The Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure spin-off stories are a delightful extra. Rohan himself is quite a character, and the adventures he gets on outside of the typical Diamond is Unbreakable affairs are relatable and captivating even if you don’t follow the mainline series. We’ve seen it happen in manga, anime, and even live action adaptations. Now Viz Media released a Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan Blu-ray of all four episodes of the anime OVA, and it feels like such a solid tribute. It’s a great way to watch outside of Netflix, which feels like it could take away series’ at a moment’s notice, while also properly giving these episodes their due.

Part of the brilliance of the Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan concept is that someone doesn’t really need to be aware of larger JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure canon to appreciate the anime OVA episodes. Yes, you do need to know that like many people in the series, he was struck by an arrow and had the stand Heaven’s Door awaken because of it. With it, he can turn people into human books. While he can then make them follow his orders by writing in them, he will more likely pry and use it for inspiration for his own works. See, he’s a mangaka, a “genius” one known for Pink Dark Boy, which “runs” in Shonen Jump. All you need to know from there is that he tends to find himself in supernatural situations and, well, can come across as an arrogant and egotistical jerk. I mean, he does genuinely care for some people, like Kyōka. But he does know exactly how talented he is and is completely abrasive.

But it’s because of that expertise that the four stories on the Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan Blu-ray are such great viewing. Each one is self-contained and can be watched without any background aside from the above information. The episode numbers in their titles? There for flavor. “Episode 2: Mutsu-kabe Hill” actually aired after “Episode 5: Millionaire Village,” after all. Each one involves Rohan somehow stumbling on a supernatural occurrence involving things other than Stands. As such, someone coming into it doesn’t need to know the elaborate history of the series. They can just appreciate a mangaka with special powers happening upon and reacting to weird situations.

It also helps that the Blu-ray comes with features that help add more insight into this Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan anime adaptation. On the disc itself, there’s an interview with Landon McDonald about playing Rohan in the English dub. It’s insightful, especially given the character’s strong personality.

However, even better is the booklet accompanying it. It’s quite brief, coming in at only 20 pages. However, it has all these behind-the-scenes insights into each episode. We can read blurbs from the director, character designer, voice actors, and others involved with each OVA. There’s concept art for characters and locations. We can see what outfit Rohan wore in that episode, because of course there’d be that extra detail for such a “master.” There’s also a three-page interview with Director Toshiyuki Kato and Character Designer Shunichi Ishimoto about different episodes and adaptation decisions. Book-ending it with a brief interview with Rohan’s Japanese voice actor Takahiro Sakurai is also a great complement to the interview on the disc.

The Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan Blu-ray is a great package to have. Especially at a time when it can be so easy for digital media to become inaccessible or disappear for good. It would have been fine to even just include the four episodes of the OVA. But getting these extra insights into the making of these Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan anime adaptations is a lot of fun.

The Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan anime OVA Blu-ray is available now. Viz Media also handled the localization of the manga.

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By mrtrv