- For a similar character, see Diego Brando from Another Universe
|“||I will stand above that flock of pigeons and I will control them.||”|
—Diego about humanity
Diego Brando (ディエゴ・ブランドー Diego Burandō), commonly referred to as Dio (ディオ), is an antagonist in Steel Ball Run.
Diego is a young man of below-average height and slim to medium build. He has light hair, dark eyebrows, and light, bold eyes.
He commonly wears an equestrian helmet with the letters "D", "I" and "O" loosely mounted on bending pins emerging from a small ribbon tied at its front, a turtleneck jumper patterned with a diagonal grid, light, mid-forearm-length gloves, light, wide-legged breeches, and tall, dark riding boots.
After obtaining the Corpse's left eye and fusing it with his own, his left eye's iris has the word "TURBO" engraved on it, and he temporarily gains a mark under said eye reading "DIO", contrasting to the cross Gyro gains from the right eye.
During his childhood, he was a good-natured and resourceful kid. His mother raised him with love and taught him to keep his dignity in even the direst situation. At age five, witnessing his mother sacrificing her hands so that he could be fed, Diego developed a resentment of everyone around him for allowing that to happen, and an insatiable ambition, on par with that of the original Dio Brando.
Since then Diego has been driven to climb the social ladder in order to get back at everyone who wronged him in the past. His first and foremost target is his biological father Dario.
Using any opportunity, he is said to have married an old woman for her wealth, and in the same vein, participated in the Steel Ball Run for prestige. Diego is particularly vindictive against anyone who gets in his way, and doesn't hesitate to injure or kill them, although he doesn't manifest murderous intents automatically.
Diego possesses a strong misanthropy, describing humanity as a "flock of pigeons", and resents humans as a whole for the death of his mother. Thus Diego is naturally solitary, never looking to bond with anyone, and in case he has to cooperate with someone, he will keep a certain amount of separation between them. Diego sees human life as worthless and will sacrifice someone to further his goals without a qualm.
- Main article: Scary Monsters
Diego first turned into a dinosaur after he, along with a number of villagers, were controlled by Dr. Ferdinand in order to steal the left eye of the Saint's Corpse from Johnny and Gyro.
After Ferdinand was defeated, Diego stole the corpse part and fused it with his left eye, allowing him to retain the ability to turn himself into a dinosaur. While initially benefiting from just enhanced senses and strength, the stand and all of its abilities eventually became his own.
Horse-riding: Diego is one the most talented jockeys of his generation, and is considered one of the favorites of the Steel Ball Run. Diego's skill allows him to ride across many types of terrain and he is able to use advanced techniques such as riding close to others as to use their horse as air pressure shields to get ahead in a race. Moreover Diego possesses an uncanny talent for analyzing horses, notably having discovered Gyro's horse Valkyrie's ticks and weakness to exploit them, and being able to not only assert his horse's capabilities, but also that of other horses. His enhanced senses as a dinosaur allow him to analyze horses but also the terrain in order to secure the victory. His original, beloved horse is named Silver Bullet.
HistorySince he was a child, Diego had a talent for relating to horses - even seemingly untameable ones would allow themselves be handled by him.
Diego's parents were financially weak and attempted to dispose of him as a baby. However, his mother felt guilty and risked her own life to save him from drowning, upon which his alcoholic father left them both. His mother changed her surname to "Brando" and became employed by a farm, but she and Diego lived in poverty in the stables.
Five years later, the man that had arranged her employment demanded sexual favors from her, and upon her refusal, sabotaged their means to get food. No matter how hard the times he and his mother fell on, she refused to discard of what little dignity they had left – she taught Diego that eating out of shoes due to lack of proper dishes was unacceptable.
Partly from her example, Diego developed a strong sense of pride. Another year later his young mother died of the tetanus infection, which Diego (at the time 6 years old) believes to be a result of the humiliation they had to suffer. The boy grew up resenting everyone who abandoned them and swore to himself to get revenge against the man who had harassed his mother.
Steel Ball Run race
After he loses the first stage of the Steel Ball Run to Gyro Zeppeli, he becomes irritated and considers Gyro his personal enemy from that point onward.
At a later point of the race, Diego meets Gyro and Johnny again in a small village in the mountains. He appears to be friendly, but just as the two heroes think he won't harm them, he suddenly transforms into a Deinonychus and attacks them.
It turns out that the meeting was a trap set up by the bounty hunter Dr. Ferdinand. Ferdinand's Stand power can turn living beings into dinosaurs. He uses this ability to create dinosaur "bodyguards" in his hunt for the Corpse Parts. Even Diego was turned into one of his soldiers when he was attacked by him earlier.
Gyro manages to defeat Dr. Ferdinand by fusing with one of the Turbo eyes that Ferdinand possessed, receiving the Stand ability "Scan".
Even though Ferdinand was killed and all his dinosaur minions turned back into humans, Diego escaped with the second Turbo Eye, transferring to him Ferdinand's Stand power and the ability to turn into a Raptor when he wants, though he initially can't control it very well.
Allying with Valentine
Later in the series, after losing another round to Gyro, he joins Funny Valentine, the president of the United States, who is searching for the body parts of "The Saint", which are said to grant great powers. By doing so, Diego is paired with Sandman and was hoping to find a way of defeating Gyro.
During the 8th round, Diego turned against Valentine, but was quickly defeated by his Stand, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, and had the Corpse's Eye taken from him. He devises a plan with Hot Pants to attack Valentine as he is on the train with Lucy Steel.
Diego's life ends after an attempt to kill Valentine by dragging him under the train, resulting in his own demise in vain as he is torn in half; although he is soon succeeded by a Diego from a neighboring universe, retrieved by Valentine, to track down Johnny.
|Steel Ball Run Race Statistics|
|Fifth||Outside point range||0|
Diego Brando is disqualified in the ninth stage, with a total of 352 points and two extra hours of time.
In Video Games
Diego appears in the Steel Ball Run themed stage, along with Johnny Joestar and Gyro Zeppeli, where Diego can be seen ahead racing ahead of the both of them (reminiscent of the climax of the Steel Ball Run's 3rd stage).
Diego was one of the first characters confirmed to be playable in the game (alongside Jotaro, Part II Joseph, Kakyoin, Josuke and Stroheim). He appears as the solo final boss for the game's first demo.
Several of his basic attacks include moves done in his battle against Funny Valentine, such as clawing and slashing using his bare hands. Using Scary Monsters, Diego can summon dinosaurs and make them attack his opponents. As with Johnny and Gyro, Diego utilizes the Mounted style and can ride his horse Silver Bullet, in order to use different moves and traverse the map easier. Diego can also transform himself into a dinosaur to attack opponents with bites, dash attacks, and heavy stomps, but loses his ability to mount his horse.
His solo GHA involves him delivering a series of claw-handed blows to his opponent's body, ending with an extremely powerful downward chop (a reenactment of his assault on a cornered Valentine)
- As a 5-year-old boy, he resembles the teenage Giorno Giovanna; his hair in circular bangs and a small tail at the back.
Similarities to Dio Brando
- A fondness towards his mother (likely the only person he truly respects) and an uncaring, alcoholic father.
- Unscrupulousness and a wish to dominate.
- Marriage to a woman of considerable age who fell in love with him, and it is rumored, he murdered (perhaps a reference to Enya the Hag (OVA) who died by his hand).
- Both attempted to unjustly acquire inheritance money at the beginning of or prior to the start of the story (Dio tried to claim the Joestar family fortune while Diego successfully claimed his elderly wife's after her demise).
- A physical ascension to a superhuman form (as original Dio became a Vampire, Diego gains the ability to transform into a dinosaur) with the by-product of another person.
- When Diego was put into submission by Hot Pants, he "kissed" Hot Pants to force her to release him and the sound effect that appeared in the panel was the same as Dio's forced kiss with Erina.
- Being cut in half (Dio was cut vertically in half by Jonathan and Diego was cut horizontally in half by a train), both surviving in one way or another.
- Beheaded shortly after his defeat.
- Diego's horse Silver Bullet may be a reference to silver bullets, a form of ammunition used in European myths that have the capacity to kill supernatural beings, more famously vampires or werewolves.
- The final antagonist Jonathan ("Johnny") Joestar has to face and defeated by a different person (DIO by Jotaro, Diego by Lucy).
- Inhibited by a leg injury shortly before their death.
- Both Dio and him eventually gain the same Japanese voice actor to parallel them further.
- ↑ SBR Chapter 64: Chocolate Disco (1)
- ↑ SBR Chapter 12: First Stage: Disqualified from Victory
- ↑ SBR Chapter 1: The Steel Ball Run: Press Conference
- ↑ SBR Chapter 31: Scary Monsters (4)
- ↑ JOJOVELLER: STANDS - Comments by Hirohiko Araki
- ↑ SBR Chapter 30: Scary Monsters (3)