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Manga / Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan

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Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan (岸辺露伴は動かない Kishibe Rohan wa Ugokanai, lit. Rohan Kishibe Does Not Move!) is a Spin-Off of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, more specifically its fourth part, Diamond is Unbreakable, which focuses on the eccentric manga artist Rohan Kishibe. In these stories, Rohan recounts various bizarre supernatural happenings, often centered around the town of Morioh.

Two OVAs of these stories were made by David Production. One based on Millionaire Village was given to those who purchased the entire set of Diamond is Unbreakable blu-rays or DVDs, while Mutsu-kabe Hill was bundled with the second volume of Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan. After the completion of Golden Wind, David Pro announced two more adaptations of At A Confessional and The Run for December 8th 2019.


The stories feature Unusual Chapter Numbers. In release order, they are:

  • Episode 16: At a Confessional — While researching the inside of a confessional booth, Rohan is mistaken for a priest and hears a man's unusual confession.
  • Episode 2: Mutsu-kabe Hill — Rohan tells his editor the story of his encounter with a real Yokai.
  • Episode 5: Millionaire Village — Rohan visits an isolated mountain village, whose inhabitants are blessed with great fortune but held to extreme standards of etiquette.
  • Episode 6: Poaching Seashore — Chef Tonio Trussardi asks Rohan to help him catch the extremely rare disk abalone for a seafood dish.
  • Episode 4: Mochizuki Family Moon Viewing — Rohan tells the story of the Mochizuki family, who are cursed to die unless they celebrate the harvest moon together.
  • Episode 7: Monday, Sunshower — Rohan tells the story of a strange day where everyone seems to be oddly fixated on their cell phones.
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  • Episode 8 (originaly 9): DNA — A friend of Yukako Yamagishi asks Rohan to help cure her daughter of several strange symptoms.
  • Episode 9 (originaly 10): The Run — Rohan talks about an incident at a gym.

Associated with the series while not being officially part of it is the one-shot Rohan at the Louvre, also featuring Rohan who investigates a supposedly cursed painting.

This series provides examples of:

  • Accidental Murder: In Episode 2, Naoko Osato accidentally murders her boyfriend Gunpei by pushing him into metal golf clubs, piercing his head.
  • Accidental Pervert: During his youth, Rohan entered a bathroom at the moment Nanase was getting undressed, because his grandmother used confusing signs for the genders. However, he doesn't get any flak for it and he also immediately apologizes.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The OVAs add extra scenes usually consisting of cameos to the original stories.
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  • Age-Inappropriate Dress: In Episode 8, Yukako is shown to be still wearing a Sailor Fuku, despite being 23 at the very least going by Rohan's age in Episode 2 and his use of a smartphone.
  • Appearance Angst: Yoma Hashimoto is a model who becomes obsessed with personal fitness after growing to like his routine. His constant efforts to improve his physique chip away at his sanity, to the point of accusing his girlfriend of trying to "poison him" with his favorite carb-heavy spaghetti dish, complaining about the delivery man ringing the doorbell and ruining his sleep schedule, and glaring daggers at a man who reserved his personal trainer before him. He eventually snaps and murders his girlfriend, the delivery man, and the other gym-goer because he saw them all as threats to his fitness.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Episode 7 features a fictitious insect species named "Coire electricus lawrencinia" that feed on electromagnetic waves and bioelectricity, and reside in mobile phones.
  • The Cameo: Several characters from Part 4 make an appearance in the series but almost none save Rohan play a major role. Funnily, Josuke sometimes appear but always from the back, he never talks nor is he acknowledged by anyone.
    • The OVAs adaptations feature those same characters gratuitously in original scenes.
  • Character Tics: Mai Katahira finds the second man she'll love when she sees that he shares several tics with her late husband.
  • Compelling Voice: Heaven's Door's oh-so broken ability to write commands on anyone nearly always comes in handy. When in a tight spot against the supernatural, it allows Rohan to make a Loophole Abuse by manipulating the human agents or vector of some supernatural force as he likes.
  • Color Motif: In Rohan at the Louvre, the only real story Araki has actually colored, colors are used in palettes of two or three. Each with significance.
    • The first part in the past is almost entirely colored brown to evoke the comfort of a good memory, as Rohan had met Nanase who he developed feelings for.
    • The short part with Rohan actually visiting the Louvre is colored with garish blue and pink.
    • When Rohan goes underground and goes near the cursed painting, the color palette changes to dark blue with large patches of black for the darkness, but also the impending threat of the painting.
    • Nanase herself is regularly seen in red or pink kimonos, to signify her feminity and prettiness.
  • Confessional: Episode 16 involves a confessional in which Rohan, who has entered the priest's compartment by mistake, hears out the confession of the protagonist.
  • Creepy Child: Mao Katahira is practically a Humanoid Abomination with her strange appearance and ability to blend into the environment, but at least is polite and nice.
  • Demonic Possession: Episode 16 features a vengeful ghost possessing the daughter of the man who practically killed him.
  • Destination Defenestration: In Episode 9, Yoma and Rohan run on treadmills side by side in a gym and decide to play a game of who can take a shared remote first. To spice things up, Yoma breaks the window behind them with a 20kg weight, and the loser will fall from the eight floor. Although Yoma ends up being sent through the broken window, Rohan thinks that it wasn't enough to kill him.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Rohan sometimes meet powerful supernatural beings he knows he cannot mess with, so he usually uses his Heaven's Door to circumvent the rules these beings follow. However, during Episode 10: The Run, he learns that he's crossed a red line by taunting and pretty much cheating against the embodiment of a god in a "fair" challenge. The last page only focuses on him thinking about running the hell away from the place, hoping he hadn't invoked the wrath of the vindictive god Hermes.
  • Emotion Eater: The Mutsukabezaka sustain themselves on people's affection and guilt. They use people as hosts and set up Accidental Murders to trick people into hiding and taking care of them forever.
  • Etiquette Nazi: The gods of the mountains Rohan and Izumi come to visit, as well as their staff, are VERY strict on etiquette, and Japanese etiquette at that. If you can follow the etiquette then the gods will make you rich, but any breach of etiquette equals someone or something dear to you dying on the spot. And something as innocuous as stepping on the edge of a tatami counts as a breach...
  • First-Person Peripheral Narrator: Rohan is part of the stories, but more as a witness or someone who is literally narrating to the reader. The Japanese title of the series itself (which translates as "Rohan Kishibe stays still") suggests that Rohan isn't the protagonist, but a passive observer. However, a couple of one-shots do make Rohan the protagonist.
  • Framing Device: Most of the one-shots are Rohan Kishibe sitting down on a table and telling a story. Of course said story is the main draw of these one-shots, but Araki has included Rohan as a narrator/witness to make them more interesting.
  • Healing Herb: In Poaching Reef, Tonio hopes that the disc abalone, a rare and tremendously high-class sea snail, can act as an ingredient for his cooking powerful enough to even heal his girlfriend's cancer.
  • Healthcare Motivation: In Episode 6: Poaching Reef, Tonio must resort to poaching for a very rare abalone species so he can cook a cure for his girlfriend's incurable disease.
  • Hereditary Curse: In Episode 4: Mochizuki Family Moon Viewing, the eponymous family seem to be afflicted by a curse making them all prematurely die on the same day of Harvest Moon. Only spending the whole day and night at home looking at the moon will prevent that, and a creepy specter will bring punishment to any transgressor.
  • Humanoid Abomination:
    • The Moon Spirit stalking the Mochizuki Family looks like a decrepit masked man in a suit, who has slanted eyes, the ears and paws of a hare, and is really malevolent, enjoying killing off people.
    • Mao Katahira has no eyebrows nor eyelashes above her eyes, yet has long eyelashes below and has sideburns; finally she has grown a tail which when touched, makes Mao camouflage herself into her surroundings. She also only speaks in reverse, doesn't make noise when she walks, and somehow wets everything she walks into. Her mother isn't really creeped out but fears that Mao will face bullying. Rohan investigates her, but determines that he condition is entirely natural, there's nothing "wrong" with her in the sense that she's the way she is supposed to be. No explanation is given for that.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Most of the Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan one-shots are also named "Episode X". Doubles Unusual Chapter Numbers because the episode numbers are out of order, the first one-shot being "Episode 16".
  • Loophole Abuse: Several instances of this happen throughout the one-shots:
    • Episode 2 has Rohan escape the spell of a local Yokai by making its host unable to see him, as the Yokai specifically need to "die" in front of somebody but Rohan made it so the host couldn't acknowledge his presence. Said Yokai briefly appears to screech at Rohan in anger.
    • Episode 5 features Rohan going against the Etiquette Nazi of a mountain god. By forcing the god's servant to reveal his secret and write a command on him once, but then succeeding in a trial and making the servant commit three breaches of etiquette, he manages to save his editor's life as well as the lives of the editor's loved ones to "compensate" for the god's side breaching etiquette.
    • In Episode 9, Rohan has a Absurdly High-Stakes Game against the God in Human Form Yoma Hashimoto, who's become the avatar of Hermes. Both must try to take a remote at a precise moment or fall out of the window of the 8th floor of the building they're in. Rohan genuinely tries to catch the remote and is bested, but has written a command so Yoma Hashimoto must push the stop button on the remote in Rohan's favor anyway. Rohan hopes that outsmarting the god won't incur his wrath but flees rather than wait for Yoma's impeding return.
  • Mind Probe: Rohan's ability to open up people as literal books and freely read their entire lives leads to recurring Info Dump or The Reveal.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: Rohan is like Araki, a mangaka in perpetuous search for material which is a good excuse for him actually going out of his way finding supernatural creatures.
  • Off with His Head!: In Episode 16, the ghost of the asian beggar decapitates the protagonist of the main story after he fails a trial. Or rather the protagonist's Body Double.
  • Our Cryptids Are More Mysterious: The fictitious "Coire electricus lawrencinia" are a species of centipede like insects that feed off electromagnetic waves and live in cell phones, controlling humans to feed to prey with heart conditions. They are presented as a genuine soon-to-be-unveiled species.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The first one-shot features a vengeful ghost of a beggar the protagonist let die who then makes him rich and possess the protagonist's daughter on the happiest day of his life to take everything from him.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Whenever Rohan is directly dealing with whatever threat is introduced in a chapter, you can bet that it won't involve Stands. Also subverted in that usually whatever Rohan's dealing with is completely unaware of Stands as well, and thus Heaven's Door can serve to get him out of a jam.
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: In Episode 2: Mutsukabe-hill, Gunpei the gardener is killed by a fall into a metal golf club. The wound on his head keeps on bleeding and bleeding. Actually 300 milliliters a day but much more if the corpse is moved. And the corpse keeps bleeding for decades even after it becomes a shriveled husk, with no sign of ever stopping.
  • Present-Day Past: An example in Episode 5 - while it can be inferred by Rohan's age that it takes place in 2006, the characters use huge internet-connected tablets able to connect to Google Maps which was still in its infancy back then and 2010's-style smartphones clearly contemporary to the time it was published.
  • Product-Promotion Parade: Rohan Kishibe Goes to Gucci is this, as a collaborative work between Araki and the Gucci brand. It featured several of Frida Giannini's latest works and a speech by an employee lauding the quality of Gucci's products.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Episode 8 has this vibe, as Mai Katahira looks for the biological father of Mao, and finds him charming especially because of his uncanny similarities to her late husband. However, the man is clearly too old to be a reincarnation and has never met her.
  • The Reveal: Rohan often learns something that flips upside down his perspective on his situation:
    • In Episode 16: the protagonist reveal that the whole story he's confessed and his subsequent survival was made possible because he made a Body Double take the wrath of the beggar's ghost in his stead.
    • In Episode 2: he learns that the strange story of a young heir murdering her boyfriend is caused by a colony of Yokais who feed on guilt and love.
    • In Episode 5: Rohan learns that his etiquette trial is being judged by literal gods in the mountains.
    • In Episode 6: Rohan sees skeletons on the sea floor and deduces that the rumoured night where inhabitants could poach for valuable abalones is a setup used to drown gullible poachers.
    • In Episode 4: it's revealed that an actual spirit is watching the Mochizuki Family and kills any family member who disobeys the rules.
    • In Episode 7: Rohan witnesses a swarm of electricity insect feeding on the heartbeat of a dead man, and deduces that these insects have been controlling a whole crowd to isolate that man and kill him.
    • In Episode 9: Rohan learns that Yoma Hashimoto, whom he's competing against, is a murderous avatar of the god of athletes Hermes, thus he's way over his head in challenging him to a game of speed.
  • Roguish Poacher: Rohan and Tonio temporarily become these when poaching for abalones, which they hope will help cure Tonio's girlfriend. They aren't as good at it as they think and nearly die as a result, but manage to bring home abalones home nonetheless.
  • Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts: The malevolent Moon Spirit in Episode 4 set ups how the members of the Mochizuki Family that way. The whole evening is a setup involving a toy helicopter crashing into a fishbowl, causing the fish to fall off, then the daughter knocks her father's glasses onto the branch, sending the goldfish into the grandmother's mouth, nearly choking her. However, the same series of mishaps causes the son's kiddie pool to pop after the father hits it with a pair of hot tongs, making the boy lose control of the helicopter which falls onto his grandmother to knock the goldfish out of her throat, saving her life. The pool water, however, washes a hornets's nest out, which the daughter is allergic to.
  • Rule of Three: The ghost of the asian beggar in Episode 16 orders the protagonist to succeed in catching a thrown pop corn with his mouth three times or die.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: In Episode 2, Rohan buys several mountains to block a road construction project, just so he could investigate the local spirits. Although he's broke, he considers worth it because he actually got to see a yokai.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After Rohan's use of Heaven's Door against Yoma results in him being flung out the window despite winning their contest, Rohan, realizing he may have angered a literal avatar of the Greek god Hermes, decides to book it without even bothering to check to see if Yoma survived or not and hope that he won't be sought out.
  • Spooky Painting: The painting Under the Moon that Rohan investigates in Rohan at the Louvre. It's a cursed portrait of Nanase, made out of pitch black paint, and which can conjure the undead to make everyone near it experience a gruesome death of someone related to the victims.
  • Sudden Principled Stand: When Nanase cries in Rohan's arms over an unknown tragedy, Rohan shows an exceptional degree of restraint for her sake and doesn't turn her into a book to pry into her past like he does before. It helps that he's had feelings for her.
  • Surprise Incest: In Rohan at the Louvre, Rohan had developed a summer crush on Nanase. However it's revealed years later that Nanase was one of Rohan's ancestors.
  • Youkai: A Yokai named the Mutsukabezaka appears in episode 2. It is a strange parasitic spirits that makes a host die in front of someone, forcing that someone to hide and take care of the corpse forever. Oh, and sometimes the victim becomes so attracted to the corpse they have children with it, whom are hosts to more Mutsukabezaka.

Alternative Title(s): Thus Spoke Rohan Kishibe


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