Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan- The Bizarre Adventures of a Mangaka

A famous manga artist who wants to create realistic stories travels the world in search of inspiration for his manga. Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan is a fantasy series created by Hirohiko Araki. The story revolves around Kishisbe Rohan, a mangaka touring the world to get inspiration from people’s lives for his work to make it more realistic.

Rohan has gone bankrupt, purchasing mountains to research for his manga. He has even sold his Sailor Moon figures, Led Zepplin records, Rurouni Kenshin manga, and many of his collections. And he is currently staying at his friend’s place without a desk to work on.

This four-episode series tells a different story about his experiences and adventures during his research. His Stand User also called Heaven’s Door, allows him to transform people into a book and read about their lives. Which also gives him the ability to change people’s behavior and thoughts by writing in the book.

Source : Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan (c) Hirohiko Araki/Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan Production Committee

In the first episode, “At a Confessional,” he tells the story of a bizarre experience he had during his eight-day stay in Venice to do some research for his manga. He goes to an Italian church, and out of curiosity, he enters the confessional booth without knowing it was the priest’s compartment. He enters the booth so that he can have a real experience to bring reality to his work. And suddenly, a man enters the booth and starts to confess his sins. The man recalls one fateful evening he refused to offer free food to a hungry beggar. Which eventually led to his death. And how his selfish actions came back to haunt him years later when he was finally successful and happy.

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It was quite a horror to watch the ghost controlling his daughter’s body, and his life depends on whether he can catch popcorns in his mouth by throwing them high in the air. It does sound crazy but captures our attention, and though Rohan is not the prime focus in this episode, it is no less engaging.

Source : Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan (c) Hirohiko Araki/Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan Production Committee

The second episode, “Mutsu-kabe Hill,” tells quite a disturbing story about Naoko Osato, who accidentally kills her boyfriend, Gunpei. She tries to hide the corpse, but the blood won’t stop flowing. She puts a bandage on the wound and stitches it only for the corpse to burst out with more blood. Leaving her with no choice, she drinks the blood to hide it. Even years later, after she’s married, she keeps the body in the attic, and the dead body never stops bleeding. Every morning, she secretly discards the blood making sure nobody sees it.

One day, while walking up the hill, Rohan encountered a young girl who accidentally tripped, hitting her head on a rock and bleeds heavily. He saves her using his Heaven’s Door to rewrite her past. He then realizes that she was the child of Naoko and Gunpei. To which Rohan decides to use it as inspiration for his manga.

Source : Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan (c) Hirohiko Araki/Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan Production Committee

In the third episode, Rohan accompanies his editor, Kyōka Izumi, to the “Millionaire Village.” An isolated village with luxury villas where manners are considered a top priority. According to her research, the wealthy villa owners bought houses when they were 25 year. Being 25 herself, Kyōka wants to try her luck as well.

Upon reaching the village, they were greeted by the doorman Ikkyū. They are told that they have already broken three rules shortly after. Kyōka begs for a second chance but receives a call that her mother and fiancée have died in a car accident. Rohan decides to use his Heaven’s Door on Ikkyū. He reads that the mountain Gods reward those who follow the manners correctly but punishes those who fail—taking away something they cherish. Gain something or lose something, which is the rule of the mountains.

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After reading deep into the book, Rohan finds out that he has broken a rule of etiquette by turning someone into a book and reading them without permission. This “mistake” causes Kyōka to have a heart attack. Ikkyū gives Rohan a second chance with a task on how to properly eat corn which he succeeds. By using his Heaven’s Door on Ikkyū, causing him to break his own rules of etiquette, he’s able to save Kyōka and her dear ones.

Source : Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan (c) Hirohiko Araki/Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan Production Committee

The last episode, “The Run,” is a ludicrous story about a narcissistic male model Hashimoto Yoma who is obsessed with his physique. Rohan meets him at the gym, and after their competition, Hashimoto is even more obsessed with his training. He even goes to the extent of stealing his girlfriend’s money and using her card to purchase equipment for his training. Filling the apartment with gym equipment and at this point, his girlfriend just can’t take it anymore and tells him to leave.

Rohan challenges him on a treadmill run that whoever reaches 25 km/h can grab the remote control to stop their machine. Rohan wins the first round and asks for a rematch. But this time, is intimidated and tries to grab the remote control but fails, and Hashimoto breaks three of his fingers. He then smashes the window, so that whoever loses will fall back through the window from the 8th floor. Rohan uses his Heaven’s Door stand and finds out that he has killed everyone who stood in his way, including his girlfriend. Hashimoto wins the challenge, but Rohan uses his stand to save himself by writing on Hashimoto’s hand that he will press stop on Rohan’s treadmill, and he falls down the window. Rohan regrets crossing the line and putting his life at risk. He realizes that Yamamoto was the avatar of Hermes, and he shouldn’t have gone anywhere near him.

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Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan focuses on the slices of Rohan’s life and his crazy adventures. Although it has some horrid images, it is not a full-blown horror. The sprinkle of supernatural elements makes it even more entertaining. It keeps you on the edge of your seat and eyes glued to the screen. It’s also funny how Rohan is less bothered by all the horrifying experiences. At the same time, the surrounding people are amazed by his storytelling. If you’re yet to watch this series, get right on with it! It’s probably one of my favorites too!

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Sources: Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan
Featured Image: Official poster of the film

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