Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Proved Rohan Was Never a Bad Guy With One Moment

The fourth part of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is easily one of its most popular, and its large cast of interesting characters had the chance to live on in Hirohiko Araki’s spinoff Thus Spoke Rohan Kishibe, which follows Araki’s in-universe stand-in, the mangaka Rohan Kishibe. While Rohan and Josuke may not always get along, Rohan has proven himself to be a valuable ally in the past, and in one chapter of his spinoff, even demonstrated some true heroism.

While Thus Spoke Rohan Kishibe is irregularly updated with new stand-alone chapters, it’s only recently that these side stories were translated to English for the first time. Many American fans had their first exposure to the spinoff via Netflix’s 2021 animated adaptation, which focuses on four of these stories. The first volume of the manga, which also contains four stories, was only just translated and released in late September 2022. Although the manga’s first volume and the anime have several stories in common, one story in the manga wasn’t animated in favor of another, later chapter.

The manga chapter of Thus Spoke Rohan Kishibe entitled “Episode 6: Poaching Seashore,” originally from 2013, sees Rohan meet up with the Stand-wielding chef Tonio Trendy, an Italian immigrant to Japan whose Stand ability allows him to heal and rejuvenate diners with his food. Tonio asks Rohan to assist him in a dangerous task: poaching a species of Abalone known as “Kuro-awabi” (literally “Black Sea Ears”) which mature off the coast of Morioh. He hopes that using such a rare and divine ingredient will give his cooking even more healing power, and just might allow him to cure his girlfriend’s cancer. Rohan protests a bit, but admits he’s intrigued and agrees to accompany Tonio. However, upon arriving, they soon discover that the poaching technique which Tonio learned of was a trap designed to kill potential poachers, and Tonio is soon slipping away to the bottom of the sea, sure to drown.

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How is “Poaching Seashore” Important to Rohan’s Character?

This chapter is unique among both Jojo and Thus Spoke Rohan Kishibe in that it doesn’t involve any kind of enemy Stand or other monster/supernatural threat. Instead, the danger is one that’s all too real, and Rohan himself is at risk of drowning in the rip currents as well. Even as he’s drowning, however, his quick thinking has him spot the abalone’s natural predator, an octopus, and Rohan uses his Stand Heaven’s Door to control the octopus into eating the kuro-awabi that threaten their lives. Rohan could easily have left Tonio to his fate to save his own life, but he doesn’t hesitate here at all, immediately throwing himself into the depths to find Tonio and rescue him. Saving Tonio also indirectly saves the girlfriend as well, since Tonio is able to cook the dish and get the desired effect. While Rohan has been shown to be a bit rude and selfish in the past, moments like this one prove that despite his distaste for the protagonist, he’s absolutely not a bad guy.

Rohan has become one of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure‘s most popular heroes in part because he’s such a complex character. Sometimes, he’s reading through people’s lives and memories without permission in search of inspiration, while others, he’s risking his life to save a friend–or even Josuke, on occasion. Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan has given both Araki and fans of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure a chance to explore more of these aspects of his character, and it’s truly a delight for Jojo fans abroad to finally be able to read these chapters officially for the first time.

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