a trap set up by the bounty hunter Dr. Ferdinand. Ferdinand's Stand power can turn living beings into dinosaurs. He uses this ability to create dinosaur "bodyguards" in his hunt of The Saint's body-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 Saint's eyes that Ferdinand possessed and receiving the Stand ability "Scan". Even though Ferdinand was killed and all his dinosaur minions turned back into humans, Diego escaped with the second eye of The Saint, making him able to keep the transformation power and turn into a raptor whenever he wants, even though he initially can't control it very well.
In other media
Dio appears in Capcom's fighting games based on the series. In Phantom Blood for PS2 is a playable character. Both of his Part 1 and 3 appears in All-Star Battle.