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]

Rohan Kishibe is a famous, arrogant, and eccentric mangaka whose main series "Pink Dark Boy" is enjoying a great success. Unbeknownst to all, Rohan possesses a gift he names "Heaven's Door", which allows him to turn people into books and read into their lives. At the beginning of the series, Rohan meets his new editor, a perky but strong-headed woman named Kyoka Izumi. Together, and to acquire material for Rohan's work, they seek and stumble upon some of the secrets of this world, from yokai to miracles to more esoteric phenomenon.

On April 11th, 2022, the distribution company Digital Media Rights announced it will stream the first three episodes of the series with English subtitles on its streaming service RetroCrush.[4]

Summary

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 reprised their roles as Rohan Kishibe and Kyoka Izumi. Three additional actors made special appearances in each of the three new episodes: Show Kasamatsu in Episode 4, Ennosuke Ichikawa in Episode 5, and Rio Uchida in Episode 6.[5]


Cast

Characters from Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan
Ikkyu
Fuga Shibazaki
Mai Katahira
Kumi Takiuchi
Mutsu-kabe Hill Yokai
(Mentioned only)
Various
Various

Episodes

Expand/Collapse All

Season 1

#
Episode Title
Airdate
1
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...
2
Kushagara
(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"...
3
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

4
The Run
(ザ・ラン Za Ran)
Japan: December 27, 2021
TSKR Drama Episode 4.png
Rohan meets a young man named Yoma Hashimoto at a members-only gym. Yoma is a fledgling model who starts going to the gym after his office president orders him to “build up his body”. However, after this day, Yoma becomes obsessed with running, and his obsession with “running” gradually goes beyond the norm. Yoma shows up in front of Rohan one day for the first time after a while, appearing much more confident. He then proposes to Rohan that they have a running contest on treadmills.
5
From Behind
(背中の正面 Senaka no Shōmen)
Japan: December 28, 2021
TSKR Drama Episode 5.png
A man named Masazo Kinoto, who works in the sales department of a company that undertakes resort development, comes to Rohan’s house. When he invites him in, the man comes crawling in with his back against the wall. When he took off his shoes, sat down on a chair, and drank tea, he smiled affectionately, but never showed his back to Rohan. This strange behavior aroused Rohan’s curiosity, and he forced himself to look at the man’s back. Suddenly, something abnormal attacks Kinoto since his back was seen, and then moves on to affect Rohan.
6
Mutsu-kabe Hill
(六壁坂 Mutsukabezaka)
Japan: December 29, 2021
TSKR Drama Episode 6.png
Rohan goes bankrupt after purchasing a forest on Mutsu-kabezaka Village for the sole purpose of reporting on the legend of a yokai lurking there. Rohan visits the village with Kyoka in pursuit of the mystery of the legend, but finds no clues. Just then, Rohan is confronted by the heiress of the most prominent family in the village, Naoko Osato. Naoko tries to find out the reason why Rohan visited the village, but it seems that she herself is hiding something. After reading Naoko’s memories with Heaven’s Door, Rohan learns the shocking truth about Naoko and Mutsu-kabe Hill.

Schedule

Season 1

Channel
Date
Air Time
December 28 (Monday), 29 (Tuesday), and 30 (Wednesday), 2020
10:00 - 10:49 PM JST
NHK BS4K
December 28 (Monday), 29 (Tuesday), and 30 (Wednesday), 2020
10:00 - 10:49 PM JST

Season 2

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

Production

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.[6]

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.[7] 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 historical site situated in Koganei, Japan.[8] The tea cups used in the luxurious mansion are made of Coalport porcelain in an Adelaide shape with a phoenix motif, dating from approximately 1830.[9] 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.[10]

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 Tenpodokaribe Book Store in Yokohama.[11] The isolated alley in which Rohan confronts Jugo about his obsession is situated in a path in Tama Ward, Kawasaki, in the Kanagawa Prefecture.[12] 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[13].

In DNA, the park used as the production set for the episode is the Sagamihara Park.[14] 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.

In The Run, scenes of Yoma running were shot in Shibaura Island, Tokyo. The gym is the gym of the NAS Wellness & Spa CLUB. The scene where Yoma kicks a bicycle is situated near the following address: 1-4-29 Miyamaedaira, Miyamae-ku, Kawasaki, Kanagawa prefecture. The tunnel Yoma runs through is a tunnel is the second Kakinokidai tunnel situated in Ichihara, Chiba prefecture. For the production of the episode, Show Kasamatsu, Yoma Hashimoto's actor, had to follow a strict diet followed by a personal trainer. Kasamatsu also never practiced bouldering and thus his trainer took him on a two-hour practice session before the shooting. Afterwards, Kasamatsu was able to boulder inside of the apartment for the shooting. Kasamatsu reports that he almost cried when the director Watanabe thanked him afterwards.[15]

The alley serving as a boundary to the other world in From Behind is actually an alley adjacent to the Chiyoda Kajicho Post Office in Tokyo.[16]

The village in Mutsu-kabe Hill is the Japanese village of Akasawa, with part of the episode being filmed near Akasawa's Osakaya inn. Kyoka Izumi's cakes are cakes from the Nicolas & Herbs brand. The Osato House is the Kiunkaku, a historical hot spring hotel situated in Atami, Shizuoka.

Manga/Drama Differences

Original Content

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.

Modifications

  • 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 ().

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.
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.
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.

高校生のときから好きだった“露伴ちゃん”を演じることができる日が来るとは思っていなかったで、感慨深かったです。撮影では、原作漫画のコマとコマの間にある動きの連続性のようなものを、どれだけ肉体で表現することができるかということを意識していました。これまでのお芝居ではなかった作業で、俳優としてとても楽しい時間でした。露伴のコスチュームのデザインやディテールにいたるまで、スタッフの方々と何度も話し合って作り上げていくことができたことは本当に幸福でした。
今回、大人気漫画の「ジョジョの奇妙な冒険」から派生した「岸辺露伴は動かない」のドラマ化ということで、とても楽しんで撮影させて頂きました。高橋一生さん演じる岸辺露伴のセリフ一つひとつがお洒落で文学的でもあり、相棒となる女性編集者・泉京香との長回しの会話劇もぜひお楽しみいただけたら嬉しいです。本当にこの作品に参加させていただけたこと心から感謝しています。
Fuga Shibazaki
僕の演じた一究はマナーに厳しい少年なので、撮影前にマナー指導の先生の元、お話しに出てくる立ち居振る舞い方を学びました。台詞を言いながらきちんとした動きを取るのは難しく、ティーカップを運ぶシーンは特に緊張しました。隙のない一究ですが、露伴さんに出逢い思いもよらない行動を取ってしまうので、楽しみにして頂けたらと思います。また、衣装やメイクも採寸から始まりスタイリストさんメイクさんのこだわりの詰まった僕も大好きなスタイリングなので、そちらも是非注目して見て頂けたら嬉しいです。
(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
スタッフの皆さんのジョジョ愛、原作へのリスペクトが凄まじく、「ここまで想っているなら、この実写化は素敵なものになるに違いない」と確信を持ってクランクインしました。どこか不思議な、たゆたう陽炎のような存在感を目指して平井という人物を演じました。ご期待ください。

During the filming last year, I was thinking about if a sequel was possible and what we could do next. The sequel hadn’t been decided yet at that point. Director Mr. Kazutaka, producer Mr. Tsuchihashi, character design supervisor Mr. Tsuge, cinematographer Mr. Yamamoto, and the lighting, costume, makeup, and production departments often talked on set about if there would be something after. Then at the end of last year, “Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan” was completed after we put everything we could do at the time into it. I think that many people who watched it were also looking forward to see what would come next. Following episodes 1, 2, and 3, we now have episodes 4, 5, and 6. As one of the actors, I felt the happiness of being able to play one role for a long time, while simultaneously enjoying my next project and giving it my all. Let’s have an adventure together in this increasingly sophisticated and bizarre world.
At the end of last year, Kazutaka Watanabe, the director, told me, “Please keep your schedule open for the next fall”, so I was already looking forward to the sequel. My role originally only appeared in Millionaire Village, but I’m so excited to be able to be in charge of collecting data for Rohan-sensei as Kyoka Izumi once again. As Mr. Issey said, it’s rare to have the opportunity of feeling happiness of being able to play one role for a long time, or the chance to work with the same staff. I want to cherish that feeling. I also participated wholeheartedly. Oh, and please look forward to Izumi-chan’s new costume! Well, then, I look forward to seeing you at the end of the year in episodes 4, 5, and 6 of “Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan“!
I was honored to work in a wonderful environment full of love for the original work. For the first time in my life, I had to restrict my diet and worked very hard. I felt like I was going to break many times, but I think I was able to surpass that because I was Yoma Hashimoto. To the viewers, please be gentle with me.
Ennosuke Ichikawa
Icchan (Issey) is now one of the most famous actors in Japan, and I was happy to accept the offer to act with him again. I was a little nervous since we hadn’t acted together on screen since the “Taiga” drama, but thanks to the director and the rest of the team, the shooting went very well. I heard that episode 5 is an original story in a sense, inspired by “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure“, but I was able to freely play the role of Masazo Kinoto. Please take a look, and I hope you enjoy it.
I’m really honored to be involved in the drama of my beloved JoJo and Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan series. Creating a work full of love with such professional staff was exciting and made me happy both as a fan of the original work and as an actor. I personally love Rohan-sensei so much that it was very difficult for me to control my heart rate so as not to bring it into the scene. It’s three days at the end of the year. I’m going to wait in front of the TV with excitement too!

去年の撮影の最中、続編が出来るのならば『次に出来ること』は何かと考えていました。 まだその時点で続編が決定していたわけじゃあないのに。演出の一貴さん、プロデューサーの土橋さん、人物デザイン監修の柘植さん、撮影の山本さん、照明部、衣裳部、メイク部、制作部も、『次』があるなら、とよく現場で話していました。そして、その時出来ること全てを一丸となって注ぎ、去年末、《岸辺露伴は動かない》が出来上がりました。見てくださった方々の多くも『次』を期待してくださっていたのだと思います。1.2.3話に引き続き、4.5.6話です。俳優部の一人としては、一つの役を長く演じることが出来る幸福感を噛み締めると同時に、『次に出来ること』を楽しみながら、その時出来ることを詰め込みました。益々洗練されたこの奇妙な世界をご一緒に、冒険しましょう。
去年末に演出の渡辺一貴さんから、「次の秋頃、スケジュール空けといてくださいね。」とお話をいただき、はやくも続編があるのかなぁと心待ちにしていました。本来ならば富豪村でしか登場しなかった役柄でしたが、再び泉京香ちゃんとして露伴先生の取材を担当することができて、また心躍ってしまうひと時でした。一生さんもおっしゃっていましたが、一つの役を長く演じることができる幸福感、変わらず同じスタッフの方々と作品がつくれる出会い、は数多くありません。大切にしていきたいです。私も心を込めて参加させていただきました。あっ、泉ちゃんの新コスチュームにもご期待くださいね!それでは、、『岸辺露伴は動かない』第4.5.6話でお会いできる年末を楽しみにしております!!
原作愛の溢れる素晴らしい環境でお仕事ができて光栄でした。人生初の食事制限をして、一生懸命頑張りました。 僕は何度も折れそうになりましたが、橋本陽馬だったから超えることができたと思います。視聴者の皆様、お手柔らかにお願いします。
Ennosuke Ichikawa
今や日本を代表する俳優になられた一生こと、いっちゃんとまたお芝居できるならと喜んで受けさせていただきました。大河以来の映像での共演で、少し緊張もしましたが、監督をはじめチームの皆さんのおかげで、とても楽しく撮影が進んでゆきました。5話は『ジョジョの奇妙な冒険』からヒントを得たある意味オリジナルストーリーだと聞いておりますが、乙雅三という人物を自由に演じさせていただきました。是非楽しんでご覧ください。
大好きなジョジョシリーズの、大好きな『岸辺露伴は動かない』のドラマに携わることができて本当に光栄です。プロフェッショナルなスタッフキャストの皆さんと愛に溢れた作品作りは刺激的で、原作ファンとしても一役者としても幸せな時間でした。個人的に露伴先生のことが好きすぎて、それを現場に持ち込まないよう心拍数を抑えるのがとても大変でした。年末の三日間。私もドキドキしながらテレビの前で待ちたいと思います!

Promotion

Season 1

Season 1's promotion was rather modest, mainly consisting of a trailer and an interview with Issey Takahashi in Ultra Jump about the TV Drama, as well as several online interviews.

Season 2

Season's 2 promotion was more ambitious, with not only several teaser trailers, but also unique events and interviews.

One of the promotional events for Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan was “My Rohan Kishibe Talk (私の岸辺露伴語り Watashi no kishibe rohan katari), a talk show which aired on December 18, 2021 at 11:10 – 11:39 PM JST and was rebroadcasted on December 27, 2021 at 12:53 AM JST. In this program, Issey Takahashi, Rio Uchida, Yasuko Kobayashi (the screenwriter for both the TV Drama and the anime), and culture critic Sayawaka talk about the unique worldview and appeal of the original work, the anime, and the drama while analyzing the secret of its popularity.

To promote the Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan series, the four OVA adaptation episodes also aired on TV.

The NHK TV Channel also promoted the series via its "Tensai TV kun hello" special program, in which TV "warrior" Chan Kawai (of the "W ENGINE" comedy duo) and guest presenter "Kazuhiro Ozawa" (of the "Speed Wagon" comedy duo) talked about JoJo's Bizarre Adventure and Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan's themes of "celebrating humanity" and "philosophy of life". The program also featured cameos of Issey Takahashi and Marie Iitoyo.

Finally, a special exhibition about the TV Drama was held in Sendai from December 14, 2021 to January 10, 2022 at Sendai's NHK Sendai Broadcasting Station. The exhibition displayed the costumes of the series' characters as well as original design drawings by Isao Tsugo, the face books that form when Heaven's Door is activated, and various props and accessories used in the series.

Reception

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.[17]

Gallery

Trailers

Season 1 Trailer

Season 2 Teaser

Season 2 Trailer

See also

References

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