TSKR Episode 16: At a Confessional

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Humans really can't keep secrets to themselves for years and years without ever telling anyone like they think they can. The bigger the secret, the more it makes them internally suffer and yell out in pain. The confessional is a place where people can go to cleanse their souls.

Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan - Episode 16: At a Confessional (岸辺露伴は動かない 〜エピソード16:懺悔室〜 Kishibe Rohan wa Ugokanai ~Episōdo 16: Zange-shitsu~) is a one-shot written and illustrated by Hirohiko Araki. It was originally featured in Weekly Shonen Jump 1997 #30 which released on June 24, 1997, and later collected in Under Execution, Under Jailbreak. It was also published in the first issue of Shonen Jump: Readers' Cup '97, on November 23, 1997.[3]

The one-shot features Rohan Kishibe from Diamond is Unbreakable as a nonparticipating observer of the story. This is the first chapter published in the Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan series.

On August 18, 2019, an OVA adaptation by David Production was announced. The episode was screened at select Japanese theaters and was eventually released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 25, 2020.[4]

Summary

Rohan Kishibe presents himself and narrates a gruesome story he heard in Italy.

After an incident forcing him to pause his series Pink Dark Boy for the summer, Rohan had decided to take a vacation in Italy. In Venice, Rohan accidentally entered the priest's compartment of a confessional in the middle of his research. Shortly after, a man entered the booth and confessed his sin to Rohan, believing him to be a priest. Interested, Rohan heard out his confession. The man accounted for his youth as a common worker. One day, a starving Asiatic beggar came to him begging for food. Disdainful, he forced the beggar to carry large bags of corn, eventually leading to the beggar's death. However, the ghost of the beggar appeared, swearing revenge and stating that he would come back on the happiest day of his life.

Things soon looked up for the man; he became rich and eventually had a daughter with a top-model. One day, as the man walked with a servant and his daughter cheerfully playing with a bag of popcorn, he couldn't help but think that it was the happiest moment of his life.

Suddenly, the spirit of the beggar possessed the little girl and revealed that he has assisted the man's prosperity from behind the scenes so that he could fulfill his revenge. The ghost explained that he wanted Fate to judge the man fairly, and thus challenged the man to throw a piece of popcorn in the air higher than a nearby lamppost and catch it in his mouth, each time at the clap of his hands, three times in a row. If the man succeeded the ghost would leave the man forever, otherwise the beggar would cut off his head.

With luck and ingenuity, the man succeeded twice, but attracted a flock of pigeon looking for the popcorns. To deter them at the last try, the man lit the pop corn on fire as he threw it, but sunlight shone out from behind the clouds, preventing the man from seeing the popcorn. Thus it landed on his shirt and without a second to spare, the beggar cut off his head.

Yet that man was alive. The two ghosts of the beggar and the servant appeared near him, revealing that the man used his servant as a body double to trick the beggar, only incuring the wrath of both ghosts. Rohan witnessed the spirits follow the man, vowing to endlessly stalk him. Deciding to interview him later if given the chance, he also expressed some respect for the man who tried to hang on to life.

Appearances

Characters

Author's Note

I went to a photo booth with Mr. Koji Koseki, an old manga artist friend of mine. I've never done this sort of thing before, but I'd say it was quite fun.

なかよしの漫画家こせきこうじ先生とプリクラを撮りに行った。初めてだったがとっても楽しかった

I have 60 pages left to write until I can publish my short story collection. It'll take another two years. Please wait patiently for it.

短編集を出すまであと60ページはかかなきゃ。あと2年はかかるな。気長に待っててくれ

Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan Episode 16: At a Confessional
(Published in Weekly Shonen Jump 1997 No. 30)

When I was a child, my father and grandfather used to scold me by saying, "People like you should move to a deserted island," or, "I'll go ask the prison to lock you up!" (There was a prison near our house.) I thought, "I'd like to go to a deserted island," but I also thought, "Prison is so scary, please don't let me go there!" One particular rebuke he used was, "If you live your life mocking people, you'll be struck down when you are happiest." I still find it terrifying. I fear being struck down whenever I'm happy, and as I grow older, I'm becoming more and more afraid of it. I don't think I'm cheating anyone, but I still don't like it. However, I do like the main character of this work, who remains undaunted. The "Thus Spoke" part of the title means that Kishibe Rohan is not the protagonist, but instead the navigator of the story. (I'd call it a B-type work.)

『岸辺露伴は動かないーエピソード16:懺悔室ー』
(週刊少年ジャンプ 97年30号掲戴)

子供の頃、父や祖父がよくわたしを叱る時、「無人島へ行け!おまえのようなヤツは!」とか、「刑務所に頼んで入れてもらうぞ!」(家の近所に刑務所があった)とか言われて、「無人島は行ってみたいなあ」と思ったが、「刑務所はすごく恐ろしくて、カンベンしてくれえ」と思った。そんな叱りの言葉の中に「普段、人をあざむいて生活していると一番幸福な時にバチがあたるぞ」というのがあって、それはいまだに恐ろしい。ハッピーって時に突き落とされるのが、ヤパイって感じがあって、大人になるにしたがって恐怖の度合いが増して来てるんですけど。別に人をだましてはいないと思うんだけど、イヤな感じ。でも、それでもヘコたれない本作品の主人公は好き。タイトルの「動かない」というのは、岸辺露伴は主人公ではなく、物語のナピゲーターですよ、という意味。(作品タイプで言うとB)

TSRK16.jpg

In 1997, the editorial team asked for a short story. The terms were: less than 45 pages and no spin-off of an existing series. Ta-dah! And here's a spin-off for you (laughs). I obviously made the first draft without Rohan, but isn't it so much better with him as the narrator? Just read the panels without him, just to see. It's like a tasteless meal, isn't it? When I think about it, without that interdiction, I would never have drawn the other Rohan spin-offs. Above all, I'm grateful for that.

1997年。編集部から短編執筆の依頼があり、条件は45ページ以内で、『スピンオフ・外伝は絶対禁止』。ドジャーン。スピンオフ作品ができちゃいました(笑)。最初、露伴が出てこないバージョンをもちろん描いたのですけれど。露伴先生が解説してくれた方が、断然良いと思うでしょ?
露伴先生登場部分をカットして読んでみてください。香りのない食事みたいに感じてしまうでしょう。そして今となっては、この「禁止令」がなければ、露伴スピンオフ作品は以後描かなかったとも思います。何よりそういうことに感謝したい。

Making-of

During the time period this one-shot was written, Weekly Shonen Jump's editorial department restricted the publication of side stories for pre-existing ongoing Jump titles, which prompted Araki to find a workaround. The resulting concept of Rohan narrating a short story was largely inspired by the 1950's TV show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents,[5] and the series' name, Rohan Kishibe Does Not Move (岸辺露伴は動かない), was derived from the fact that Rohan is not the main protagonist in this one-shot, but rather a "navigator" or onlooker of the story.[6]

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