Sorry JoJo fans, this isn’t the Part 6 Stone Ocean anime announcement you’ve been waiting for. We will have to wait a little more on that bit of news (yes we’re sad too). Fortunately for those desperate for new content, NHK has just announced a three-episode live-action mini-series based off JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure spin-off, Thus Spoke Rohan Kishibe.
Known in Japan as Kishibe Rohan wa Ugokanai, the stories are centred around the adventures of Diamond Is Unbreakable character Rohan Kishibe. (Rohan is also known as JoJo’s mangaka, Araki Hirohiko’s fictional alter ego.) Set between Diamond Is Unbreakable and Golden Wind, Rohan travels worlds as a manga artist and gathers inspiration from people’s lives. The episodes will premiere on the NHK General channel on 28, 29 and 30 December 2020 at 10:00 p.m. JST (9:00 p.m. SGT, 8:00 am. EST).
Japanese heartthrob Issei Takahashi (Miracles, Whisper of the Heart Seiji Amasawa voice, Ikebukuro West Gate Park, March comes in like a lion) will lend his acting chops to the titular character Rohan Kishibe.
Episode one will be adapted from Fugo Mara (Millionaire Village) whereby Rohan gets entangled in an incident inside a millionaire’s mansion. Episode two is based off Kushagara, a short story by Ballad Kitaguni in the novel spinoffs. Rohan receives an odd request from fellow manga artist Jugo Shishi. Episode three will be from the manga chapter D.N.A. that was released in Bessatsu Margaret in 2017.
Moreover, starring alongside Issei are:
- Marie Iitoyo (Sign, Maji de Koukai Shitemasu) as Kyoka Izumi, Rohan’s editor
- Tomoya Nakamura (Hotel on the Brink) as Tarō Hirai, a cameraman companion to Kyoka
- Fūga Shibazaki as Ikkyū, a butler in the millionaire’s mansion
- Mirai Moriyama (Crying Out Love, In the Center of The World) as Jūgo Shishi, Rohan’s colleague
- Kumi Takiuchi (The Interpreter) as Mai Katahira, a widow who lost her husband in a car accident
Kazutaka Watanabe (Only Yesterday live-action special) will take helm as the director of the series, with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure anime writer Yasuko Kobayashi working on the scripts. Music will be composed by Naruyoshi Kikuchi (Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt). This is the second set of stories to get a live-action adaptation with Diamond is Unbreakable Chapter I being adapted in a live-action movie previously.
The stories for Thus Spoke Rohan Kishibe were first published in 2013 and compiled as one manga volume featuring a series of one-shots. A second volume was published in 2018. Certain chapters have also been previously adapted into original video animation or OVAs by anime studio David Production.