It’s a hill I’m willing to die on. Hirohiko Araki is a horror writer. I’ve had serious debates with friends who argue that his writing falls more under the umbrella of action and adventure, but I refuse to be moved from my position. Hirohiko Araki writes horror.
Perhaps most famous for his series, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Araki has been writing manga since the 1980s, and his work is amazing. Know for over-the-top drama and lots of gore, he’s a brilliant, if intense writer and one that I love to recommend to the right reader.
The library has recently gotten the series, Thus Spoke Rohan Kishibe and I’m so excited to tell you all about it! Featuring the morally grey manga-ka, Rohan Kishibe (from part 4 of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Diamond is Unbreakable), this is a short anthology of horror stories. Each chapter is its own tale of terror, some stories being scarier than others, written in that get-under-your-skin way that only Japanese horror can do. The book series is only two volumes, so unlike many manga, there is no need to worry about committing yourself to volumes and volumes of adventures. Just two, deeply chilling books that are not for the faint of heart. Examples of the horrors that await you include a poaching trip that goes horribly wrong, a killer at the subway station, and the body of a dead lover who continues to haunt the woman who loved him in life.
As I mentioned, Thus Spoke Rohan Kishibe is a spin-off of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, and while I think that reading the parent series really enhances the adventures here, you can still read each one separately without losing too much. All you need to know is that Rohan is a manga writer who likes to experience the things he writes about, such as trying a food before he draws it, or buying a property that he intends to use as the setting for a story. If you do choose to read the parent series, please note that there is a definite reading order that needs to be followed for the story to make sense. And since this is a spin-off of part 4, you’ll need to read three other series before you can even get to part 4!
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Reading Order
(and the series is ongoing!)
There is also another spin-off manga featuring Rohan which was commissioned for the Louvre! (Yes, the Louvre in Paris!) Rohan at the Louvre is not in our collection, but you can borrow it via SearchOhio. In this horror story (which I personally found scarier than Thus Spoke Rohan Kishibe), Rohan recounts how a former guest at his grandmother’s inn introduced him to the legend of a painting that was made with the blackest pigment imaginable, so dark that it does not reflect any light. After the artist’s death, the painting was relocated to the Louvre, and so Rohan goes to see it. I won’t say anything else, but this was the first time I realized just how scary Araki can be!