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 volume compiling the first five chapters, including Kishibe Rohan Meets Gucci, was released on November 19, 2013. A second volume containing another four 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 set of short stories, each spanning a single chapter of around 40 to 60 pages and usually organized into disordered "episodes". They all feature Rohan Kishibe, who frequently witnesses and subsequently makes an account of the supernatural phenomena around him.
The first chapter of the series, At a Confessional, was published in Weekly Shonen Jump on July 7, 1997, under the restriction set by the magazine's editorial team that it couldn't be related to the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series. 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 title, Rohan Kishibe Does Not Move, was initially derived from the fact that Rohan is not the main protagonist of At a Confessional, but rather a "navigator" or onlooker of the story who ultimately does nothing.
The series features many esoteric creatures other than Stands, such as Yōkai, eldritch species, or divinities. The plot of each chapter is generally separated from the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure storyline, although characters from Diamond is Unbreakable and the town of Morioh regularly make an appearance.
Episode 16: At a Confessional
- Main article: Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan - Episode 16: At a Confessional
After an incident forces Rohan to put his series on hiatus, he takes a vacation to Italy. While in Venice, Rohan accidentally enters a confessional where a man begins to confess his sins. The man tells of his youth when a starving vagrant came to him for food. Disdainful, he forced the vagrant to carry large bags of corn, ultimately leading to his death. However, the vagrant's ghost appeared, swearing to return and take revenge on the happiest day of his life.
After becoming rich and successful, the man walked cheerfully with his daughter and servant in what he thought was the happiest moment of his life. Suddenly, the vagrant's spirit possesses his daughter and reveals that he was behind man's prosperity from the start. The ghost explains that he wanted fate to judge him, demanding that he throws three pieces of popcorn into the air higher than the lamppost and catch it in his mouth. If he fails, the ghost would would cut off his head. The man successfully catches the first two pieces of popcorn, but misses the third piece after being blinded by the sun. As it lands on his shirt, the ghost cuts off his head. Yet the man still was alive, revealing he used his servant as a body double to trick the ghost. Rohan then witnesses the man leaving the confessional followed by the spirit of the vagrant and servant, who vowed to endlessly stalk him.
Episode 2: Mutsu-kabe Hill
- Main article: Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan - Episode 2: Mutsu-kabe Hill
Bankrupt from buying a large piece of land for research purposes, Rohan tells his editor the story of a genuine Yokai he witnessed during his exploits. The story starts with Naoko Osato, the heir of a wealthy family, cutting ties with her secret lover, Gunpei Kamafusa, after being forced into an arranged marriage. The break-up turns into a fight with Naoko pushing Gunpei into a bag of golf clubs, piercing his skull and killing him. At the same time, Naoko's father and soon-to-be husband arrive at the house. Panicked, Naoko delays them while trying to stop Gunpei's wound from bleeding, however, the blood mysteriously keeps gushing out. In desperation, Naoko puts Gunpei on top the armoire while drinking his blood.
Naoko married and had children, but never strayed from the house as she continued to hide Gunpei's corpse, meticulously collecting the blood as it endlessly poured—eventually developing a strange attachment to it. Hearing legends of a Yokai in the area, Rohan investigates Naoko and goes to see Gunpei with his own eyes. On the way back, Rohan stumbles into Naoko's daughter, who falls and hits her head against a rock, seemingly dying. Rohan notices the girl's unnatural eyes and realizes that she was actually the child Naoko had with Gunpei's corpse—a Yokai that lives off people's affection. Using Heaven's Door, Rohan erases the girl's memories and prevents it from possessing him. In that moment, Rohan sees the Yokai's true form shrieking at him before turning back into the girl and running away. In the end, Rohan leaves safely and with a story for his manga.
Episode 5: Millionaire Village
Rohan and his editor Kyoka Izumi meet at a cafe in Morioh. While discussing Rohan's new one-shot, Kyoka talks to him about buying a villa in the mountains, claiming that anyone who buys a property their becomes incredibly rich. Hiking up the mountains, Kyoka also mentions that the people in the village won't sell their property to anyone with bad manners. At the front door, a child butler greets the two and asks them to wait for the current owners, giving them tea as refreshment. However, the butler soon asks them to leave as they've already breached etiquette by handling the tea cup incorrectly and by stepping on the tatami's edges.
Kyoka begs for a second chance, which is granted, but is soon devastated to learn that her mother and fiancee have both died in a car crash. Rohan immediately uses Heaven's Door on the butler and learns that the Gods of the Mountains are testing them, and that whoever breaches etiquette is punished with the death of their loved ones. Because of Rohan's actions against the butler, Kyoka collapses due to a heart attack. To save her, Rohan must face another trial: a plate of corn. After much thinking, Rohan correctly deduces that the proper way to eat corn is to hold it with both hands. Moreover, because he had written that the butler wouldn't be able to see the tatami's edges, the butler breached etiquette three times causing Kyoka to return to life. As a prize, he asks for Kyoka's loved ones to be returned and leaves the village while carrying her unconscious body.
Characters & Stands
In Japan, Shueisha publishes the series in various different magazines before the individual chapters are compiled into volumes.
- Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan - Episode 16: At a Confessional (Weekly Shonen Jump 1997 #30: Released June 24, 1997)
- Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan - Episode 2: Mutsu-kabe Hill (Jump Square January 2008: Released December 4, 2007)
- Kishibe Rohan Meets Gucci (SPUR October 2011: Released August 23, 2011)
- Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan - Episode 5: Millionaire Village (Weekly Shonen Jump 2012 #45: Released October 6, 2012)
- Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan - Episode 6: Poaching Seashore (Weekly Shonen Jump 2013 #46: Released October 12, 2013)
- Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan - Episode 4: The Harvest Moon (Shonen Jump+: Released September 22, 2014)
- Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan - Episode 7: A Rainy Monday (Jump Square January 2016: Released December 4, 2015)
- Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan - Episode 8: Deoxyribonucleic Acid (Bessatsu Margaret September 2017: Released August 12, 2017)
- Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan - Episode 9: The Run (Weekly Shonen Jump 2018 #13: Released February 26, 2018)
- Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan - Episode 10: Hot Summer Martha (JOJO magazine 2022 SPRING: Released March 19, 2022)
- Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan - Episode 11: Drip Painting Style (Ultra Jump May 2022 and June 2022: Released April 19 and May 19, 2022)
In Spain and Argentina, the series is translated into Spanish with the title "Así habló Kishibe Rohan". Mil Comics 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.
A spin-off titled Rohan at the Louvre was featured at the Louvre in the The Louvre Invites The Comics exhibit from January 22 to April 13, 2009 before being published in Ultra Jump on March 19, 2010. Like Kishibe Rohan Meets Gucci, the spin-off does not have Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan in its title, but is nonetheless included as part of the series in the Spring 2022 issue of JOJO magazine.
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.