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Summing up Phantom Blood's plot is already amazing: a cool vampire vs a kind-hearted man harnessing the freaking sun as his power!
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  • Jonathan Joestar is at first a wimpy punching bag for Dio, but draws upon hidden reserves of badass when his father is poisoned. When he is accosted by thugs in an alley, for example, he stops their knives with his bare hands, impressing one of them so much that he swears lifelong allegiance to JoJo rather than fight him.
    • The gang leader, Speedwagon, isn't an ordinary thug and even manages to use a hat with spinning blades to inflict the only injury to Jonathan. Jonathan still wins with no powers and redeems Speedwagon with his kindness.
    • Before that, there was the cathartic moment where he finally beat Dio so badly that Dio burst into tears, and this is after essentially making his life a living hell, climaxing with Dio stealing a Sacred First Kiss from Erina.
      • Here is that scene animated. Made even more awesome when you realize that Jonathan jumped over an entire water fountain, and the fiery effect may well be his unconscious use of Hamon energy, long before Zeppeli taught him how to harness it.
    • And let's not forget, this is Jonathan's first truly badass moment. As a kid, he was pretty much a total milquetoast, which Dio exploited to walk all over him. Even post-Time Skip, he never really shows much ambition to get back at Dio for his cruelty. But then Dio steals Erina's Sacred First Kiss from him... and that's where we see the beginning of the young man who would become the first of the JoJo line, rushing with all his strength to slam open the doors and letting out a mighty yell of:
      Jonathan: DIOOOOOOOOO!!
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    • Jonathan in his teen years establishes himself as a human tank in a rugby game, pushing forward even as the opposing team continued to dog pile him to the point where he had to pass the ball to Dio.
    • Jonathan showing his smarts in finding out that Dio was poisoning his father. He does this by having him swear on Dario Brando’s honor as a gentleman that he didn’t poison Jonathan's father. This is meant to test if Dio had any murderous intention or hatred towards Dario of any kind... Sure enough, Dio’s lie catches in his throat and he snaps, punching him in the face. All it did was royally piss off Jonathan and confirmed his suspicions. Then Dio tries to gouge his eye like in their boxing match from when they were kids. Jonathan obviously wasn't gonna have any of that shit, and hurls Dio down the stairs. Until Dio became a vampire, Jonathan's tormentor was no threat to him anymore.
      • Even with his vampire powers, Dio doesn't have an easy time of it. In their fight in the Joestar mansion, Jonathan managed to fight the newly vampirized Dio to a standstill, impaling him on the statue of Venus, while heavily injured and on fire. All this before he even learned about the Ripple.
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    • His battle with Jack the Ripper was his coming of age as a Ripple Warrior, vaporizing Britain's most infamous serial killer through a stone wall.
    • In his battle against Bruford, instead of falling for Bruford's underwater gambit, he was able to find an air pocket underwater and fire off a Ripple attack that launched Bruford onto the land.
    • He beat Bruford, a master swordsman who could strangle you with his hair, into being a good-hearted knight again in spite of his zombification.
    • Jonathan using the Heroic Sacrifice of Will Zeppeli in order to easily kill Tarkus, who had dominated the fight because the former couldn't attack metal. Jonathan breaks the chain, and a whole lot of bones, too! It's even better in the anime because of the music, as seen when Tarkus finally disintegrates into nothing, leaving only his armor behind. The grand soundtrack goes silent as we witness this defeat... Then the camera cuts to Jonathan's stern expression, with blood on one side of his face and a Single Tear streaked down his other eye, all while an ominous horn blares and the screen tints magnenta for the eyecatch. This single shot of symbolism really states that if you push the kind Jonathan too far, he may bend his gentleman tactics to ensure your destruction.
    • He dominates every zombie after Zeppeli's death because he's strong enough to handle anything less than Dio.
    • By the time he approaches Dio in his hideout, all he can do is say this: "Guess who survived his time in hell, Dio."
    • Jonathan using his last moments to stop Dio's takeover after suffering a fatal wound to the neck, after using his last Ripple to have Dio's assistant cause the boat to go down. Counts as a major Tear Jerker as well since it allowed Dio to get a body after decapitating himself after being beaten by Jonathan, but for 100 years, Jonathan took the threat of Dio Brando to his watery grave.
      • In fact, Dio is far more desperate in the cruiser fight than Jonathan and he also doesn't get unharmed. When Jonathan defeats Wang Chan and causes the explosion, he saves Erina from sharpnels and even manages to stab Dio with one and grab his head. Dio was even offering immortality to him.
  • The very nature of the Ripple powers is itself a CMOA. Through special breathing techniques, the characters change the flow of energy through their body to match the wavelength of sunlight. Then they use this power to punch vampires to death with fists that literally burn with the glory of the Sun herself.
  • The first opening of the 2012 anime. It's basically telling you "Yeah, all this badassery? This is where it all began."
    • To elaborate, the opening starts out with a quick series of panels complete with speech bubbles from throughout the manga, all showcasing the various JoJos in some of their most iconic poses. It works backwards through Jolyne, Giorno, Josuke, Jotaro, and Joseph, before finally getting to Jonathan and the series' title. All this, about two decades worth of manga, in about four seconds. Throughout the rest of the opening, a heavy focus is kept on maintaining the visual style of a manga, with panels and sound effects featuring prominently throughout. The whole thing ends with a clash between Jonathan and Dio, zooming out to reveal the Stone Mask, the MacGuffin that started it all.
    • Even further, they show all the JoJos, showing them at their most iconic before Jonathan moves, punching the screen with special emphasis on him. The opening then goes on to show an epic clash between him and Dio with the both of them surrounded in Battle Aura, something that is not done for another JoJo. The opening gives Jonathan special emphasis and treatment befitting the first (and possibly greatest) Joestar.
  • Zeppeli sacrificing himself to save Jonathan from Tarkus. He knew it would result in his own death, but he did it anyway.
    • The anime adaptation takes the awesomeness of the moments before Zeppeli's demise Up to Eleven: Speedwagon calls out the baron to kick Tarkus' ass, having been the group's greatest fighter. However Zeppeli doesn't move, instead looking around the room, taking it all in as he remembers his mentor's words, all with the subtle guitar of Roundabout playing in the background. Zeppeli then accepts that this is his demise and proceeds to walk between Tarkus and Jonathan, his words and movement oozing dignity.
  • Poco, a little kid, going into the castle in order to open the door to allow Zeppeli to save Jonathan, despite being terrified of Tarkus at the time.
  • Straizo kills 4 zombies with a chandelier, deeming them unworthy to waste his breath on.
  • Dire, despite being frozen and shattered, manages to spit a Ripple-infused rose in Dio's eye. This helps Jonathan figure out a way to beat him and creates a temporary weak point.
  • George Joestar taking the blunt of Dio's knife to save his son.
  • Erina washing out her mouth with muddy water after Dio steals her first kiss. It's a surprisingly direct show of disrespect from a woman raised in Victorian times. Cemented when she glares defiantly at him as he loses his temper and slaps her.
    • In the ship, she manages to escape the explosion and reach America, saving also a baby that would become the badass Lisa Lisa.
  • A minor character, Poco's sister, who has no special powers whatsoever, slaps Vampire Dio's face and gets away with it.
  • Despite not being a fighter, Speedwagon gets a couple good moments:
    • First, he helps Jonathan find proof that Dio poisoned his father, and sets the latter up for an Engineered Public Confession that ends with the police arresting him. Were it not for the vampire mask, the villain would have been undone by this self-professed thug!
    • Shortly afterwards, when Dio transforms himself into a vampire and moves to kill Jonathan, the latter's paralyzed by shock and grief and has trouble raising his pistol in time to shoot Dio. So Speedwagon steps in alongside his friend and shoots the vampire himself. Sure, it doesn't do much of anything, but props for quick thinking.
    • And, let us not forget, coming along for the ensuing journey despite not having any Charles Atlas Super Power or Supernatural Martial Arts to protect himself. He's that determined to be there for his friend.
      • In fact, in the castle fight, he even directly contributes, by fending off zombies with a sledgehammer. Tronpetty helps him just as they become too much for him.
  • The entire castle fight in general. Jonathan and Dio engage in a battle of wits between equals. Dire creates a blind spot and hints Jonathan how to beat Dio. Jonathan does so and severs Dio's arm before slashing him nearly in half. But Dio heals and starts drinking blood while freezing Jonathan, though there is a flaw in their combination Jojo exploits by setting his blade on fire.
    • Even when Dio breaks the sword and fully heals himself, Jonathan sets his hand on fire and actually manages to punch through the mighty icy defense of Dio, reducing him to a head. Dio inflicts a last wound with his Space Ripper Stingy Eyes, but still got his first permanent damage. If not for Wang Chan, Dio would be dead. Even with Wang Chan, he can no longer freeze people and respects Jonathan after this fight.
  • Dio, while not nearly as cool as he's in Part 3, has his moments:
    • Dominating Jonathan in a boxing match.
    • Killing his bastard of a father for abusing him and for mistreating his mother and insulting her name. This is the closest to a heroic moment Dio ever had.
    • Surviving a vampire attack when he tested the Aztec mask on a beggar, even when he had no powers.
    • Becoming a vampire and later using his influence to make Jack the Ripper as well as two medieval knights into loyal zombies.
    • Using his ice powers in order to reduce heat so the Ripple can't touch him. In fact, he makes Dire and his Thunder Cross Split Attack look worthless with his Ionic Freeze.
    • His audaciousness in using Exact Words when his victims tries to make deals with him, such as promising that in exchange for turning a woman into a zombie, Dio and his men wouldn't harm her child. Well, that didn't include the recently zombified mother...
    • His deliciously-evil comeback to Zeppeli and Jonathan demanding to know how many victims he's killed and eaten as a vampire to heal himself.
    Zeppeli: Tell me... to undo your injuries, how many innocent lives did you consume?
    Dio: I don't know. (smirks) How many loaves of bread have you eaten in your lifetime?
    Zeppeli: ...!
    Jonathan: (furiously) DIIIIIIIIIIIIOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
    Speedwagon: The Vampire Essence, he squeezed it out. He's not done! Jonathan won't give up!
    Dio: Really. The "let's do battle" stance? You're not serious. No matter how you prepare, human ability is extremely limited and finite! Your Hamon training avails you nothing. It's USELESS, USELESS, USELESS, USELESS, USELESS, UUUUUUSELEEEEEEESS! A mere monkey can never defeat a lion! In comparison to my power... (leaps at Jonathan) ...YOU ARE BUT A MERE MONKEY, JOJO!
    • Killing Jonathan as a head and later taking his body. He even survives a hundred years underwater, his main coffin stolen and after a stab to the neck. A Pyrrhic Victory, but still his greatest one!
    • Actually, him not being as badass as he would be in Part 3 is up for debate. In Part 3, the main character doesn't have Hamon, which is a weakness so great to Dio that even with a certain borderline Story-Breaker Power in his possession, he's still wary and fights the main hero (for the most part) alone. Here in Part 1, Dio is outnumbered and facing the greatest Hamon users, and beats them just through sheer cleverness.
    • Though that's also an awesome moment for Jonathan. By destroying Dio's original body, he made him far weaker. Even when Dio stole Jonathan's body, he could never get back his full power without a Stand.
  • Bruford and Tarkus getting the heroes in situations where they can't use the Ripple. Not bad for two zombies from a far begone era. Tarkus even gets Zeppeli killed, though he regrets it shortly after.
  • Meta example: In a rare interview, Takehito Koyasu describes how he experienced the greatest high of his long voice acting career as Dio in episode 3.

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