DIO: The Best At Being The Worst | JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

Few villains in long-running series are nearly as integral as DIO. And in the conclusion of this year’s Villains Month, the twins dive into just one of many things that make DIO so enthralling. Stay Toon’d!

Well. We’re finally here. The last episode in this year’s celebration of depravity, Villains Month. And I think it’s only fair that we end things with something unique. Something special. Something… Bizarre. Or, in other words *ahem* SO-NO CHI NO SA-DA-ME! JOOOOOOO-JO! That’s right, baby! We’re talkin’ DIO! Let’s go! Oh, but uh, first… Hey. Sis. Whatcha doin’, hidin’ off screen? Why don’tcha come on over here and we can get started?
Do the episode yourself!
Whaaat? Nah. No way. It’s just no fun out here without my sister to back me up.
I am not coming out there.
No? And why’s that?
Why do you think?!
Hmmm. Well, it couldn’t have anything to do with that bet you lost a while back, could it? Nah, that can’t be it. I mean, that’d make you a really sore loser, wouldn’t it? That sure doesn’t sound like you, though. You were even so ready for whatever I threw your way.
That was then and this is now!
I think you should just come on and get it over with. It’s only fair.
All right, listen here ya little troll doll! When I lost, I had to wear that frilly nightmare of yours! This time I won, fair and square, and you agreed to this. So get your ass out here before I drag your ass out here!
*enters* You. Suck.
*erupts into laughter*
S-shut up! I didn’t laugh at you! You actually looked cute in yours. I just look like-
A JoJo character?
Relax. I’m laughing because it suits you… well… that and karma. But you even had the hair buns and everything. And Jolyne’s a total badass! I can’t wait for the Stone Ocean anime to come out! You should be honored!
W-whatever! Can I change back now?!
Uh, like hell! I had to wear that humiliating getup for a whole damn weekend! Suck it up, buttercup!
Now, then. Back to the subject at hand. For our last feature of Villains Month, we’d like to introduce you to DIO: The Best at Being the Worst.

There’s at ton we can say about Dio, really. Well… I can, anyway.
*sigh* I guess Dio is a perfectly effective villain, or whatever.
Effective?! Dude, Dio is a friggin’ legend! Even if we just ignore all the JoJo memes-
She says, as if that’s even possible…
AHEM. Even if we ignore all the JoJo memes, Dio is a genuinely great villain. One of the best. It’s only appropriate, right? We opened Villains Month talking about one golden boy, now we get to close with one.
And what makes him so great?
Easy. Dio is, straight up, a Shounen Protagonist in the role of the villain.
I’m sorry, you’re gonna have to run that by me again. What?
Yeah, I should probably qualify that statement a little more. I don’t mean it in the literal sense. But it helps to understand that JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is partially founded on the idea of playing with the tropes that have essentially become stock for the Shounen genre, as a whole. Especially once they got to Stardust Crusaders.
I thought Part 1 was supposed to be a weird Shounen parody of Soap Operas.
I mean… it basically is. At least… it seems that way. But that’s a discussion for another time. Just look at it – and Dio specifically – more closely. Dio’s entire philosophy is essentially a dark perversion of the exact same kind of ambition that drives most Shounen protagonists. Because of his background, he sees himself as an underdog and is obsessed with rising above others. Of course, that background also made him sadistic, conniving, and petty as all hell.
Yeah, I guess that is a good point. By contrast, JoJo is a noble who didn’t have to work for his status, but is humble and strives to be an honorable gentleman.
Right. Dio studied and struggled to escape his fate – fate, by the way, being an actual tangible concept in the JoJo universe. His life in the slums trained his cunning. His studies trained his charisma. And his ambition fueled his unmatched tenacity. True to the typical Shounen Protagonist model, Dio absolutely refuses to stay down.
But unlike the usual Shounen Protagonist, it’s not pure willpower that keeps him going. Sure, that’s part of it. But at the end of the day Dio’s just crafty. He doesn’t play fair at all. And the more desperate he is to win, the more conniving he becomes.
Exactly. In a way, his STAND is the ultimate representation of this. By allowing him to stop time – and later do other things – Dio is pretty much spitting in the face of lady fate, herself. It’s why he got so pissed at the mere possibility of Jotaro invading his world of stopped time. Dio is fated to battle the Joestars. Fated to lose to the Joestars.
So I guess it kind of makes sense, then, why he kinda loses his mind in that final fight.
Yup. In a word, he’s desperate. And it makes his old, unhinged nature rear its head – a side of him we only see when he’s at his lowest points in Part 1.
Something I would say is that it’s kinda neat seeing how different Dio is when he comes back.
True. Something that we didn’t really touch on in the Frieza episode is the other benefit of villains having some longevity. All the best villains may as well be secondary main characters.
Right. Because when they come back after a loss, they’ve changed. They’ve evolved. When Frieza came back the first time, he hadn’t changed at all. And that point was driven home by Trunks… well…
Yeeeah. But, when Frieza came back again in Super, he learned. He changed his thinking and that led to his getting stronger with Golden Form. Then, when he came back again, he’d pretty much perfected it.
Dio’s no different really. When he came back, he was almost a different character. He still had pretty much the same motivations, the same default traits, everything you’d expect. But after a hundred years, he’d mellowed out a bit. Matured. Despite his ambition, he was more cautious. More patient. Even kinda paranoid after having all that time to think about his ultimate loss to Jonathan. And it made him ruthlessly efficient. This was peak Dio.
Unfortunately, he made one crucial mistake.
He really, really pissed off Jotaro. Dio’s still Dio. He is one cocky bastard. And when he’s in a position of power, he’s gonna milk it. As Antwan explains in their video – Why DIO ACTUALLY Lost to Jotaro – it’s one of his biggest weaknesses, and it’s the reason he loses both time. Seriously, go check out that video when you’re done here. It explores Dio’s character a lot more thoroughly than we’re doing here. Anyway, hell, Dio’s finally able to defeat Jonathan – kinda – by reining this side of himself in. So when he pretty much went banana-balls after taking Joseph’s blood and believing he was finally unbeatable, well… you know how the story ends.
Still. It never really occurred to me to even think of Dio that way.
I just love the way he acts as a reflection of one of the more typical shounen protagonist character arcs, going through a lot of the same stuff, but developing in the opposite direction and being played in an antagonistic role. It’s some seriously cool storytelling. And that’s on top of just… I mean… look, do I even need to say that Dio’s entertaining? I mean… I can, but it’d just feel…
Uh… yeah. That.

And there ya go. Dio. The villain who mirrors the typical shounen protagonist in his ambition to be the best, like no one ever was. The best… at being the worst.
Great. We’re done now?
Yep. Glad to have you along for the ride, there.
Sure. Any time.
You… you aren’t going to complain or nag me to let you change, now?
Hm? Why on earth would I do that? We have Trick-or-Treating to do.
Wait… what?
A costume’s a costume, right? I’m already in this, so I may as well. *GASP* But Riley! What about your costume?!
Now, Riley, you didn’t forget, did you? Shame on you. And you promised we’d go together, this year!
I… well…
It’s okay, though! I have the perfect solution! A back-up plan I’m sure you’ll just love!
Wait… no. No! I am not puttin’ that thing on again! Get… get back. Get away from me. Rila? RILA!!!
*giggle* Happy Halloweeeen.

End Screen Art by EUDETENIS

Rila – Mocha Vampire

Riley – AxusX
also on AstroPill

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