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A long time ago, before the self-awareness that defined an entire generation, Phantom Blood had plenty of bloody terrors to be found in Victorian London.
- How does the story start? With a woman being sacrificed alive! Her blood is used to turn a guy wearing the Aztec Mask into a vampire, who proceeds to kill one of his followers and absorb his blood.
- The way vampires in this series suck blood — while the normal neck-biting method works, more often than not they'll just dig their hand into someone's neck, causing all of their veins to bulge hideously as they're drained to a husk. At one point, Dio grabs Jonathan's carotid artery between his fingers and plays with it like a squeaky toy.
- Really, Dio Brando in general. Where to begin?:
- It's generally agreed that Dio's first truly despicable action (at the age of twelve) was trapping Jonathan's beloved pet dog, Danny, in the incinerator with his jaw wired shut so the groundskeeper wouldn't notice until it was too late, as revenge for his totally-deserved beating after he stole Erina's first kiss. A Big Friendly Dog dying such a horrible death is awful enough as it is, as is the mere fact that Dio is willing to go that far for petty revenge, but it's even worse in the manga, as we get the gruesome sight of the wire melting and his body blackening as it's engulfed in flames.
- Dio Brando's actions before Jonathan Grew a Spine involve a great deal of psychological horror. First, Jonathan is beaten up, becomes the subject of unfavorable rumors by Dio, made to look less desirable in his father's eyes in comparison to Dio himself, and finally steals his Sacred First Kiss with Erina to drive a wedge between their relationship so Jonathan would become a nervous wreck. A scene that was cut from the anime involves Jonathan trying to find his watch, only to see Dio had gotten his hands on it- showing how easily Dio could take everything from him. Really emphasizing how subtle and gradual that Dio was pushing Jonathan to a corner that he couldn't escape from. Thankfully, Jonathan Took a Level in Badass and started to turn things around.
- After Dio becomes a vampire, he gets so much worse. He does continue his dog-kicking streak throughout the rest of the storyline, but the most horrible thing that he does would have to be the scene in which he turns that woman into a zombie and calmly watches her eat her own baby. The woman Dio has brought before him is begging him to take her, but spare the baby. He gives her his word that he will not even touch it. Shortly afterward, the zombie mom does as is said above. He kept his word, but still ensured the baby's demise by having the now zombified mother eat its face off, once more proving what a monster Dio was.
- His taste in pets, which involves putting cats' heads on birds. Later, he put a man's head on a dog's body to amuse himself by mixing his love of abusing dogs and punishing minions to kill/kick one if the particular manages to be too vulgar as a surreal stress reliever.
- Due to Dio's augmentative and amalgamated experimentations with zombies, the zombies gradually go from the garden-variety, warped corpses with reddish eyes to monstrous, alien, and even demonic beings that resemble denizens of hell than zombies. Given that Dio Brando is a thematic Satanic Archetype for the series, the choice of appearance was likely deliberate.
- The way in which Dio manages to deal with what happens to him at the end of Phantom Blood is quite shriek-invoking. Long story short, he decapitates Jonathan and places his then-severed head onto the headless body.
- Jack the Ripper's introduction. The carriage in which Jonathan, Zeppeli, and Speedwagon are riding suddenly stops in the middle of a tunnel. The group goes to see what's wrong, and find that their coach driver has been turned into a knife block while the horses have been decapitated. As they wonder who or what could have done something like this, Zeppeli senses something strange about the dead horses: turns out Jack was hiding inside one horse's corpse, and he emerges from its neck stump, covered in blood!
- The fact that he sheathes his knife through his cheeks is also quite creepy.
- During the fight with Tarkus, he decides to grab two hapless townsfolk, and straight up crush them to paste with his bare hands, before drinking the body juices that came out. We even get to see one of the victims have the skin on his face tear off near the end of it.