Jotaro Kujo is arguably the most recognizable JoJo in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. He's also the JoJo that makes the most appearances throughout the series, appearing in four out of the eight parts. At the end of the day, Jotaro is one of the more heroic protagonists in the series but he's no gentleman.
Because of the tough-guy attitude that he puts on, inspired by his hero Clint Eastwood, Jotaro has led himself to do some not so heroic things. He's one of the members of the Joestar family tree that's most popular with fans, yet he's also an individual who loves to cross a line and play by his own rules.
Updated by Daniel Kurland on September 7th, 2021: Jotaro Kujo remains especially compelling because of his generally closed off nature and how it keeps himself at a distance despite appearing in a considerable amount of the series. It’s undeniable that Jotaro is one of the most powerful and important characters in the JoJo universe, but he’s far from a saint and is responsible for some actions that would have most members of the Joestar family scratching their heads.
15 He Chooses Marine Biology Over Family & Friends
There’s some considerable character development throughout JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, especially for the individuals who get to mature across several parts of the series. Jotaro Kujo is present for a lot of material, yet the amount of character growth that he experiences remains at a minimum.
Nevertheless, a big shift that occurs off-screen between Stardust Crusaders and Diamond is Unbreakable is that Jotaro apparently turns to marine biology. Jotaro is obviously entitled to his passions, but this new interest dominates him in a way where his progress with his Stand suffers and he leaves the people that care about him.
14 He "Dines & Ditches" At Restaurants
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure hits such extreme heights that more mundane details like who foots the bill at dinner become rather unimportant. That being said, just because Jotaro Kujo leads a busy life and has larger priorities, that doesn’t give him the right to overlook payment and upend the rules that govern society.
Jotaro treats money like a technicality that doesn’t apply to him and it leaves others shortchanged with him completely unsympathetic on the matter. It’s not a major deal, but Jotaro has definitely ruined some servers’ days.
13 He’s Responsible For Jolyne’s Endangerment From Pucci
Stone Ocean becomes such a thrilling installment in the growing JoJo saga due to how it wraps up the series’ main storyline in many ways and involves a team effort from Jotaro and his estranged daughter, Jolyne. Jolyne and her allies become the targets of Emporio Pucci and are ultimately killed by him, only for the universe to reset itself until it reaches a peaceful timeline without Pucci.
Nevertheless, it’s Jotaro and the knowledge that he possesses that is Pucci’s target. Jolyne and company only get involved after Jotaro’s life is threatened, making their struggles karmically his fault.
12 He Surrenders To The Mercy Of Some Rats
Diamond is Unbreakable is one of the strangest chapters in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure in many ways. Part 4’s slice of life aesthetic is a change of pace, but one that works in an eccentric manner. One of the most bizarre episodes involves Jotaro and Josuke on a rat hunt, only these rodents are strengthened from the power of the Stand Arrow courtesy of Akira Otoishi.
Jotaro’s Stand can easily take care of some rats and his cool demeanor gets destroyed through the fear that he exhibits through this. Everything that he does in this scenario is off base.
11 He Leaves Jolyne & Her Mother Uneducated On Stands
Jotaro’s abandonment of his daughter, Jolyne, is well documented and becomes the driving force of Part 6’s Stone Ocean. Jotaro’s absence in this area is something that he struggles and attones for throughout Stone Ocean, but he’s also negligent in a totally other way. When Jolyne’s Stand powers are activated, she’s completely oblivious on the matter.
Jotaro leaves his family high and dry, but he at least could have given Jolyne’s mother information about Stands so that Jolyne could properly prepare for this inevitability and even enter Green Dolphin Street Prison prepared for this outcome.
10 He Beats Up Innocent Civilians Because He Thinks They're Stand Users
It might be expected from someone with a Stand specializing in punching things, but it still doesn't seem very heroic. During the Wheel of Fortune arc, the Stardust Crusaders find themselves pursued by a murderous car and its driver. The car turns out to be the Stand Wheel of Fortune but its user remains unknown to the Jobros.
When they make a pit stop for some refreshments, they notice the car parked nearby and three suspicious-looking guys, each who might be the Stand user. Without a sure-fire to determine who the Stand user is, Jotaro decides the best way to find the Stand user is to beat up all three guys. Luckily, Kakyoin stopped him before things progressed any further.
9 He Ends Up Arrested & In Jail
The first fans ever see of Jotaro is behind bars. When Stardust Crusaders begins, Jotaro had already been locked away. His mother, Holly, comes to pick him up but he refuses to leave. He didn't know it yet, but he had unlocked his Stand, Star Platinum, in a fight against thugs armed with nunchucks and knives.
Jotaro went up against four armed thugs, including a former boxer, and each of them ended up in the hospital. Between them, they had fifteen broken bones, as well as severe injuries to some unmentionable areas. Having the introduction to the hero of the story be from a jail cell lets audiences know that this JoJo was a delinquent, a far cry from Jonathan Joestar's gentlemanly nature.
8 He Uses Iggy As A Projectile At N'Doul
Jotaro and Iggy had a bit of a rough start. When Iggy joined the Stardust Crusaders, the group was soon attacked by N'Doul and his water Stand, Geb. Geb seemed to know exactly where the Crusaders were located, even though N'Doul was nowhere to be found. When the group surmise that N'Doul is locating them through sound and that he is blind, Jotaro quickly hatches a plan.
He grabs Iggy and uses Star Platinum to throw Iggy across the desert at N'Doul. The plan worked and N'Doul was distracted by Iggy soaring straight at him, allowing Jotaro to sneak up on the villain and defeat him. Even so, we're pretty sure that throwing Iggy like that counts as some kind of animal abuse.
7 He Threatens A Child Who He Confuses For Polnareff
Jotaro is usually very perceptive. He's almost always the one to figure out that he or someone else is being attacked by a Stand user or if someone's in trouble. But for some reason, he didn't realize that Polnareff was in trouble.
Polnareff had been turned into a child by Alessi's Stand Sethan but was able to find Jotaro to get help. Because of the age regression, Polnareff couldn't remember Jotaro's name so Jotaro thought he was just some kid. We don't know how, though, since the kid looked and dressed exactly like Polnareff. Jotaro should have recognized Polnareff, plain and simple.
6 He Recklessly Gambles The Souls Of His Family & Friends
Araki has a knack for taking otherwise mundane activities and turning them into nail-biting suspense scenes, like Jotaro's poker game against D'Arby the Gambler. D'Arby had already used his Stand to take the souls of Polnareff and Joseph which was used as chips for the poker game.
The game was risky enough, yet Jotaro took it a step further. Without even looking at his cards, he bets not only Polnareff's and Joseph's souls, but Avdol's soul as well, fazing D'Arby. Jotaro won the game as soon as he bet his mom's soul. He was luck D'arby didn't call his bluff because Jotaro didn't have any good cards.
5 He Allows His Stand To Stagnate
Jotaro has the most appearances of any character in the series. He's the main protagonist of Stardust Crusaders, played the role of mentor in Diamond is Unbreakable, makes an appearance in Golden Wind, and plays a supporting role in Stone Ocean. You'd think he'd have used all that time to develop his Stand abilities to become immensely powerful, but you'd be wrong.
In between parts, Jotaro barely, if ever, uses Star Platinum, which results in the Stand's time stop ability growing weaker. The biggest gap is between Golden Wind and Stone Ocean, where he hasn't used his Stand in ten years. If he had, he might have been able to defeat Pucci easily. Instead, he became a professor of marine biology, teaching students how to get a golf ball out of a whale's blowhole.
4 He Sends Koichi On A Dangerous Mission With Minimal Details
During the beginning of Golden Wind, Koichi arrives in Italy at Jotaro's behest. Jotaro had sent Koichi to Italy on a mission to find someone named Haruno Shiobana, who Koichi finds out to be none other than Giorno Giovana. Jotaro then reveals to Koichi that Giorno is DIO's son.
So to recap, Jotaro sent Koichi to Italy alone to investigate DIO's son. Jotaro couldn't have had any idea if Giorno was going to be as evil and/or powerful as DIO, but instead of going himself he sends Koichi without any backup.
3 He Saves Joseph, But Doesn't Give Josuke's Grandfather The Same Respect
During the climactic battle against DIO in Stardust Crusaders, Joseph suffers a fatal blow from DIO before having all his blood drained by the vampire. It's heart-wrenching watching Joseph's ghost say goodbye to Jotaro, but after DIO's defeat, Jotaro has the Speedwagon Foundation transfuse blood into Joseph's body then uses Star Platinum to restart Joseph's heart. Despite a poorly timed prank, Joseph has been brought back to life.
Fast-forward to Diamond is Unbreakable when Angelo's Stand, Aqua Necklace, kills Josuke's grandfather out of revenge. Josuke uses his Stand to heal his grandfather's injuries but it seems too late, his grandfather is dead. Jotaro explains to Josuke that the dead can't be brought back to life. Guess Jotaro forgot that he brought his own grandfather back from the dead.
2 He's Needlessly Disrespectful Towards His Mother
So you've just started Stardust Crusaders. You're pumped to see what this next JoJo is like, then the first thing you hear from him is him yelling at his mother for being annoying and calling her the B-word, even though she came to pick him up in jail. Not cool, Jotaro, she raised you practically on her own.
Just to be clear, Jotaro does love his mom. The whole reason for Stardust Crusader is to save her life, and Jotaro risked his life many times to see that happen. It's just that yelling at her and calling her names is completely uncalled for.
1 He Was An Absentee Father For Decades
Stone Ocean's protagonist is Jolyne Cujoh, Jotaro's only child. But it's revealed that Jotaro had not been in Jolyne's life for years. Due to his busy lifestyle and always going on excursions, Jotaro's relationship with his wife and daughter deteriorated. Jotaro also divorced his wife, which only furthered the gap between him and Jolyne.
After the divorce, Jolyne essentially disowned him and never talked about him to anyone. She even changed the spelling of her last name 'Kujo' to 'Cujoh' to further distant herself from him. Even though Jotaro and Jolyne would eventually reconcile, the damage was done. Jotaro had broken his family apart instead of being honest and telling his wife and daughter why he had to be away from them.