Each protagonist has a different kind of demeanor, powers, and goals. Two such characters are Jonathan Joestar and Johnny Joestar. The two are protagonists of JJBA: Phantom Blood and JJBA: Steel Ball Run. As their names may suggest, they're very similar characters in many respects, but they are some major differences between the two that set them apart as well. Let's take a look!
10 Similarity: Both Knew A Zeppeli
The two Joestars were very well acquainted with members of the Zeppeli family. Jonathan Joestar knew Will Anthonio Zeppeli. After Anthonio found out about DIO, he decided to aid Jonathan in a quest to defeat him. He also taught Jonathan about Hamon (aka Ripple).
On the other hand, Johnny Joestar knew Gyro Zeppeli. Gyro and Johnny became friends during Steel Ball Run. Gyro Zeppeli helped Johnny to find the corpse of the Saint and he also taught him about the "Golden Spin." Both the Zeppelis faced the same fate, sadly, dying while facing the enemy.
9 Difference: Stand-less Jonathan Joestar
Jonathan Joestar was built like a rock and his physical strength was unparalleled. Interestingly, however, he was the only person in the series who did not have a stand. He was only able to use Hamon, courtesy of Baron Zeppeli's teachings.
He died at the hands of DIO, leaving behind his wife and his child. One could make a case that it is possible that Jonathan did not enough time to awaken his Stand. Meanwhile, Johnny Joestar's Stand was called Tusk and it is still one of the most overpowered abilities in the series.
8 Similarity: Both Faced DIO
The Joestar bloodline suffered a lot because of DIO. First, we will talk about Jonathan and DIO's rivalry. DIO was taken in by George Joestar due to the promise that he made to his father. DIO had plans of taking over the wealth of George Joestar, and the only thing standing in his way was Jonathan Joestar. After becoming a vampire and killing George Joestar, Jonathan swore to put a stop to DIO.
He thought that he had succeeded, but DIO returned once again in Stardust Crusaders. Johnny Joestar fought against Diego Brando in Steel Ball Run and defeated him after an intense fight.
7 Difference: Johnny's Ruthlessness
One of the major differences between Jonathan and Johnny is their way of doing things. Despite his huge size and intimidating appearance, Jonathan is a very nice guy. He is against harming people, even if they are enemies.
Meanwhile, Johnny is just too ruthless. Time and time again, it has been stated that Johnny wouldn't hesitate to kill any person who dares to stand in between his goals. One of the best examples would be that of Ringo Roadagain. Ringo clearly said that Johnny's eyes showed his unbreakable resolve.
6 Similarity: Users of Unique Techniques
Both Jonathan and Johnny are known to have unique techniques. After DIO turned into a vampire, Jonathan realized that he could not be beaten by normal means. So, he had to find a way to beat DIO, and that came in the form of Anthonio Zeppeli. Anthonio Zeppeli taught Jonathan how to use Hamon (Ripple) to beat DIO.
Johnny learned about "the spin" from Gyro Zeppeli. With the power of "the spin," Johnny was able to unlock his Stand's true potential. The Spin and Hamon are considered to be counterparts, just like Johnny and Jonathan's personalities.
5 Difference: Endings
Jonathan and Johnny had different endings to their respective stories. In Phantom Blood, Jonathan Joestar died while fighting DIO. It could be argued that he accomplished his goal, but in reality, he failed to kill DIO. Due to his failure, DIO took Jonathan's body and awakened his stand, The World.
Johnny Joestar is a completely different person when he is fighting. Johnny managed to kill two very powerful people, Funny Valentine and Diego Brando. Johnny's ruthlessness allowed him to overwhelm his opponents and walk away as the winner.
4 Similarity: Real Names
Johnny Joestar's actual name is Jonathan Joestar, but throughout the entirety of Steel Ball Run, he is referred to as Johnny. The revelation caused confusion among the fans, because of the fact that Araki was using one of the older protagonists in his "new" manga in Ultra Jump.
This is mainly due to the conclusion of JJBA: Stone Ocean. The ending of Part 6 brought down the curtains on the Joestar bloodline, dealing with DIO and his influence.
3 Difference: Power Level
This is a fairly open and shut case, as we know that the difference between the power levels of Jonathan and Johnny is great. Jonathan is well-built and can use Hamon, but Johnny's Tusk and the Spin almost make him impossible to beat.
Johnny's feats are far more impressive. He was able to beat two of the most powerful Stands in the entire series. Meanwhile, Jonathan's biggest feat was beating DIO and getting himself killed in the process. So, there is absolutely no comparison between the two.
2 Similarity: Both Died Young
Johnny and Jonathan were both killed at a very young age. Jonathan Joestar was born in 1868 and he died in 1889 after suffering critical wounds to his throat by DIO. Johnny Joestar was born in 1872 and he died in 1901. Johnny died after being crushed by a huge boulder.
If you're no great shakes at math, you may have missed the fact that both of them were actually the same age when they died: 29 years old.
1 Difference: Intelligence
Now we are down to the final difference. Intelligence is one of the few departments where Jonathan manages to overwhelm Johnny. Despite his appearance, Jonathan is actually very smart. Jonathan has shown that he is very perceptive of his surroundings and that allowed him to beat many of his foes.
Johnny isn't exactly lacking in smarts, but he isn't the brightest person either. Johnny required continuous guidance from Gyro and, under pressure, he seems to act on impulse instead of deliberating the situation. In the end, though, both Johnny and Jonathan are good protagonists, and they really left their mark on the JoJo community. So, let's appreciate both characters equally!