Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan
Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan (岸辺露伴は動かない, Kishibe Rohan wa Ugokanai, lit. Rohan Kishibe Does Not Move) is an ongoing series of one-shots featuring the titular character, Rohan Kishibe, as the narrator and/or protagonist. These one-shots are intermittently published in various magazines such as Weekly Shonen Jump or Jump Square.
A paperback volume compiling the first four numbered chapters, along with Kishibe Rohan Meets Gucci, was released on November 19, 2013. A second volume containing another four numbered chapters was released on March 13, 2019. The series has spawned an OVA adaptation, a collection of short stories, and a live action TV drama adaptation.
The Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan series is a series of short stories revolving around Rohan Kishibe, a manga artist originally featured in Part 4 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Diamond is Unbreakable. Rohan serves as the protagonist and in-universe author of the series, frequently witnessing and subsequently making accounts of the supernatural phenomena around him.
The first episode, At a Confessional, was published in Weekly Shonen Jump on June 24, 1997 and was later included in Under Execution, Under Jailbreak on November 19, 1999. It was created under the restriction set by the magazine that it couldn't be related to the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series. This was because the editorial department had a strict policy against spin-offs or side stories. As a workaround, Araki took inspiration from the 1950's TV show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and made Rohan the narrator of the one-shot. The Japanese title, Rohan Kishibe Does Not Move, was initially derived from the fact that Rohan was not the main protagonist, but rather a "navigator" or onlooker of the story who ultimately does nothing. Araki himself believes that if he hadn't been prohibited from writing spin-off works at the time, he probably would not have centered the story around Rohan.
The second episode of Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan, Mutsu-kabe Hill, was published much later on December 4, 2007, after which the series began releasing more frequently. A paperback volume of the series was released on November 19, 2013, with a second following on July 19, 2018. Nearly every chapter of the series has been published in a different magazine, with hosts besides Weekly Shonen Jump including Jump Square, JOJO magazine, Ultra Jump, and even the women's magazine Bessatsu Margaret. Each episode is numbered, with the exception of two chapters produced as collaborations. However, the numerical episode order matches neither the order of publication nor chronological order.
Several characters from Part 4 appear in Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan, including Yukako Yamagishi and Tonio Trussardi. The events of Part 4 are also included in Rohan's profile at the start of each volume. However, there are often cases in which the events of Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan conflict with the timeline of Part 4, such as Rohan's age. Araki has also stated in JOJOVELLER that JoJolion is a world "next door to" the Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan series, and elements such as Trussardi Restaurant, the Seiten Birdies, and Mutsu-kabe Shrine appear or are mentioned in both works.
The plot of each episode is generally divorced from the main JoJo's Bizarre Adventure storyline, featuring many esoteric creatures not appearing otherwise in the series, such as yokai. Many of the stories involve Rohan using his Stand and wit to overcome mysterious phenomena encountered while conducting research for his manga, or Rohan narrating the experiences of other characters featured in the chapter.
|1||Episode 16: At a Confessional||Weekly Shonen Jump||June 24, 1997|
|2||Episode 2: Mutsu-kabe Hill||Jump Square||December 4, 2007|
|3||Rohan au Louvre[a]||Ultra Jump||March 19, 2010|
|4||Kishibe Rohan Meets Gucci[b]||SPUR||August 23, 2011|
|5||Episode 5: Millionaire Village||Weekly Shonen Jump||October 6, 2012|
|6||Episode 6: Poaching Seashore||October 12, 2013|
|7||Episode 4: The Harvest Moon||Shonen Jump+||September 22, 2014|
|8||Episode 7: A Rainy Monday||Jump Square||December 4, 2015|
|9||Episode 8: Deoxyribonucleic Acid||Bessatsu Margaret||December 4, 2015|
|10||Episode 9: The Run||Weekly Shonen Jump||February 26, 2018|
|11||Episode 10: Hot Summer Martha||JOJO magazine||March 19, 2022|
|12||Episode 11: Drip Painting Style||Ultra Jump||April 19, 2022 (Part 1)|
|May 19, 2022 (Part 2)|
Trip to Italy
- Main article: Episode 16: At a Confessional
After a certain incident forces Rohan to put Pink Dark Boy on hiatus for a month, he decides to take a vacation to Italy for research. While in Venice, Rohan enters a confessional booth, where a man on the other side of the booth mistakes him for a priest and begins to confess his sins. In the man's youth, a starving vagrant once came to him for food. Disdainful, the man forced the vagrant to carry large bags of corn for him, ultimately causing his death. However, the vagrant's ghost appeared before the man, swearing to return and take vengeance at the happiest moment of his life.
The man went on to become rich and successful, and soon had a daughter. One day, as the man played with his young daughter in the park, the vagrant's spirit suddenly possessed the latter. Revealing that he had orchestrated the man's prosperity from the beginning, the ghost demanded that he throw three pieces of popcorn into the air and catch them in his mouth. If he were to fail, the ghost would cut off his head, as fate would have decided against him. The man successfully caught the first two pieces of popcorn, in spite of interference from nearby birds, but missed the third piece when he is blinded by the sun. True to his word, the vagrant's ghost immediately cut off his head. Yet the man lived to tell the tale, as it is revealed that he had undergone plastic surgery to swap faces with one of his servants in order to trick the vengeful spirit. Rohan exits the booth to see the man depart, trailed by the spirits of both the vagrant and his servant, who vow to watch him ceaselessly until they can finally take revenge. For his part, Rohan respects the confessor's perseverance.
The Ghosts of Rohan's Past
After Rohan's grandmother passes away, Rohan travels to Tuscany accompanied by an interpreter. The two visit a Gucci factory to investigate Rohan's grandmother's treasured Gucci bag, which has the strange ability to make anything placed inside it disappear. Rohan asks a leather goods artisan to fix the bag, though the artisan warns him that he does not understand the bag's true purpose. Later, the interpreter gets Rohan drunk and steals all of his valuables except the bag, leaving him alone and destitute on the street. Fortunately, he finds an umbrella to shield himself from the rain. Rohan finds a hotel, but is unable to pay for any of the rooms. However, a man nearby shows interest in Rohan's recently found umbrella, offering to buy it for the exact value of the bills Rohan had put inside the bag earlier. Rohan then comes to the conclusion that the bag had a Stand bound to it with the ability to exchange valuable items for their equivalents during misfortune. Rohan is able to rent the cheapest room at the hotel by selling his umbrella, but laments that he can no longer use the Stand after "fixing" the bag.
Rohan's next adventure begins with a story from his past. At the age of seventeen, Rohan moved into his grandmother's inn, with the only other tenant was a young woman named Nanase Fujikara. Rohan became intrigued by her and obtained permission to use her as a model for a character in his manga. One evening, Nanase told Rohan the story of Nizaemon Yamamura and described a painting he created by the name of Under the Moon, which Nanase described as "the darkest painting in the world." Suddenly, Nanase ran away into the night, seemingly crying over her recent divorce. A week later, Nanase returned to the inn, only to tear apart Rohan's drawings of her and disappear once more. Eventually, after redrawing the manga from scratch, Rohan succeeded in becoming a professional mangaka, and Pink Dark Boy began serialization.
A year after his grandmother's death, and ten years after Nanase's disappearance, Rohan is reminded of the cursed painting by chance and decides to travel to Paris in order to investigate it. There, he discovers that the painting is located at an abandoned section in the Louvre basement. Puzzled by the existence of a painting in an abandoned section, the interpreter Noguchi accompanies Rohan into the basement with Gaucher and two firefighters. When the group finds the painting, they are attacked by a ghost mob of their blood relatives, and all four of Rohan's acquaintances are killed in the same way the ghosts died. As Rohan is attacked by his grandmother, he suddenly realizes that the ghosts around him are the memories of his group's ancestors, and decides to erase his own memories with Heaven's Door. After the ghosts disappear, the amnesiac Rohan notices an order on his hand to erase the prior instruction, restoring his memories. Satisfied, Rohan leaves the Louvre and returns to Japan. In the end, Rohan's four unfortunate companions are considered missing; it is rumored that the painting was burned after being examined by scientists, though Rohan is unable to prove it.
A Series of Unfortunate Events
- Main article: Episode 2: Mutsu-kabe Hill
- Main article: Episode 5: Millionaire Village
- Main article: Episode 6: Poaching Seashore
After going bankrupt from buying a large piece of land in the mountains, Rohan tells his editor, Minoru Kaigamori, a story about a yokai he witnessed there. While conducting research, Rohan had learned of a certain Naoko Osato, a wealthy woman who accidentally killed her secret lover, Gunpei Kamafusa. Strangely, the corpse seemed to bleed an endless amount of blood, forcing Naoko to hide the corpse in her house and periodically collect its blood. After reading Naoko's memories with Heaven's Door, Rohan stumbled into Naoko's daughter while approaching the house. The girl suddenly fell and hit her head against a rock, a seemingly fatal wound. Realizing that Naoko had conceived the girl with Gunpei's corpse, Rohan used Heaven's Door to render the girl unable to see him, bringing her back to life and preventing the yokai from ruining him as well. Though Rohan wonders if more yokai exist around the world, he is satisfied with his research and with the knowledge that Naoko and her children have found happiness in their own way.
Shortly after the incident in the mountains, Rohan discusses his next one-shot with another editor, Kyoka Izumi. Kyoka asks Rohan to accompany her to a village deep in the mountains, which she claims grants prosperity to anyone who purchases land there at the age of 25. The two trek to the village, where a child butler named Ikkyu greets the two and warns them of the strict etiquette the owners expect. Kyoka repeatedly breaches etiquette by mistake, and soon learns via her cell phone that her mother and fiancée have seemingly died in a car crash. Using his Stand on the butler, Rohan discovers that the Gods of the Mountain test visitors' etiquette and punish them with the deaths of those precious to them. As reading someone's mind without their permission is bad etiquette, Rohan turns to see Kyoka have a heart attack and collapse lifelessly to the floor. Rohan is tested once more with the task of eating an ear of corn, but sees through the test and correctly completes the trial. Furthermore, the influence of Heaven's Door causes Ikkyu to repeatedly breach etiquette himself, forcing the gods to return what they have taken from him and Kyoka. Rohan takes Kyoka's unconscious body with him as he leaves the village, and promises to never return.
While dining at Trattoria Trussardi, Rohan is asked by Tonio Trussardi to help harvest disk abalones off the coast of Morioh. Intrigued by the idea of illegally poaching the sea creatures, Rohan accepts the offer. Tonio explains that by using a certain route on a certain night of the year, poachers can seize abalones brought in by the tide without being seen by security cameras. As they approach the poaching location, Tonio reveals that he seeks the abalones to cure his girlfriend Virgina, who is suffering from a large brain tumor. Rohan is momentarily distracted by a warning from the property's owners before suddenly seeing Tonio dragged to the ocean floor. In his attempts to save the chef, Rohan discovers that the abalones themselves serve as a trap for poachers, latching onto them and dragging them to their deaths. Luckily, Rohan is able to use Heaven's Door on a nearby consortium of octopuses, commanding them to attack the abalones and save the pair. Later, while dining with some good friends of his, Rohan is relieved to glimpse Tonio with his girlfriend, the latter having fully recovered from her illness.
- Main article: Episode 4: The Harvest Moon
- Main article: Episode 7: A Rainy Monday
- Main article: Episode 8: Deoxyribonucleic Acid
While dining at Tonio's, Rohan tells a story about a family in his neighborhood, here referred to by the false name of Mochizuki, who are all cursed to die on the same night—the night of the harvest moon. To avoid an untimely death in the family, the Mochizukis have a tradition of gathering together to watch the moon, which prevents the curse from coming for them. One year, after the rest of the family had fallen asleep, the eldest daughter, Aki, snuck off to meet with her boyfriend, allowing the rabbit-like spirit embodying the curse to target her with a nest of wild hornets. As the hornets approached Aki, however, her boyfriend proposed to her, severing her familial identity from the Mochizukis and saving her from the curse. As the newly-engaged couple reunited with the Mochizukis, the rabbit settled for the life of an innocent cyclist and returned to the sky, promising to return alongside the next harvest moon.
Next, Rohan recalls an incident at a train station. While hurrying to catch a train for an upcoming meeting, Rohan found that people were repeatedly bumping into him while distracted by their smartphones. When Rohan was pushed onto the train tracks, an obese man offered his hand to pull him up, but the manga artist hesitated long enough for the man to also be knocked onto the tracks. As more and more people were knocked onto the tracks, Rohan finally realized that everyone there, including himself, had been drawn to the obese man: an unknown insect species dubbed coire electricus lorenzinia that feeds on electromagnetic waves had been manipulating the nerves of everyone present, as the insects prey on those with weak hearts. The insects congregated upon and killed the obese man by harvesting his bioelectricity, as the man's chronic heart disease made him a prime target. Fortunately, Rohan was able to save the others in the crowd from an incoming train by commanding a station worker to drive a truck into its path. Though he was forced to cancel his meeting, Rohan took comfort in having gained a new idea for a story.
One day, Rohan is confronted by Yukako Yamagishi. Yukako asks the manga artist to help a woman named Mai Katahira, who recently lost her boyfriend in a car crash, as well as her daughter by insemination, Mao. Mao has several strange physical characteristics and abilities, such as speaking in reverse and being able to camouflage herself. Despite Yukako's pleas, Rohan finds nothing wrong with Mao and tells Mai to accept her daughter the way she is. Yukako, frustrated with Rohan's nonchalant attitude, tells Mai that Mao's father was a sperm donor from Yamagata with a scar on his face. Mai halfheartedly goes to the nearby train station to find the donor, only for the donor himself to pass her in the other direction. Mai follows the donor, Obanazawa, as he picks up his son, who Mao temporarily disguises as herself to draw her mother's attention. After the illusion is lifted, Obanazawa introduces himself to Mai and her daughter, and Mai is distinctly reminded of her lover. Yukako later meets up with Rohan and reveals that Mai and the donor became married in the end, suspecting it to be Mao's plan all along.
The Melancholy of Rohan Kishibe
- Main article: Episode 9: The Run
- Main article: Episode 10: Hot Summer Martha
- Main article: Episode 11: Drip Painting Style
A young man named Yoma Hashimoto was discovered by a model agency one day while visiting Harajuku. Seeing potential in the young man, the model agency gave him opportunities to model for magazines and even land a minor role in a film, all the while reminding him to push himself and train his body. As Yoma dedicated himself to fitness, his habits became more and more eccentric to those around him, including his girlfriend. When Yoma uses his girlfriend's credit card to install cement for bouldering across the walls of his apartment building, his girlfriend finally turned on him.
Later, Rohan challenged Yoma to a contest of endurance, in which they would run on treadmills until they hit the maximum speed and see who could grab the treadmill remote first. Having been defeated once before at the same challenge, Yoma dedicates himself to the contest, effortlessly demonstrating his speed and dexterity. Furthermore, the challenge turns deadly when Yoma uses a nearby dumbbell to shatter the window behind the two treadmills. Rohan attempts to prematurely grab the remote, but Yoma breaks his hand before he can do so. The attempt allows Rohan to use Heaven's Door on Yoma, but he discovers to his horror that the model has murdered everyone who stood in the way of his exercise routine. As the treadmills finally hit their maximum speed, Yoma is the first to grab the remote, but he discovers too late that Heaven's Door has forced him to stop Rohan's treadmill instead of his. As Yoma is thrown out of the window, Rohan realizes that Yoma has become the avatar of a god of muscle, who the Greeks called Hermes. Fearful that he may have incurred Yoma's wrath, Rohan decides to make a run for it.
In July 2021, Kyoka calls Rohan to express her concerns about Hot Summer Martha's three-circle design. Rohan refutes her complaints, and the two briefly discuss going on an overseas trip after the COVID-19 pandemic ends before hanging up. Stressed by his inability to conduct research for his manga, Rohan idly decides to take a walk with his new puppy, Bakin. Eventually arriving at Mutsu-kabe Shrine, Rohan discovers a mysterious cave and chooses to enter it, soon leaving to find that his dog has vanished. When Rohan returns home, he discovers that his house is in disarray, that his dog has grown vicious, that a double of him has been sleeping with a fangirl named Eve, and that Kyoka's suggested changes to Hot Summer Martha have been published. Despite Rohan never having experienced it, Rohan's cell phone and Eve's pages tell the truth: Rohan has missed three months of his own life.
Rohan returns to the shrine, where two priests explain that an evil spirit named Yabubako-Hoshi swapped places with Rohan when he entered the cave. The priests also reveal that in order to revert the spirit's actions to those he would have taken, Rohan need only fully rotate the mirror inside the cave without being reflected in it. Rohan, figuring this to be an easy task for Heaven's Door, sends his Stand inside to rotate the mirror and confidently departs once more. When he returns home, however, he discovers that three more months have passed, as Yabubako-Hoshi was able to notice Rohan's spirit. Rohan finds Kyoka half-dead in his studio, but is injected with a tranquilizer from behind by Eve. Eve accuses Rohan of cheating on her with Kyoka, who is soon to die; additionally, the girl reveals that she is pregnant with Rohan's child, and plans to spend a long, happy life with him as a family. Rohan desperately uses Heaven's Door on himself, luring Eve closer with the promise of showing his true feelings for her. As soon as the girl gets close, Rohan is able to use Heaven's Door on her, commanding her to visit Yabubako-Hoshi's cave and turn the mirror for him. Yabubako-Hoshi's actions as Rohan are corrected as the evil spirit transfers to Eve. Rohan is mortified, however, when he discovers that Hot Summer Martha's design change has persisted, having been conducted without his involvement.
While working on Pink Dark Boy, Rohan decides to tell Kyoka of the time he was invited to the home of an eco-terrorist early in 2021. Around the same time, a young woman named Mitsuki Murase was quickly driving to home to Morioh, having cheated on her husband with another man in a nearby city. Mitsuki briefly glimpsed the eco-terrorist on the road before her car was suddenly attacked by a stranger in a white van. The stranger was none other than Rohan Kishibe, who was too late to warn Mitsuki that the eco-terrorist had climbed into her car. The eco-terrorist snapped Mitsuki's neck, causing both her vehicle and Rohan's to crash. Afterward, the eco-terrorist appeared before Rohan and explained his ambition: in order to fight climate change, the man had rigged his entire body with explosives, planning to detonate his own body inside a fossil fuel power plant in Morioh. Rohan was unable to convince the eco-terrorist to perform his plan somewhere else, as the eco-terrorist had allowed Rohan to pursue him so that the manga artist could serve as a witness to his final act. Fortunately for Morioh, as Mitsuki's car was powered by gasoline, Rohan was able to command the nearby burs to incapacitate the eco-terrorist with the exhaust fumes from the vehicle. In the present, Rohan notices that Kyoka has spilled tomato sauce on his manuscript and kicks her out, unaware that she did so on purpose to cheer him up.
Characters & Stands
- Episode 16: At a Confessional (エピソード#16 懺悔室, Episōdo #16 Zange-shitsu)
- Episode 2: Mutsu-kabe Hill (エピソード#02 六壁坂, Episōdo #02 Mutsukabe-zaka)
- Episode 5: Millionaire Village (エピソード#05 富豪村, Episōdo #05 Fugō-mura)
- Episode 6: Poaching Seashore (エピソード#06 密漁海岸, Episōdo #06 Mitsuryō Kaigan)
- Kishibe Rohan Meets Gucci (岸辺露伴 グッチへ行く, Kishibe Rohan Gutchi e Iku)
In Japan, Shueisha publishes the series in various different magazines before the individual chapters are compiled into volumes. The first volume released on November 19, 2013, and the second on July 19, 2018. Digital color editions were also published on July 19, 2018 and December 18, 2020 for each volume respectively.
In Spain and Argentina, the series is translated into Spanish with the title "Así habló Kishibe Rohan". Ivrea España published the volumes in Spain on July 22, 2021 and August 12, 2021. Ivrea Argentina published the volumes in Argentina on June 10, 2022 and September 23, 2022.
In North America and the United Kingdom, the series is translated into English with the title "Thus Spoke Rohan Kishibe", using the Western name order. The two volumes were published on September 27, 2022 and December 27, 2022 by VIZ Media.
Unlike the other international releases, the English and Spanish releases do not include Kishibe Rohan Meets Gucci due to Shueisha's request.
An OVA adaptation by David Production was announced on April 15, 2016. The first two episodes were released as a promotional DVD to those who had purchased the entirety of the Diamond is Unbreakable anime adaptation. Another two episodes released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 25, 2020.
Three booklets of an anthology of short stories based on the series were released with issues of Ultra Jump from July 19, 2017 to December 19 of the same year, with a fourth following suit on October 19, 2021. The stories were written by multiple Japanese authors, including Ballad Kitaguni, Ryo Yoshigami, Yusuke Iba, and Mirei Miyamoto. The stories were later compiled into three volumes that released on June 19, 2018, July 19, 2018, and December 19, 2022.
NHK aired a three-episode live action TV drama adaptation of Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan in December 2020. The live action series follows a different format from the manga, choosing to adapt various chapters, short stories, and arcs from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure featuring Rohan into one cohesive storyline. The adaptation received good reception and continued with two more seasons that aired in December 2021 and 2022, as well as a theatrical film based on Rohan au Louvre that premiered on May 26, 2023.
- Josuke Higashikata, the protagonist of Part 4, is shown from behind in Rohan au Louvre and Poaching Seashore, with his face never drawn. This is reflected in the OVA adaptation, as according to director Toshiyuki Kato, Araki believes that "two protagonists cannot co-exist in the same work."
- In a 2022 interview, Araki stated that he next wanted to depict Rohan traveling to a place he's never been before, like the Americas, where he would get into a game-like conflict against its residents, similar to the Rock-Paper-Scissors Kid story arc.
- The incarnation of Rohan Kishibe depicted in The JOJOLands displays a similar personality to the version of him seen in the Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan series, and also owns a dog named Bakin.