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Manga / JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood

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"There are times when a gentleman has to be courageous and fight, even when his opponent is bigger than he is and he knows he’s going to lose!"
Jonathan Joestar

Phantom Blood (ファントムブラッド) is the first part of the manga saga JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, originally serialized in Shonen Jump throughout most of 1987. It is followed by Battle Tendency.

In the late 1880s, rich kid Jonathan Joestar (a.k.a. JoJo) is introduced to a newly orphaned youth named Dio Brando. Jonathan's wealthy father George takes the boy in and raises him as his own to return the favor for Dio's late father, who accidentally saved George and Jonathan after a buggy crash that killed George's wife and Jonathan's mother, Mary. However, Dio is secretly scheming to take Jonathan's place as the favored son and heir to the Joestar family fortune. He torments Jonathan throughout their childhood in an attempt to break him, from kneeing Jonathan's dog in the jaw for no reason to stealing his girlfriend's first kiss. When Jonathan's resolve seems insurmountable, however, Dio takes a new approach: building up a bond between them over many years while poisoning George. Things become complicated when Jonathan learns of these plans and confronts Dio, only for Dio to become a vampire using an ancient stone mask that Jonathan had been researching. After a fiery battle, Jonathan is informed by a man named William A. Zeppeli that Dio is still alive and plans to Take Over the World. He sets out on an adventure to train in the ways of Hamon and destroy his undying foe for good.

Phantom Blood was adapted into a beat-'em-up PlayStation 2 game and a film, both titled JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood, in 2006 and 2007 respectively as part of the franchise's 20th anniversary. The film is notable for now being impossible to view, having never been given a home release; only some promotional material and the first 16 minutes of a workprint can be found online. This arc was also adapted into the first 9 episodes of the 2012 anime. The English dub of the anime premiered in 2016 on Toonami. Phantom Blood would later be adapted again as a stage musical in 2024.

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    Tropes # to E 
  • 12-Episode Anime: Though the first season of the 2012 anime was a standard 26 episodes, it adapted two parts at once, with Phantom Blood only comprising the first nine episodes.
  • Abusive Parent: Dio's father was an abusive alcoholic who treated his wife and son like crap.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Shares a page with the rest of the franchise.
  • Adapted Out:
    • The anime removes the scene in the beginning of the manga where an Aztec man is offering a woman as a sacrifice for the Stone Mask to effectively Retcon the Pillar Men into being the mask's creators. Justified in that the Pillar Men did create the Stone Masks, meaning the anime simply removed it to keep the mystery around it.
    • Most infamously the film adaptation cut out Speedwagon's role from the story entirely minus a few brief appearances. Poco, Dire, and Straizo also don't show up at all.
    • Out of all the Parts, Phantom Blood has the most material from the manga that was cut from the anime in order to make the 9-episode runtime (although most of the excised materials are pretty minor and just add detail to the story). Some examples include Jonathan and Danny's backstorynote , a bunch of other small scenes from Jonathan and Dio's childhood, and the explanation of Erina's absence in the 7-year timeskip and why she reappeared in the hospital Jonathan was brought tonote .
  • All There in the Stinger: In the third episode of the anime adaptation, Jonathan impales Dio on the statue at the front of the manor, and the fire appears to disintegrate him completely. While not exactly crucial, if you miss the The Stinger that shows Wang Chan recover the stone mask from the ruins of the Joestar manor before being grabbed from under the rubble, it can be quite baffling to see an undead Wang Chan carrying around Dio in the next episode.
  • An Aesop: Just because the villain had a traumatic childhood, it doesn't automatically make them sympathetic and it certainly doesn't justify their horrific actions.
  • Anyone Can Die: As the first part in the series, Araki makes it very clear that he will kill any character that he can if given the opportunity. From the beginning we see the brutal deaths of many background characters, animals, minor villains, and Jonathan's father but he tops this all by killing Zeppeli after the halfway point and ending this part with the death of Jonathan.
  • Artifact of Doom: The mysterious Stone Mask in the Joestars' possession. Jonathan studied archaeology in order to investigate its purpose, though it is ultimately Dio who discovers what it really is. While the Stone Masks only appear in this, and part two, its impact on the series is major enough to qualify.
  • Artistic Age: Neither Jonathan nor Dio look particularly different between the ages of 12-13 and 20. In the anime, they sound no different as well.
  • Attack Hello: Baron Zeppeli introduces himself to Jonathan with a gut punch which has the effect of healing Jonathan's broken arm, likewise Dire introduces himself to Jonathan by testing him with a weakened version of his "ultimate attack".
  • Attempted Rape: It's strongly implied that Doobie intended to rape Poco's sister on Dio's orders given how he rips her dress after grabbing her. Luckily, Jonathan drops an anvil on his head just in time.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: The battle between Jonathan vs the newly-vampirised Dio happens as the Joestar Mansion burns around them. Jonathan used the flames of the great fire to kill Dio, but it didn't work.
  • Beard of Evil: Dario Brando sports one.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: During Dio's attack on a town, a mother pleads with him to take her and not harm her infant child. He promises and turns her into a zombie... only for the newly turned mother to bite into her child right after he does it. Dio didn't take her child after all.
  • Befriending the Enemy: Jonathan Joestar attempts this with Dio Brando, very, very hard, but Dio is the ultimate Ungrateful Bastard; being nice to him results in him either thinking you're an idiot to be taken advantage of or getting really angry and resentful.
  • Big Fancy House: The Joestar Mansion. It is a gorgeous, sprawling estate where the protagonist Jonathan Joestar, his father, and later his adopted brother (and antagonist of the story) Dio Brando live; it is said to have been the home of the noble Joestar house for generations. Unfortunately, it is burned down by Jonathan himself early in the story in an attempt to kill Dio, who had just become a vampire.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Bruford and Tarkus, the Dark Knights, have this motif. While Bruford is quite tall and buff by human standard, Tarkus is humongous compared to him. As living knights, they always fought together, but becoming Dio's minions has soured their partnership.
  • Big Man on Campus: Jonathan and Dio are the most admired students of their university, being star rugby players, acing their respective specialty, and being generally charismatic and nice. It's an act for the latter to (try to) earn the former's trust, though.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Early in the series, Dio claims to be a God in all but name. "Dio" is Italian for God.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Dio successfully kills Jonathan and despite Jonathan's best efforts, Dio would eventually return. However, Jonathan's sacrifice delays Dio from conquering the world for a hundred years and saves Erina and the infant who would become Lisa Lisa, allowing his legacy to later truly end Dio's evil and protect the world from other threats.
  • Boisterous Weakling: As a child, Jonathan actually gets beaten down on quite a bit. It's only after Dio forcibly kisses Erina and hits his Berserk Button after so much other abuse that he finally gives him a proper beatdown, and from there onwards he absolutely has what it takes to back up his spirit.
  • Book Ends: The first and last battles between Jonathan and the vampire Dio take place in locations covered by fire. Both times, Jonathan sets the place alight, in the hopes that the flames can overcome Dio's quick Healing Factor, but Dio survives both times, as we see in Stardust Crusaders. Also, the first instance had Jonathan survive the battle, although it necessitated a stay in Erina's hospital. The second time... he doesn't make it.
  • Brave Scot: Sharp-eyed viewers will realize that the Joestar family descended from a line of Proud Highlander Warriors, judging from the painting of George Joestar in a Kilt in the dining room scenes of Phantom Blood.
  • Britain Is Only London: Averted. The Joestar mansion is hinted to be in Liverpool, then the latter half of the part is staged in the small coastal village of Windknight's Lot.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: This trope is in full effect in one of Phantom Blood's most famous quotes:
    Will A. Zeppeli: Tell me! To undo your injuries, how many innocent lives did you consume?!
    Dio: I don't know... how many loaves of bread have you eaten in your lifetime?
  • Cain and Abel: Jonathan and Dio are adopted brothers, but their feud kickstarts the whole series.
  • Can't Refuse the Call Anymore: Jonathan and Dio's first confrontation after the latter becomes a vampire signals the end of Easing into the Adventure and leads to the "bizarre" adventures of the rest of the series.
  • Chained Heat: Jonathan and Tarkus are momentarily chained together by the neck, putting Jonathan at an obvious disadvantage since he needs to properly breathe in order to properly use Hamon. It takes Zeppeli sacrificing himself to power up Jonathan with Hamon so he can break the collar.
  • Compact Infiltrator: When Jonathan is fighting Tarkus, his allies Speedwagon and Zeppeli are unable to assist him due to a gate blocking the way. The Tagalong Kid Poco, who is also a Cowardly Lion, finally gets to show some courage by crawling through a small hole in order to reach the lever that'll open the gate.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: While there are a few good fights throughout the part, most of the zombies that try to stop our heroes are taken out in barely a minute with a single attack. Jack, Tarkus, and Bruford are the only zombies that manage to put up a fight.
    • Adams, a zombie with a long tongue, is taken out with one kick from Jonathan.
    • Doobie, the snake-using zombie, does manage to land a hit on Jonathan with his snakes... but Jonathan easily expels the venom from his bloodstream before turning his snakes against him.
    • Jones, Bonham, Page, and Plant are a group of zombies who barely manage to say their names before Straizo drops a chandelier on them and melts them all with Hamon.
  • Curtain Camouflage: After Dio's transformation into a vampire, he chases a wounded Jonathan and a trail of blood leads him to a curtain, where he assumes Jonathan is hiding behind. However, it is a trap, and when Dio tries to tear the curtain away, Jonathan throws the curtain on Dio and lights it on fire to kill him.
  • Death of a Child: When Dio takes over the little town of Windknight, he transforms a people into zombies to grow his army. A woman is seen pleading for Dio to spare her baby and take her instead. Dio obliges and the zombified woman devours her baby.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Speedwagon tries to mug Jonathan, who defeats him with one kick. However, impressed by Jonathan's mercy, Speedwagon becomes his most loyal ally, which will extend to the rest of his descendants.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: A young girl slaps Dio, then a Vampire, and for her courage, is thrown to a Zombie as dinner.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Inverted, Jonathan dies holding the living head of his archenemy Dio, who is the one (kinda) sad and shocked about Jonathan's death. Played straight with George.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The "Blood" in Phantom Blood refers to both the Joestar bloodline, which remains a central theme of the entire series, and to Dio becoming a blood-drinking vampire.
  • Downer Beginning: The first act of the story consists of Dio making most of Jonathan's childhood absolutely miserable, including ruining his reputation, stealing his girlfriend's Sacred First Kiss, and killing his dog. He then turns into a vampire, murdering Jonathan's father and burning down his house. Thankfully, things start looking up once Jonathan learns Hamon, which lets him fight back against Dio more effectively.
  • Dub Name Change: Shares a page with the rest of the franchise.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: In the very first chapters of this manga, Jonathan is introduced as getting into a fight over a bullied little girl, while shouting, "I don't know who she is, but I'll fight for her!" That said, Jonathan said he did it due to being a gentleman and didn't care who she was. By contrast, it was Erina who approached him when he was being bullied by Dio afterwards.
  • Dynamic Entry: Jack the Ripper meets Jonathan's party by decapitating their carriage's driver, and their horses, hiding inside one of the horses' still-standing corpse, then jumping out the corpse in bloody fashion when Jonathan and the others investigate.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Phantom Blood differs from later JoJo parts by a lot. It lacks the bizarreness and bombast that later parts have, being more-or-less a standard shonen story. Jonathan himself is a straight-up hero, much unlike the rough and roguish protagonists of later parts. This part also shares a few similarities with Battle Tendency that aren't reflected in later parts; both parts are considerably shorter than later parts, don't lean on the Monster of the Week formula (which is interrelated with their shorter length), and use Hamon as the protagonists' power set instead of Stands.
  • Embodiment of Virtue: Jonathan Joestar, who practically incarnates the ideal of a British gentleman.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: It's implied that the only person Dio had any compassion for was his mother. One of the reasons why Dio loathes his father is that he worked his mother to death and gave no care for her belongings, forcing Dio to sell one of her dresses for booze money.
  • Evil Mask: The Stone Mask, which turns the wearer into a vampire if blood is spilled on it.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: While Dio builds his power, he resides in an abandoned castle on top of a mountain in Windknight's Lot.

    Tropes F to I 
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: Straizo breaks a chandelier in order to tie up four zombies who were under it during the climatic clash between Jonathan and Dio.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: The Joestars kindly adopt a certain Dio Brando who recently lost his father. Considering who the father was, George Joestar should have known better.
  • Fertile Feet: One of Hamon's effects is that a Hamon user can cause withered plants to rejuvenate and bloom by giving them a Hamon-infused touch, as shown by Jonathan when he grasps a dried tree branch, and then by Bruford while he's dying after being infused by Jonathan's Sunlight Yellow Overdrive.
  • First Kiss: Dio steals the one from Erina that would rightfully be Jonathan's.
  • Flash Back Echo: Will A. Zeppeli's examining the room he enters in, is reminded of a prophecy saying that he will die releasing a lion from a similar room, alluding to his sacrifice to free Jonathan.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the boxing match in the first episode, Jonathan wears red gloves, while Dio's pair is blue. This is a hint towards the eighth episode's final clash between the two. Dio freezes his hands to counter Jonathan's Hamon-infused punches, but the latter ends up igniting his hands on a nearby wall torch to finally overcome Dio's icy barriers.
    • The first time Wang Chan and Dio met, he tells the story of a man who had the same kind of ears as Dio. He had a tough life, but managed to live to be 183 years old. After Dio became a vampire, he became immortal, and managed to live at least to be 120 years old.
    • At one point, one of the Joestar butlers is seen feeding Danny, right next to the furnace that he'd eventually get killed in.
  • Foil:
    • Jonathan and Dio are near total opposites and were purposely written to be the opposite of each other.
      • Beginning with their backgrounds, Jonathan is the son of a wealthy noble whereas Dio came from the slums of London. And thus while Jonathan has a noble dream of becoming a "gentleman", Dio craves wealth and power.
      • Jonathan's father happens to be a strict but loving father, but Dio must live with an abusive drunkard of a father who shamelessly exploits his son.
      • Jonathan is one of the kindest, noblest man one can meet whereas Dio is pure evil, gleefully indulging in murder and torture, psychological or physical.
      • Jonathan uses his love for others as a motivation to attain greater heights while Dio wants to control everyone and wants to stand alone at the top of humanity.
      • Jonathan impresses others into becoming loyal to him through kindness and nobility, whereas Dio must forcibly turn people into zombies to control.
      • Jonathan happens to be the dark-haired guy to Dio's blond guy.
      • In terms of fighting styles, Jonathan uses The Power of the Sun and wields a sword who was given to him by a knight. On the other hand, Dio is said to draw into an evil energy to become a vampire, he also has a Touch of Death who freezes the body of anyone he touches, and savagely maims with his bare hands.
      • It is also telling that Jonathan mainly shines through feats of strength, like punching a zombie in the arm so hard the zombie's arm breaks in two, whereas Dio performs superhuman feats of agility like walking vertically up a wall.
    • Dio and Speedwagon can also be seen as foils to one another.
      • Dio saw Jonathan’s kindness as a weakness to be taken advantage of. Speedwagon was deeply touched and transformed by it, becoming a better person.
      • Dio is indebted to the Joestars (and the list of his debt grows longer with each passing Part) but is a total ingrate. Speedwagon spends his entire life repaying the kindness Jonathan showed him.
      • They both grew up poor in the slums of London, but while Dio lets his past define him and never rises above it, Speedwagon leaves the crook he was behind and goes on to live an honest life.
      • Dio is obsessed with wealth and immortality, completely abandoning his humanity to attain them. Speedwagon becomes extremely wealthy, but uses his wealth for the betterment of humanity and his legacy lives on through the foundation he established, which is a form of immortality.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Dio was nothing more than a lower-class commoner frequently abused by his father and even after moving into the Joestar manor is nothing more than a bully. Then he awakens to the powers of the Stone Mask and becomes a threat capable of taking over the entire world. This isn't even getting into Stardust Crusaders.
  • Full Moon Silhouette: One of Phantom Blood's iconic panels is the silhouette of Dio standing before the moon.
  • Gaslamp Fantasy: Phantom Blood is set during the late 19th century in England, with a dash of vampires and mystical martial arts mixed in the story.
  • Genius Bruiser: Jonathan and Dio are both this: both played rugby in college, with Jonathan majoring in archaeology and Dio graduating as valedictorian. Then they respectively become a superhumanly strong martial artist with The Power of the Sun and a superhumanly strong vampire.
  • Genre Shift: Begins to transform from Victorian period drama to supernatural fantasy/horror the exact moment the Stone Mask is used for the first time, and finishes when Dio uses it to turn himself into a vampire.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Jonathan, despite an excruciatingly drawn out and painful death, ultimately goes out with a serene smile on his face.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: The whole plot of this part is said to have fallen into oblivion as everyone involved kept it secret.
  • Hair-Contrast Duo: Jonathan Joestar (brunet) and his adoptive brother/enemy Dio Brando (blond) are strongly contrasted: Jonathan is a dorky Nice Guy All-Loving Hero born in an aristocratic family, while Dio is an ambitious evil since birth Card-Carrying Villain born to the lower class. Jonathan wants to be "the perfect gentleman" and is willing to risk himself for strangers; Dio seeks to exploit and manipulate everyone for his own goals, culminating in his plan to take over the Joestar household (who willingly adopted him when his father died). As Jonathan and Dio gain supernatural powers, Jonathan wields Hamon to fight vampire Dio. Their appearances are further contrasted: Jonathan has Tareme Eyes and a blue shirt and is built like a Juggernaut, while Dio has Tsurime Eyes, red clothing and, in the anime, is more slender than Jonathan.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Will A. Zeppeli is cut in half by a chain courtesy of Tarkus.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Jonathan and Dio. One is the Embodiment of Virtue, the other is the Embodiment of Vice, and both of them are Hot-Blooded. This was bound to happen before either dub of the anime cranked things up with flowery writing and theatrical talent. For reference, here's their first fight, and keep in mind that these are twelve-year-olds.
  • Harmful to Minors: At one point in the story, Dio orders a newly vampirized mother to eat her own child.
  • Hate Sink: Shares a page with the rest of the franchise.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Shares a page with the rest of the franchise.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: In college, it seems as if Dio and Jonathan have finally made up and have formed a lifelong friendship. Of course Dio hasn't changed his ways at all and officially shows his true colors after he kills George Joestar to activate the Stone Mask.
  • The Hero Dies: Has become pretty infamous for this trope seeing as how this part is mostly remembered for the fact that it ends with Jonathan's death.
  • Honor Among Thieves: Speedwagon has this, as he comes to respect Jonathan after trying to rob him but Jonathan spares him. The thugs of Ogre Street also relent in their attack against Jonathan when Speedwagon insists they leave him alone.
  • Hope Spot: Quite a few times during the battles with Dio.
    • Initially it looks as if Dio will be arrested thanks to the evidence gathered by Jonathan and Speedwagon of Dio poisoning George. Unfortunately for our protagonists Dio has already discovered how the Stone Mask works at this point and after fatally stabbing George uses said mask to turn himself into a vampire.
    • During their battle at Windknight's Lot Jonathan finally manages to hit Dio with a blast of Hamon directly, sending the vampire lord flying, and seemingly disintegrating his body. Unfortunately Dio was able to cut of his head in the last moment preventing him from being completely destroyed.
    • During Jonathan and Dio's Final Battle Jonathan manages to hold Dio down despite being mortally wounded and seemingly manages to take Dio down with the burning ship. However as we would later learn this wasn't the case.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: George Joestar thought of Dario as a savior, until he found out the truth, at least and truly loved Dio as a son. Sadly, this bites him in the end.
  • Human Sacrifice: A Mayincatec tribe is seen sacrificing a woman in the first chapter of the manga so their leader can transform into a Vampire.
  • Incendiary Exponent: In the final battle, Jonathan does this to counteract Dio's snap-freezing powers.
  • I Owe You My Life: The entire reason Dio was adopted by the Joestars is because Dario Brando helped save George Joestar's life after a carriage accident. Except that in reality, Dario was there to loot the corpses and George assumed he was a good Samaritan. Dario played along and ended up with a rich noble indebted to him. Ultimately subverted as George eventually found out but decided to keep his promise to Dario and helped him out.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: When the police and Jonathan surround Dio after discovering his murder attempt, Dio seemingly surrenders and asks Jonathan to cuff him. However Dio only planned to stab Jonathan with a hidden dagger.
  • It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: The first scene opens on rainy storm with George Joestar, along with infant Jonathan, being recovered from their wrecked carriage by Dario and his wife.

    Tropes J to Z 
  • Jerkass: Shares a page with the rest of the franchise.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: At first, Dio was just a simple ambitious asshole, but Jonathan's discovery of his multiple patricides (one successful, one attempted) made him drop any pretense of good.
  • Kick the Dog: Dio does this several times throughout the part. For starters:
  • Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: Speedwagon knows that when Jonathan and Erina meet for the first time in years, it is time to withdraw cooly/serenely skedaddle.
  • Let the Past Burn: Jonathan's house burning down marks the end of the first half of this part, and the Genre Shift from Glamorous Manly Elizabethan Melodrama to Glamorous Manly Supernatural Horror-Adventure.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: The fate of Dire after attempting his Thunder Cross Split Attack on Dio. Dio saps his body heat, turning him to ice, and shatters him.
  • Logical Weakness: Shares a page with the rest of the franchise.
  • Meaningful Name: Vampires, ghouls (called zombies), and blood itself are a key factor in this part.
  • Medication Tampering: Dio Brando elects to take his adoptive father's medicine up to him since the servant is old and prefers not to use the stairs. Dio uses this opportunity to switch out George Joestar's medicine for a similar-looking and hard-to-detect poison he purchased from a Chinese merchant. It fails when Jonathan Joestar realizes that Dio's father died with the same symptoms, implying Dio had used the same trick on his own father, although he ends up killing him in another fashion anyway.
  • Minor Kidroduction: Phantom Blood focuses heavily on Jonathan and Dio's childhood for several chapters before doing a time skip to when both are grown men.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Dio's favorite pets.
  • Multinational Team: The members of Team Joestar have very diverse backgrounds and ethnicity. A British Aristocrat (Jonathan), a Street Urchin (Speedwagon), an Italian (Zeppeli), and three Tibetan monks that don't look Tibetan (Dire, Straizo, and Tonpetty).
  • Murder by Cremation: Dio responds to Jonathan beating him in a fight by tricking a butler into throwing Jonathan's dog into the trash incinerator.
  • Musical Theme Naming: One of many recurring tropes this part would establish. Almost every character that isn't a Joestar is named after a band, artist, album, or song in some way shape or form. This part in particular references various rocks bands who peaked in popularity during the 70's and early 80's.
  • Named Weapons: Bruford's sword "Luck" is rebaptized "Luck and Pluck" when he gives it to Jonathan.
  • Never Recycle Your Schemes: As a child, Dio kills his father with poison from Asia, then years later, attempts to kill George Joestar with the same poison; this probably would have worked if Dio didn’t keep the letter that his father sent to George, in which, DIO’s father lists the symptoms of his "sickness" that George is now suffering through, allowing Jonathan to piece Dio's plan together.
  • Nice Guy: Shares a page with the rest of the franchise.
  • Nobody Likes a Tattletale: Invoked by Dio Brando. As part of his campaign to isolate Jonathan he publicly (and falsely) accused him of being a snitch, turning the other boys at school against him.
  • Odd Name Out: Almost every character in this part has a music reference for a name. Jonathan himself however is instead named after a family restaurant chain based in Japan.
  • Old-Timey Bathing Suit: Used with Jonathan and Erina when they are on a date and playing around at a local river.
  • One Cast Member per Cover: The JoJonium edition respectively depicts Jonathan, Zeppeli, and Dio on the covers of each of the three volumes, featuring new artwork by Hirohiko Araki.
  • Orwellian Retcon: In the original release, Zeppeli dies saying he has no kids. This would contradict the next part, where we are introduced to Caesar, his grandson. Araki changed the wording in future re-releases of the manga.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: As a vampire, Dio has freezing abilities, Eye Beams, the ability to create and control zombie servants from both corpses and living humans, and the ability to combine parts of zombies into hybrid monsters. Oh, and he drinks blood from his fingers.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: After Jonathan and Dio's climactic fight, Jonathan collapses from exhaustion after fighting several zombies and Dio in one night.
  • The Power of Love: During the first part of the story, Jonathan is a meek, honorable, and good-natured child who is unable to get an upper hand on his ruthless adoptive brother. After Dio steals Erina's first kiss, Jonathan finally finds the strength to give him a well-deserved beatdown by fighting for her honor.
  • The Power of the Sun: The art of Hamon harnesses the user's inner energy and converts it into a form that is similar to sunlight. Naturally, this is lethal to vampires and vampire-made zombies.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Both for Jonathan and Dio in the final battle. Jonathan does manage to save England and his family from Dio and stop him for a hundred years, but dies in the process. Dio also succeeds in his main goal, killing Jonathan and stealing his body, but fails to eliminate the Joestar bloodline, loses all of his army and is trapped for a century under the ocean. And when he returns, Jonathan's descendants finish what he started.
  • Prehensile Hair: Bruford can control his hair via a move he calls "Danse Macabre".
  • Production Throwback: An early chapter has Dio reading a novel with the title Gorgeous Irene, the name of Araki's previous series, on the cover.
  • Satellite Family Member: Dio and Jonathan's parents. While both of their mothers were cases of Deceased Parents Are the Best, Dio's father Dario was an Asshole Victim Jerkass alcoholic who contributed to Dio becoming evil, and Jonathan's father George turned Jonathan into the man he is. George adopting Dio after mistakenly thinking Dario saved his life is what kickstarts the plot.
  • Say My Name:
    • All together now: "DIOOOOOOOOOOO!", screamed several times by Jonathan (most notably when he arrives to kick Dio's ass for stealing a kiss from Erina, his love).
    • The theme song itself has one: the anime cut ends on the singer yelling JOOOOOOOOOOO-JOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! The full version has an even longer one.
  • The Shangri-La: We briefly see the Tibetan temple in which monks train in the art of Hamon in the heart of the Himalaya.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Two towards Les Misérables (the book). Both are in regards to Dario Brando. First, George mistakes Dario, who was trying to loot him, as his savior; this is just as Marius' father mistakes Thenadiers as his savior when Thenadiers was trying to loot his "corpse" on a battlefield. Secondly, George also claims that he gave Dario the ring that Dario himself stole to save Dario from being locked up for years; this is similar to how the bishop Myriel claims that he had given Jean Valjean the silverware Valjean had stolen to save Valjean from being sent back to prison. Araki would later list Les Miserables as Giorno's favorite book.
  • Slouch of Villainy: In Phantom Blood, Dio will occasionally sit like this.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Dio kills Jonathan, but not before Jonathan can father a son with his newly wedded wife, Erina.
  • Sore Loser: How does Dio respond to Jonathan beating his ass in a fistfight? By tying up and stuffing his dog Danny in an incinerator to be burned alive. To say Dio is a sore loser would be a severe understatement.
  • The Stinger: The 2012 anime adds a lingering shot of a man inside of a pillar after Jonathan's story comes to a close, hinting the next part.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Shares a page with the rest of the franchise.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Zig-Zagged. Dio spends much of the first half justifying his horrible actions with his troubled childhood, but once Speedwagon says that he's been evil since he was born, Dio stops trying to justify himself, and embraces the concept of evil entirely.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: One of Phantom Blood's most iconic lines. When Dio kicks Danny in the jaw, Jonathan is furious and says that he won't forgive him for this.
    Jonathan: What are you doing!? I won't forgive you!!
  • Took a Level in Badass: Jonathan's potential is said to explode in times of great pressure. He notably grows from a pampered kid to a guy strong enough to easily overpower Dio or drag several people across a rugby field. Then he learns how to fight vampires.
  • We Need a Distraction: Speedwagon realizes early on that he can't fight vampires and zombies directly, so he serves as a distraction for others, even nicknaming himself "The Interfering Speedwagon".
  • Wham Episode: Doesn't get any more wham than Dio finally killing Jonathan.
  • When It All Began: George Joestar meets Dario Brando trying to steal from him but believes that he saved him from a terrible carriage accident. Out of gratitude, George gives Dario a favor, who later uses it to have him adopt Dio Brando.
  • Your Vampires Suck: One scene shows Dio Brando crushing a silver crucifix in his hand, as if to emphasize that silver and holy symbols aren't a weakness to JoJo vampires.

Alternative Title(s): Phantom Blood


DIO throws away his humanity

DIO is not above killing his adoptive family to get the Stone Mask's powers.

How well does it match the trope?

4.8 (35 votes)

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Main / CompleteMonster

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