Caesar Anthonio Zeppeli
- For a similarly named character, see Gyro Zeppeli
Caesar is an Italian Ripple user and disciple of the Ripple master, Lisa Lisa. He is the grandson of Will Anthonio Zeppeli and battles the Pillar Men alongside Joseph Joestar and others to honor his heritage as a Zeppeli.
Caesar A. Zeppeli is a young man of muscular build, whose distinctive features are two colored spots on both cheeks (which are his birthmarks) and blond unkempt hair. He is also noted to have a cavity.
Caesar's primary outfit is a jacket on top of a shirt tucked in to his pants. He wears a long scarf, belt, weighted-knuckle gloves, kneepads, and boots.
Caesar's trademark accessory is his long thin headband patterned with a row of tessellated triangles. He is adorned with two feathers on each side of his head.
Caesar Zeppeli is a hot-blooded but focused man, dedicated to the fight against the Pillar Men.
When he was young, Caesar and his siblings were seemingly abandoned by his father, making him a bitter and extremely violent delinquent. When he was saved by his father from the Pillar Men's trap at the cost of his life, Caesar changes his hate into great pride in his family name.
Caesar is introduced as an arrogant Ripple user looking down on Joseph Joestar's sub-par Ripple ability and missing no occasion to ridicule him and antagonize him in general. However, he reveals himself to be an honorable man, taking pride in his family's tradition of battling evil as well as wishing to avenge the death of his friend, Mark, at the hands of the Pillar Men. When Joseph reveals himself to be an honorable individual as well, their relationship considerably improves. In general, Caesar is respectful to his elders and superiors, most notably his master Lisa Lisa. When it comes to his peers, while he maintains at best shallow relations with those around him, when he truly cares for someone, it is true love, best evidenced by his relationship with Joseph (and pointed out by Messina).
Caesar's other defining trait in his short-tempered personality. He is quick to jump to a fight, even though he knows it is detrimental. Taking great pride in his family name, when Joseph told him that he didn't care about that, Caesar hit him without thinking. That character flaw proved fatal when he made the mistake of rushing to Wamuu's lair alone and then try to finish him off up close. Having great determination, Caesar kept on fighting despite being fatally wounded and made a loud eulogy of the human spirit just before dying. Caesar is nonetheless a very serious person most of the time, zealously fighting the Pillar Men and is exasperated by Joseph's antics.
Caesar is a ladies' man and has a habit of flirting with beautiful women whenever he can, invoking deeply romantic gestures. With his charm and charisma, as well as his own words, he is able to steal the kisses of multiple women with some to minimal interaction beforehand. He has many girlfriends. It is stated that if he sees a lonely girl, he thinks he has to go up to her. It is also stated that he lies to the girls he woos but doesn't consider it is wrong. The only exception to this treatment is Lisa Lisa, despite her noteworthy beauty. She is Caesar's Ripple instructor, whom he claims to respect as much as his own mother.
Caesar dislikes unsophisticated, irresponsible people, and bugs. He also has "Mamma Mia!" as his catchphrase.
As a skillfully trained individual, Caesar possesses very high physical abilities: along with a vast amount of physical strength and proficiency in hand to hand combat, Caesar has demonstrated an amazing sense of balance, even being able to perform the "seated jump" that his grandfather previously performed.
Caesar also boasts a high level of endurance far surpassing normal humans, being able to survive for a few days without food, and taking high amounts of physical punishment while still being able to get up and continue fighting. His endurance was best demonstrated when even after receiving Wamuu's Divine Sandstorm head on, he still managed to get up and continue fighting for a short amount of time, even managing to produce a Ripple after losing huge amounts of blood.
Caesar also has high precision, managing to catch a Ripple enhanced spaghetti thrown by Joseph using the holes in the tortiglioni he was eating.
Being a natural born Ripple user through his grandfather's bloodline, Caesar was able to project its power from an early age, though it was only under Lisa Lisa's guidance that he learned how to properly use it. Caesar is able to use more advanced techniques such as focusing the Ripple in his fingertips, and much like Joseph can channel the Ripple through objects, such as weapons, food, or even living beings. In one particular instance, he put a young woman into hypnosis by charging Ripple through her via a kiss.
The base for most of his attacks relies on his gloves, which are loaded with a special soap-like substance. Because of this, he is able to release bubbles from his hands at any time and fuse them with the Ripple to create deadly projectiles.
Caesar Zeppeli was born on May 13, 1918 in Genoa, Italy. As a child, Caesar idolized his father, Mario Zeppeli. When he was 10, however, his father left him and his siblings with no explanation or warning. As a result, Caesar grew to hate his father, thinking he was out living a new and carefree life without them. His mother had passed away years prior for unknown reasons, and relatives soon stole everything left from his now-orphaned family. Although the family's neighbors took care of Caesar's family, Caesar himself became a violent youth who had to be sent to the orphanage. Due to the poor state of orphanages in the 30's, it is said that his life in there was worse than prison, which only emphasized his delinquent ways. He eventually ran away and became a homeless vagrant sleeping in the streets. Caesar made a name for himself committing every crime imaginable short of murder, and was widely feared. He used a wrench to start all his fights and quickly finished them. Back then, Caesar wasn't aware that his Ripple energy had fully awakened, and that he was using it in his battles.
When he was 16, Caesar spotted his father walking in Rome; he tailed him with the intention of killing him, going through a secret passage under the Colosseum that leads to the Pillar Men. Caesar saw a jewel in the wall they'd been encased in. Not knowing that it was part of a trap set up by Wamuu, he accidentally activated it, but his father pushed him out of the way before he could be killed himself. Having sacrificed himself despite not recognizing his own son, Caesar regained his respect toward his father and swore revenge on the Pillar Men.
Sometime after the event, Caesar finds Lisa Lisa in Venice at the dying request of his father. He trains with her to use the art of the Ripple but apparently has learned little more than the fundamentals, since he still has to go through the final part of the Ripple training in order to master it fully, alongside Joseph. At one point, Caesar travels to Germany and befriends Mark a German soldier. He notably helps him in getting a girlfriend.Rome at a restaurant. While he's trying to woo, Joseph is disgusted by Caesar's romantic attitude and decide to play a prank by flinching spaghetti at the Italian. However, Caesar blocks the spaghetti with the three maccheroni stuck on his fork and sends it back at Joseph's glass. At the Toritone fountain, Caesar meets with Joseph and Speedwagon and expresses all the disdain he has for the Joestar Family, which angers Joseph. Caesar tells Joseph that he couldn't even beat a random woman that Caesar seduces and kiss. The woman then suddenly overpowers Joseph and throws him into the fountain thanks to the Ripple hypnosis. In there, Caesar shows his special technique, the Bubble Launcher. Sending a flurry of Ripple-infused bubbles at Joseph, Caesar traps his foe inside of a bubble. However, when Caesar releases the woman by kissing her again, a pigeon suddenly comes out of her mouth into his, knocking him into the fountain too. The fight ends in a draw but the two hate each other more.
While waiting for the Nazis to bring them to the Pillar Men, Caesar and Joseph decide to play poker. However, both of them cheat and another fight erupts. It is thankfully interrupted when the soldier Mark, one of Caesar's friends, arrives. Mark then drives the three to the Colosseum. When they go in the cavern beneath the monument, they are horrified to find that all the soldiers that were there had been killed. One of the Pillar Men, Wamuu, casually walks through Mark and absorbs half of his body and Caesar must kill him with the Ripple as a mercy. Enraged at his friend's death, Caesar attacks the Pillar Men, but Wamuu's headgear, consisting in a set of hooked wires, renders his 'Bubble Launcher' useless. The hooks, which Wamuu makes rapidly spin around his head, pop the bubbles without the Pillar Man needing to touch them, and he also swings them in such a way that they generating a cutting gust of wind, injuring Caesar in the face. Caesar attacks again, swearing to avenge his friend, but the Pillar Men mock his meaningless determination and Wamuu fingers him in the throat, blocking his breathing and taking him out. Joseph then steps in and while he manages to wound Wamuu, the Pillar Men uses his Divine Sandstorm to heavily wound Joseph. In order to protect Caesar and Speedwagon from Wamuu, Joseph feigns cowardice to lead him away. Caesar eventually finds Joseph and witnesses him bluffing Wamuu and Esidisi into leaving and having the Wedding Rings implanted inside him. Finding newfound respect for Joseph, Caesar decides to help him get stronger in order to defeat the Pillar Men. Afterward, Caesar tells Joseph to hold a glass of water upside down with the Ripple, demonstrating his lack of training.
Caesar thus brings him to Venice to go meet his master. Lisa Lisa appears to them disguised as a gondolier and tests Joseph before putting on a Ripple-breathing mask on him. Lisa Lisa then brings the two to Air Supplena Island and immediately forces them to tackle 'Hell Climb Pillar', a pillar covered with oil that requires expert control of the Ripple to climb. Caesar is able to climb the tower by concentrating the Ripple on his fingertips but expresses concern for Joseph, who is less experienced than him. Near the top, Joseph inadvertently activates a powerful jet of oil that is so powerful it can cut clean through a pen. Caesar nonetheless passes through by also concentrating his Ripple in the body parts the jet will touch to protect himself. When Joseph nearly reaches the peak but slips, Caesar grabs his arm, saving him.
After weeks of training, the two reached the final phase where Caesar had to defeat Messina. He manages to win after Messina admits defeat, saying that continuing the fight would result in either one or both of them dying and acknowledging how far Caesar has developed his abilities. Caesar checks on Joseph to see his progress, only to be dismayed when he finds him fighting Esidisi. Despite wanting to help his friend, Messina advises they head back to protect Lisa Lisa and the Red Stone of Aja since they were too far away to reach Joseph in time. When he returns, he finds out Esidisi's remains have possessed Suzi Q. Worse, Esidisi has sent the Super Aja away in a package. Caesar and Joseph manage to save Suzie Q by using their combined Ripple to neutralize the damage to her body, while still forcing Esidisi out. Joseph and Caesar head to the postman's office and make a scene because they want the package that Esidisi sent back. However, Lisa Lisa still discovers that the package is headed for Switzerland and thus the four remaining Ripple user drive together there. However, the package is intercepted by the Nazis, who invite the group to their chalet. Kars infiltrates the chalet and almost steals the Super Aja but Joseph manages to retrieve it. Caesar helps Joseph get out of a cliff by using stalactites as a makeshift rope for his partner.
The group subsequently singles out an abandoned hotel that must be Kars's lair. During the pursuit of Kars, Caesar goes ahead of the rest of the group after having an argument with Joseph about waiting any longer to attack. As he approaches the hotel, Caesar then sees a nearly invisible man stepping out of the building. When Messina appears, the invisible man is revealed to be Wamuu, cuts Messina's arm and drags him into the hotel. Wamuu reappears, expecting a good fight, but Caesar surpasses his expectation by unveiling a technique: the Bubble Cutter. Inspired by Will Anthonio Zeppeli's Wine Cutter technique, Caesar makes his bubbles spin to turn them into floating buzzsaw and the wind Wamuu generates draws them toward him automatically. Wounding Wamuu, Caesar takes the advantage. Wamuu tries to run inside but Caesar cuts his leg and breaks his balance with gliding bubbles. Seizing the opportunity, Caesar jumps to deal a coup-de-grâce but Wamuu lets himself fall backward to complete a flip and kicks Caesar to propel himself back in the hotel. Caesar steps into the main hall of the hotel where Wamuu confronts him. However, Caesar then reveals that his bubbles are now acting like lenses refracting the sunlight inside of the hall. Wamuu is exposed to sunlight and burns, but when Caesar closes in for his final attack, his shadow is taken advantage of by Wamuu to hide from the sunlight, and so he is dealt a deathblow by the Divine Sandstorm. Despite losing most of his blood and cannot generate any more Ripple for attacks, he rips off Wamuu's lip piercing, which holds the antidote for Joseph's remaining Wedding Rings of Death. Falling down the stairs into a puddle of his own blood, he encases it - along with his headband - in a Ripple bubble made of his blood and last reserves of Ripple energy for Joseph to take before his body is crushed by a cross-shaped rock.
In the aftermath of the battle, Wamuu admits that Caesar was the most powerful opponent he had ever faced. His death was capable of making the stoic Lisa Lisa break down in tears.
Before Joseph's chariot battle with Wamuu, he asks Caesar to give him strength as he dons his headband. During the battle's climax, Joseph sets the headband ablaze as he screams for Caesar's aid once more, using it in conjunction with his own bottle of oil to defeat Wamuu's Final Mode: Atmospheric Rift and win.
- Will Anthonio Zeppeli: Caesar believes the bonds between an Italian family such as the Zeppelis are stronger than most people. According to him, because of their pride, Zeppelis can handle their problems on their own and have the will to pull through. When he first meets Joseph, he says that it was because Jonathan needed so much help to fight his own battle, that Will ended up dying because of it.
- Mario Zeppeli: Caesar initially thought of his father as the greatest carpenter in Naples and considered him as the incarnation of an ideal man. After Mario suddenly left him and his siblings when they were children, Caesar had hated his father. As he grew up, he was determined to kill his dad and eventually found Mario in Rome. However, Caesar activates Wamuu's trap by touching a gem on the wall. Mario saves Caesar's life at the cost of his own by pushing Caesar out of the way. Since then, Caesar's hatred for his father disappeared and was instead replaced with a desire for revenge against the Pillar Men.
- Siblings: Not much is known about them, but it can be inferred that they all got along in childhood before tragedy struck their family.
- Joseph Joestar: Due to the rough history behind Will Anthonio Zeppeli's death and Joseph's lack of skill - along with his overall personality - the two did not get along at all at first. Caesar found Joseph to be a delinquent who would usually fool around at all the wrong times. However, after Joseph received the wedding rings from the Pillar Men after saving Speedwagon and Caesar, his respect for Joseph grew. Upon completing the Ripple Training together, Caesar found Joseph to be both a reliable ally and a good friend. When he fought against Wamuu, even though he was dying from being hit by the Divine Sandstorm attack, he still used the last bit of his strength and Ripple to rip the lip ring containing the antidote for Joseph's remaining wedding ring and placed it in a Ripple bubble made from his own blood to give to him. When Joseph realized Caesar had died, he immediately broke down crying his friend's name in agony. He immediately sought revenge against the Pillar Men for his defeat.
- Lisa Lisa: Presumably having met after the death of Mario Zeppeli, she is introduced as Caesar's mentor in the Ripple. As such, Caesar respects her, having asked for her help to train Joseph in the proper usage of the ripple. He has stated he looks at her as his own mother and she is perhaps one of the few beautiful women he has never flirted with, showing great reverence for her as a person. Joseph even states that Caesar revered her as a goddess. When he died, Lisa Lisa tried to stay calm and pretended to be indifferent, but later broke down showing how much she cared for him as a student and friend. Despite their closeness, she likely never told Caesar she is Joseph's mother.
- Robert E. O. Speedwagon: After beginning his training of the Ripple, Caesar devoted his life to revenge against the ones who killed his father. Having been friends with his grandfather, Speedwagon informed Caesar of the events that led to Will Zeppeli's death. Other than this, their relationship is unknown aside from being acquaintances in the fight against the Pillar Men. However, it is possible that the hat Caesar is seen wearing during his first appearance was the same hat Speedwagon inherited from Will after he died.
- Messina: While not shown to be particularly close, Caesar showed Messina a certain level of respect as a fellow Ripple warrior and teacher under Lisa Lisa. After being defeated during Caesar's final test, Messina admitted that he had surpassed him.
- Mark: Mark was Caesar's Nazi friend during the war, driving Caesar to the Roman Colosseum to the excavation site of the Pillar Men's location. During that ride, Caesar reveals that he was Mark’s wingman when Mark first asked his now girlfriend on a date, showing how loyal Caesar is to his friend. When half of Mark is promptly eaten by the Pillar Men, Caesar uses the Ripple on his heart in order to ease his pain and his last moments. Caesar is also shown to be very much enraged when he sees that Mark wanted to return home to see his fiance, but was robbed of that chance with his death.
- Wamuu: As one of the Pillar Men that killed his father along with the Pillar Man who killed his friend Mark, Caesar greatly hated Wamuu. In the end, Wamuu killed Caesar but stated that Caesar had earned his respect and that he would've done better against Kars.
- Kars: As the man who created the stone masks, Kars is essentially responsible for the deaths of Caesar's father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Caesar despised him even more than the other Pillar Men.
- Esidisi: While Caesar wasn't as enthusiastic about killing Esidisi as he was Kars or Wamuu, Caesar despised him all the same. Caesar would later destroy him with help from Joseph, and showed disgust for Esidisi taking over Suzi Q's body.
- Jonathan Joestar: Caesar held a great grudge against Jonathan and blames him for his grandfather's death. However, he has still shown respect towards him on some cases.
Chapters / Episodes
- “I'll place a charm on the necklace so you'll fall under a magic spell of love [kisses necklace]. And now to cast that magic on your lips.”
- “We Italian families have stronger bonds than people. Because we have that pride, we can carry on!”
- “Special Ripple attack: Bubble Launcher! Take this and go back to the countryside, Joestar!”
- “My friend was killed! I'm not gonna get down by losing a mere eye!”
- “I respect the master as much as my own mother! Disrespect her and I'll make you pay!”
- “As you know, this business has to do with my lineage! A business dealing with the Zeppeli Family! I am forced to go and avenge my family when I know where Kars is hiding! I can't stay here and patiently wait for him to strike!”
- “It is a cruel and wild Caesar that will bring you down!”
- “You can't move anymore! You're a film! You're a photographic film! Let the light expose and burn you, Wamuu!”
- “I shall breathe my last while glorifying the mind focused toward the future I inherited from my ancestors, the Zeppeli's mind! A human mind!”
- “JoJo! This is my ultimate Ripple! Receive it! (
ＪＯＪＯーーーーー おれの最後の波紋だぜーーーー うけとってくれーーーッ, JoJo! Ore no saigo no Hamon daze! Uke totte kure)”
Creation and Development
Hirohiko Araki believes that there are infinite possibilities that can come of a spherical shape like a bubble, considering it to be a very important aspect of JoJo and a contrast to an "unbeatable weapon" common in other shonen. He equipped Caesar Zeppeli with bubbles as they are weapons with faults, and it was fun to write them having to cover for them through strategy, dealing with the different merits and demerits that each of them have. In a narrative sense, Araki chose the bubbles because they are 'fleeting', a perfect representation of his destiny. Gyro Zeppeli and Josuke inherit these spheres, and his stance on that hasn't changed from when he originally drew Caesar.
During Battle Tendency's original publication in Weekly Shonen Jump, fans complained of Caesar's existence as his grandfather, Will Anthonio Zeppeli, had stated that he did not marry or have a family. Will Zeppeli's line was fixed in the Tankoban version, with earlier editions including an apology from Araki himself.