Rohan at the Louvre
Rohan at the Louvre (岸辺露伴 ルーヴルへ行く Kishibe Rohan Rūvuru e iku) is a short story written by Hirohiko Araki, starring JoJo's Bizarre Adventure character, Rohan Kishibe. Titled "Rohan Au Louvre" in French, it was originally featured at the Louvre in the The Louvre Invites The Comics exhibit from January 22 to April 13, 2009.
The following year, it was published in the April 2010 issue of Ultra Jump on March 19, 2010, and released in hard cover format in French on April 29, 2010. The hard cover edition for the Japanese version was later published and released by Shueisha on May 27, 2011, and the English version by NBM Publishing on April 1, 2012.
Rohan Kishibe presents himself to the reader, describing his occupation as a mangaka and peculiar power to turn people into books to read. He then asks this question: "Have you ever seen the blackest color in all the world?" , to which is linked an incident involving the disappearance of four people at the Louvre.
Following up on it, Rohan recalls an ancient memory of when he was still seventeen and an aspiring mangaka. Residing in his grandmother's inn for the summer to create a one-shot to kickstart his career, Rohan met a young and mysterious woman named Nanase Fujikura, the only client of the inn. Having a crush on her, Rohan started a friendship, and during one evening, as she admired Rohan's work, Nanase presented to him the story of the blackest pigment of the world, found and used 300 years ago by the Japanese artist Nizaemon Yamamura. To exploit the pigment, Nizaemon had to illegally cut down a tree, which resulted in his execution. However, it is said that he cast a curse and that every painting in which he used the pigment were burned, save one hidden evil painting, which Nanase saw and which was finally sold to the Louvre museum. Nanase then went off to call and meet her husband in the middle of the night before more could be clarified. One week later, Nanase reappeared and, in tears, threw herself in Rohan's arms. Before anything meaningful happened, Nanase saw that he inspired himself from her likeness to create a character for his manga, and in a rage, destroyed the drafts before apologizing and fleeing again, for good.
Ten years passed, until in a conversation with Okuyasu Nijimura, Koichi Hirose, and Josuke Higashikata, Rohan was reminded of the famed cursed painting. Rohan thus decided to go to Paris, and met with Ms Noguchi, an interpreter working at the Louvre. Asking to see Nizaemon's painting but initially rebuked, Rohan is soon embroiled in an investigation as the staff discovers that the painting is stored in an abandoned area, where nothing should be. Thus with Noguchi, a curator named Gaucher and two firemen, Rohan went into the deepest parts of the Louvre.
At the bottom of a restricted staircase, Rohan and his group opened the door to the storage room where the painting rested. However, Rohan couldn't see the painting yet. Suddenly, as the firemen glimpsed at the painting, a shadow moved. Nervous, Gaucher and the firemen rushed in to investigate, but saw nothing, still hiding the painting from Rohan with their bodies. Suddenly, one of the firemen died after being shot in the head twice. Meanwhile, many people emerged from the darkness, staring at the group. Gaucher also died, recognizing someone from a car accident as his body was spontaneously crushed as if run over by a car and the second fireman was riddled with bullets. Trying to escape, Noguchi's path up the staircase was blocked by others of the same disquieting people. As he was pushed into the storage room, Rohan recognized his grandmother and using his power, learned that these people were effectively dead. Noguchi seeing her son Pierre who died drowned in a lake, sought to embrace him and exploded, bloated with water.
Trapped, Rohan then witnessed Nanase, who was the subject of the painting, emerge. The undead overwhelmed Rohan and began to obliterate him, while Nanase apologized as "his" hatred had to emerge one day. In a moment of clarity, Rohan understood that the painting used its victims' memories to materialize the undead and make them attack people, and used Heaven's Door on himself to erase all his memories. Thus everyone disappeared as well. Crawling up the stairs, surrounded by mysterious spiders, Rohan then followed a second command telling him to rub his head, erasing the first command and restoring his memory.
Afterward, Rohan narrates that the painting, created from spider-like insects living inside the trunk of the tree Nizaemon cut down, was suffused with the artist's hatred. The painting thus detected people nearby and attacked them through not only their memories, but also the memories of their ancestors. Rohan also discovered that Nizaemon was married, and her wife Nanase "Kishibe", his ancestor, has had her portrait made before dying from illness. Nanase then dedicated her afterlife to sealing away Nizaemon's hatred, using Rohan as a catalyst. She also protected Rohan by cutting away any budding desire in him, and was crying because of her desire to be free from the blackness of hatred.
As an epilogue, Rohan is seen going away from the Louvre, as he narrates how the curator acquiring the painting in 1989 and Rohan's four companions still count as disappeared. As for the painting, it was examined one last time before being burned, although Rohan is not sure. As the Louvre refuses to answer his questions, the mystery will remain unsolved forever.
- Rohan at the Louvre is the first manga in the comic-art collection published by Musée du Louvre Editions.
- The pose that Rohan is shown doing on the cover is the same pose that Giorno Giovanna does on Cover B of Chapter 440.
- Source: Louvre Editions