Rohan Kishibe (岸辺 露伴 Kishibe Rohan) is a primary ally featured in the fourth part of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series, Diamond is Unbreakable. First featured as an antagonist in the "Let's Go to the Manga Artist's House" story arc, he cooperates in the search for Yoshikage Kira.
Rohan is a successful, professional manga artist, having created the series Pink Dark Boy in Weekly Shonen Jump. He is often roped into paranormal events while conducting research for his latest manga. He is the Stand User of Heaven's Door, which he uses to transform others into books and read them for inspiration.
Diamond is Unbreakable
Rohan is an individual of average build and height. He has an undercut that is slicked sideways. While his outfit regularly changes, Rohan keeps his trademark headband and pen earrings in every appearance.
Rohan Kishibe is a passionate manga artist dedicated to his work, with a particularly abrasive personality but a good heart.
Rohan Kishibe is above all defined by his dedication to his work. With great draftmanship talents, Rohan has constantly sought to make the best manga possible in order to keep being read. His wish to be read is so great it trumps any other motivation, disdaining money or glory and feeling no need for kinship either. When drawing, Rohan falls into an artistic trance, drawing with abandon and being distracted with great difficulty. Because of his tremendous drawing skill, the one thing Rohan seeks the most is inspiration to fuel his work as everything else is an effortless formality.
To gain inspiration, Rohan is constantly seeking new experiences or facts, investigating anything he might find interesting with blatant disregard for common sense, politeness or the law, for instance buying a whole mountain range to preserve the living area of a supposed yokai and constantly prying into people's lives by turning them into books with his Heaven's Door. Moreover, Rohan is overly curious, willingly throwing himself into strange adventures such as an unusual house sale or a poaching session. His inquisitiveness can turn obsessive and downright morbid as he had to be reigned in to stop harassing Koichi and killed a spider just to taste its innards. Nonetheless, Rohan considers "reality" to be the greatest inspiration, and looks for genuine material, disdaining fakes such as when Hazamada fakes throwing up.
In addition to his own work, Rohan is an amateur of art in all its forms. He possesses movie goodies artbooks and manga figures alike, and considers that a visit to the museum to be a solemn occasion necessitating a proper outfit.
Parallel to his artistic passion exists Rohan's general unpleasantness. First of all, Rohan is arrogant, being aware of his nearly superhuman skill as an artist. Thus he generally looks down on everyone else and may only see people as possible material for his stories. However, he greatly respects Koichi for his courage and niceness. He also respects Tonio as a chef. Naturally, Rohan also hates being made a fool of, reacting with extreme dissatisfaction when Josuke cheated against him without him knowing how and cutting off his own finger as self-inflicted punishment. Likewise, he didn't like that his editor Kyoka Izumi dismissed his idea for a one-shot.
His arrogance is paired with his constant coarseness. While he may act with professional courtesy, Rohan is generally brash and impolite. Maintaining a thin veneer of civility, Rohan will usually make no secret of what he thinks of people which, combined with his arrogance, often earns him a mutual disdain with his interlocutors. Likewise, he also likes aggravating people he doesn't like, playing a game with Josuke with the declared intention to ruin him, has also stated to liking put down people "in their place" by refusing their requests or orders and is willing to tease or taunt an opponent. Rohan blatantly disregards courtesy for the sake of his goals, turning people into books on a whim and having at one point entered a confessional just to see the interior. But if he is disinterested, Rohan may also blatantly not remember an interlocutor's name such as Yukako Yamagichi at one point and distract himself while they talk. He has also occasionally adopted a visible passive-aggressive behavior and had no qualm punching an annoying Ken Oyanagi.
Nonetheless, behind his eccentric and discourteous demeanour, Rohan is also a decent person. When he learned about how Reimi Sugimoto saved him, he took an active part in seeking her murderer in part to give Reimi closure. He would also admit, with some persuasion, that he did like her and would miss her. Although he looks down on people and clashes with them, he always defends their lives, ultimately saving Ken Oyanagi when the boy tried to commit suicide and also saving the abrasive Kyoka Izumi from the gods of the mountains. Moreover, Rohan's stubborn personality means that he also has an iron-clad moral standard, for instance refusing to let Josuke be attacked by Highway Star despite the Stand promising to free him and Josuke being the person Rohan hates the most. Finally, Rohan steadfastly grants his fans autographs whenever they ask him, no matter the circumstances.
Despite his arrogance, Rohan is mature enough to know that surpassing others is easier than surpassing oneself.
Recent stories feature Rohan doing regular physical exercise to keep in shape.
- Main article: Heaven's Door
Heaven's Door enables Rohan to transmute people into "human books", with written pages unfurling from their bodies. These pages relate detailed information about that person, including biological characteristics, history, personality, or even details of their Stand and its abilities.
Rohan's Stand Heaven's Door was acquired when he was shot with the Arrow and its nature likely originated from his zeal for drawing manga. Rohan states that compelling manga requires a quality that may only be drawn from reality, both for its sensory variety and the depth of experience that humans accumulate.
Heaven's Door's simple yet exceptionally versatile power to transform people into books makes Rohan a formidable Stand User. There has been a noticeable shift in Rohan's mastery of his Stand as he initially required someone to look at a manga page to be transformed into a book, but then could draw his art in the air to trigger the effect and has recently been shown to only need a touch to turn targets into books. This shift has been stated as his own progress as a Stand User.
Rohan liberally uses his power to write commands in people, but usually shows restraint and subtlety in writing said commands. He prefers using very specific orders to compel people into not doing one thing or performing a single task for him, but never more. As a manga artist, he frequently uses his power to pry into people's lives for inspiration, regardless of courtesy.
He can also use his power in unexpected ways as people are literally transformed into paper and take on paper's property. Thus, he can easily immobilize someone by turning articulations into paper and has transformed an obese man into paper that could unfold and fit between two speeding trains.
- Dexterity, Draftsmanship: Rohan is an exceptionally talented draftsman, capable if he chooses of finishing manga pages of quality at superhuman speed. He can draw competently without construction lines and shade precisely simply by throwing ink drops with his pen. Such is his speed that he is able to do 19 pages in four days, a feat he can easily surpass, as is noted when he still can meet the deadline for his manga during Made In Heaven's accelerated time, where time has hastened to the point that ink can dry before it gets to the paper. Incidentally, his skill also gives him the necessary arm speed to draw a paper sheet off his desk even before Crazy Diamond can complete a punch. He was also able to throw pen nibs with such speed that they pierced Josuke's skin during their initial encounter.
Despite loving his manga more than anything else, even over friends and family, Rohan still maintains relationships with the protagonists. Most if not all of those are strained.
- Koichi Hirose: Koichi was one of the first people Rohan met upon his return to Morioh. Despite trapping Koichi and using him for new manga ideas, Rohan shows more trust and friendship towards Koichi than the rest of Morioh's inhabitants. While Koichi is often perturbed by Rohan's near-obsessive behavior over him, he also has attempted to help Rohan in return. Koichi tolerated less and less the worst sides of Rohan's arrogance as he gained confidence and he was overall a positive influence on Rohan's attitude. At the end of Diamond is Unbreakable, one reproachful look from Koichi was enough for Rohan to yield and confess an attachment to Reimi Sugimoto.
- Reimi Sugimoto: Reimi was a babysitter for Rohan when he was four years old. As a ghost, Reimi still treats Rohan as though he were a child. While he often acts resentful towards her treatment of him, he also shows unceasing determination to find her killer, as Reimi had sacrificed herself to save Rohan's life as a child.
- Josuke Higashikata: Josuke and Rohan loathe each other, with their relationship being strained at best. This first started when Rohan kidnapped Koichi to use as material and nearly had Okuyasu commit suicide. Rohan also insulted Josuke's hair, causing Josuke to beat him until he was in the hospital for a month. Rohan views Josuke as simple-minded, and Josuke is often annoyed by Rohan's arrogance. As a result, Josuke was not above scamming Rohan for money. However, Josuke has tried on at least two occasions to patch up the relationship between the two. During the Janken Boy arc, he asked Rohan if he wanted to sit with him, Okuyasu, and Yukako. He also hoped to patch up their relationship after their battle against Highway Star, though Rohan's stubbornness and grudge prevented this. Despite their sharply contrasting personalities and rough history together, Rohan shows some trust in Josuke, proven when risking his own life to allow Josuke to escape from Highway Star, and the fact he restrains some hostility on the knowledge that he's Joseph Joestar's son, a person he values deeply.
- Jotaro Kujo: Rohan seems to regard Jotaro as knowledgeable, and Jotaro trusts Rohan despite being a former enemy.
- Okuyasu Nijimura: They only truly interact once, when Okuyasu goes to save Koichi from Rohan. Rohan used Heaven's Door to manipulate Okuyasu, nearly causing him to commit suicide by burning himself. While the two aren't seen together afterwards, it is safe to say they don't have a good relationship since Okuyasu holds a grudge against Rohan for what he did while Rohan is mostly indifferent to Okuyasu.
- Joseph Joestar: Unlike with most people, he seems rather polite to Joseph, possibly since Joseph is his elder (and often refers to him as Joestar-san or Mr. Joestar). Joseph has been shown to be a fan of Rohan's works, something Rohan appreciates. He usually speaks calmly to Joseph, such as when he explains his investigation in uncovering Kira's whereabouts. He even states one of the main reasons he tolerates Josuke is out of respect for Mr. Joestar, further demonstrating his respect for him.
- Nanase Kishibe: Rohan first meets her Nanase as "Nanase Fujikura" during his teenage years. Attracted to her, Rohan mentions that his relationship was in effect a first love to him. Indeed, he was noticeably less abrasive in her presence and even showed some protective instincts. However, Nanase fled away before things could evolve in a meaningful way. It is only later that Rohan learns that Nanase is his ancestor.
- Tonio Trussardi: Although both characters do not interact in the manga, they are featured in Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan - Episode 6: Poaching Seashore as allies. In the one-shot, Tonio and Rohan are portrayed as friends, even though Rohan disapproved of Tonio coming to Morioh in order to cook. Rohan changed his mind after eating Tonio's abalone risotto, and the two cooperated to go poaching for a rare type of abalones. During their escapade, Rohan ended up saving Tonio's life.
- Yukako Yamagishi: While the two have no interaction, Rohan learned about her after reading Koichi's memories using Heaven's Door. When Josuke asks if Rohan wants to sit with him, Okuyasu and Yukako, he declines while referring to Yukako as a crazy bitch (or the moody Yukako depending on translations).
- Shizuka Joestar: The two have little interaction though Rohan once scared her by using the flash on his camera. On another occasion, Rohan used her invisibility powers to force Ken's hand into a rock in Janken, causing Ken to lose against Rohan. He seems to care for her, as he became worried when he lost her and helped Joseph and Josuke look for her.
- Hayato Kawajiri: Rohan noticed that Hayato was in the background of many of the pictures he took of people who were possibly Kira in disguise and tailed him. He tried to get information out of him, though Hayato refused, knowing that telling him anything would activate Bites the Dust and kill Rohan. Rohan did eventually get killed by Bites the Dust since he used Heaven's Door to read Hayato's memories, much to Hayato's horror. Luckily, his fate is avoided thanks to Josuke.
- Toshikazu Hazamada: Toshikazu was a huge fan of Rohan who accidentally learned about his address and decided to visit the manga artist himself. He was impressed by Rohan and stated he truly admired him from the bottom of his heart even after Rohan used Heaven's Door on him. In contrast, Rohan read through Toshikazu's memories and learned of his sordid personality and actions and frankly dismissed him, much to Toshikazu's sadness.
- Tamami Kobayashi: The two worked together in the I'm an Alien arc to expose Josuke's cheating during a game of Cee-lo between Josuke and Rohan where it was obvious the dice they used were somehow rigged to let Josuke win (it was Mikitaka disguised as dice and constantly throwing winning tosses for Josuke). Although they were not able to find out how Josuke cheated, Tamami still charged Rohan for his services. However, in Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan - Episode 2: Mutsu-kabe Hill, he is shown to be a fan of Rohan and asks for his autograph, which is a stark contrast to their more professional relationship during their first on-screen meeting.
- Akira Otoishi: Otoishi meets Rohan with Tamami after he is released from prison and excitedly asks for Rohan's autograph, claiming to be a big fan of his. Rohan's editor Minoru Kagamari harshly denies, saying that Rohan is busy, but Rohan scolds his editor and gives the two of them an autograph.
- Yoshikage Kira: While initially only interested in chasing down the serial killer in order to improve the quality of his manga, Rohan takes Kira much more seriously after learning that the man had killed his childhood babysitter. Evidently, all of Rohan's attempts at tracking Kira down have been done alone, with limited help from his allies.
- Ken Oyanagi: Ken initially annoyed Rohan greatly when they first met by challenging him multiple times to Janken (Rock, Paper, Scissors). Because of this, Rohan felt little remorse for making him upset, eventually reaching the point of spontaneously punching him in the face out of irritation. When Rohan learned that Ken was actually attempting to steal Heaven's Door's ability in order to gain power, he acted diligently to beat him, and happily gloated in his victory. Rohan had a change of attitude after seeing Ken attempt suicide over the thought of losing his own Stand, claiming that he is moved whenever he sees people whom are dramatic like him.
- Yuya Fungami/Highway Star: Though Rohan did not meet Yuya personally, he ended up a victim of his Stand. Rohan was shown to have enjoyed defying Highway Star, despite being completely at its mercy.
- Masazo Kinoto: The architect was hired to inspect Rohan's house after it was burned in order to agree on a rebuilding plan. Upon their meeting, Rohan immediately used Heaven's Door in order to check if he was an enemy Stand user. Learning of Masazo's abnormal fear of having his back seen piqued his curiosity. During the inspection, Rohan tried time and time again to look at Masazo's back, and was eventually successful. This was the cause of Masazo's death, as his own Stand drained his life force and latched onto Rohan.
- Cheap Trick: The Stand was an immediate threat to Rohan once it attached to him, making constant attempts to get other people to see his back in order to kill him. When he was able to remove the Stand via Reimi's Alley, he uses Heaven's Door to write in it "I'm going to Hell" before it gets dragged off into the unknown.
Relationships in Eyes of Heaven
- Yukako Yamagishi: In Story Mode, Rohan is unnerved by Yukako's violent tendencies and will state that there is no difference when she is brainwashed by Heaven Ascension DIO. In Free Battle Mode, Yukako is annoyed by Rohan's teasing of Koichi and threatens him.
Chapters / Episodes
- “By the way, you wouldn't happen to know the secret to writing interesting comics, would you? It's reality! Reality is the lifeblood that makes a work pulse with energy! Reality itself is entertainment! You might think comics draw on imagination and fantasy, but that's wrong! To write something interesting, you have to write what you've seen, what you've done, what you've experienced!”
- “The first compatible people to read my manuscript will have the door to their heart opened thanks to my special ability, Heaven's Door.”
- “It's great! I've found the perfect inspiration for my comics!!”
- “Did you think the great Rohan Kishibe draws comics because he wants money?! I draw comics because I want to be read! "Want to be read" that's the one and only reason. I couldn't care less about anything else!”
- “Right now, I'm drawing my masterpiece! And it's made of your experiences, Koichi! Your experiences are amazing!”
- “When I win, I want to be able to look down on your losing face.”
- “I'll say this only once. You said you wanted to surpass me... this is something you'll learn with age. It's not actually that hard to surpass someone. If you want to surpass someone, it's much harder to surpass yourself! Allow me to demonstrate by overcoming my own fate!”
- “I refuse. (だが断る Daga kotowaru)”
- “I've already done [the autographs]. Don't lump me in with people who take too long to do their jobs. I signed it and left a special thanks.”
- “Do not underestimate Kishibe Rohan... Forks, knives, chopsticks'... I can smell that those items are traps from a mile away. They seem far too purposeful. You grip [the corn cob] with your hands !”
- “I refuse. My Stand isn't even able to cure anything. Besides, what is it that you want me to cure. I don't even understand what you mean by "normal". What's so normal about your standard of "normal"?”
- “For once, I regret my actions in this incident very much. It was all caused by a fault in my personality. There was a red line that wasn't meant to be crossed, but I failed to see it and stuck my head in where it didn't belong. I proudly and foolishly believed that I could read the personalities of others. It's only because I got lucky that everything from my wrist up is still intact. These events are Episode 10: The Run”
- Rohan's valued possessions include Sailor Moon figures, Led Zeppelin paper sleeves, and the Rurouni Kenshin series.
- Despite Rohan being modeled after him, Araki has stated that the two of them are not the same personality-wise. He does admit however, after being asked if he would lick a spider like Rohan, that he would eat really strange things if asked to, and that he really enjoys drawing skin peeling, which is the premise behind Heaven's Door.
- In an "Tameike Now" interview with Shoko Nakagawa, Araki mentions that if he were to have any Stand ability from his series, it would be Heaven's Door.
- Rohan's TV anime voice actor, Takahiro Sakurai, previously voiced Bruno Bucciarati in the PS2 game GioGio's Bizarre Adventure.