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William Anthonio Zeppeli

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What is "Courage"? "Courage" is knowing fear and making that fear your own!

—Zeppeli, Chapter 22

William Anthonio Zeppeli (ウィル・(アントニオ)・ツェペリ Wiru Antonio Tseperi?) is Jonathan Joestar's primary ally in Phantom Blood.

Introduced as the first character in the series to use the Ripple, Zeppeli acts as a mentor to Jonathan and is the first member of the Zeppeli family to aid a Joestar.


Zeppeli appears as a man of average to above-average height, muscular build and defined, pointed facial features. He has dark, curly hair that protrudes somewhat from under his hat and a thin, well-groomed handlebar mustache.

Between two outfits, he wears a suit, a bow tie, and a top hat; first characterized by a rainbow print, and then by a checkered print.


As a master of the Ripple, Zeppeli is confident and brave, freely approaching an injured Jonathan and giving him the power of the ripple without having met him previously. This personality also extends to the majority of his battles, such as when he is teaching Jonathan to apply the ripple in his fight against Jack the Ripper - all the while calmly pouring and drinking wine. Even when he realizes he is about to face a sudden and horrific death, he does not seem to be too fazed by this and acts very casually with regards to life.


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Zeppeli using the Ripple to destroy a rock without disturbing the frog which rested over it.

Having studied the technique for years with masters in Tibet and trained Jonathan himself, Zeppeli is an expert when it comes to using the Ripple. Aside from attacking, he is able to use it for other things such as jumping, standing on water, healing wounds, reviving plants, and even limited foresight.


  • Zoom Punch (ズームパンチ Zūmu Panchi?): The Zoom Punch attack involves a ripple breathing technique that dislocates & stretches the joints in the arm.[4] Due to the increased length, the strike is useful as a semi-ranged attack. Interestingly enough the technique was originally taught to Jonathan, though Joseph is also capable of using it with its proper name.
  • Ripple Cutter (波紋カッター Hamon Kattā?, literally meaning Ripple Cutter): Zeppeli spits globs of wine from between his teeth. The ripple combined with the liquid makes it sharp and dense enough to cut through solid objects, as well as agile and accurate enough to deflect other projectiles.
  • Sendo Wave Kick (仙道波蹴(ウェーブキック) Sendō Uēbukikku?, literally meaning Way of the Hermit Wave Kick): A ripple-infused strike with the knee. The ripple energy tears vampires and Undead apart upon entering the bloodstream.
  • Sunlight Yellow Overdrive (山き吹色波紋疾走(サンライトイエローオーバードライブ) Sanraito Ierō Ōbādoraibu?): Using the power of sunlight, Zeppeli is able to transfer the ripple through his body into another being, causing burn damage to zombies and vampires alike. A simple, quick jab is enough to blow away a group of zombies and eventually melt them into ash.
  • Life Magnetism Overdrive (生命磁気への波紋疾走(オーバードライブ) Seimei Jiki e no Ōbādoraibu?): An ability that allowed Zeppeli and Jonathan to gather forth all the leaves in the immediate area and combine them to create a much larger leaf (used as a hang glider) using the body's natural magnetic field and conductivity.
  • Tornado Overdrive (波紋乱渦疾走(トルネーデイ・オーバードライブ) Torunēdei Ōbādoraibu?): Zeppeli leaps into the air and points his legs towards his opponent. From here, he is able to move the ripple to his lower half and essentially dive bomb the opponent in a spinning motion, much like a drill.
  • Ultimate Deep Pass Overdrive (究極深仙脈疾走(デイーパスオーバードライブ) Kyūkyoku Deī Pasu Ōbādoraibu?): Zeppeli's last and most powerful ripple technique. Right before his death, he transfers all his life energy into Jonathan. Using this technique, Jonathan obtains all of Zeppeli's power - causing his strength, agility, and ripple technique to increase dramatically. This rapid loss of life energy naturally also changes Zeppeli's physical appearance, causing his skin to thin and wrinkle as well as his hair to turn white, as if greatly aged in the short time.



Born to a scholarly family, Zeppeli had been interested in researching the unknown since his youth. When he became of age, he joined the archaeological group at his father's university and was able to travel to various places around the world.

On one of his travels, the group went to Mexico to excavate an underground Aztec ruin. Amongst their finds was the Stone Mask.

On the voyage home, several of the crew began to die off, until they realized that someone had put on the mask. It turned out to be the leader of the group, Zeppeli's father. All 58 crew members were slaughtered, but Zeppeli managed to escape by jumping into the sea. His father was eradicated by the morning sun soon after. Zeppeli was eventually rescued several days later by a fishing boat.

Two years after this horrific event, Zeppeli travels the world in order to find a way to destroy the stone mask. In a town in India, he meets a strange man with the ability to heal even the most impossible injuries and sicknesses. The man directs Zeppeli to his master, Tonpetty, who teaches him to use the "Ripple". However, during his training, Tonpetty foresees Zeppeli's death and warns him that should he complete his training he will surely die. Zeppeli accepts his fate and agrees to complete the training along with Dire.

Phantom Blood

After hearing that Jonathan Joestar defeated Dio Brando, the current owner of the Stone Mask, Zeppeli presents himself to Jonathan and volunteers to teach him the ripple after using it to heal Jonathan's shattered arm. Zeppeli then accompanies Jonathan and Speedwagon on their quest to defeat Dio and destroy the Stone Mask. Zeppeli briefly fighting Jack the Ripper before giving the task to Jonathan in an attempt to teach him to more effectively use the ripple. He also tries to help Speedwagon discover the ripple in the same was as Jonathan, but makes a mistake and simply knocks the wind out of him instead.

Zeppeli appears

When Dio reveals himself to the group, Zeppeli quickly engages him on his own - however his arm is flash-frozen in the battle by Dio, totally disabling his Ripple techniques and putting him out of commission until Speedwagon comes to his aid. When Dio summons the Dark Knights, Zeppeli and Speedwagon are unable to assist Jonathan in his fight against Bruford due to Tarkus's interference. After Bruford is defeated, Zeppeli and Jonathan use their ripple on a pile of leaves to make a hang glider to escape Tarkus, who eventually manages to catch up. While Jonathan is struggling to defeat Tarkus, Zeppeli enters the battle with Poco's help and finally shares his knowledge of his own fate.

As Tonpetty's prophecy foretold, Zeppeli battles with Tarkus and becomes wrapped in his chains. Tarkus attempts to kill Jonathan and Will at the same time, bifurcating Zeppeli at the waist (as well as amputating an arm) and breaking Jonathan's neck - however Zeppeli is able to give his power and life energy to Jonathan moments before dying. It is by this power that Jonathan is healed and able to defeat Tarkus. Despite his ravaged body, Will manages to stay conscious for a few minutes, chastises Jonathan for grieving and implores him one final time to defeat Dio for good and destroy the Stone Mask. He takes his last breaths knowing he will live on through Jonathan, and dies in his arms. His remains are cremated by Jonathan and Speedwagon in the old knight training grounds where Tarkus was slain.

It is later revealed that Zeppeli had sent a letter to his master Tonpetty asking for help in destroying the Stone Mask, though Tonpetty arrived too late to prevent Zeppeli's death. After his passing, Speedwagon gains a penchant for wearing his signature checker-print top hat.

Video Games

Phantom Blood (PS2)

Phantom Blood for the Playstation 2 marks Zeppeli's first appearance in any other media outlet outside the manga. He's one of the 5 characters that can use Ripple.

Gameplay-wise, his two special moves are Sendo Wave Kick (as a non-fully charged special move) and Sunlight Yellow Overdrive (as his fully charged special move). Aside from his ripple-based moveset, he uses normal punches and kicks to attack enemies. Zeppeli is playable during most of the chapters (alongside with Jonathan and Speedwagon).

All-Star Battle (PS3)

Zeppeli makes his comeback on the PS3 title as a playable character, being one of the three characters that represent the PART I saga. He was confirmed for the game alongside Jonathan and Johnny Joestar.

Zeppeli's moveset focuses on ripple-based attacks, including his main projectile Ripple Cutter, his Tornado Overdrive as an in-air attack, his Zoom-Punch, his Sendo Wave Kick as a normal attack, and his Life Magnetism Overdrive, which can be used to make Zeppeli fly for a short time in the air, allowing for a possible air combo.

His HHA reenacts the punch he used on the frog during his initial appearance and his GHA is his Sunlight Yellow Overdrive, where he charges the attack combines it with a Zoom Punch.

If Zeppeli fights Caesar, before the match starts they will have a special dialogue, where Ceasar says he will make Zeppeli pay for what he did to his family's namesake.

Zeppeli is voiced by Yoku Shioya, who voiced the character in the anime version, and shares the same color scheme from the anime. Zeppeli also has an alternate costume, that being the tuxedo he wore originally (with a rainbow themed hat), as well as one of his alternate color-schemes resembling his previous video-game appearance (red hat and green suit).

Stardust Shooters (Android/iOS)

Zeppeli appears in the game as one of the several PART I characters who posses a Metal Striker. His FINISH move makes him shoot several Ripple Cutters upon the defeated opponent.

Eyes of Heaven (PS3/PS4)

Zeppeli was confirmed for the game alongside Jonathan and Speedwagon.

His main partner in the game appears to be Jonathan as they possess a tag special move where both of them attack the opponent with a powerful Overdrive-style punch to the abdomen.


He is paired with Koichi Hirose in the Eyes of Heaven Tournament, but was eliminated in the preliminaries by Jonathan and DIO.


  • In an interview, Araki stated that he was inspired to make Zeppeli a "silly" teacher to train Jonathan, like something akin to the "drunken master" in Jackie Chan films or Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid.
    • He additionally said that while Zeppeli was named after the rock band "Led Zeppelin", he felt that he had used the reference too early in the series.
  • Zepelli states that "Boreas fathered the vikings" while training Jonathan Joestar, making reference to the fact that the vikings had been made into a strong people by the harshness of the northern winds. Boreas was the ancient Greek god of the cold north wind (and the wind itself as an anemoi) and bringer of winter.
  • Hirohiko Araki stated that giving Zeppeli a mustache was a gamble, as it was uncommon in those days to give shonen protagonists any type of mustache, as it usually made the character seem older and untrustworthy. The mustache in particular Araki chose was inspired by Salvador Dalí and Iyami from Osomatsu-kun.
  • Upon Zeppeli's death, his hat was worn by Robert E. O. Speedwagon until the end of Part I. Later his hat is used by his grandson, Caesar.
  • Yuugi Hoshiguma from Touhou Project, who has learned to fight without spilling a drop of sake, is a confirmed reference to a scene from Part I where Zeppeli makes Jonathan fight without spilling a drop of wine.
  • Zeppeli and Yoshikage Kira share the same voice actor, Rikiya Koyama, in different games (Zeppeli in Phantom Blood and Kira in All-Star Battle).
  • A running gag has Zeppeli adding too much pepper to his food, causing him to sneeze.



  1. [citation needed]
  2. JoJonium Volume 2, Pg. 323
  3. 3.0 3.1 JoJo 6251 Pg. 148
  4. Chapter 20: Jack the Ripper and Zeppeli the Eccentric (3)

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