Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan - Episode 8
At Yukako Yamagishi's request, recently-widowed mother Mai Katahira consults Rohan about her daughter Mao's strange physiology. Though the manga artist's advice proves unhelpful, what Mai learns from the incident leads her to an unlikely reunion.
The story received a TV drama adaptation of the same name, which was aired on December 30, 2020.
The story begins with a new couple sitting in a car. A man with peculiar tics tries to reassure his wife, but is revealing to be bleeding. They just had a car accident.
Several years later, Rohan Kishibe sits in a café along with Yukako Yamagishi and the same woman introduced earlier. She introduces herself as Mai Katahira then reveals a girl playing in a nearby playground is her daughter Mao. Just as she became newly-wed, her husband died and Mai could not fall in love with anyone else. However, she went to a sperm bank to become pregnant with Mao. Mai then details all the bizarre behavior and physical characteristics of her daughter. She only speaks in reverse, does not make a noise when she walks, and somehow wets everything she walks into. Mao's appearance behind Rohan allows Mai to describe her child further: the young girl has no eyebrows nor eyelashes above her eyes, yet has long eyelashes below and has sideburns; finally she has grown a tail which when touched, makes Mao camouflage herself into her surroundings. Mai demonstrates Mao's power, to Rohan's astonishment.
The mangaka uses Heaven's Door on Mao but finds that there is nothing inherently wrong with her. Although Yukako pleads Rohan to cure her, he retorts that there is nothing to cure and takes his leave, telling Mai to assume her choices. Disgusted, Yukako reveals to Mai information she discovered from Heaven's Door: the sperm donor lived in Yamagata, was 30 years old when he donated his sperm, and also has a scar on his forehead.
Despite the clues, Mai is still full of questions and wonders about the donor. In a train station, Mai spots a man with features very similar to that of Mao's. She sees from an arrival panel that he comes from a line cutting through Yagamata, and spots a scar on his forehead when he buys a drink. Shocked at the possibilities and determined to confirm her suspicions, Mai trails him across the town until both arrive in a park where she sees Mao playing around. The unknown man approaches Mao and seemingly abducts her. Panicking, Mai runs toward the man and her daughter to save her, and as the man embarks on a taxi, Mai catches up. However, "Mao" falls apart, revealing a young boy. Mai understands that her daughter has put her camouflaged skin on the boy to play a prank and apologizes.
The man guesses that the scar may have scared Mai, and explains that he fell off a cliff once 15 years ago. This shocks Mai, and when the man reassures her the same way her late husband did, she asks if they have met before. Denying the possibility, the man presents himself as Obanazawa, a divorced law firm employee who occasionally visits his son. The two immediately become close and decide to sit together with their children on a bench.
Later, Yukako crosses paths with Rohan, and reveals to him that Mai has married Obanazawa three months after their meeting, which Yukako guesses was a ploy by Mao. She smirks at Rohan's surprise and leaves satisfied.
- The chapter's original episode number was later used for the one-shot The Run.