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]


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.



Author's Note

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.

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.)
(週刊少年ジャンプ 97年30号掲戴)


Author's Comment


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.
Rohan Kishibe, Shonen Jump: Readers' Cup
Rohan Kishibe, Shonen Jump: Readers' Cup


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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