JoJo's Bizarre Adventure was launched in 1987, and while the Phantom Blood story arc was a short-lived product of its time, it has the distinction of introducing major characters such as Robert E. O. Speedwagon, Jonathan Joestar and Dio Brando. Despite being a brief nine episodes, this story arc had some of the franchise's most exciting twists and turns.
Although the series' combat system would be overhauled with the advent of Stands and Jonathan Joestar would soon yield to successors like Joseph Joestar and Jotaro Kujo, Jonathan's story is a worthwhile opening act to JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. And five particular plot twists and scenes helped to define Phantom Blood and even set up future storylines and characters to come.
When Jonathan Joestar Met Robert Speedwagon
The Phantom Blood story arc's plot twists had far-reaching consequences, and the positive consequences of meeting Robert E. O. Speedwagon would come to fruition long after Jonathan's death. One snowy evening on London's Ogre Street, Jonathan clashed with local thugs, with Robert Speedwagon among their number. Before long, though, Speedwagon had a change of heart and recognized Jonathan as a noble and honorable fellow.
Speedwagon was really just Jonathan's cheerleader during the Phantom Blood story arc, but later on, he would be inspired by Jonathan's example and create the Speedwagon Foundation. This organization would assist future Joestars, including Joseph and Jotaro during the Stardust Crusaders story arc. If he didn't meet Jonathan, Speedwagon would have been a nobody forever, and future Joestars would suffer for it.
When Dio Brando Donned The Stone Mask
It's true that Dio Brando's adoption into the Joestar family was a big moment, but that was the inciting event that launched Phantom Blood. Dio and Jonathan were secretly each other's worst enemies, and by the time Dio was revealed as the one poisoning George Joestar, there was no going back.
Dio needed a way out, and he seized the strange stone mask and put it on. He had already seen in action once, and now he was ready to discard his humanity and become something more (or less). This transformation would launch Dio's career as Jonathan's ultimate nemesis, and it would allow him to survive the long decades to terrorize the world once again in the 1980s. Dio the vampire has been born.
When Jonathan Met Baron Zeppeli, The Hamon Expert
Jonathan had a strong body and a strong will to match, but not even he could slay a vampire by himself. He's no Buffy Summers, so he needs a mentor: the one and only Baron Zeppeli, who learned the secrets of Hamon/ripple in Asia. Baron Zeppeli began teaching Jonathan the ways of Hamon and proper breathing techniques, and Jonathan proved a quick and fearless learner.
Meeting Zeppeli gave Jonathan the strength necessary to defeat Tarkus and Bruford, then Dio himself. Of course, Dio wasn't out of the picture for good, but his temporary defeat would lead to more critical scenes in Phantom Blood and beyond, and all this would inspire Joseph Joestar to learn Hamon as well. Without Baron Zeppeli, Jonathan wouldn't have gotten very far.
When Jonathan Gave His Life To Stop Dio
Dio Brando was safely contained in a casket, and that casket was loaded onto the same steamship that Jonathan and his new bride Erina had boarded for a trip to the United States. Dio's moment was at hand: he emerged as a severed head and began possessing the ship's crew and passengers alike, and Jonathan give everything he had to defeat Dio once again. He even wrecked the ship to strand Dio in the ocean and gave his life to make sure Dio went down with him.
Not only did this close the book on Jonathan's story, but it also established Jonathan as the ultimate selfless hero in the process. Further, Dio's second defeat would keep him contained until the 1980s when his casket was recovered. This put Dio in a position to acquire a Stand and face Jotaro Kujo in a new era.
When Erina Rescued The Infant Lisa Lisa From The Shipwreck
Jonathan's lover, Erina, survived the flaming shipwreck aboard Dio's casket. Despite being devastated by Jonathan's death, Erina shone. She faced Dio at his worst and survived, and she had the strength to face the future and carry on her late husband's will.
Erina would later be an important person in Joseph's life, but that's not all Erina did. She rescued a baby girl from the ship, who would grow up to marry Erina's son George II and have her own son -- Joseph. This baby girl was Lisa Lisa, and the Joestar family owed a lot to Erina for rescuing her from the sinking ship. Thus, Phantom Blood ended on a heroic note that thoroughly set the stage for future stories to come.