Mutsu-kabe Hill (TV Drama)

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Rohan Kishibe's next story is bound to be a masterpiece!
—Kyoka Izumi

Mutsu-kabe Hill (六壁坂 Mutsukabezaka) is the sixth episode of the TV Drama series Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan. It adapts the one-shot Mutsu-kabe Hill.

In this episode, Rohan Kishibe meets Naoko Osato, the heiress of a rich family, while pursuing the legend of a Yokai.

Summary

Somewhere in a dark room, a woman admires the "adorable" thing she is keeping in a box, enjoying the fact that they will be together forever.

Rohan and Kyoka go in the mountains

Rohan Kishibe has just finished his drawings for the day and is ready to go to Mutsukabe Hill. His editor Kyoka Izumi is present and cheekily massages his shoulder, which hurts Rohan because of the lingering back pain from the Clinging Yokai. Izumi then takes the autographs and Rohan's draft and quickly leaves, offhandedly saying that it will be on time.

Rohan takes the bus to Mutsukabe Hill Village. In here, he is surprised to see Kyoka at the inn. Kyoka quickly explained that she's taken the taxi go there to help Rohan complete his research, making Rohan realize that she's taken the taxi he wanted. Anyway, Kyoka thinks that the legends around here are different from the rest. Rohan mentions that he's heard from the station officer that the locals have heard about him buying a mountain range. He notices a staring boy who flees as soon as he looks at the child, and anticipates that the kid will bring his friends.

Rohan meets Naoko Osato

Rohan and Kyoka leave the village to walk up the mountain roads. Kyoka asks where precisely is the Mutsukabe Hill, but even Rohan doesn't know as it isn't mentioned on the maps and must be a taboo place. That is why he bought a whole mountain range to cover enough terrain. The two end up on the largest hill road near the village which leads to a huge property lost in the mountains. A car slowly passes by them and Kyoka notices a lady being driven around. Suddenly, a group of boys approaches Rohan asking for autographs. While Kyoka is busy distracting them, Rohan leaves to study the map. At the same time, the lady in the car steps out. Alone, Rohan tries to trace Yoma Hashimoto and Masazo Kinoto's routes in the mountains, noting where Yoma dumped the corpse of his girlfriend Mika Hayamura and where Kinoto might have thrown away his fruit. Rohan finally notices on the map a hidden mountain road leading to the large property which might be "Mutsukabe Hill". Kyoka appears and tells Rohan that someone wants to see him. Rohan refuses at first but she mentions that the sollicitor is none other than the lady, who lives in the mansion in the mountain.

In the inn, Rohan and the lady meet in a private room. She requests a drawing for her son, who is a huge fan of Rohan. While Rohan draws his autograph, the woman tries to inquire about Rohan's goals but he chooses not to reveal anything. She mentions that Rohan has bought the terrain just behind her own property. When he is done, Rohan turns the woman into a book with Heaven's Door and begins to read her bio.

A younger Naoko with her secret boyfriend Gunpei

The woman is named Naoko Osato. She is the sole child and heiress of a rich family who found success in miso paste making. Thirty years ago, Naoko's family relocated in the mountains to raise her is a good environment and though she was cherished, she was also frustrated by her overprotective father who didn't allow her to live on her own even when she was attending university. However, she could live alone in a smaller building. Naoko had a secret relation with one of the part-time gardeners, a young man named Gunpei Kamafusa. Gunpei would regularly and discreetly visit Naoko in her private quarters.

One day, as Naoko was dressing up in a kimono, Gunpei mentioned that he should live in her private house from now on, saying it was bothersome for him to go back to and from his house. However, Naoko told Gunpei to leave for the day. Seemingly frustrated, Gunpei noted that she had become somewhat aloof and revealed that he knew that she was seeing another man who visited the house. Naoko chose this moment to officially reject Gunpei, handing him an envelope full of money. She explained herself, telling that she was expected to have an arranged marriage for the good of the family. Putting her feelings aside, she told Gunpei to leave. However, Gunpei refused, even grabbing Naoko so that they could "show their relationship" to her father and fiance. Naoko struggled and slapped Gunpei, who struck her back in anger. Gunpei tried to apologize but in a fit of anger, Naoko shoved him backwards.

Naoko working to hide Gunpei's corpse

Meanwhile, the man named Shuichi Takamado arrived at the property. Meeting with Naoko's father first, he requested to go see her first, in private. At the same time, Naoko realized that Gunpei had fallen in a golf club and hit his head. Gunpei was dead, blood trickling from his wound and staining the floor. Panicking, Naoko realized that she was in deep trouble for killing someonee. At the same time, Shuichi and her father were knocking at the door and asked if she could let them in. Although she pretended not to be here, Shuichi assured the father that he saw a shadow in her apartment. She tried to make some excuses as she tried to wipe the floor clean and persuaded her father to leave for now, then sought to hide Gunpei's corpse. However, Gunpei's wound was bleeding heavily, more that she expected. To her horror, Gunpei's corpse inexplicably shriveled. Worse, Shuichi persisted in wanting to see her in private and had the master key.

Naoko tried to pretend that she was getting changed and took a sewing kit with which she tried to stitch Gunpei's wound. Shuichi knew that Naoko was not fully in love with him and he suspected that she was seeing something. When Gunpei's wound bursted with blood, Naoko shrieked, pushing Shuichi to try to open the door to Naoko's apartments. Naoko gained a few moment because she had changed the lock but Shuichi broke through a window to open the door from inside as Naoko rolled Gunpei's corpse in a tatami. When Shuichi reached the second floor, he saw Naoko peacefully cleaning up a wardrobe. She pretended that nothing was wrong and convinced Shuichi to leave, but in fact, Gunpei's corpse was above her. It was still bleeding and she was forced to swallow the blood. That night, Rohan read, Naoko tried to move Gunpei's corpse somewhere hidden and she accidentally discovered that when it was sprayed with water, the corpse would take a normal appearance. Seeing Gunpei's peaceful body, Naoko was strangely charmed and even kiss her dead boyfriend.

Naoko tending to Gunpei's corpse

Shocked, Rohan abandons Naoko in the inn, but not before commanding her to ignore Rohan from now on. Running down, he passes by Kyoka and a boy named Kai whom she introduces but is interrupted by him. Rohan runs towards the hidden mountain path, thoughts running in his head. He reminisces that Naoko married Shuichi as expected, but that she kept Gunpei's corpse in the attic, hiding it and tending to it every day, being enraptured by Gunpei's beauty. Even if she married, Naoko still loved Gunpei from the bottom of her heart. Rohan finally reaches the Mutsukabe Hill and realizes that the boundary to the supernatural was broken when the Osato family moved her, leading to a rise in the number of yokais roaming free. As he runs up the stairs, Rohan still asks himself what is the purpose of this corpse yokai.

Rohan meets the yokai and Naoko's child

Suddenly, Rohan sees a little girl on the stairs. She asks him if he's actually Rohan Kishibe, the famous mangaka. Rohan asks who is that girl, but she runs away, only to trip and fall on a rock. Shocked, Rohan realizes that the girl is dying and that he may look like a murderer. The girl's corpse shrivels too and Rohan finally understands the whole story. The girl is Naoko and Gunpei's child. Gunpei is a yokai and he sought to make offsprings with Naoko, charming her and possessing her. Before the girl named Kiriko can completely die, Rohan writes on her and commands her to ignore him completely. The girl thus wakes up and returns to see her mother. They offhandedly mention "Kai", Kiriko's little brother. Expecting that Kai may try to do the same to Kyoka, Rohan rushes to Kyoka's side to save her. Fortunately, he sees that Kyoka is only carrying Kai on her back, the boy being alive and well. Rohan understands that the yokais pick their partners and has thankfully ignored Kyoka. He gives Kai an autograph on the back of his shirt and leaves. Meanwhile at the Osato House, Kiriko dreams of marrying a good man while Kai wants to become a gardner.

A family of yokai living in the mountains

Back at Rohan's house, Kyoka happily announces that the editor have accepted to pay Rohan in advance and that he can buy his house back. She's brought cake to celebrate the occasion and asks Rohan if he plans on going back to Mutsukabe Hill. When she mentions that the name Mutsukabe has the kanji for "six" in it, Kyoka wonders of there could be actually six of those yokais in the mountains. Rohan concurs but deems that his research is complete. He prefers not to bother the yokais in the mountain anymore. He announces that he's not got enough material for a 5 chapter mini-series and wants to go to work immediately. Kyoka wants to celebrate first but he throws her out, handing her the (empty) cake box she's brought before shutting the door. Still, Kyoka happily goes to back to the company to announce Rohan's project. Rohan proceeds to warm up his hand before starting to draw his manga.

Cast

Characters
Naoko Osato
(1st appearance)
Yoma Hashimoto
(Flashback)
Clinging Yokai
(Flashback)
Masazo Kinoto
(Flashback)
Gunpei Kamafusa
(Flashback) (Death)
Hosho Osato
(Flashback)
Shuichi Takamado
(Flashback)
Kiriko Osato
(1st appearance)
Kai Osato
(1st appearance)
Mutsu-kabe Hill Yokai
(Mentioned only)
Announcer
Announcer

Gallery

Trivia

References

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