Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan is a fantasy anime series. The voice cast includes Takahiro Sakurai, Hiroki Takahashi, Kōki Uchiyama and Mai Nakahara, alongside other members.
Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan is a fascinating anime series that is equal parts terrifying and engrossing. The protagonist, manga artist Kishibe Rohan, is by no means a goody two shoes. Actually, he’s very much a grey character, which is evident from the four stories that he narrates.
The series does not follow a linear storyline. It, however, follows Kishibe as he tries to do research and find stories to write his manga. In this search, he comes across various fascinating stories that he narrates to people around him, and mostly it’s very impersonal. We see him going through seemingly normal, everyday circumstances until it takes a turn for the sinister.
Case in point, the first story is about how Rohan, while in Venice, ends up on the wrong side of a confessional box and comes across a bizarre story involving a very rich man and a ghost that follows him. Without spoiling anything, this is probably my favourite story of the series – probably because Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan starts off with this or because of the sheer oddity of the story’s direction. Each of the stories that follow is more bizarre than the previous one which works excellently in the series’s favour because it makes them crisp, to the point and highly enjoyable.
Each episode does not take too much time to find its rhythm and concludes in a way which you won’t be able to understand beforehand. Honestly, for the most part, I was staring bewildered at the screen, wondering how the story will conclude, and I could never have predicted what I saw. Rohan also has a peculiar power called Heaven’s Door, which allows him to peek into a person’s life like opening a book and he can also edit or add information there. This nifty gift works in favour of Rohan’s life and mishaps and makes the story interesting.
The animation and art style of Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan is absolutely striking and works well with the subject matter. It’s smooth and flows beautifully and gives it character. It’s clean and great to watch and the creators have done a great job with it.
Every episode of Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan is highly enjoyable and has something new and fresh to it. All of them feature something or the other relating to the supernatural realm. However, it’s not just ghosts here. Every episode is absolutely unique and has a kick to keep you hooked. I couldn’t stop bingeing the series, although that’s probably not the right word for a series this small.
The only downside (if you can call it that) that I have with the series is that it feels too small to put across all the themes and stories it could’ve. After the four episodes, you will definitely need more, and this is one of those series which would’ve benefitted from them. We could also get a more fleshed-out Kishibe Rohan had there been more episodes, and it’s a shame that it was so small.
Summing up: Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan
Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan is an extremely enjoyable and scary anime series that does its job well. The animation is well-done and the stories are absolutely engrossing. There’s a lot to unpack here since it’s not just about ghosts and demons. There’s a moral compass that you need to determine and given that the protagonist himself is grey, it makes for a fascinating watch.
Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan is streaming on Netflix.
Liked the Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan review? Read our other reviews here.