Anime Review: “Thus Spoke Rohan Kishibe”

Thus Spoke Rohan Kishibe” is a four-episode anime collection that will entertain “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” fans — but not much else.

“Thus Spoke Rohan Kishibe” is a four-episode anime series that deviates from the standard JoJo formula of action-packed battles through a linear storyline. Instead, the series takes the route of an anthology, covering the general theme of the costs of desires and success and devoting episodes to different perspectives on the topic. 

For example, episode two, “Mutsu-Kabe Hill,” tackles the theme of lust though the story Rohan tells of a woman cheating on her fiancee. One day, the fiance visits the woman while the other guy is home. In an attempt to make the guy leave, she accidentally kills the man after pushing him, causing his head to hit a golf club. As a result, the woman must hide and keep the man’s body forever, routinely having to drain his eternally bleeding injuries. This episode warns the audience of the cost of lust by demonstrating a constant cycle of suffering of the woman. As if this wasn’t already strange enough, it is soon revealed that the father of the woman’s daughter is the dead man, and the ability to never stop bleeding has been passed onto her. The episode ends with Rohan using his stand, Heaven’s Door, to prevent the daughter from bleeding out after she trips and falls in front of him, demonstrating that the cost of lust can be passed down and cause further suffering.

Another positive of the show is that it still feels like a JoJo anime. The animation style switches between parts four and five, allowing the viewer to see characters of the original anime in styles outside of their respective part. Additionally, the spin-off shares many of the same sounds and scores from the original JoJo anime, allowing longtime Jojo fans to feel right at home. 

My only gripe with the show is that it’s only worth watching once. It’s interesting that the series went with the route of an anthology considering “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” is a franchise focused more on action. However, even the anthology aspect of the show feels rather shallow, as the ending of each episode feels more set in stone rather than up to interpretation. While the series may keep the viewer engaged during the first viewing, there are no awesome fight scenes that make your draw drop like in “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure,” and the straightforward conclusions of the episodes don’t provide much entertainment for future rewatching.

Overall, while Jojo fans will likely find the series sufficiently entertaining upon a first watch, there isn’t much in the series to keep viewers coming back for more.

Director: Toshiyuki Kato
Studio: David Production
Release Date: Feb. 18, 2021
Grade: C+

Image courtesy of Sunriseread.

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