For a similar character, see Part 7 SpoilersDiego 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 Brando is a genius British jockey hailed as one of the best contenders in the Steel Ball Run race, but he soon shifts his attention to the Saint's Corpse. Diego becomes a powerful intermittent rival to both Gyro and Johnny. Although he works with different factions during the course of the race, Diego is only loyal to himself. 

At some point in the narrative, Diego acquires a varation of the Stand, Scary Monsters, from Dr. Ferdinand.


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 helmetW with the letters "DIO" 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 breechesW, and tall, dark riding bootsW.

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 anyone to further his goals without hesitation.


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.[5] While initially benefiting from just enhanced senses and strength, the stand and all of its abilities eventually became his own.[6]

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.



Young diego

Young Diego

Since 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.[7] 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.

Scary Monsters

At a later point in 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 UtahraptorW and attacks them.

It turns out that the meeting was a trap set up by the bounty hunter Dr. Ferdinand. Ferdinand's Stand power, Scary Monsters, could 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 a scanning ability.

Despite Ferdinand being killed and all his dinosaur minions turning back into humans, Diego escaped with the second Turbo Eye, and retained the ability to turn into a Utahraptor at will, though he initially can't control it very well. This would later allow him to use his own variation of Scary Monsters.

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.

Race Stats

Steel Ball Run Race Statistics
Stage Placement Points
First 2nd 50
Second 1st 100
Third 3rd 40
Fourth 54th 0
Fifth Outside point range 0
Sixth 20th 2
Seventh 1st 100
Eighth 2nd 50

Diego Brando is disqualified in the ninth stage, with a total of 352 points and two extra hours of time.


Manga Appearances
Chapters in order of appearance

Video Games

Jump Super Stars (DS)

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).

Eyes of Heaven (PS3/PS4)

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)


He is paired with Narancia Ghirga in the Eyes of Heaven Tournament, defeating Robert E.O. Speedwagon and Ermes Costello in the first round, but eliminated by Mariah and Esidisi in the second.



  1. SBR Chapter 64: Chocolate Disco (1)
  2. SBR Chapter 12: First Stage: Disqualified from Victory
  3. SBR Chapter 1: The Steel Ball Run: Press Conference
  4. SBR Chapter 94: The World of the Stars and Stripes
  5. SBR Chapter 31: Scary Monsters (4)
  6. JOJOVELLER: STANDS - Comments by Hirohiko Araki
  7. SBR Chapter 30: Scary Monsters (3)

Site Navigation