The saga of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure crosses many years and multiple generations of the Joestar family, but the stage of all that follows is set very early on by one of the first characters introduced in the series. George Joestar is the father of the first JoJo, Jonathan. His life and actions have a powerful impact on the entire JoJo universe, with the biggest stemming from his interactions with the Brando family.
In 1868, George Joestar and his family were in a carriage accident, in which his wife, Mary, died. When a thief named Dario Brando arrives at the scene, George mistakes him for a Good Samaritan providing help, but his acumen is just a little off—Brando is there to steal the wedding ring off Mary’s stiff hand.
Later, Brando is arrested attempting to pawn off the ring. As a result of the arrest, George is called to the prison to confirm that the ring was stolen from his late wife. George had every right to have Brando locked away in prison for his crime, but instead states that the ring was a gift to Dario for saving his life, resulting in Dario the latter’s release. The entire story is very obviously an homage to the silverware scene between the bishop and Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, where the victim shows grace and compassion to one who genuinely wished him harm.
Later in life, George takes in Dio, Dario’s orphaned son. He raises him as his own, treating Dio with kindness, love, and trust. Though his trust in Dio is ultimately misplaced, the deed itself remains powerful, perhaps even moreso in spite of the outcome. George is the very symbol of grace, an act of unmerited favor. We see this in his actions of George toward Dario, a criminal and Dio, an unknown child; George displays kindness and mercy to both.
In the Bible, Christ demonstrates His grace too. As a sinful creation, scriptures explains to us just as with Dario, we’ve earned a sentence—but for us, the sentence is death. And yet, out of his mercy, Jesus chooses the cross and takes the punishment for His sinful creation. Out of His death, Christ provides a path of salvation through grace. The Bible calls all Christians to model this grace-filled behavior. In no uncertain terms, Christ tells us to love those who hate us. We are commanded by our God to show kindness and grace to our enemies.
That is not easy to do.
Loving your enemy is hard. I am not always able to follow this command. I sometimes become angry and retain bitterness far longer than I should. If you hurt me or my family, I will not forget it. It takes time for me to forgive. Yet, I am commanded to do so and I do strive to improve.
George, for all his flaws, gives us a fantastic example of this grace. He is an imperfect father who does not always treat Jonathan well. His lack of trust for Jonathan and, at times, elevation of Dio over him creates family strife. However, despite George’s imperfections, his heart is a graceful one. We see it throughout his life and even in his death. In that way, the course of George’s life resembles Kind David, who lied, cheated, and murdered. Yet, he loved hard and wept for the deaths of his enemies. When similar strife arose among David’s children, he showed love to the end for his murderous and rebellious son. David and George are both imperfect fathers who provide examples of both flaws and grace.
I am an imperfect father. I know that my actions will have a huge impact on my children. My hope is that I show them such love and grace. I hope to teach them to love hard and forgive abundantly. George made many mistakes, but loving so deeply was not one—it is worthy of imitation in my own life.
And—unpopular opinion—I feel George deserves to be called a JoJo…
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure can be streamed at Crunchyroll. The manga can be read at Shonen Jump/Viz.
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One thought on “Newman’s Nook: The Grace of George Joestar”
Jojo is interesting. Most people don’t care for the Phantom Blood arc (the starting arc focused on Jonathan and Dio). They usually prefer either Stardust Crusaders or the Pillar Men arc. But for me, Jonathan has always been my favorite Jojo. Joseph is cool and fun, but Jonathan is just good. No real tricks, he’s just a straight forward good man who is also heroic.
Of course, my favorite DC superhero is Superman, not Batman. And in the Marvel Universe I favor Captain America over Iron Man. Though I always think that’s a little deceptive. I like Superman because I like Clark Kent, I think Clark Kent is a very admirable person, and I like Captain America because I like Steve Rodgers. Heck, my youth basically was Steve Rodgers, when he had that scene pointing out the different alleys he’d been beat up in, it was funny to me, because I could do the same thing in my old neighborhood.
But really what it’s about is that I’d like Clark Kent as a friend. I’d like Steve Rodgers as a friend. Forget all the superpower stuff, I’d just like to hang out with them at a barbecue. Jonathan Joestar fits into the same category for me.