TSKR Episode 16: At a Confessional
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.
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.
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, 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.