Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan (TV Drama)

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Bizarre things take place in the world... Especially around Rohan Kishibe.

Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan (岸辺露伴は動かない Kishibe Rohan wa Ugokanai) is a live-action mini-series based on the manga series of the same name by Hirohiko Araki. It was produced by and aired on Japan's national broadcaster NHK from December 28 to December 30, 2020 and December 27 to December 29, 2021.[2][3]

Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan consists of six episodes, each of them being loose adaptations of one of the Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan short stories. Episodes 1 and 3 are based on stories originally featured in the manga, Millionaire Village and D.N.A.. Episode 2 is based on the short story Kushagara written by novelist Ballad Kitaguni for the Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan: Short Story Collection series.[3]

Actor Issey Takahashi stars in the series as the titular character Rohan Kishibe,[3] an eccentric mangaka originally featured in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable. He plays alongside Marie Iitoyo who plays the character of Kyoka Izumi, Rohan's editor, adapted from the same character in Millionaire Village. Unlike the original one-shots, Kyoka is now a recurring character and reappears in all of the episodes. Tomoya Nakamura also plays the original character Taro Hirai, Kyoka's boyfriend.

On August 14, 2021, NHK announced that a second season consisting of three additional episodes were in production and would be broadcasted in December of the same year. Issey Takahashi and Marie Iitoyo will reprise their roles as Rohan Kishibe and Kyoka Izumi. Three additional actors will make special appearances in each of the three new episodes: Sho Kasamatsu in Episode 4, Ennosuke Ichikawa in Episode 5, and Rio Uchida in Episode 6.[4]


Characters from Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan
Fuga Shibazaki
Mai Katahira
Kumi Takiuchi
Takahiro Sakurai


Season 1

Expand/Collapse All

Episode Title
Millionaire Village
(富豪村 Fugōmura)
Japan: December 28, 2020
TSKR Drama Episode 1.png
Rohan Kishibe's new editor Kyoka Izumi tells him about a secluded mountain village where all of the residents are millionaires and all became millionaires shortly after moving there in their twenties. Ms. Izumi wishes to fill a recent vacancy and move in, believing it will lead to her becoming a millionaire as well, and she has convinced Rohan to accompany her for research into a new manga story. After being taken to their interview with the landlords by the childlike Ikkyu, the two soon discover that they are being tested on their etiquette by unseen forces, and for each infraction, the test taker loses something dear and important to them...
(くしゃがら Kushagara)
Japan: December 29, 2020
TSKR Drama Episode 2.png
Rohan Kishibe meets with fellow manga artist Jugo Shishi who has come to ask him about a word "kushagara" that his own editor has forbidden him from using unless he can discover its meaning, but he cannot find the word in any dictionary. Rohan can see that Jugo's curiosity about the word is causing him physical and mental anguish, so when he uses Heaven's Door to take a look inside Jugo's mind, he finds something crawling inside the pages of Jugo's "book"...
Deoxyribonucleic Acid
(D.N.A Dī Enu Ē)
Japan: December 30, 2020
TSKR Drama Episode 3.png
Kyoka approaches Rohan for help in recovering the memories of her new boyfriend Taro Hirai, a former world renowned photographer who has developed amnesia after surviving a traumatic car accident six years ago. As Rohan is introduced to Taro, Mai Katahira passes by the group with her daughter Mao in a stroller, who pulls on Taro's shirt causing him to fall down. Rohan takes a look at little Mao who is hidden in the shade of the stroller, and sees that something is strange with her eyes...

Season 2

Japan: December 27, 2021
Japan: December 28, 2021
Japan: December 29, 2021


Season 1

Air Time
December 28 (Monday), 29 (Tuesday), and 30 (Wednesday) 2020
10:00 - 10:49 PM JST
December 28 (Monday), 29 (Tuesday), and 30 (Wednesday) 2020
10:00 - 10:49 PM JST

Season 2

Air Time
December 27 (Monday), 28 (Tuesday), and 29 (Wednesday) 2021
10:00 - 10:49 PM JST


The Kachi Villa in the town of Hayama, Kanagawa, was used as Rohan Kishibe's house. The drafts of the fictitious Pink Dark Boy manga that appear in the drama were drawn by Masahiko Aoki.[5]

The cafe where Kyoka Izumi and Taro Hirai drink is the real-life cafe Enokitei Honten, situated in Yokohama. Scenes of Rohan Kishibe and Kyoka Izumi trekking in the forest were shot in the forest of Shinano Province in Nagano Prefecture.[6] The cascade where Kyoka rests was identified as the Tateshina Otaki. The luxurious mansion of the Millionaire Village is in reality a house named the Omori-Musasino (大森武蔵野苑). It is a historial site situated in Koganei, Japan.[7] The tea cups used in the luxurious mansion are made of Coalport porcelain in an Adelaide shape with a phoenix motif, dating from approximatively 1830.[8] Rohan's own tea cup shown at the end of the first episode is a Saint-Médard silver plated metal tea cup. Manners consultant Hiroko Nishide worked on the episode to guide the production team about the proper manners to adopt.[9]

Filming of the shot of Jugo Shishi's throat

In Kushagara, the red book that Jugo Shishi grabs in his office is a volume from the Soseki Collection (漱石全集 Sōseki Zenshū), a collection of Japanese novelist Natsume Sōseki's works, published by Iwanami Shoten. The cafe where Rohan meets Jugo Shishi is the real-life cafe Yamata Jubankan situated in Yokohama. The sloped path in which Rohan tells Kyoka about "kushagara" is situated in a road in Yamanouchi. The place where Kyoka meets Taro is the Harbor View Park Observatory in Yokohama. The bookstore in which Rohan meets Jugo Shishi again is the real-life book store Tenpodokaribe in Yokohama.[10] The isolated alley in which Rohan confront Jugo about his obsession is situated in a path in Tama Ward, Kawasaki, in the Kanagawa Prefecture.[11] Jugo Shishi's office was filmed in a building in Kawasaki. The "university building" used in the introduction of the episode is in reality an annex of the Yamanashi Prefectural Office, in Yamanashi Prefecture. The shots of the Kushagara creatures in Jugo Shishi's throat were filmed using an upscaled model of Mirai Moriyama's throat with the creatures being manipulated like puppets by several production members[12].

In D.N.A., the park used as the production set for the episode is the Sagamihara Park.[13] Mai and Mao Katahira's house is the Megurohonchou studio. The sloped path in which Rohan meets Mai and Mao Katahira is the Motomachi Park's Hitaizaka, in Yokohama. The hospital in which Taro is brought is actually the NHK's broadcasting center in Shibuya, Tokyo.

Manga/Drama Differences

Original Content


  • Kyoka Izumi's boyfriend in Millionaire Village is fleshed out as Taro Hirai, a once world-renowned photographer.
    • A subplot revolving around Taro's amnesia is added.

Millionaire Village

  • Added a scene of Rohan turning two burglars into books.
  • Added an epilogue with Kyoka's memory of the events being altered and Rohan refusing to mention the village in his stories to not endanger his readership.


  • Added a scene of a guard discovering the dead university professor.
    • Added a scene of Rohan reading about this incident.

Deoxyribonucleic Acid

  • In Deoxyribonucleic Acid, instead of Heaven's Door's usual ability, it shows Mao, and later Mai and Taro's memories by literally transforming them into picture books. In the latter scene, Kyoka also transforms into a magazine, although Rohan refuses to read her memories.
  • In the TV Drama, Mao is more withdrawn and has a habit of hiding. This is explained as Mai's constant efforts to hide her abnormal features.


There are several nods to the main JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series:

  • If closed-caption is turned on, its text is formatted similarly to the original manga as well as JoJo's Bizarre Adventure in general. For instance, Rohan and Kyoka often end their sentences with lowercase katakana.
  • When Rohan turns one of the burglars into a book, one page of it mentions that he was in the same class as Toshikazu Hazamada in school. Hazamada ordered a mozzarella pizza from Tonio Trussardi and had it delivered to a test center. He was immediately called to the registrar's office. The burglar thinks about how a girl named Aya in their class should choose him instead of Hazamada while she still can. There is also the mention of a Tamami station.
  • Rohan mentions Pink Dark Boy's Part 8 has just began serialization one month ago, referencing Part 8 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, JoJolion.
  • When Ikkyu asks Rohan to leave the mansion after Rohan's right arm went limp, Rohan replies with his famous "But I refuse" quote from Chapter 386 of Diamond is Unbreakable.
  • Cioccolata's name appears on a book titled Cioccolata's Operative Orthopaedics in Kushagara, which is based on the real life book named Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics.
  • In Kushagara, the pizza box that Jugo Shishi brings to Rohan's home is labeled "Tonio pizza", after the character Tonio Trussardi.
  • One page of a newspaper in Kushagara mentions Yoshikage Kira.
  • A sketch resembling Noriaki Kakyoin can be seen in a room of Jugo Shishi's house, with the pose that Kakyoin assumes in Chapter 123. Sketches of Will Anthonio Zeppeli and Kars can also be seen.



  • Heaven's Door's Stand form is never directly seen, akin to its appearance in the Let's Go to the Manga Artist's House story arc of Diamond Is Unbreakable.
    • When Rohan turns someone into books, the type of pages differ depending on the victim. Kyoka's pages looks like a fashion magazine, while Ikkyu's pages look like refined book pages, Jugo Shishi's pages are a notebook full of scribbles.
  • The word "Stand" is never uttered, and is replaced with the more generic term "gift".
  • Kyoka takes more importance in the drama and becomes a recurring character, appearing in stories in which she was originally absent.
  • The publisher of Pink Dark Boy is formatted as "Shumeisha" (), rather than matching the real-life Shueisha ().

Millionaire Village

  • Kyoka Izumi is presented as Rohan's new editor and meets him for the first time at his house. When telling Rohan about the mountain village, she is also at his house rather than meeting him at a cafe.
  • Kyoka's motivation for buying the villa is also to show moral support to Taro.
  • Kyoka only commits two breaches: putting her finger in the tea cup's handle and answering the phone.
    • Previous breaches like stepping on the edge of a tatami are pointed out as rookie mistakes.
    • Her breaches result in her dog Maron and Taro being endangered.
  • When Rohan turns Ikkyu into a book, his punishment is not Kyoka's death, but rather the loss of his right arm.
    • Rohan turns Kyoka into a book and puts her to sleep for a while.
    • Thus, he has to eat the corn with one hand instead of two like in the original one-shot. He technically commits a breach, but escapes punishment because Ikkyu commits the greater breach in trying to make Rohan fail on purpose.


  • Omitted Jugo Shishi's new editor. Instead, it is the old editor who gave Jugo the list of forbidden terms and sentences.
    • Developed the character of Jugo's editor, added a scene of him in a warehouse.
  • The timeskip between Rohan and Jugo's first and second meetings is reduced to a week instead of a month.
  • Rohan's fight with Jugo is briefer and Rohan doesn't actually strike Jugo.
  • The climax of Kushagara happens at Rohan's office, in Kyoka Izumi's presence.

Deoxyribonucleic Acid

  • Kyoka Izumi's boyfriend, Taro Hirai, replaces the character Obanazawa in the story.
  • The original one-shot's plot point about sperm donation is omitted. The connection between Mao and Taro is changed into organ transplants from Akira Katahira to Taro.
  • Obanazawa and Mai's husband Akira Katahira's quirk of opening canned coffee with their pinky finger as well as their habit of sticking their tongue out are both omitted, though Taro and Akira's mannerism of scratching their head with their pinky finger is kept. Instead, these quirks are replaced with Taro and Akira's preference for sweetened coffee.
  • Yukako Yamagishi is completely omitted. Instead, Mai and Mao pass in front of Rohan's group while Kyoka is introducing Taro to a coincidentally-encountered Rohan.
    • Rohan takes an interest in Mao and follows Mai to investigate her daughter.
    • Instead of Yukako introducing Mai to Rohan, Kyoka pretends that Rohan is a hypnotherapist, which becomes the reason why she lets Rohan examine Mao.
  • The character Tomoya is omitted.
  • Added Mai's fear that her bloodline may be subject to the fate of having tragic accidents. It is explained as a mere coincidence.

Cast Commentary

I never thought the day would come when I would be able to play "Rohan-chan", a character that I've loved since I was in high school, so I was deeply moved. During the filming, I was conscious of how much I could physically express something like the continuity of movement between the panels of the original manga. This is something that I have never done before in my acting career, so it was a very enjoyable time for me as an actor. It was a real blessing to be able to discuss the design and details of Rohan's costumes with the staff over and over again.
Marie Iitoyo
I really enjoyed filming this time because it was a drama adaptation of Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan, which is derived from the popular manga JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Each line of Rohan Kishibe, played by Issey Takahashi, is stylish and literary, and I hope you will enjoy his long conversations with Kyoka Izumi, his female editor and accomplice. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to participate in this work.
Fuga Shibazaki
My character, Ikkyu, is a boy with strict manners, so before the filming, I learned how to behave in the story from the guidance of an instructor who teaches manners. It was difficult to make proper movements while saying the lines, and I was especially nervous during the scene where I had to carry the teacup. Ikkyu is a character with no flaws, but he takes unexpected actions when he meets Rohan-san, so I hope you can look forward to it. I also love the costumes and make-up, which were designed by a stylist and make-up artist who were very particular about the measurements and styling, so I hope you will pay attention to that as well.
Mirai Moriyama
I accepted the role because it was the first time in a long time that I could act with Issey Takahashi. There are many hurdles to overcome when adapting a manga into a live-action film, but the Kushagara episode that I acted in was only published as a novel which follows Hirohiko Araki-san's detailed and absurd story and character models, so I was able to freely envision how to play my role. I hope you enjoy it.
Kumi Takiuchi
I was overwhelmed by the world and atmosphere depicted in the original story, but I think that this live-action drama has a great deal of respect and common understanding of the original story, and the same attention to detail in the visuals. The hair, make-up, and fashion look like they are straight out of the manga. For my episode, the director, Mr. Watanabe, put a lot of emphasis on the reality of the story, so he made sure that the drama was carefully crafted to maintain the world of the original story, while also providing original parts that can only be seen in the drama. I think the highlight of the drama is the visuals and acting of Issey Takahashi, who plays the role of Rohan Kishibe. It was beautiful to see. Also, Marie Iitoyo, who plays Kyoka Izumi, has a cute and elegant appearance. Please check it out!
Tomoya Nakamura
The staff's love for JoJo and respect for the original work was incredible, so I was confident that if they cared so much about it, this live-action adaptation would be wonderful. I played the role of Hirai with the aim of creating a mysterious, flickering, shimmering presence. Please look forward to it.

Marie Iitoyo
Fuga Shibazaki
Mirai Moriyama
(高橋)一生と久しぶりに芝居ができる、ということで引き受けさせていただきました。 漫画原作の実写化は何かとハードルが高いものですが、参加させていただいた「くしゃがら」に関しては、荒木飛呂彦さんの描く緻密かつ荒唐無稽なストーリーやキャラクター造形を踏襲しつつも、出版されているものが小説のみということで、イメージを膨らませつつ自由に演らせていただきました。楽しんでいただければ光栄です。
Kumi Takiuchi
原作で描かれている世界観、息遣いに圧倒されっぱなしでしたが、今回の実写化ドラマでも、原作へのリスペクトと共通認識、そして、やはりビジュアルに物凄くこだわりがあったと思います。ヘアメイクもファッションも漫画から飛び出してきたような造りになっています。 私の回はリアリティーを重視していたので、演出の渡辺さんがお芝居に対して丁寧にひとつひとつの積み重ねをさせてくださり、原作の世界観を大切にしつつも、ドラマにしかないオリジナルな部分もご用意させてもらっています。見どころは何と言っても"岸辺露伴"を演じた高橋一生さんのビジュアル、お芝居すべてだと思います。この上なく眼福でした。そして"泉京香"を演じた飯豊まりえさんの可憐さと気品ある姿も。ぜひご覧ください!
Tomoya Nakamura


Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan won the monthly Galaxy Award for the TV show category in January 2021. It was chosen because the drama beautifully recreated the bizarre world of the original work, and was steeped with a unique aesthetic sense with meticulous art and direction. Yasuko Kobayashi's script accurately depicted the essence of the original work and the actors all played their parts well. In particular, Mirai Moriyama made the most of his physical abilities and excellently portrayed a sense of discomfort with his character, Jugo Shishi.[14]



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