Ok. I don't really like Josuke that much, but with how much everyone loves him, I feel like I'm missing some important part of his characterization. Maybe if you could explain why you like him, I would get it? Take as much time as you need to answer, and feel free to completely ignore this if you want. I just thought I would ask you because I love your analysis, and I want to like Josuke like everyone else does. Thanks in any case. Sorry to ask while you're ill.
Ok so I wanted to think about this one a bit, which is why this response is kinda late. My apologies!
First, I should lead off with the fact that you shouldn’t have to force yourself to like a character that just doesn’t click with you. I don’t care about or otherwise feel lukewarm on a lot of characters my friends adore, and as long as you’re able to be civil, there is no problem with disliking or even straight up hating a character a majority of people seem to like. It’s not a blight on you, no matter how much this website likes to preach otherwise.
On Josuke, though, I do want to say that he didn’t immediately click with me, either. In his introductory episodes–the first third or so of DIU–, he’s a bit too stoic for my tastes, a bit too detached. He didn’t capture me at all. Even now, I think his character could benefit from having some more polishing, as his spotlight is shared with quite a few other people in DIU.
But as the part goes on, one thing stuck out to me that started to help him grow on me–and that was him becoming more outwardly flawed.
Josuke’s appeal is that he, like his father, is a bit of a punk and goofy; he can be a bit of a dipshit at times and all in all is very much the teenage boy so many others would be at that age. He lies and cheats and steals–he’s not a savant, only clever when necessary and a bit of a short-term thinker otherwise. He’s a peacock when it comes to his appearance, and though he cares for his friends, he can also be a little selfish or even rude. He feels real. He’s relatable.
What grew on me is when he started smiling more. When he started crying at dropping his shoes in the water, or screaming in glee at having won the fucking lottery, or seeing an Alien (?) and then, instead of freaking out and getting excited at having met an ALIEN, he uses this newfound intelligent life-form to scam a manga artist out of money. I loved him when he started worrying about being shown up by a rat and then bragging when he managed to defeat it (a rat). I adored him when he freaked out at Yoshihiro’s ghost and then barely managed to stutter out a “Y–you weren’t scary at all, idiot!”
When he shows himself to be insecure, a little starry eyed, trying desperately to keep up his cool image but constantly belling his self by doing frankly dumb things every now and again–that’s what makes him appealing to me, and that’s why I love him so much.
Again, you are totally free to disagree. The way you feel and interpret a character is unique to you. BUT that personally is why I appreciate Josuke so much as a protagonist and character.