Prof. Westengard | O628 | Fall 2022

Blog 3 – Sam Fletcher

A contemporary vampire that immediately comes to mind is the character, “Dio Brando”. He comes from a continuous series called “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure” which is a manga that was first written around 1987 by mangaka Hirohiko Araki. The series could be described as a multi-generational story sectioned by arcs revolving around the Joestar family and their odd, supernatural encounters and adventures. It had just reached the finale with its latest arc, titled “Jojolion”, in 2019. Although the character Dio Brando was established in the first written arc “Phantom Blood”, his development and story have been stretched throughout the majority of the stories long run pushing towards the 2000s and its later arcs. Dio Brando is the established antagonist of the series being the cause of the majority of the tyranny in the first set arcs. In “Phantom Blood” Arc 1, the setting takes place in the early-to-late 1800s. He is introduced, although not being blood-born as a vampire he was always been an ill-hearted character, selfish, manipulative, lacking empathy, and seeking terror in everyone in his life. He is a character written to be pure evil, seeking almighty malevolent power and riches. He would do anything for this passion, and that would even mean losing his so-called humanity. By stealing an ancient artifact from the Joestar family, a family which has only ever shown love and support to him, he impulsively uses it to become a vampire to gain prestige and inhumane power. An open door to achieve his goal of becoming the most powerful being in the world. Not only does he take advantage of the family that took him under their wing, but he also pursues to destroy their bloodline.

When observing similarities between Lord Ruthven and Dio, I can pinpoint a number of factors, one of them being their alluring but alienating seductive nature as vampires. This trait is usually associated with vampires as they are usually associated with being a” romantic, erotic figure” (Day 18). Quoting from The Vampyre. “the blush of modesty, or from the strong emotion of passion, though its form and outline were beautiful, many of the female hunters after notoriety attempted to win his attentions” describes the effortless allure Lord Ruthven had exuded, while not indulging in with the majority within the many pompous parties he had attended. “to attract his notice: though in vain: when she stood before him, though his eyes were apparently fixed upon her’s, still it seemed as if they were unperceived” Everyone was intrigued by Lord Ruthven, while he appeared to have no interest in them but himself and his needs. While Dio does not display the typical appearance of a vampire with pale skin and black hair, he is still described to be handsome, competing evenly with the Joestar bloodline itself. He uses his own appearance, status, and supernatural powers to seduce and manipulate potential henchmen who he believes are formidable, established candidates. Past the first arc, many characters are oddly led toward Dio’s supernatural aura, without knowing who the man even is, his power and elegance convince them otherwise. Like Lord Ruthven, Dio indulges with only his needs, with everyone intrigued by him, while he is only in the thought of himself. Another trait that is good to mention is their willingness to use any man or person for their benefit, only to throw them away. I can refer to this back from the text “Remember your oath, and know, if not my bride to day, your sister is dishonored. Women are frail!” and “Lord Ruthven had disappeared, and Aubrey’s sister had glutted the thirst of a VAMPYRE!” which describes the end of the tale, where Lord Ruthven not only does not keep his word with Aubrey, he resorts to sucking his sister’s blood towards her Fatale death. The second Aubrey passed away from going mad, Lord Ruthven had immediately taken back his word and proceed to do what he pleased, which was to kill the girl. Showing that agreement or not, Aubrey’s sister was up for a gruesome death from the start. I would most definitely compare this behavior to Dio who attempts to destroy and steal from the household that had very much adopted and supported him, and the first step was by making sure that he was better than their only son in every single way. And that would mean purposely one-upping Joestar’s son on every situation publicly and mentally, and even resorting to stealing or destroying anything precious to him. Little by little, Dio would kill Joestar’s son’s dog, then steal his love’s first kiss from him purposely poisoning his father to death, burning their mansion down, and at the end of this ever-lasting fight killing the Joestar son himself.

4 Comments

  1. Shaneka

    Hi Sam, I love the comparison between Dio and Lord Ruthven; I would have never considered comparing the two. A difference I could see between them is that Dio was ultimately defeated and gave hope to the viewers, while Lord Ruthven provides no sense of justice and instill fear of the unknown. I also would say Dio and Lord Ruthven are similar in that they seek to destroy the people who have embraced them and given them welcoming arms.

    • Sam Fletcher

      Hi Shaneka, that is a really good difference to point out! You’re right about Dio being defeated, Lord Ruthven doesn’t end with a tragic end unlike the other main characters in the story, rather he remains behind the scenes in the story ..lingering and preying for another victim. One thing I’d like to add is that despite Dio’s defeat, his henchmen linger around the world still engulfed by Dio’s enchantment and beliefs, proceeding to pursue Dio’s wishes with the powers he granted them.

  2. Justice Monge

    Hello Sam, I love the comparison between Dio and Lord Ruthven. I am also a fan of Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure. If dio and lord ruthven were to meet then they will not get along with each other at all as they will just use one another as a tool.

  3. Laura Westengard

    This was a fantastic analysis, Sam! I’m not familiar with Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, so I guess I’ll have to check it out!

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